You Won't Have To Kill The Dogs In 'The Last Of Us Part 2'
Following a special hands-on demo event held in LA, we're now, finally, starting to learn more about The Last Of Us Part 2 and a little bit about what we can expect from Naughty Dog's post-apocalyptic sequel when it arrives on February 21 next year. The consensus from the vast majority of press that got to play through the three-hour demo, including two of my colleagues here at GAMINGbible, seems to be that Naughty Dog has another hit on its hands. Shocking, I know.
One of the biggest revelations to come from the assorted hands-on impressions is that in The Last Of Us Part 2, dogs play a key role in stealth and combat, and will be able to sniff you out and alert their human allies to your whereabouts, adding an extra layer of challenge to stealth encounters.
Unfortunately, this inevitably means you'll have to "deal" with the dogs, and a number of journalists recounted harrowing tales of having to brutally put down enemy pooches - an experience made even worse by the fact that their owners could stumble across their bloody remains and scream in anguish, as any of us surely would if someone hacked our beloved pet to death.
Obviously one of the things Naughty Dog is trying to accomplish with The Last Of Us Part 2 is to make the player feel bad for doing what they have to do survive, to really put is in the shoes of a character like Ellie. That's why every enemy NPC has his or her own name, and that's why having to kill a poor doggo is a brutally immersive experience with tangible consequences. You're supposed to feel every kill.
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I expect most of us get what Naughty Dog is going for here, and we'll have absolutely no problem hacking and slashing our way through scores of human enemies - names or not. The idea of having to put down pooches, though, is bound to makes some of us feel uncomfortable in a way that killing a human NPC never could. I'm not saying I'm gonna boycott the game over it or anything, but I don't relish the experience of killing a dog, especially when they're so well animated.
The good news is that Naughty Dog has now confirmed it's entirely possible to get through The Last Of Us Part 2 with minimal doggy death. In a blog post discussing the recent demo, PlayStation wrote, "getting jumped by a dog is not only nerve-racking and dangerous, it presents players with the moral choice of whether they flee or take it out [and] Naughty Dog confirms that you don't have to kill these animals to progress."
This is of course great news for any dog lovers out there, but it's also bound to make us all feel so much worse when at some point during our first playthrough of The Last Of Us Part 2, we inevitably panic and put down a dog instead of evading simply because it's the quicker, easier option - and how much more of a monster will we feel knowing we didn't have to kill it? I sense Naughty Dog has filled its sequel with grim moral choices like this, and I'm as excited as I am terrified to descend into the murky waters of its world.
Featured Image Credit: Naughty Dog