“There are games that are just comfort food. This is not one of those games,” says creative director Neil Druckmann.
One look at The Last of Us Part 2 should be enough to tell you that Naughty Dog aren’t going to pull any punches with this game. For a few years, it’s been at the centre of a debate about the portrayal of violence in video games, and that portrayal is clearly a very conscious decision by the developers. Its predecessor was already an unrelentingly intense experience, with both its story and gameplay, but the upcoming sequel is looking like it’s going to take things even further.
In fact, speaking recently with Eurogamer, creative director Neil Druckmann talked about how that is exactly the tone Naughty Dog are going for with the game. With The Last of Us Part 2, Druckmann says the developers want to “elicit certain feelings from the player,” and that the game is designed to be emotionally challenging for audiences in a way that makes them think.
“We’re finally getting it into people’s hands, to see this meticulous journey that we’ve crafted for Ellie and how these events affect her, the highs and lows of that journey – that there’s beautiful sweet moments and these dark, hard moments to deal with,” Druckmann said. “And we want it to be challenging, right? It’s like, yes, there are games that are just comfort food. This is not one of those games – there are moments in the game that are comfort food, and there moments are really challenging emotionally to play through. That’s part of the design of it.”