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Just over a year after its initial release, The Last Of Us Part II is still one of the most polarising video games of all time. The way the story was approached didn't so much split its playerbase down the middle, as much as it created two warring factions.
In a recentinterview with Game Informer, director Neil Druckmann has reflected on the process, and the fears developer Naughty Dog had over whether the game would sell at all, due to its radical approach to Ellie and Joel's story.
I reviewed the game in 2020, and was conflicted over the direction Naughty Dog and Druckmann took. You can hear my thoughts below.
"Our intention is not to upset people or alienate people," explains Druckmann in the interview. "Our intention is to tell a story that's meaningful to us that we think has some value behind it, and is worth spending years of our time making. When we had the leaks, before anybody had a chance to play it, that's when we got a ton of negativity, and we started questioning, 'Is this game going to be successful at all?' We didn't even know how much the leak really hurt us."
Druckmann goes on to explain that he struggled when the leaks came out, but found support in the other members of the Naughty Dog team who reached out to him. The sense of camaraderie among the team is clear from the way he talks, and the thing he's always striving for is to make his fellow ND developers proud. As for the people who didn't like the game, he has a simple message. "That's unfortunate [you didn't like The Last of Us Part II], but I stand by the game we made."
Naughty Dog are currently working on a multiplayer project focused around The Last Of Us, and are "aggressively" hiring for it. Stay tuned for more as we hear it.
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