Naughty Dog Explain The Last Of Us Part II’s Violence, Ellie Is The Only Playable Character

To snippets of news regarding The Last Of Us II and the first confirms what many had suspected, Ellie will be the only playable character in the game. At least, that’s what Naughty Dog’s  creative director Neil Druckmann has said, but he could be telling porkies.

If you have watched the new video for the game then you will have winced at the very graphic violence. Stomachs are ripped open, throats spurt blood and just when you think the camera will swerve off and spare you the sight of Ellie hacking someone’s head off it does quite the opposite and moves closer so you see every hack. It is unflinchingly brutal and for a good reason, Druckmann has told Kotaku the aim was “for the player to feel repulsed by some of the violence they are committing themselves. It felt like that is the most honest way to tell this story.”


“We’re making a game about the cycle of violence and we’re making a statement about violent actions and the impact they have on the character that’s committing them and on the people close to them,” he said. “And our whole approach is to say, ‘We want to treat this as realistically as possible.’ When you stab someone—if you watch reference videos, which we have, it’s gross and it’s messy and it’s not sanitized like you see in most movies and games. And we wanted to get the player to feel that.”

By the way, today is the original game’s fifth birthday.

Source: IGN / Kotaku

Written by
News Editor, very inappropriate, probs fancies your dad.


  1. Lesbians & ultra violence, lol

  2. I want to agree but he’s missing a subtlety seeing as we’re talking about a character and how it changes her. We can be repulsed by something but someone else might think “meh… kinda violent, I guess”. What’s important is that we see how it changes her not the act itself. It’s Ellie’s ongoing struggle (or lack thereof) with what she’s doing. That’s what they should be concentrating on and I hope the genuinely gory violence feels justified throughout the game otherwise it’s just placating gore fans and smacks of one-upping the first game. However, I can’t say that with any certainty until the game is out and I’ve played it all of the way through. Until then, it’s good to chat about things but keep an open mind.

  3. Well, I was repulsed by it. So much that I seriously consider not buying it.

    • In all honesty, the first few minutes repulsed me, not because of the lesbian kiss, but because he/they are trying to make a point that i dont think needs making. If ellies a lesbian then fare enough, it may well be part of the story, but i feel theres also a hidden agenda behind that demo. Each to there own, i’m straight, Ellie isnt, but thats her own prerogative… That demo was about more than character backgrounds and promoting a game.

      • I can’t help but feel we’re going backwards here.

        It’s going to get to a point where people will be afraid to show homosexuality, and not because of homophobic slurs, but because people will draw conclusions or make daft assumptions like this.

        “OMG! She’s kissing a girl, there must be an agenda, a hidden message!”


        I’m sorry, but for me that trailer was all about how much Ellie’s character has developed since seeing her in the first game. They alluded to the fact she may be attracted to girls and she was by no means a ruthless killer. Now look at her…

      • It’s a common tactic. Realise that your opinions are unacceptable to most people these days, deny you hold such opinions, and find some other pathetic excuse for why something is wrong.

        Not homophobic, but there’s obviously a hidden agenda.

        Not sexist, but historical accuracy.

        Not racist, but Brexit, because foreigners.

        Hopefully most people won’t fall for it and will go for the “well, you’re welcome not to buy it” option.

      • You’re wrong there… Believe me, I’ve watched plenty of videos with lesbians! I’ve also got a good friend who is a lesbian who occasionally pops round on a weekend for a beer. She’s on my PSN list.

        As for Brexit, my reasons were to do with Junker, Tusk, Verhofstadt etc. Whatever party you vote in, hardly ever gets to go through with their policies they’ve promised due to these guys.

      • It’s an interesting question though. Did they intend to raise awareness of the issue, or are they exploiting the issue to raise awareness of their game?

        Diversity and equality are THE hot topics but also fantastic marketing tools. Look at Marvel’s Black Panther – a mediocre film by all accounts but one that did incredibly well at the box office because it had a predominantly black cast and was marketed as some kind of historic moment for all Peoplekind.

        Either way, they win… by positioning themselves as champions of diversity and gaining free publicity when the inevitable online backlash occurs – which of course they fervently rebuke, further promoting their virtuous status in the public domain.

        In this case however, didn’t they imply that Ellie was a Lesbian in The Last of Us: Left Behind? Or was this just a tale of the bonds of Sisterhood during times of adversity? It’s been a while since I played it.

        Honestly, I think maybe Bill’s magazines scarred the poor girl for life :D

        Not that I consider Lesbians to be ‘scarred’ of course. Or that seeing male pornographic material could potentially scar a person. Lesbasins, yay! Male porn, extra yay!

        Ugh… All this PC nonsense is exhausting.

      • Good post JR.

        Well I guess because of the fact my opinions differ from MrYd’s, I’m…

        Homophobic as I didn’t agree with TLOU trailer.

        I’m Sexist as I didn’t particular like the BF trailer when the woman was running around like Rambo with a prosthetic limb (same opinion if the character was male).

        And finally, due to the fact I voted for Brexit, I am obviously, 100% Racist!

        Right, I better log-out ;)

      • Given the quality of the writing in TLoU (the writing, not the gameplay), and the fact that the sequel is obviously going to sell silly amounts, would they really resort to cheap tricks like lesbians for publicity?

        Would anyone even question it if she was kissing a man? (Well, if it hadn’t already been established she’s a lesbian in the DLC for the first game) Would people be wondering if there was a hidden agenda there?

        No. So why do it because it’s a lesbian?

        And as for Black Panther, yes, it was decidedly average, but it’s a Marvel film. Did anyone expect it to not do well? Maybe it did a bit better than it should based on the quality, but that might just be timing. First new character (well, introduced earlier, I guess) since Doctor Strange, released in the run up to Infinity War, it would probably have done well whoever it was. Despite the ridiculously obvious 3 act structure. (That thing annoys me for some reason. And was horribly obvious there.)

      • This lack of nesting in replies gets annoying at times…

        If you didn’t “agree” with TLoU trailer because of lesbians, then yes, that’s obviously homophobic. Glad you accept that now ;) Clearly a character already established as a lesbian would kiss another lesbian (they’d probably do other things too, but I’m not exactly clear on how that works). To jump from that to some hidden agenda just doesn’t make sense.

        The BF trailer thing doesn’t make you sexist, if the arm thing is your problem with it. Some people are choosing to ignore that and getting upset because women. When there’s clearly a more obvious issue if you want to go down the historically accurate route. If they’d said the game was going to cost £200 and you could only play as 1 character with 1 weapon, and everything else came from loot boxes that cost £10 each, the bottom half of the internet would still be full of “yes, but I’m not buying it because women”.

        And don’t get me started on Brexit more than I need to. When it all goes horribly wrong, and all anyone in this country has to eat is old shoes, feel free to blame foreigners some more then.

      • So let me get this right…

        British famers are going to harvet old shoes.

        British fishermen are going to catch old shoes.

        Plus we will also import old shoes to eat from around the world, cheaper than we can from the EU using WTO rules, as opposed to the more expensive old shoes we could buy from the EU, from which some of the those shoes came from us in the first place.

        I can only guess we’re going to evolve in the next year or so to the point we no longer have feet.

        It’s all the foreigners fault!!! Oh wait… I was born in Germany :/

        Right, I’ve finished work for the day… auf wiedersehen.

      • I’m only 0.1% concerned about Naughty Dog’s tactics (and whether there’s an underlying agenda there or not) simply because I feel like they’re grown up enough to handle things properly.

        However, taking issue with the kissing scene at the beginning doesn’t make you homophobic if you’re more concerned about what lies behind it (at the Naughty Dog studio) than the act itself. People accusing others of things like that are asinine and utterly divisive when it comes to mature discourse on some genuinely interesting topics.

      • The Lesbian kiss must mean something though. Otherwise, why show it at all in not to make a statement?

        Personally, I’m hoping Ellie is a carrier for a mutated strain of the fungus/virus and THAT kiss starts the second wave of the infection, which Ellie then feels responsible for. The girl Ellie kisses in the video becomes infected and the community falls. Maybe leading to Joel’s death too, which is why she’s alone.

        If she’s just living it large with her Lesbian life partner, I’m going to be a bit disappointed tbh :D

      • Ah, the finest of questions and I’m sorry I didn’t mention my thought about it. To me, it’s simple but ultimately me guessing.

        Naughty Dog are keen to show you one or two things:

        1. As horrid as the world is, there’s a chance of finding love (even if it was a different type of love with a pet or a family member) and not necessarily intimacy like the scene in the E3 video.
        2. And far more importantly, this shows us that Ellie had something resembling love and thus, had something precious to lose. I think it’s to “excuse” her actions afterwards. Someone postulated Joel (in the first trailer) asked if she was “going to go through with this” and mentioned that it could be Ellie’s version of revenge because she’s lost that love; that young woman.

        The latter is far more important to me if they’re playing that angle. The first one is kinda optional but still nice to know. It’s not all guts, guts, guts. Well, not zombie guts. :-P

      • You think Brexit was a racist vote? Ffs. The Alt-left really do see everything that is ideologically different to them as a “ism”.

      • MrYd is definitely Alt-left and possibly an Antifa supported. He thinks everyone who voted Brexit is a racist, and if you weren’t keen on TLOU2 trailer then you’re a homophobe.

        Keep shouting down people as a bigot, racist or homophobe, kid. It doesn’t make you right.

        And I voted for Brexit, none of the reasons I did was immigration, but whatever, you carry on and call everyone that did a racist if it makes you feel better, but you’re still wrong.

        Remoaners really didn’t understand what they voted for😂

        Reply to me all you want, I won’t respond. I don’t debate with regressive Alt-left idiots.

    • Perhaps I should clarify: I was repulsed by the violence not the homosexuality.

  4. Didn’t they say before the release of TLoU 1 that Joel was the only playable character?

  5. loved it some of the stuff being said is odd to me & will hold games back seen more gore in Fredy Kruger when it came out 30 odd years ago. this is what I want games with more realism & the way they have done this is amazing to me. pretty sure Elie was a lesbian in the first one! if it was Joel & a woman kissing I think people would not say anything.

  6. I like the trailer, looks very real, very visceral. Makes the world and dramatic alternate reality very believable. While perhaps stomach churning at times the action and violence would go hand in hand with that.

    The homosexual sequence? We live in a modern world and it’s an open book in pretty much all walks of life now, as well as sex change. And yet this topic is still apparently a thing for people… just wow.

    Cave trolls trite reactions to things like this and the Battlefield V furore can occasionally make it embarrassing to be a part of the gaming community which is, on the whole very warm and welcoming.

    Just to clarify I tried playing the first one multiple times and have never reached the end, I know what happens if course but personally I just found it so boring. I like Naughty Dog but it just didn’t grab me, they’re a top tier company though and because of that I’m still interested in the second in the second one.

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