The Last of Us Part II‘s E3 2018 demo certainly turned some heads. No, it wasn’t just “the kiss,” it was also the level of violence on display that made even those with a thick skin shift uncomfortably. But it seems that this reaction is precisely what the developers were aiming for.
When Kotaku asked director Neil Druckmann what he thinks of all the feedback Naughty Dog has received on the game’s violent scenes, he explained that the developers want players to feel “repulsed” by some of their own actions, especially since they will impact those around them, and that this is “the most honest way” to tell The Last of Us Part II‘s story. Druckmann added:
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. 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.
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