Today after a week of leaks Sony Interactive Entertainment went from damage control to find the culprit/s behind the Naughty Dog Last Of Us 2 hack. A hack that essentially put out most of the important content behind the game. Although out of context the game elicited so much strong reaction from people that are either going to still play the game or refuse to play it because of the political and storyline leanings.
It is here we stand now with a new release date, and a controversial promotional/marketing campaign built to gain goodwill. You can blame Covid-19 for the constraints of marketing the game in a big way. Sure, Sony has money saved and can now distribute it towards PlayStation 5. Under the circumstances, I am pretty sure gamers and Sony would have loved to have a blowout campaign to show how far gaming has come; where blockbuster games are treated in a sensational way. Spiderman PS4 promotion would come to mind immediately as an example. Instead, we get a more subdued promotion for The Last Of US 2, not the same effect; yet, just as potent because now gamers want to know how the game plays. For The Last Of US 2, that is the space it should occupy in our hearts and minds as gamers.
The new trailer does something the first did not. It takes a more cinematic and violent bent that has strong character relationships on display. It is not just about the sexuality of the character nor its politics, but the cost of them and the idea of freedom are on display immediately. Jumping to conclusions without play in gaming is fatal. You miss more than you know. With The Last Of US 2 being one of the last hurrahs for the PS4; patience is a virtue and dish that serves up revenge in a way that we have not seen in a game. Can you imagine beyond what has been seen so far? Yes, only if you did not spoil the game for your self with leaks.
All in all what Naughty Dog and Sony have done with the damage control is smart, not reactionary. You want to see sharp moves that still keep the consumer at the center. Both parties could have been closed off from releasing the game and blindly passive-aggressively made statements to stall the community. Rather, they put The Last Of US2 in its proper position to be judged and played. That outweighs any leak, and this second trailer signifies that there is more than meets the eye of what has been shown, not played. Now it’s time to lean back, pick up controller, and let The Last Of US take us to a place few games ever can.