The Last Of Us Part 2 has been an incredibly controversial game ever since it launched last month. The game was well received by some reviewers, while others thought that the game had lost its way whilst trying to say something about humanity and society. In our review I talked about how much I thought the game had made a step forward for the entire games industry, but sadly it’s also responsible for the biggest setbacks we’ve seen in years.
Neil Druckmann has been receiving death threats over The Last Of Us Part 2, and these probably started before the game even released. The story was leaked early, and since a certain character dies in the opening scenes, most people who can’t control themselves lost their minds and took to the internet to try to complain, but ended up acting like creatures that are a lot less human than even cockroaches. I was sickened by this reaction, but Druckmann was. trooper. He said it was out of line, but it’s what you have to expect from making anything for mainstream entertainment these days.
However, the second issue made my skin crawl. The voice actor for Abby, Laura Bailey, has also received death threats because people simply don’t like the character. Regardless of whether you’re so sheltered that you don’t think women can be big strong and muscular, or that you simply don’t like the mere possibility of a character being nice to a girl who identifies as a boy, it’s got nothing to do with the voice actor. All Bailey did was voice Abby, she didn’t create he, and she didn’t decide who her body was based on.
The games industry is a wonderful place where we can all be safe in the knowledge that we’re free to be who we want, and we won’t be judged for that. It is inexcusable when people become so hateful towards those making the games we play that they feel overwhelmed. This is how actors end up hurting themselves, or resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms. If either Druckmann or Bailey had actually done something to another person, there may be grounds for some sort of backlash, but there are no grounds as things stand, because The Last Of Us Part 2 is a game.
If you don’t enjoy strong female characters, gay female protagonists, or trans characters that play a key role in a game, The Last Of Us Part 2 probably isn’t for you. The simplest thing to do is to not play it, and that’s much easier than playing it and trying to change it whilst doing so.
This game was made because the people behind it thought that they had to make it. It has nothing to do with what we think of it, to them it was just something that had to be done. That doesn’t mean that any hateful comments should be directed towards them. Since that’s the situation though, I think everyone who is doing so needs to take a long hard look at their behaviour and how it could affect someone else.
Hopefully those hitting anyone who worked on the game with hate are punished in some way that makes them think twice about ever doing the same again.