Naughty Dog Uses “Engaging” Instead of “Fun” to Describe The Last of Us Part II

Pinning down The Last of Us Part II’s narrative continues to puzzle fans. Theories about NPCs, Joel’s role, playable characters, and time jumps pervade the community. However, one thing is for certain, the sequel won’t be fun. Not in the literal sense, at least. Will the game itself feel good to control? Should players expect to feel relief, maybe even a semblance of joy, at overcoming arduous obstacles? Sure, but even then there are more apt descriptions.

Neil Druckmann shares his and the team’s thoughts on this during an interview with Buzzfeed. Naughty Dog doesn’t consider the new chapter a thrill ride by any means. A story about hate could hardly be analogous to the sensation one gets whilst having fun.

For us, with The Last of Us specifically (Uncharted is a little different in our creative approaches), we don’t use the word “fun,” We say “engaging,” and it might seem like a minor distinction, but it’s an important one for us.

We believe that if we’re invested in the character and the relationships they’re in and their goal, then we’re gonna go along on their journey with them and maybe even commit acts that make us uncomfortable across our moral lines and maybe get us to ask questions about where we stand on righteousness and pursuing justice at ever-escalating costs.

Therefore, uncomfortable becomes the name of the game. Watching Ellie shoot and slash her way through a group of men and women during the E3 2018 walkthrough is harrowing. Tension fills each move she takes, whether offensive or defensive. Every action of violence is visceral, disturbing, a goal Naughty Dog intends to achieve throughout the experience.

Our aesthetic approach to violence is to make it as grounded and real as possible, and we watch – sometimes uncomfortably – a lot of videos from the world, right? The world that we know, and trying to say, “Okay, we don’t want to make it sexy. How do we make it real? How do we make it uncomfortable because art at times should be uncomfortable?”

Honestly, we wouldn’t want it any other way.

[Source via GamesRadar]