Over the weekend in late April, a series of YouTube videos were uploaded that contained what appeared to be clips of Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated sequel, The Last of Us Part 2. While the original videos have since been taken down, various gaming forums and social media reuploads have survived, alleging to show the gruesome action game’s story in full.
[Warning: The rest of this article contains potential spoilers for The Last of Us Part 2.]
The clips, many of which were posted to the ResetEra gaming forum, have already been pulled down from sites like YouTube. The appear to show everything from Ellie’s relationship with Dina, the woman she kisses in the E3 2018 trailer, to Joel’s role in the game. The leak also contains a level list that suggests that the game has you switch roles midway through, allowing you to see the game from the viewpoint of someone new. The dates on the screenshots and clips suggest that the gameplay hails from internal builds that existed back in February and March.
Reached for comment, Naughty Dog emailed the following statement to Polygon:
We’re disappointed that anyone would release unauthorized pre-launch footage of The Last of Us Part II, disrupt years of Naughty Dog’s hard work and ruin the experience for fans worldwide. We want everyone to have the opportunity to play The Last of Us Part II at the same time and ask that viewing or sharing of the unauthorized footage be avoided.
Naughty Dog also released a statement on Twitter, assuring players that “the final experience will be worth it.”
The Last of Us Part 2 is now scheduled for release on June 19, after being delayed due to the global coronavirus pandemic. According to Naughty Dog, while the game was “nearly done” as of April 2, there were a variety of logistical issues that were beyond the control of the studio and its parent company, Sony. Reports of working conditions within the studio say that Naughty Dog has been under intense crunch while working on The Last of Us Part 2, as the game takes care to include all sorts of minor details — such as giving every single character a heartbeat.
Based on what Sony has released so far, the game is supposed to explore hatred, which aligns with the stark story beats apparently revealed by the leak. Its predecessor, 2013’s The Last of Us,is currently being adapted into an HBO TV series.
Update (3:15 p.m. ET): This story has been updated with confirmation from Naughty Dog and includes statements from the studio. The story has also been updated with new information regarding the release date for The Last of Us Part 2, and to remove a dead link.
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