This year has seen plenty of controversy in the video game world (loot boxes be damned), but The Last of Us Part II has drummed up a good portion in its own right.
It all revolves around a new trailer that made its debut during Paris Games Week, painting a rather bleak picture as some female characters find themselves under a brutal attack by a group of strangers, only for them to eventually recover and face an even greater threat hiding in the wilderness. The trailer, while getting us excited for the game, has left a few people uneasy over its violence against women.
Neil Druckmann, the director of the game, recently addressed the matter on a recent episode of the AIAS Game Maker podcast, talking about its controversial nature. The goal of it, he explained, was to show something new from the game, without giving anything away from its intricate storyline.
“Some people, as we expected, were disturbed by what they saw in the scene and it led to some interesting conversations about what kind of violence is ok in a video game. What kind of violence is ok in what is perceived as a marketing piece? Should a marketing piece need to convey every facet of the game?” he said. “There’s a marketing campaign, each piece can’t possibly tell you everything about the game, only the game can tell you everything about the game. Every time we put something out there, it shows you a different facet of what the final experience is going to be like and I think some people because they were shaken or disturbed wanted more context within this piece alone. I think that’s putting too much weight or responsibility on any one tiny sliver of the game.”
He also explained that covering the “darker” side of game subjects isn’t a bad thing. “We really enjoy the conversations about how do you tackle more mature, more difficult subject matter in the game and I think that’s setting up the kind of conversations we’re going to see once the game finally comes out.”
So while it may leave a few people sitting uneasy, there’s no question that The Last of Us Part II is turning into an unforgettable game experience.
The Last of Us Part II currently doesn’t have a release date, but it’s expected to release for PlayStation 4.