PS3 News: The Last Of Us Violence Reflects Humans "Pushed To The Limit" - PS3 News

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The Last Of Us Violence Reflects Humans "Pushed To The Limit"

There is violence in survival. Developer Naughty Dog wants to remind us of this.

During the E3 demo for The Last Of Us, it was plain that violence will be an unfortunate but very necessary part of the experience and in fact, it fits the setting and narrative. Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer tried to explain how the studio uses such brutality in the upcoming game, slated for 2013:

"It’s really important to understand that this is twenty years after a pandemic has destroyed civilization. Outside of [government-controlled quarantine areas] it’s pretty much every man for himself. And that’s what we want to explore in the narrative and the gameplay for The Last of Us. What will humans be like when they are pushed to the limit?

Are they going to take a route of cooperation and rebuild society? Or is it really going to be every man for themselves and they have no morality left; no ethics left to what they do? So that’s the part that violence plays into it. There’s going to be some people who are really out for themselves that will stop at nothing. They’ve lost every sense of what it means to be human and compassionate; they’ve lost all of that. And when you look at the violence, that’s the context. There are going to be people who are pushed to that limit."

That being said, Meyer reminds us that if you don't want to get quite so nasty, there are often ways around confrontations in The Last Of Us. If you don't want to fight, you may not have to. Survival is about making good decisions and only risking the little that you have when it's absolutely necessary, right? And sometimes, that confrontation will be unavoidable and sh** will go down, and that's where urgency replaces tension.

By the way, is anyone else getting a definite Cormac McCarthy vibe from this game? As in, the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Road" novel...?

Related Game(s): The Last Of Us

Tags: the last of us, the last of us trailer, naughty dog, violent games

10/12/2012 11:19:24 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (14 posts)

bigrailer19
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 11:39:05 AM
Reply

This is what needed to be said from them that a lot of fans have been saying all along. There is mindless violence that just seems to be there, then there is a place for it in this context. Two different things.

Nobody seems to complain about violence until there is nothing to complain about.

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Highlander
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 11:51:53 AM

Railer! You forgot me! I complain about violence in games quite a bit and have always felt that there need to be option sliders for games that allow players to turn down the use of language, the amount of gore and even the level of violence. :)

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bigrailer19
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 12:23:43 PM

I think option sliders is a good idea, but ultimately what would that encompass? The amount of blood? I mean shooting at something is still shooting at something and I don't think you could take that out of a game like this completely. The shooting of course.

As far as the language, even having muted language as a word is said would be a plus.

But then again there is violence in WKC2! ;)

Cartoony or not it is what it is. But the reason I said ND needed to come out and say this, isn't because the context it's in ultimately makes it ok. But rather, it shows that the game is based on a situation where in that context these things could happen.

Tough topic, really.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/12/2012 12:24:40 PM

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Highlander
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 1:03:53 PM

I think I understand. As for the sliders, the language one should be very easy to implement since you simply must that voice track for that word, even I can think of ways to implement that in a game engine. As for gore and violence I'd never turn the blood off completely, that would just look wrong, and although I might tell the game that I do not wish to see evisceration, decapitation or limbs being hacked off people, I doubt I'd turn violence off completely either.

WKC2 does have violence, and it's nice and cartoony. Actually WKC2 is probably at the light end of game violence, so I don't think even I would hold it as a standard to go by.

However on the option to tone down violence and gore, as I mentioned the most brutal assaults I'd like to see made optional so that if the player chooses the TV-14 option (or whatever you want to call it), instead of a decapitation, some other less brutal and extreme act would be used. Blood and gore, you do need (for story and some semblance of reality) to have blood and gore in games with violence. But it doesn't have to spray around constantly covering everything in site or even hitting the 'camera'.

I'll give you an example of what I am talking about. In Xenosaga 3, there is a scene where Shion's Mother has been slaughtered by a mutated 'weapons grade' realian. She's dead, and blood is pouring from an open stomach wound. Shion in her desperation and youthful ignorance (she's a little girl in the scene) tries to stop the blood, to put it back, make her Mom whole again and somehow stop her Mom from dying. It's a horribly harrowing scene when seen as it was intended. The scene is absolutely necessary as the trauma of losing her Mother and Father both killed literally before her eyes is a truly integral part of her character and psyche.

In the version of Xenosaga Episode 3 that was released in North America, the scene was played out exactly in that manner except the publisher simply removed the blood from the scene. The scene makes zero sense and looks almost comical in a macabre way without the blood.

So, no, let's not remove the blood completely, but I know that some games revel in gore and blood that splashes and sprays like fountains. So let's give the player the option to turn it down a notch or two, but never remove it completely.

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bigrailer19
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 6:36:41 PM

Yea I don't know how hard it would be to implement that, by toning down the gore. Here's what I picture when u talk about toning it down. Let's say in a random scene decapitation is involved. So there is a "slider" and with it, would be less gruesome outcomes. Maybe if you tone it down a little, there is still blood and no decapitation. If you town it down even more it merely becomes a slap in the face. That's what I'm picturing. Now I don't know if you mean for it to be that dramatic, but as you pointed out for the scene in Xenosaga that simply didn't work to it's intentions. Not only that but wouldn't that involve creating multiple scenes for one outcome? Thus creating more work?

Maybe, I'm thinking about the slider thing differently than you? Either way I'm not against it, and think it's a good thing to implement if possible. I just struggle with the idea of making it work, and the player fully understanding the intent of the situation. Because if it has it's purpose in the context, again like the scene from Xenosaga you mentioned, then it plays an intricate part, and could be lost without it.

Btw. I'm just razzin ya' about WKC.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/12/2012 6:42:14 PM

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Highlander
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 11:55:41 AM
Reply

Well, I tend not to play games that focus on authentic/realistic settings and which feature violence and brutality. It's why I don't generally play shooters. I mean, there's video game violence like you get in brawlers and other fighting games. But, that violence really is cartoon like compared to the gritty, more realistic, and in a lot of ways more brutal violence we appear to be discussing with this game.

I guess I will wait for the reviews on this to see whether it's on par with Uncharted in terms of the amount of violence and what not. I know the language is edgier already, but I'll wait and see on the actual violence.

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tes37
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 12:44:49 PM

I understand where you're coming from. If it's too realistic, I get a sick feeling as if I actually just committed the act myself. As long as there is enough to create a disconnect between me and what's going on in the game, I'm alright. For instance, if the character is holding something like a bat and you push a button to make him swing it, that's less immersion than if I have to make the swinging motion with the controller.

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Qubex
Saturday, October 13, 2012 @ 3:24:38 AM

To be honest Highlander, I am not too fussed about it. I think in front of the younger generation it could be a concern, a problem; but an adult who is a balanced human being should be able to handle it...

Sliders are a good idea though; however if the violence is a necessary element for telling a story in the right context then it should be included.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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matt99
Saturday, October 13, 2012 @ 4:36:04 AM

The violence I can understand having a problem with, but what's wrong with language? It's the context words are used in that make them harmful and you don't need "bad words" to say something harmful.

I know everyone feels differently about this, but I never really understood why some words are bad and others aren't.(other than the few words that have the same meaning no matter the context like racial slurs, homophobic slurs etc.)

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Temjin001
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 12:04:35 PM
Reply

It's a sad state of affairs when the capacity of human potential is reduced to carnal appeals. Without upholding values of what is right we can become more ferocious than the fiercest animals of the wild.
Vote for me for president, Temjin001 =p

Violence in opposition of oppression makes up much of human history. So while many games are violent I do like that most games do work off of premise of good vs evil. Much of the best things we have today have been something fought, suffered, bled, and died for.

on a side note, while I do prefer to have an option to turn off blood in games, I do realize that blood is a component of human biology in and of itself.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 1:54:00 PM
Reply

I'm getting a Walking Dead vibe from the themes of who wants to stay human and who is out for themselves no matter what.

It's weird that anyone is focused on whether or not violence is a big part of a video game.

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Temjin001
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 6:37:52 PM

Ha, oh come on, World. Wouldn't you think it a little weird if blood sprayed from cars in racing games when they wrecked?
=p

Speaking of which when I suffered through watching some of Tranformers 3 I found it sort of interesting how they humanized "fatalities" of other transformers with spraying oil and hydraulic fluids while heads were torn off or vital mechanized organs were crushed.

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Rogueagent01
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 7:47:19 PM
Reply

I have no issue with the violence in this game, and honestly I don't know how anyboby could. Look at the crimes that are commited on a daily basis in our current society, so in any kind of apocolyptic kind of world I expect it to be gruesome. The game isn't being made for children and to me if an adult can't handle violence then you might want to talk to someone about that. I am not saying you should have to put up with it, nor even accept it(that would be just as bad) but you have to realize it is a part of this world.

I also have no issues and actually wish they would put the sliders concept Highlander was talking about in games. I mean it isn't hard in most cases, go back to the early Mortal Kombats and see that you had to turn the blood on. Though I would much rather see the slider idea then an on/off switch. And in certain games and with certain parts of stories I don't think you should be able to slide nor turn any part of it off, as it is considered a vital part of the stroy. The only thing I would hope though is that devs actually use that properly and not abuse it saying everything is vital.

I'm sure this post comes off kind of callous but seeing as I am essentially a poster boy of non-violence in reality I can handle digital violence. I have no issues with looking our society in the eyes and seeing how high we can take ourselves and unfortunately how low we can go. It's the world we live in and I would rather worry about changing or affecting something in the real world over a make believe one anyday.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 8:49:07 PM
Reply

Definitely vibing 'The Road', even moreso than I did with Resistance 3. I get what this guy is saying, and I really respect it. It engenders a sense of fictional reality and one that you would expect in this sort of a scenario. I think that the violence displayed in the E3 demo of this was a bit too explicit, but that is simply because of watching it and not fully comprehending all of the nuances of the world and characters. Things will probably be very different while playing as you will be provided with all of that context and still have the ability to attempt stealth (I'd also like to see diplomacy as an option, but that might be straying a bit too far towards RPGs for what Naughty Dog is trying to do. Maybe in The Last of Us 2 we'll see that sort of thing implemented).

I think that if ND manages to hit all of the notes of maturity that they're striving to with this one, it could definitely be one of the most intelligent games that we've ever seen. I really can't wait to see and hear more about it, and then the critical reception when it is released, I feel, will be very telling for the medium.

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