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Avatar image for atastyslurpee
#1 Posted by ATastySlurpee (630 posts) -

Last week Sony and Naughty Dog released a new Last of Us Part II trailer (see below) featuring brand new characters depicting a scene encompassed entirely by violence and brutality. Multiple outlets criticized Naughty Dog and even Sony for showing this sort of violence 'out of context'.

My question to you, was it really out of context? Did this turn you off? Was it too violent for a trailer to be shown at a "family' event? Was it even necessary? Should they have given more development to the scene to given the audience a sense of why this is happening?

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#2 Posted by ozzdog12 (1164 posts) -

I understand why some people are a bit perturbed by it but I wouldn't say it's "out of context" personally. I expect this game to be violent.

If you are at all familiar with the first game, then this is completely normal.

The point of a trailer is to get people talking right? It seems to have successed in that. I was buying it Day 1 no matter what, so the only thing the trailer did was make me want it more.

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#3 Posted by The_Nubster (3941 posts) -

It was out of place in a conference with basically zero prior violence and no warning that this was coming up. Great for fans of the game maybe, but as someone who didn't like the first game much and who hasn't been following the second, I know nothing new about the characters, setting, tone, gameplay, etc. It was a bad trailer.

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#4 Posted by BoOzak (2494 posts) -

Anything that can sell something is necessary in a trailer. You could say it was the wrong venue, sure. But the trailer was fine at establishing a tone, that tone just put people off.

I thought that Detroit trailer was bad though, (since we're on the subject PGW trailers) not because of the subject matter but how it was edited. (the acting was a bit shit too)

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#5 Posted by Welding (325 posts) -

If you're going to bring that kind of imagery into the room, you should have something interesting to say about it.

This had nothing to say about the violence, the characters or the game.

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#6 Posted by Humanity (18501 posts) -

It was the same as any other trailer for me. Violence in videogames and trailers is nothing new and the previous Last of Us certainly didn’t shy away from it. It served as a teaser trailer that raised a lot of questions, peaked interest and had a little shock and awe to stir up interest in the game.

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#7 Edited by TheKramer89 (553 posts) -

I think the whole point of the "out of context" violence is because we are left wondering "are these good guys or bad guys being tortured?". At least that's what I was thinking whilst watching. I thought it was effective.

It was a pretty rough trailer, but people need to fucking chill out...

edit: Also, I've never played a David Cage, but that Detroit trailer looked interesting. I'm totally okay with a videogame attempting to tackle these themes, it may not end up being all that great, but there are plenty of bad movies with similar themes. If it fails, then I guess it's bad and we don't need to talk about Detroit in the future, just as we don't typically harp on bad movies long after their release. That doesn't mean if Detroit ends up bad, we can never touch these themes in games again...

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#8 Posted by Teddie (2103 posts) -

@welding said:

This had nothing to say about the violence, the characters or the game.

Yeah, this is kind of my feeling on it. It's not that I need context to not feel uncomfortable or something, I need it so that there's actually something to take away from the trailer other than "violence is violent". I have absolutely no idea what they're trying to sell me with that trailer alone.

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#9 Edited by ozzdog12 (1164 posts) -

@teddie: If this wasn't a sequel to a game that established this tone already then I could see that. I mean in the announcement trailer Ellie said she was going to murder everyone. There is no context there either if we get down to it. We can make assumptions, but we have no idea as to who or why.

Yes, I would've liked a little more to the trailer, maybe some actual gameplay but to me it seems people are taking the trailer as 'violence just for violence sake' even when that isn't the message the trailer is trying to deliver, specially since as a society, we're pretty numb to violence at this point.

I think it's fair to have wanted/asked for more in terms of "Why this is happening" but I think the focus on violence is the wrong take.

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#10 Edited by hermes (2578 posts) -

I think it was, in general, a bad trailer.

Not that I am sensitive to the violence (although I feel it was a little over the top), but other than it, the trailer showed almost nothing. It introduced 5 characters (I am still unsure if one of them was supposed to be Ellie), including 2 antagonists, and killed them right there. The problem with "no context" is not that it makes me queasy about what they show, its that it makes me not care about it. I felt like I snooze and ended up watching a cutscene of the middle of a game I didn't knew. There was no context about who any of those people were, why they were hanging one of them, interrogating another, why they hated each other or why should I care.

It was also entirely lacking in terms of showing actual gameplay or even a soundtrack. There was nothing to parse out the game. If someone had told me that was a trailer for Days Gone, a new Dead Island or the new Walking Dead, I would have believed it (up until 20 seconds to the end)

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#11 Posted by John_Wiswell (289 posts) -

If it had been a new game from an unknown dev, I would've rolled my eyes and scrubbed forward through the trailer in search of gameplay or a story. But given it's the sequel to one of the most affecting game stories ever, the focus on violence and the paucity of character simply made it a massive letdown.

Naughty Dog is great at telling stories. They showed off a scene that failed to make me care that absolutely horrible things were happening in their world. That's a huge failure.

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#12 Posted by mellotronrules (2527 posts) -

@welding said:

If you're going to bring that kind of imagery into the room, you should have something interesting to say about it.

This had nothing to say about the violence, the characters or the game.

this is exactly right. if you're going to do something that's likely to be interpreted as 'intense,' you need to EARN that intensity- be it through context, pacing, relevance, etc. otherwise you're just leaning on the superficial shock-value to sell your trailer, entirely.

and that comes off as somewhat crass and uninspired. doubly so when you're a developer with the storytelling/cinematography chops such as naughty dog.

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#13 Posted by Humanity (18501 posts) -

@mellotronrules: I would say the entire first game earns them the right to be as graphic as they are. Although I find this whole new narrative of “yah but is it earned..?” to be really ridiculous in context of video games which quite frankly never warrant this level of scrutiny.

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#14 Edited by FrodoBaggins (1939 posts) -

I don't know about everybody else I enjoyed the trailer. If there is one dev I trust probably more than nearly anybody (aside from Nintendo obvs) to deliver a good video game it's Naughty Dog.

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#15 Edited by mellotronrules (2527 posts) -

@humanity said:

@mellotronrules: I would say the entire first game earns them the right to be as graphic as they are. Although I find this whole new narrative of “yah but is it earned..?” to be really ridiculous in context of video games which quite frankly never warrant this level of scrutiny.

but what if you didn't play the first game? this trailer kinda does absolutely nothing to entice the viewer to learn more, and in some cases might actually repel them. and you could certainly make the argument that this was a trailer intended ONLY for those who have the context of the first game- but at minimum that seems shortsighted and limiting, and it also seems as though many fans of the first game found this trailer generally ineffective.

and re: the concept of 'earning it,' i'd argue games- for many years now- have dealt in filmic storytelling and the consequent criticism. heck- most trailers directly mimic film in their structure and intended use (there ain't a helluva lot of gameplay trailers bandied about these days). games have made it clear they want to be treated with the same artistic gravity as movies. therefore i think it's entirely legit to question a dev as to whether or not their marketing materials seem well-crafted, effective and/or appropriate.

ps- it's worth noting that it goes without saying that i believe naughty dog can release whatever they please as marketing materials- the question is never should they be allowed to do this- rather it's: was this a good idea, and is it effective?

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#16 Posted by Newfangled (301 posts) -

@humanity said:

@mellotronrules: I would say the entire first game earns them the right to be as graphic as they are. Although I find this whole new narrative of “yah but is it earned..?” to be really ridiculous in context of video games which quite frankly never warrant this level of scrutiny.

but what if you didn't play the first game? this trailer kinda does absolutely nothing to entice the viewer to learn more, and in some cases might actually repel them. and you could certainly make the argument that this was a trailer intended ONLY for those who have the context of the first game- but at minimum that seems shortsighted and limiting, and it also seems as though many fans of the first game found this trailer generally ineffective.

and re: the concept of 'earning it,' i'd argue games- for many years now- have dealt in filmic storytelling and the consequent criticism. heck- most trailers directly mimic film in their structure and intended use (there ain't a helluva lot of gameplay trailers bandied about these days). games have made it clear they want to be treated with the same artistic gravity as movies. therefore i think it's entirely legit it question a dev as to whether or not their marketing materials seem well-crafted, effective and/or appropriate.

ps- it's worth noting that it goes without saying that i believe naughty dog can release whatever they please as marketing materials- the question is never should they be allowed to do this- rather it's: was this a good idea, and is it effective?

Bolded the utter nonsense. Reply has done a majority of the heavy lifting for me, thankfully.

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#17 Posted by Mysterysheep (450 posts) -

Based on the first game, I'm pretty confident there is justification for why and how this scene happens. Here's the thing though: why is this cutscene a trailer for the game?

Those familiar with the first game already know what tone to expect, so showing this scene as a way to tease the tone of the game seems needless. On top of that, way to spoil what seems like a dramatic scene in the game. Once you play the game and gain the missing context for these characters, you'll be expecting this scene. Seems like kind of a bummer to ruin that moment for the sake of promotion.

Finally, how about we see the part of this game that's a game. This is a criticism that could be applied to most game trailers, but with this game in particular it is especially disappointing. While flawed, the unusual gameplay of the first The Last of Us had a LOT of potential. I'm most interested in how they expand on that and improve it, if at all.

At the end of the day it just seemed like a shallow, showy trailer like any other. Visually stunning, but at this point I wanna see Naughty Dog go beyond making showy tech demos. The Last of Us had much more promise in its gameplay mechanics than the Uncharted series. This trailer doesn't even touch on that and just shows more of the same.

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#18 Posted by Capum15 (6005 posts) -

I'll state that I've not played the first game, though I've seen someone play it and have heard the discussion on it in bombcasts and GOTY stuff. Even without the emotional aspect, it felt like just such a nothing trailer. The only thing I felt it say was "murder! post-apocalyptic world!" and then end. It kind of reminded me of how Hatred was when it was announced - violence for the sake of violence, which is boring and ultimately uninteresting (with exception to games that don't take themselves too seriously, like Gorn VR which is funny to watch certain people play, or Borderlands which has tons of violence but tends to be way more lighthearted about it).

I'm sure the game itself will be fine, but it was just a bad trailer.

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#19 Edited by bybeach (6329 posts) -

It got my attention. Then I realized I wasn't sure what game, since I was following things loosely, or it wasn't stated ahead of time.

I thought it odd, I wasn't really settled in to watching someone get their arm rather graphically crushed, as a thing.

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#20 Posted by SASnake (612 posts) -

I remember the days where people didn't get worked up and offended by everything that ever happened on the internet.

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#21 Edited by DarlingDixie (120 posts) -

It was fine, nobody was forced to watch the trailer.

I don't get the argument that it didn't show what the game was, I would argue the first game is all you need to know what kind of game it is and that is also incredibly violent and bleak. I wonder how many people are using this as a chance to dump on Last of Us because they didn't like the first one.

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#22 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5986 posts) -
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#23 Edited by hnke (186 posts) -

Whatever latest trendy thing game journalists latch on to and decide is suddenly really important to sermonize about is pretty much never worth spending any time and energy thinking about beyond maybe chuckling and then ignoring it.

(Did these journalists find violence in their favorite games so shocking and requiring of "context" a few years ago? Probably difficult to prove but I think I can guess.)

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#24 Edited by MrPlatitude (207 posts) -

@welding said:

If you're going to bring that kind of imagery into the room, you should have something interesting to say about it.

This had nothing to say about the violence, the characters or the game.

This 100%. It just came off as gratuitous shock value without any meaning. It did zero to sell me on the game and makes me actively less interested in it

I say all this as someone who thinks the first game is a masterpiece, but doesn't at all see a need for Naughty Dog to return to that world. They need to give me a reason to think there is something worthwhile in doing a sequel. Graphic violence was not why I loved The Last Of Us, and I hope that wasn't their only takeaway from the success of the first game.

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#25 Posted by liquiddragon (3270 posts) -

What I remember about how they sold the 1st TLOU was the showing at E3, I think, the year before its release. It was a gameplay footage punctuated by a carefully executed cinematic of Joel blowing a guy's face off with a shotgun. It raised summary questions in the community about violence, taste, and what point it served.

It wasn't representative of the game but it did get people talking. When I saw the new trailer for Part 2, I kept getting flashes of that particular E3 showing of TLOU1 and they are achieving similar results with their latest.

An earlier example of this sell's tactic by Sony is God of War 3. When they showed off GoW3 at another E3, they highlighted the gratuitous nature of the QTE kills. People weren't as outraged because that's kinda Kratos' thing but the conversation of "dude, what is up with the over the top violence" did surface.

So at the end of the day, I see the new TLOU2 trailer as nothing more than a way to get ppl talking and spread the talk about the edgy-ness of the game. As a fan of TLOU, I'm sure there will be surprises but I know better about the how the game will probably feel and play like. How a company chooses to market and sell their product rarely lines up with the actual thing and it's no different here.

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#26 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4115 posts) -

I thought it needed more story stuff. It set the tone pretty well, but it would be nice to know a bit more about what the game is going to be. Who are these people? During the bombcast Greg mentioned that the lady might be Ellie's mother, but the trailer did a pretty bad job of conveying that.

I could see Kojima do a similar trailer, but give 2-4 more minutes to introduce more things to the viewer. That always works real good.

edit: just heard the beastcast talk about it, and do think that they're being overly harsh. Torture porn? We saw a knife being put against a belly and someone nearly being hung before being saved. There was no torture porn happening.

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#27 Edited by NTM (11542 posts) -

I certainly didn't get the same reaction as those that said 'TOO VIOLENT! WHY!?' That said, yes it was violent and I can see why some would say it's not the thing to show especially for a conference, and I do agree that it didn't necessarily excite me anymore or less than I was. The trailer didn't have much to tell other than to show that there are more violent people in the world whenever this game takes place. It didn't excite me from a setting perspective or character perspective. It didn't give me what I love out of The Last of Us, but it didn't necessarily have to.

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#28 Edited by OurSin_360 (6107 posts) -

I knew it was a zombie game almost right away, didnt think it was last of us 2 though. Not sure if this is actually a controversy or just a few outcriers, but showing a trailer without introduction and a late title card doesn't seem like anything new. Might be because it was in paris and i believe violence in media is more frowned upon than in the states, i dunno.

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#29 Edited by fatalbanana (1098 posts) -

@sasnake said:

I remember the days where peopledidn't get worked up and offended by everything that ever happened on the internet.

@hnke said:

Whatever latest trendy thing game journalists latch on to and decide is suddenly really important to sermonize about is pretty much never worth spending any time and energy thinking about beyond maybe chuckling and then ignoring it.

(Did these journalists find violence in their favorite games so shocking and requiring of "context" a few years ago? Probably difficult to prove but I think I can guess.)

And it's hot takes like this that make these kinds of conversations so frustrating. I implore you to look at the conversations in this thread, other threads, in podcasts or wherever this conversation is happening and point out a moment where someone said they were "offended" or "worked up" by this. Words have meanings, using the word "offended" as a catch-all term when anyone wants to discuss something critically is you being disingenuous and misrepresenting the conversation. If you do not think of games in any larger context than them being games that's cool and fine and I get it but outwardly pigeonholingeveryone else that doesn't think that way only makes these topics turn into something they were never about in the first place. It's silly.

I don't find the violence in TLoU 2 trailer or the Detroit trailer offensive and it doesn't work me up nor does most violence in any video game. I do find, however, that they do not handle what they are going for successfully and that is the conversation that we are having. I doubt there are many or really anyone saying that games shouldn't have the themes these trailers portrayed but instead are saying maybe trailers shouldn't just be overt displays of violence without context. It's cool if you disagree with that but don't make this out to be something it's not and work your own "anti political correctness" (or whatever your crusade is) into a conversation that actually has nothing to do with that.

"Did these journalists find violence in their favorite games so shocking and requiring of "context" a few years ago? Probably difficult to prove but I think I can guess."

Maybe maybe not but I really don't see that point of this. Maybe we think about games differently now? Maybe people are more conscious of the things they are consuming? Maybe our social climate is at a state of awareness where we are more careful about how certain things are represented? Maybe they are concerned that the industry is stuck in its ways and not reaching its potential? Or maybe these journalists are trolls and only talking about it to annoy you.

I don't know take your pick.

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#30 Edited by SASnake (612 posts) -

@sasnake said:

I remember the days where peopledidn't get worked up and offended by everything that ever happened on the internet.

@hnke said:

Whatever latest trendy thing game journalists latch on to and decide is suddenly really important to sermonize about is pretty much never worth spending any time and energy thinking about beyond maybe chuckling and then ignoring it.

(Did these journalists find violence in their favorite games so shocking and requiring of "context" a few years ago? Probably difficult to prove but I think I can guess.)

And it's hot takes like this that make these kinds of conversations so frustrating. I implore you to look at the conversations in this thread, other threads, in podcasts or wherever this conversation is happening and point out a moment where someone said they were "offended" or "worked up" by this. Words have meanings, using the word "offended" as a catch-all term when anyone wants to discuss something critically is you being disingenuous and misrepresenting the conversation. If you do not think of games in any larger context than them being games that's cool and fine and I get it but outwardly pigeonholingeveryone else that doesn't think that way only makes these topics turn into something they were never about in the first place. It's silly.

I don't find the violence in TLoU 2 trailer or the Detroit trailer offensive and it doesn't work me up nor does most violence in any video game. I do find, however, that they do not handle what they are going for successfully and that is the conversation that we are having. I doubt there are many or really anyone saying that games shouldn't have the themes these trailers portrayed but instead are saying maybe trailers shouldn't just be overt displays of violence without context. It's cool if you disagree with that but don't make this out to be something it's not and work your own "anti political correctness" (or whatever your crusade is) into a conversation that actually has nothing to do with that.

"Did these journalists find violence in their favorite games so shocking and requiring of "context" a few years ago? Probably difficult to prove but I think I can guess."

Maybe maybe not but I really don't see that point of this. Maybe we think about games differently now? Maybe people are more conscious of the things they are consuming? Maybe our social climate is at a state of awareness where we are more careful about how certain things are represented? Maybe they are concerned that the industry is stuck in its ways and not reaching its potential? Or maybe these journalists are trolls and only talking about it to annoy you.

I don't know take your pick.

I'm not anti P.C, It's just gotten to stupid levels of everything that ever happens needing to be picked apart with a fine tooth comb, and then people inserting that it was due to some agenda that fit's that persons needs. Not everything is done to appease some political standing. An interview after the games conference had the Naughty Dog dude saying they used that scene to show off their new tech, with the rain and the lighting and everything, and maybe that scene was one of the scenes that is fully finished (seeing as full production only started in August). But of course its not. To the internet world is OMG THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE TORTURE PORN I FEEL OFFENDED, WOMEN BEING BRUTALIZED, WHAT HAS THE WORLD BECOME?????.

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#31 Edited by Humanity (18501 posts) -

@mellotronrules said:
@humanity said:

@mellotronrules: I would say the entire first game earns them the right to be as graphic as they are. Although I find this whole new narrative of “yah but is it earned..?” to be really ridiculous in context of video games which quite frankly never warrant this level of scrutiny.

but what if you didn't play the first game? this trailer kinda does absolutely nothing to entice the viewer to learn more, and in some cases might actually repel them. and you could certainly make the argument that this was a trailer intended ONLY for those who have the context of the first game- but at minimum that seems shortsighted and limiting, and it also seems as though many fans of the first game found this trailer generally ineffective.

and re: the concept of 'earning it,' i'd argue games- for many years now- have dealt in filmic storytelling and the consequent criticism. heck- most trailers directly mimic film in their structure and intended use (there ain't a helluva lot of gameplay trailers bandied about these days). games have made it clear they want to be treated with the same artistic gravity as movies. therefore i think it's entirely legit to question a dev as to whether or not their marketing materials seem well-crafted, effective and/or appropriate.

ps- it's worth noting that it goes without saying that i believe naughty dog can release whatever they please as marketing materials- the question is never should they be allowed to do this- rather it's: was this a good idea, and is it effective?

There is an entire conversation to be had about how video games need to stop trying to catch up or be compared to cinema, and instead live in their own world that carries with it their own bars for criticism etc. That is not to say they can't borrow from one another - for example the latest sci-fi movie (based on a Japanese novella) Tomorrows Edge was based directly on the idea of getting better through repetition as you die over and over again in a game like Contra. That said there is a stark difference between a movie which is non interactive and a game that is. A movie is in control from start to finish while game stories are, for a lack of a better word, padded out with gameplay in between the narrative beats. In between the emotional and extremely well told story moments of the first Last of Us what did you do exactly? You killed people in variously gory ways, and you pushed some boxes around. That was basically the crux of the game - murder.

But to answer your last question of was this a good idea and was it effective? Well the good idea part is fairly subjective as we see some people reacted negatively and some didn't. Ultimately was it effective? Absolutely. People are talking about the game now, websites are writing articles, and it's getting a whole lot more exposure than it was prior to the show without investing any money into additional marketing. People that have no idea what the game is will go read up on it, see all the awards the first one received, and maybe even be tempted to buy it before the second one ships. The people who thought the trailer was in bad taste and enjoyed the first game will still buy the second one when all is said and done, and the ones that didn't care about this franchise will continue to not care.

At the end of the day games for me are a form of entertainment. These are make believe worlds with make believe people. As much as I can appreciate a really great story I wouldn't ascribe all that much weight to it. A few polygons on the screen acted violently and now I'm intrigued as to the motivations of both parties, of their identities and so forth. I'm not for one second perturbed by the violence of it all because for me it's always going to be just a game. Thats just me though, some people certainly love to debate the morality of enslaving orcs in Mordor and so forth, and thats fine of course, but it's not something I would really engage in. I realize that to some like @newfangled this point of view makes me some huge idiot, but I'm just here to have fun, shoot some doods and hopefully experience a good story along the way. None of this is really going to keep me up at night though.

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#32 Posted by UlquioKani (1417 posts) -
@sasnake said:

I'm not anti P.C, It's just gotten to stupid levels of everything that ever happens needing to be picked apart with a fine tooth comb, and then people inserting that it was due to some agenda that fit's that persons needs. Not everything is done to appease some political standing. An interview after the games conference had the Naughty Dog dude saying they used that scene to show off their new tech, with the rain and the lighting and everything, and maybe that scene was one of the scenes that is fully finished (seeing as full production only started in August). But of course its not. To the internet world is OMG THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE TORTURE PORN I FEEL OFFENDED, WOMEN BEING BRUTALIZED, WHAT HAS THE WORLD BECOME?????.

People were discussing the trailer from a critical standpoint. How do you know that they are doing it because of a political agenda? Why is that not valid? What is wrong with critiquing something from one's own perspective?

If you are not interested in the conversation regarding the depictions of violence then don't engage with it but to imply that the conversation is happening for some ulterior motive or that the motives behind the discussion are selfish is ridiculous.

Actually try and engage with the discussion that is taking place rather than the one you've concocted for yourself. If you don't want to, don't. No one is forcing you.

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#33 Posted by Pezen (2363 posts) -

I don’t really understand the criticism, well, let me explain. I understand the criticism if you look at the trailer through the lens of the franchise as a character driven story and this trailer said nothing about the characters. But thinking back on when they first showed a trailer for the first game. All I remember from that trailer was the violence. Specifically a guy yelling ”no” as Joel pulls the trigger of his shotgun right into his face. I knew nothing about the characters. All I knew was that the world was brutal and the violence in that game was grim as hell. So, them showing this game this way feels entirely fitting to me from that point of view.

Could they have made a more appealing trailer that used what we now know of the world to establish characters a little more without just violence, sure. But, I can’t say this trailer didn’t establish some sense of characters even if only superficially.

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#34 Posted by Slag (8153 posts) -

@hermes said:

I think it was, in general, a bad trailer.

Not that I am sensitive to the violence (although I feel it was a little over the top), but other than it, the trailer showed almost nothing. It introduced 5 characters (I am still unsure if one of them was supposed to be Ellie), including 2 antagonists, and killed them right there. The problem with "no context" is not that it makes me queasy about what they show, its that it makes me not care about it. I felt like I snooze and ended up watching a cutscene of the middle of a game I didn't knew. There was no context about who any of those people were, why they were hanging one of them, interrogating another, why they hated each other or why should I care.

It was also entirely lacking in terms of showing actual gameplay or even a soundtrack.There was nothing to parse out the game. If someone had told me that was a trailer for Days Gone, a new Dead Island or the new Walking Dead, I would have believed it (up until 20 seconds to the end)

Both of these are excellent points.

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#35 Posted by ATastySlurpee (630 posts) -

@pezen said:

I don’t really understand the criticism, well, let me explain. I understand the criticism if you look at the trailer through the lens of the franchise as a character driven story and this trailer said nothing about the characters. But thinking back on when they first showed a trailer for the first game. All I remember from that trailer was the violence. Specifically a guy yelling ”no” as Joel pulls the trigger of his shotgun right into his face. I knew nothing about the characters. All I knew was that the world was brutal and the violence in that game was grim as hell. So, them showing this game this way feels entirely fitting to me from that point of view.

Could they have made a more appealing trailer that used what we now know of the world to establish characters a little more without just violence, sure. But, I can’t say this trailer didn’t establish some sense of characters even if only superficially.

This is basically my thoughts on it.

I've loved reading these responses though. I'm glad this has been civil in discussion and hasn't delved into "TLOU was a terrible game blah blah" talk.. as that was never the intentions of the topic. I didn't watch the Detroit trailer, but I will now.

Avatar image for johnymyko
#36 Edited by JohnyMyko (1822 posts) -

ITT: people not knowing the difference between a teaser trailer for the story, a full on story trailer and a gameplay trailer.

The Last of Us 2 doesn't have a trailer yet. It only had two story teasers and this was the second one. They're setting the mood for the game, they aren't trying to tell what the story or the gameplay are. Teasers don't tell who the characters are or how the game is played. They don't have context. Teasers are just a slice from a scene or a couple of scenes together. This teaser showed a story scene from the game, made people talk about it and made fans of the first game curious about the second one. It succeeded at doing it's job.

For comparison's sake, go back and watch the first two teasers for the first game. The first one shows a guy tied down while Joel walks to him with a machete, threatening him while the guy pleads. The second one shows an hallway full of blood and dead bodies, Joel kills one guy bashing a piece of wood on his head multiple times. Both teasers are extremely violent and told absolutely nothing about the characters, but no one complained about it.

I also think it's kinda hilarious how everyone's losing their mind over the violence of a trailer of a game from Naughty Dog, one of the most openly inclusive and socially aware AAA developers out there. From the reactions it's like this was a trailer coming from Rockstar or something.

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#37 Posted by clagnaught (2100 posts) -

I think the intent is pretty clear with this trailer. Naughty Dog wanted to show that there was more to The Last of Us Part II. It introduced multiple characters we have never seen before, it didn't rely on old music cues or imagery like the Fireflies symbol, it didn't feature Joel or Ellie, and it was intentionally vague. When it starts, all they said was SIE. The only real clue to this being a Naughty Dog game, let alone TLOU Part II was the clicker at the very end. I think it is a good and interesting way to create speculation, especially with how they are not talking about who Laura Bailey's character is (which makes a lot of people think that she is Ellie's mother).

That's sort of where my head is at, so the question is whether or not this type of trailer works or creates speculation as they intended. Based on the temperature in the room, that seems like a "No". That said Naughty Dog is incredible at making these types of games, and The Last of Us is one of my all-time favorites. I'm confident they will have more to back up their story with than the violence. In comparison, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes had a violent and off putting scene (the vagina bomb) that wasn't delivered well, that didn't have any real payoff in the grand scheme of things (sometimes a vagina bomb is just a vagina bomb). Based on Naughty Dog's history, I'm not worried that they will still deliver a good story, or offended by how violent it was, and I'm confident that they will execute whatever they are trying to do better than similar issues in recent years.

In terms of some criticisms like "There's no gameplay, and this is the first thing we see", let's face it, The Last of Us Part II is probably going to come out in 2019. We still have a long, long way to go before anyone will actually play this game.

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#38 Posted by SASnake (612 posts) -

@sasnake said:

I'm not anti P.C, It's just gotten to stupid levels of everything that ever happens needing to be picked apart with a fine tooth comb, and then people inserting that it was due to some agenda that fit's that persons needs. Not everything is done to appease some political standing. An interview after the games conference had the Naughty Dog dude saying they used that scene to show off their new tech, with the rain and the lighting and everything, and maybe that scene was one of the scenes that is fully finished (seeing as full production only started in August). But of course its not. To the internet world is OMG THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE TORTURE PORN I FEEL OFFENDED, WOMEN BEING BRUTALIZED, WHAT HAS THE WORLD BECOME?????.

People were discussing the trailer from a critical standpoint. How do you know that they are doing it because of a political agenda? Why is that not valid? What is wrong with critiquing something from one's own perspective?

If you are not interested in the conversation regarding the depictions of violence then don't engage with it but to imply that the conversation is happening for some ulterior motive or that the motives behind the discussion are selfish is ridiculous.

Actually try and engage with the discussion that is taking place rather than the one you've concocted for yourself. If you don't want to, don't. No one is forcing you.

Why does everybody on this site think they are journalists? :D

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#39 Posted by Newfangled (301 posts) -

@humanity: I would never personally attack someone or perceive someone as an idiot for holding a rational opinion that runs contrary to my own. I also don't enjoy what I perceive to be excessively, unnecessarily violent games brimming, in many cases, with ludonarrative dissonance--but these differences are not a reason for us to quarrel, as we both enjoy games, albeit in markedly different ways.

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#40 Edited by BladedEdge (1310 posts) -

Short answer. No, its not. Longer short answer. No, its not, but that does not lead to 'and thus it shouldn't exist". And that's not even me taking anything to do with the game in question into account. Anything, taken out of context, is not necessary. Key to point out I am saying 'not necessary' not "inappropriate'. Name me any element in any piece of media in existance, and I am sure there is some example out there of it being used without any context, the wrong context, a distinct anti-context, yada.

Rap music doesn't need explicit language to be good, but then Eminem's does, so...insert famous song lyric there. Horror movies don't need nudity to be scary..but what even is exploitative about them without it? I don't need shaky cam in my summer pop-corn movies..but it certainly helped sell the Blair witch project.

Is it ok for people to be upset about the violence in that trailer? Sure. Should they be allowed to rip the game's developers for including it, and hold and express the opinion its unneeded, crass or just shock for shock sake? Utterly in bad-taste? Absolutely. Should they be allowed to have a single bit of imput on what the creators of the game choose to produce? Nope, no one should, without obvious reasonable 'lets not really kill animals in movies' and etc kinda's stuff.

Is there a line? Yes. Is it anywhere near where some people wanna draw it? (not speaking about anyone in this thread) No, and it never should be.

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#41 Posted by fatalbanana (1098 posts) -

@sasnake said:

@sasnake said:

I'm not anti P.C, It's just gotten to stupid levels of everything that ever happens needing to be picked apart with a fine tooth comb, and then people inserting that it was due to some agenda that fit's that persons needs. Not everything is done to appease some political standing. An interview after the games conference had the Naughty Dog dude saying they used that scene to show off their new tech, with the rain and the lighting and everything, and maybe that scene was one of the scenes that is fully finished (seeing as full production only started in August). But of course its not. To the internet world is OMG THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE TORTURE PORN I FEEL OFFENDED, WOMEN BEING BRUTALIZED, WHAT HAS THE WORLD BECOME?????.

Why does everybody on this site think they are journalists? :D

"OMG THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE TORTURE PORN I FEEL OFFENDED, WOMEN BEING BRUTALIZED, WHAT HAS THE WORLD BECOME?????."

Again, I have seen no one even closely approach this opinion or this tone I don't know where you're getting this from other than you making it up because that's what you think this kind of critical discussion about games sounds like. I am simply saying it's not and you're wrong. If your point is we are overanalyzing this than make that point and give some context to back it up and we can have that discussion and that would be at least a valid point to make.

I'm more concerned about what your definition of a journalist is. I think you meant critic? and I guess that's because we're on a site that fosters and values interesting discussions about the industry and being critical is part of that. Agan, if you don't think about games in that way that's good and fine but I don't know how far overreacting to what you think is an overreaction is going to get you.

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#42 Posted by SASnake (612 posts) -

@sasnake said:
@sasnake said:

I'm not anti P.C, It's just gotten to stupid levels of everything that ever happens needing to be picked apart with a fine tooth comb, and then people inserting that it was due to some agenda that fit's that persons needs. Not everything is done to appease some political standing. An interview after the games conference had the Naughty Dog dude saying they used that scene to show off their new tech, with the rain and the lighting and everything, and maybe that scene was one of the scenes that is fully finished (seeing as full production only started in August). But of course its not. To the internet world is OMG THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE TORTURE PORN I FEEL OFFENDED, WOMEN BEING BRUTALIZED, WHAT HAS THE WORLD BECOME?????.

Why does everybody on this site think they are journalists? :D

"OMG THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE TORTURE PORN I FEEL OFFENDED, WOMEN BEING BRUTALIZED, WHAT HAS THE WORLD BECOME?????."

Again, I have seen no one even closely approach this opinion or this tone I don't know where you're getting this from other than you making it up because that's what you think this kind of critical discussion about games sounds like. I am simply saying it's not and you're wrong. If your point is we are overanalyzing this than make that point and give some context to back it up and we can have that discussion and that would be at least a valid point to make.

I'm more concerned about what your definition of a journalist is. I think you meant critic? and I guess that's because we're on a site that fosters and values interesting discussions about the industry and being critical is part of that. Agan, if you don't think about games in that way that's good and fine but I don't know how far overreacting to what you think is an overreaction is going to get you.

*rolls eyes*

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#43 Edited by doctordonkey (1786 posts) -

When it comes to video games, you don't need context for violence. Without violence, modern video games wouldn't even exist, they'd be dead and buried long ago. I say up with violence, violence is always the answer! Lok'Tar Ogar!

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#44 Posted by fatalbanana (1098 posts) -

@sasnake: I gotta be better at pointing out trolls sometimes.

Short answer. No, its not. Longer short answer. No, its not, but that does not lead to 'and thus it shouldn't exist". And that's not even me taking anything to do with the game in question into account. Anything, taken out of context, is not necessary. Key to point out I am saying 'not necessary' not "inappropriate'. Name me any element in any piece of media in existance, and I am sure there is some example out there of it being used without any context, the wrong context, a distinct anti-context, yada.

Rap music doesn't need explicit language to be good, but then Eminem's does, so...insert famous song lyric there. Horror movies don't need nudity to be scary..but what even is exploitative about them without it? I don't need shaky cam in my summer pop-corn movies..but it certainly helped sell the Blair witch project.

Is it ok for people to be upset about the violence in that trailer? Sure. Should they be allowed to rip the game's developers for including it, and hold and express the opinion its unneeded, crass or just shock for shock sake? Utterly in bad-taste? Absolutely. Should they be allowed to have a single bit of imput on what the creators of the game choose to produce? Nope, no one should, without obvious reasonable 'lets not really kill animals in movies' and etc kinda's stuff.

Is there a line? Yes. Is it anywhere near where some people wanna draw it? (not speaking about anyone in this thread) No, and it never should be.

When it comes to video games, you don't need context for violence. Without violence, modern video games wouldn't even exist, they'd be dead and buried long ago. I say up with violence, violence is always the answer! Lok'Tar Ogar!

I like your points and maybe I'm wrong but I think this has less to do with drawing lines with violence and more about storytelling and how you use violence as a narrative tool. I like violence too it can be really effective in telling a story but I think how it's used here isn't effective (at least for me) because they don't give me a reason to care about it. I don't know who these characters are I can guess if they are good or bad based on how they frame the scene but that's all I have to go off of. So the whole thing just comes off as "look how mature and serious this game is" which is fine if there is something following it but I didn't get that in this trailer. I totally give Naughty Dog the benefit of the doubt though. They know how to make a good story with good characters I just wish I could have got more of that out of what they showed.

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#45 Edited by TheHT (15786 posts) -

No. And good lord the "necessary" question never fails to grind my gears. Nothing's strictly necessary in fiction, unless you strictly want to make precisely what you've made. Ugg.

But anywho, the lack of context made it so I wasn't excited by or especially invested in what I was seeing. It was harrowing, sure, and by the end of it these characters were on my radar, but I don't really care about em or feel any more excited to play the game. It probably wouldn't be so ineffectual a teaser if this wasn't a sequel. If this was a new IP I'd probably be more like "holy shit, what is this game, who do you play as, thay lady looks ripped," but instead it's like "oh okay, I guess I'll meet these characters at some point."

I expect a teaser to get me interested without telling me much as a trailer would. This didn't do that. It was just a well executed display of violence-ass violence. Just people getting seriously hurt. I don't even remember any musical sting or anything. It was like watching a deleted scene before seeing the movie. I guess in that sense it could been meant to be more of a tone thing, but again, sequel. I already know these games are fairly brutal.

But there's certainly nothing contemptible about the teaser. Nothing there deserving of getting riled up over and haranguing about with great indignation.

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#46 Posted by spraynardtatum (4384 posts) -

That trailer is really intense. The facial animations are incredible. Some of the movement looks damn near photorealistic. When they throw the first girl down on the ground I was amazed by the level of detail on her face.

Can't wait to see what they do with this game. Most people were against a sequel to the Last of Us in general but I feel like there's so much more story for them to tell. I hope Naughty Dog continues to bend expectations the way they have been with this game.

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#47 Posted by Justin258 (15548 posts) -

I don't think "necessary" is really the right perspective here. The point of a trailer is to get people talking, and the trailer got people talking - whether the violence was necessary for that or not isn't something we'll ever really know. Sony could have shown a trailer that focused on a dramatic scene where characters just talk to one another and it might have had as much discussion. Or maybe only a handful of fans might have talked about it.

From a cold business perspective, the trailer was great because it premiered a week ago and people are still discussing it. They got articles posted, they got forums going, there are probably a billion five minute Youtube videos on it by now, and threads like this one have several long posts from people who will remember that The Last of Us 2 is a thing. And when you're a business, the first thing you want is for lots of people to know that your product is a thing.

I do think that all the journalists writing negatively about this trailer should, when the time comes, write a piece about a trailer that impressed them - otherwise we're going to get more and more of the violence. Because violent trailers and the "criticism" they receive clearly get results.

For my part, I agree that the violence is out of context and it's not really a great trailer - but I liked The Last of Us, I even liked Uncharted 4, and I'm the kind of person who can get way into an extremely violent piece of media if it's done very, very well. Naughty Dog has a track record of doing this stuff really well, so... all right. I'm good. Consider me curious to see more about this game, although I hope that the next trailer does something else.

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#48 Posted by geirr (3726 posts) -

I liked it.

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#49 Posted by Spoonman671 (5874 posts) -

The universe of The Last of Us.

There. There's your context.

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#50 Posted by frustratedlnc (164 posts) -

I thought it was a really effective teaser. Most teasers are "out of context" and don't need to have the characters introduced or the situation explained. It was intense and attention grabbing. Ambiguity drums up intrigue and that will push people to want to play the game and understand the full context.