New screenshots reveal that female characters in The Last of Us Part II have been made to look more androgynous to be trans friendly.
Naughty Dog/Sony are currently having a terrible week after a disgruntled employee leaked the entire game online, especially considering that the majority of folk hate the direction the new writers took the story, and now they are facing heat for what they’ve done to the female characters.
The Last of Us Part II leaks are reported to come from a disgruntled Naughty Dog employee over a payment dispute. A source connected to the studio explained that, although they believe the leak came from an employee, it may be about a little more than a pay dispute.
“I don’t doubt, even for a moment, that this leak came from the studio. The Last of Us Part 2 is very divisive and, as you can imagine, some of the team aren’t really thrilled to be working on the game,” the source told Erina Rose moments after the gameplay footage leaked.
The leak confirmed some extremely divisive and partisan plot devices and now many former fans are washing their hands of what are describing is a ‘clear political agenda’ being pushed by Neil Druckmann and the new writers at Naughty Dog.
Naughty Dog built their reputation upon the success of the Uncharted trilogy; one of the most critically acclaimed and fan loved gaming series of all time. The game owed a lot of its success to due Amy Hennig’s vision, direction and writing. Unfortunately Hennig was ‘forced out’ off Naughty Dog by Druckmann due to ‘creative disputes’.
Amy Hennig signed a strict NDA which barred her from discussing the real reason she was thrown out but that hasn’t stopped people from speculating that it might have for political reasons.
In an interview at the DICE summit in 2019 Amy Hennig confirmed that Nadine Ross was not in her version of Uncharted 4, and neither was the ambiguous relationship between her and Chloe Frazer.
The lesbian relationship between two female protagonists from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy wasn’t confirmed in the game, albeit strongly hinted at, but rather — in J.K. Rowling ‘after-the-fact’ fashion — in a Tweet from Naughty Dog in December, 2017.
It is also interesting to note that Amy Hennig’s departure from Naughty Dog happened shortly after the release of The Last of Us: Left Behind which featured the lesbian romance between two underage teen girls, Ellie and Riley (who are reportedly two of the main character’s in the upcoming HBO The Last of Us series).
These coincidences have lead people to believe that Hennig may not have entirely agreed with the whole ‘gender politics’ narrative and, ultimately, that was the reason she was fired.
The Naughty Dog source did confirm that there people who question the progressive narrative that Naughty Dog are injecting into their games are at high risk of losing their jobs:
“The team is very much divided on the game [The Last of Us Part II], and even voicing your concerns on its story will upset certain individuals; it usually results in said person being called closed-minded or even phobic, or some such nonsense. Some people literally have to bite their tongues or fear losing their jobs, even careers, to an outrage mob.”
It seems, though, that the inclusion of gay and lesbian characters in the last three Naughty Dog games was not enough to appease the activists who are reportedly working at Naughty Dog. The Last of Us Part II gameplay footage leak confirms that the plot has some extreme trans rights ideologies, too.
The characters in The Last of Us Part II are designed in such a way to not make trans people feel uncomfortable. Every single new character introduced in the sequel does not have definitive feminine or masculine qualities.
Ellie and Dina, specifically, have been remodelled to look less feminine. It even seems as if they Ellie has completely changed since they first revealed her in The Last of Us Part II.
We spoke to a seasoned artist who has worked as a character designer for several AAA games and he admitted that “this is the new norm.”
“It’s not really about the sexual objectification of women, ” he explained. “Women, like men, come in all shapes and sizes; to say that having big busty women is unrealistic is untrue.”
He added: “This is only true for trans people. A trans woman can’t naturally grow large breasts, and not all trans people can afford implants. If you see a game where the women are a little less curvy, it’s not to because the game designers are worried about receiving backlash for sexualising women, it’s because they are worried about offending the trans community.”
“From a design stand point, this is a really challenging problem. I’ve had many board meetings about how to tackle this. Trans people want ‘realistic’ representation in our games, but they feel excluded if they are represented as too masculine or too feminine. That’s why you will see a lot of designers ‘nerfing the female form’ so to speak so that the difference between trans women and cis women is a little less noticeable.”
That might explain exactly what happened to the cis female characters in The Last of Us Part II. It’s no secret that Naughty Dog are making the effort to be inclusive and progressive, this means they need to also be trans friendly.