Naughty Dog: violence fits the narrative in The Last of Us

Community strategist Arne Meyer explains that action game’s desolate post-apocalyptic setting justifies violence, though there will be scenes where players can avoid lethal encounters.

Gamers may recall the E3 2012 demo for The Last of Us (below), in which series protagonist Joel ends a blood-soaked scene by blasting a foe’s head off in close range with a shotgun. This scene, and the game’s other violent encounters, are appropriate because they fit the game’s narrative, according to Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer.

Violence in The Last of Us is not overly indulgent, Meyer says.

“It’s really important to understand that this is twenty years after a pandemic has destroyed civilization. Outside of [government-controlled quarantine areas] it’s pretty much every man for himself. And that’s what we want to explore in the narrative and the gameplay for The Last of Us. What will humans be like when they are pushed to the limit?” Meyer explained to GameSpot.

“Are they going to take a route of cooperation and rebuild society? Or is it really going to be every man for themselves and they have no morality left; no ethics left to what they do? So that’s the part that violence plays into it. There’s going to be some people who are really out for themselves that will stop at nothing. They’ve lost every sense of what it means to be human and compassionate; they’ve lost all of that. And when you look at the violence, that’s the context. There are going to be people who are pushed to that limit.”

Though The Last of Us will be stuffed with scenes of violence, certain scenarios in the game allow users to bypass these bloody encounters altogether.

"There is liberty in the narrative so that you don’t have to kill someone or encounter someone. We do have the opportunity for you to go around, and not even do any combat. There are going to be areas where you can completely avoid combat if you want."

The Last of Us is Naughty Dog's first non-Uncharted game since 2005. It is due out in 2013 exclusively on PlayStation 3. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

120 comments
fanis1997
fanis1997

πω πωωω δεν περνανε με τηποτα οι μηνες μεχρι να κυκλοφοριση το the last of us μακαρι να εβγαινε  μεσα στο 2012 δεν μπορω να περιμενω αλλο, το σιγουρο ειναι πως οταν με το καλο ερθει θα βουιξει ο τοπος!

JamesThePrince
JamesThePrince

I swear if you play this game without combat your just a real boring-ass person in real life.

vadagar1
vadagar1

ffs its a survival apok. game, how could it have NO VIOLENCE, what the F is wrong with you people....

 

watch the news, or a real fight match, we ARE a violent race and we need to vent that violence so we won't go koko crazy and vent it in the wrong place (home, work, on friends, in school)

 

grow the F up and if you don't want to see violence DON"T PLAY GAMES JUST FING DON"T DO IT ITS THAT EASY U GOD DAMN RETARDS

 

HULK SMASH ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG >:(

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Normally i'd avoid the violent route.. (Splinter Cell, MGS, Syphon Filter)

 

But Naughty Dog just make everything that damn epic it'd be a waste.. Looking forward to smashing some heads into cabinets personally!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

I wish you had the option to avoid killing altogether, and were actually rewarded for avoiding it, like with the Metal Gear Solid games. But, this isn't MGS, still at least the violence in this game serves a purpose ans sets the tone. 

lfichtner
lfichtner

i was pretty sure that this was supposed to be released towards the end of this year, they've changed the release date of this game more than a couple of times. PRETTY FRUSTRATING!

Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

The ending will reveal that Dr. Cortex is the one responsible for creating all of these monsters. 

gamergath
gamergath

Naughty Dog... i sure miss crash bandicoot... I hope The Last of Us will have more sequels, prequels to it...

gen85
gen85

is their a release date yet?

 

Albelnox0
Albelnox0

I predict people hating on Naughty Dog just too look cool, in the future.  You know its gonna happen.

CIA_BOSS
CIA_BOSS

I didn't play uncharted because there is no violent  in the game but if this contains blood and blasting, then i will definitely get it :) we don't want more kids' games, that when u shoot the enemy, he jumps or just fall in the ground. It has to be like real life with blood and blasting heads. It will be better if u can cut the enemy's hand or leg too like gears of war :)

gokuss4z
gokuss4z

Man i can't  wait for this game!!.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

"...in which series protagonist Joel..." // Series? Series protagonist? Have I missed a couple of games? // I never thought for a second that the violence in this game would be an issue. Yeah it's pretty graphic, but it's relevant. It's not like they're having fun with it and coming up with the most inventive ways of killing enemies.

II-AMIR-II
II-AMIR-II

BEST GAME IN THE WORLD = UNCHARTED 3

SECEND BEST GAME = THE LAST OF US

X-RS
X-RS

Well, there'd better be a good amount of rural life OUTSIDE the Boston/Pittsburgh/etc. Cuz obviously any dev will use the city for action/mayhem and there will be guns everywhere -_-

Meyer's words sound so obvious/cliche but it bears repeating due to them maybe taking some heat from violence? 0_o

Still lots to see in this game, but this article has me feeling less confident about The Last of Us.

superkadeemx
superkadeemx

im definitely gonna get that game no matter how violent it is. rest the game and all characters and enemies are back to life @_@

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

I personally can not wait for this game it will for sure be a day one purchase for me!!!!

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

violence is simply required in such game sh*t hit the fan and you need every bullet or piece of bread / canned food you can get to survive in real life people would tear each other a part to get what they want in lawles areas in such conditions.

abroche
abroche

Uncharted 1 = awesome

Uncharted 2 = epic

Uncharted 3 = mother efing epic

last of us = just with that few minutes trailer is too much epic win i cant wait to gt that game

foxrock66
foxrock66

I certainly hope I'm able to go the quiet route if I desire. One of the most maddening things to me about Uncharted was often I'd be told "better not be seen" only to be literally forced into a gun battle, no matter how stealthy I was. This was even more prevalent in Uncharted 2. Allow the less gung ho players like myself some freedom and I'll forever love this game

blueboxdoctor
blueboxdoctor

Am I the only one tired of game companies apologizing for their demos/previews?  Now they're doing it with this, but just a few months ago they had to make a statement over the Hitman trailer with the nuns who aren't even nuns and for some reason the devs behind Tomb Raider had to apologize, which made no sense.  And then the whole nonsense about making an extended ME3 ending, which didn't lend anything extra to the narrative and was cheaply tacked on (even though the ending wasn't all bad to begin with).  It's like game companies/devs are scared of any sort of criticism.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Abandon this crap and buy back the Crash Bandicoot IP.  We have enough generic zombie games.

Paul2004
Paul2004

Its the end of the world, The strong will prey on the weak in desperate times. Some dont like violence, ok i can respect that but this isnt the kind of games for that, with no cops around the place will become a battleground overtime, its human nature....

tgwolf
tgwolf

Well, 'appropriate' is definitely a misrepresentation, no doubts there, but either way I am just glad that Post-Apocalypse scenarios are so remote in likelihood.

Kolo32
Kolo32

So you're saying it's not OK if I shoot someone's head off with a shotgun? That's news to me.

CIA_BOSS
CIA_BOSS

 @vadagar1 The best comment so far  ;)

seriously if they don't want violence, then let them go and play Mario, sonic, or any kids' game but not a SURVIVAL GAME :P

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

 @Albelnox0 Yes, gamers these days carry a lot of hate around with them. Maybe playing video games too much is starting to have an effect after all. 

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

 @foxrock66 I like to run 'n' gun as much as the next psychopath, but I also like to have stealth options available because run 'n' gun isn't always the smartest resort. And believe it or not, there are people out there that prefer stealth/avoidance over confrontation all the time; that gets old. There is just as much skill involved in avoiding combat completely as there is getting off headshots. It's more rewarding to me as a player to get through a level without the AI even knowing I was there.

vadagar1
vadagar1

 @Kravyn81  @CIA_BOSS no he is a sane person YOU need therapy cause you think as long as their is no gore or blood killing is fine.

 

you sir make me SICK

CIA_BOSS
CIA_BOSS

 @Kravyn81 I think u r either too young for mature games or u r too soft and don't like killing  (Don't worry u r not really killing them, it is just a video game ;p  )

Harrydapro
Harrydapro

Crash Bandicoot is a classic 3D platformer game that made it'd debut in 1996, most likely before you were even born judging from your narrow-minded comment.

It's people like you that are killing the gaming community.

CIA_BOSS
CIA_BOSS

 @Spartan_1004  @Kravyn81 Ok come to my home and I will shoot any part of your body with a shotgun and we will c what will remain from your parts :p

shotgun can cut u into pieces from short distance dude

Spartan_1004
Spartan_1004

 @CIA_BOSS  @Kravyn81 So a mature games let you act like a savage. In The Last of Us why would you cut off people's body parts? This isn't Ninja Gaiden, if you slash at a guy you are going to run into bone. And in most games from the distance you are shooting enemies their heads ae going to explode. Wanting a real game is fine but don't just call it real because you want it more bloody.

Benny_a
Benny_a

 @Harrydapro Actually I was 16 yrs old in 1996 and played some Crash but most of the time i was busy chasing girls and getting drunk with them.

I have zero interest in such games, like crash, mario, zelda and everything that looks kiddy and cartooney