Let’s just take a deep breath, settle down and try to process just how immensely tragic this entire, sordid affair is. The leaked information that has emerged, detailing critical excerpts of one of this generations most anticipated sequels is unquestionably one of the most shocking examples of treachery the games industry has ever seen. Though I’m sure many would argue that the disagreeable story is exponentially worse. Speculation continues over the source of the leaks, as people debate whether the admission originated from a disgruntled former employee of NaughtyDog or whether Sony’s official position that it could actually be attributed to a hacker. Whatever the means the result is still the same. The damage is done and its unclear whether NaughtyDog can recover from such a catastrophic grievance.
People are hurt. Betrayed even. Which is totally understandable considering the unique circumstances we find ourselves in. But this leak not only tarnishes the credibility of an illustrious studio, one that has enriched story telling in games to the extent that even major Hollywood studios have tried to replicate the games cinematic refinement, but also demonstrates the inherent toxicity that afflicts the wider gaming firmament. People seem to relish in the failure of others, genuinely elated that a prestigious studio, with a highly ambitious sequel is being so vehemently condemned. Not because of any altruistic concern for the supposed mistreatment of employees, but simply because they get some kind of perverted satisfaction from seeing something so celebrated falter.
As valuable and as inclusive as social media is, it can also be interminably cynical. The involuntary disclosure of sensitive plot details is disastrous, something that can’t be underestimated nor diminished. A game that contains such a sinuous narrative, and relies heavily on the unexpected, as well as the discovery of these astonishing revelations through a profoundly affecting journey is vital. Without the preamble the entire journey is comprimised. But just because you know the broad, pertinent details that consolidates the story, doesn’t necessarily mean that it amalgamates the experience. And that’s the thing, you have to experience the journey. To vicariously endure the same struggles that torments these characters. To really feel what they feel. Just because you know specific details or watched revealing material, doesn’t mean you know. It would be like summarising “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy by saying its a 9 hour long expedition to return some unwanted jewellery!
Whether or not you are/were going to buy “The Last Of Us II” is entirely at your own discretion. Personally, despite being an advocate for gaming sequels, particularly one of a game of such esteemed notoriety, I had little interest in a continuation of a story that depicted a final, if not conclusive ending. Just don’t let the leaked footage be the contributing reason for not getting “The Last Of Us II”. This is a game that has to be experienced, not dismissed.
Have these leaks put you off? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.