It was announced yesterday that the long-awaited sequel, The Last of Us Part 2 has now gone gold and will be hitting the shelves in a matter of weeks. Many will have heard the leaks that escaped the net recently which led to an outcry from many fans over certain narrative choices shown in the leaked footage. The originally claimed source of the leak was a disgruntled employee, but Sony and Naughty Dog have recently announced that the leak came from third party hackers. How ever the leak came about there has been no denial from Naughty Dog or Sony that the footage is reflective of the final narrative and the confirmation of gold status will destroy any hope distraught fans may have had that the story might be changed prior to release.
It is not possible in this article to go into details of the leaked footage, both due to copywrite issues and out of respect of those fans who do not wish the story ruined before they get a chance to experience it in game. However, the leaked footage did show that some very drastic choices had been made in terms of the direction of narrative of this title. It is certainly true that a story is best not judged by pieces taken out of context. However, the extreme choices do seem to raise questions as to just how these events can be set in motion without alienating the fans of the first game. It is very important in story telling to ensure that your main character/s has the empathy of the reader, viewers or players to ensure they feel invested in the story. The events and change of main character indicated by the leaks would appear to put this in jeopardy.
So, what to do if you are a fan of the original after these leaks? Many fans have indicated that they will no longer be purchasing this title on day one. However, many have also indicated that they will be going ahead with their purchase as planned, in faith that the narrative choice will win out. This title has been in development for 7 years and is looking good in terms of gameplay, which has been refined since the original, graphics and soundtrack. The only sticking point for some is the narrative direction. Whether to go ahead with the purchase is a very personally choice and will be dependent on what each individual is hoping to get out of the game. The official spoiler free trailer is linked at the top of this article, if you want a taste. I can only advise that if you remain indecisive and don’t want to spoil the game by reading up on the leaked footage then it may be best to wait and read a few spoiler free reviews before placing your order.
For good or ill, The Last of Us Part Two is set for release on June 19th and pre-order sales still appear to be strong despite the leaks and their divisive content. If pre-orders continue translate into sales then this title is still on track to top the charts, lets just hope fans aren’t left disappointed.