'The Last of Us Part II' Leaked Footage Reveals Major Story Spoilers

*This post contains spoilers from a leaked version of The Last of Us Part 2*


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjd7yb/the-last-of-us-part-ii-leaked-footage-reveals-major-story-spoilers

“It’s a huge spoiler,” Vice says, immediately after revealing said spoiler.

Edit: I don’t particularly care about spoilers myself, but they could’ve at least wrote, “In one seven minute clip revealing a huge spoiler…” so people could stop reading if they wanted to.

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I looked up the details, and yeah that all sounds pretty rough. There’s probably gonna be some angry people when the game drops.

I feel like I know this spoiler already, since we all called it from the trailers. Still wouldn’t dare click on this link.

I looked up the spoilers.

Don’t buy this game.

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So I’m not going to click that link because I’ll be able to glean what I need to know from the Waypoint Radio talkaround that will happen on Friday. (Or maybe later today?)

In the meantime, pay your people and treat them better Naughty Dog.

(Also sparing a thought for the rank-and-file folks who worked really hard on this game who didn’t exactly intend for things to go like this)

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SUBVERTING EXPECTATIONS STRIKES AGAIN

That’s not even the bad part, that could have been a good idea. The bad part is that it’s just a particularly lame shocking death episode of The Walking Dead.

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Having no faith in Druckmann and Naughty Dog after the past few years I had to look up the spoiler. That is some hacky writing and reveals they absolutely didn’t know how to continue a story that definitely wasn’t supposed to be continued.

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As someone who is fully expecting to play this off of PS Plus sometime in 2022, I will say that judging a game’s plot by five or so bullet points is probably not fair to the work.

It’s most definitely still a quality product, I will play it barring a 60 on metacritic or something. I don’t like how small this universe seemingly turns out to be in a “everyone is linked to the Skywalkers” kinda way with these bullet points.

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I feel we should also be talking about why this leak happened, in that it was in direct response of an employee having had enough of Naughty Dog’s management and doing something extremely risky to their future in protest.

I honestly don’t feel like Naughty Dog’s modern work is worth defending when you glance at how they’re getting it made, particularly how they burn through animators.

This thread from a former employee goes a bit further into how badly the studio is run (and let’s not forget the sexual harassment episode)

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Hey, if people want to skip out on The Last of Us because of Naughty Dog’s highly suspect employment practices, I am 100% behind that (of course, no ethical consumption under capitalism caveat and all that). But all I’m saying is that clowning on the game’s narrative based on these very broad stroke bullet points seems premature in my eyes.

Edit: Just to further elaborate my thinking here, I just think that linking unethical business practices to “bad” end product is fundamentally self defeating. Because it establishes a threshold of “goodness” in the final product that somehow makes the crunch and abuse worth it. Like, I know several people who I respect in real life and in games writing say that they found Red Dead Redemption 2’s story to be one of the best they’ve experienced in a game. But to me that doesn’t justify the human cost that went into its creation. Similarly, the quality of TLOU 2’s plot should have no bearing on the ethics of purchasing the game. If Naughty Dog’s practices are truly objectionable, why even consider the quality of the writing? It could be awful, ok, or amazing, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was made unethically.

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ND games from Uncharted 2 onward always have great presentation, cinematography, and animation work highlighting the actor performances. But it’s always in service of very dry writing and emotionally sterile characters.

They’re going to deliver on that with more graphics, more worker exploitation, and probably more burying their gays. And it’ll get regarded as a pinnacle of art within gaming. I’d be frustrated enough to start leaking stuff at that point, too.

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i read the spoilers and this game seems bad. really unsurprising

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As someone who has never played TLOU, it is wild to see how people weirdly exalt this game and act like spoilers are somehow an earth-shattering experience. I know it circles back to the What Do You Think Of Spoiler Culture but the fact that many people seem more upset about these leaks than the fact that… ND has been in hot water multiple times now and has not improved their culture and someone felt the need to do this to hit them back, is sure something.

It reminds me of how many people seem to read the labor news re: ND and basically go “man that sucks. However, this game is Important, so the human cost is fine.”

Ultimately, I don’t think this is going to dramatically impact the sales of this game and I don’t think most of its audience will even be aware of the leaks. Wish people would be more angry at ND for their bullshit.

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I think your third paragraph addresses your first paragraph. Not everyone is super acquainted with ND’s ongoing problems with their work environment. You have to figure that every violation is the first time someone’s hearing about it.

The ongoing question I have in circumstances like this (and egad, there are a lot) is what the approach should be. Buy the game? Buy the game but also donate to Game Workers Unite? Don’t buy the game? A polite email to Sony PR indicating that I don’t intend to buy the game until ND fixes their work environment?

Don’t buy the game and support unionization.

Not like the actual developers will be seeing the money you pay for it.

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My exact feelings! And it’s very confusing, since actual devs outside of ND and prominent journalists seem to be more upset about the leaks (since it hurts ND devs who spent years of their lives working on TLoU2) instead of why there was a leak.

And I get feeling bad for your average ND employee who had the game they’ve been working on get spoiled, I have to imagine that’s an awful place to be in. But I just can’t understand how those spoilers could be even remotely as awful as the reported work environment at ND!

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EDIT: Pithy comment lacked nuance.

I don’t know if the QA person in question was a contractor, but if a lot of devs who aren’t contract QA are focused on the leak by the (contract) QA person instead of the working conditions, they probably either 1. are unfamiliar with the uniquely (?) bad working conditions of contract QA 2. chalk it up to “dues-paying” or 3. are focused on the bad feelings you identify. The prominent journalists probably echo that perspective because their perspective is shaped by the aforementioned devs.

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