A few months ago, we talked about the The Last of Us and its upcoming sequel. Since then, the game’s release date has been pushed back and is set to release in less than a month. But more importantly, an alleged leak of the entire game’s plot has fans shook. Leaks should always be taken with a grain of salt, but with respected sources like IGN reporting it, it might be worth looking into. And I did just that. What I found was concerning. Very concerning. Here’s the scoop on the Last of Us Part 2 leak.
Read on if you aren’t afraid of spoilers. But be warned, it gets graphic.
How did this happen? How did the plot of one of the year’s most anticipated games get leaked? Initially, reports stated that an alleged disgruntled ex-employee, in some cases a relative of an ex-employee, leaked the game as a way to get back at his former employers. It was a believable enough story when you remember that often times, those who work on video games work insane hours, with near impossible deadlines, and with no overtime pay. But more recent reports have found that hackers exploited a security weakness found in older games. This allowed hackers to access gameplay footage. The weakness has since been fixed. Neil Druckmann, the game’s creative director, released a statement mentioning “a lot of false rumors.” Naughty Dog itself has only said that viewing “unauthorized footage should be avoided.” Sony has since taken down all leaked video footage.
So What Happened?
The leak introduces us to a second character that players will have the opportunity to control alongside Ellie. Abby is allegedly the daughter of one of the surgeons Joel killed in the first game in his quest to rescue Ellie. Abby is out for vengeance.Her goal? Kill Ellie and Joel. And according to this leak, she succeeds in taking out Joel. But it gets worse. At some point, the player will play as Abby in a fight against Ellie.
It’s unclear from the leak whether Ellie survives the attack, many believe she doesn’t. We also know Abby hold Dina, Ellie’s alleged girlfriend, captive at some point in the game. Based on leaked images, you can almost certainly say Dina doesn’t survive with injuries so grievous. But what’s worse, Dina is pregnant with her ex’s baby. Apparently, she and Ellie intended to start a family. Are creators allergic to writing a love story between women without having a man involved? That’s an angry rant for another day. Having seen images of the leaks myself, there is one thing I can say for certain. This game is gruesomely violent. Yes, I know most games are violent, but there’s a huge difference between Commander Shepard killing murderous robots and the type of gore this game offers. In fact, Druckmann said in an interview that the team watched “reference videos” to make the violence and gore in the game as messy, gory, and realistic as possible. And one can only imagine what he means by “reference video.”
Some fans have sworn off the game. Some are unperturbed by the leaks and plan to buy the game on June 19th. Many others are cautious, waiting until the game is actually released before making their decisions. Leaks can be wrong after all. That’s all well and good. To each their own, right? Except, it wasn’t all well and good. Outside of my circle of strong-willed, female-centered, feminist friends, no one seems to be concerned by the insane amount of violence against women, and lesbians in particular, in this game. Remember, Ellie is a lesbian and while players are playing as Abby, the objective seems to be to kill her. Pair this with the fact that at a PSX event, Druckmann stated that “this story is about hate.” In fact, some people on Twitter have taken images from the leak and made horrifying memes. Just take a look for yourself.
Goddess knows more often than not “terf” is a stand-in for lesbian. We’ve reported on this many times, as the female-exlusivity of lesbian love and attraction has been deemed hateful for invalidating everyone else. When terf is hurled at lesbians, it is used to justify violence. Just take a look at the tweet below and remember that Ellie is a confirmed lesbian character and the rumor-sphere had plenty of speculations on Abby being a trans-identified male character.
Remember, Dina is pregnant. If this scene looks familiar, it’s because the scene prior to it was in a trailer. It had Ellie bound and pinned to the ground, begging someone off-screen not to kill someone she cared about. And somehow this gives them a free pass to be openly violent and hateful towards women and lesbians. Many on social media have even started to say Abby, the character that nearly kills Ellie and quite possibly kills Dina, is a trans-identified male. Why? Because she’s muscular? So am I, that doesn’t make me any less of a woman. Questioning women based on their looks is regressive, and giving violence against lesbians a pass if it comes from a character that is supposedly offering LGBT representation is downright hateful. Though nothing has been officially confirmed, these reactions are horrifying.
A Word of Caution
It’s always smart to take these leaks with a grain of salt. Things may have changed, it’s always possible. But one thing is for certain, this game will be gory. It will be much more violent than the first. So what, right? Video games are violent. I can’t even tell you how many stealth kills I have in Tomb Raider. But, when the over all theme of a game with a lesbian protagonist is hate and the main objective of the game’s alleged deuteragonist is to inflict as much suffering as possible on said lesbian and her loved ones and eventually kill her, I’m hesitant to play. The point of video games is to escape reality for a bit. The last thing I want to see is a reminder of the ever present threat of violence against lesbians.