The Last of Us: Part II’s Story Trailer Is the Vague Marketing Reel I Needed

Wishing to go back to the time where I knew very little about this game.

If you hadn’t heard already, The Last of Us: Part II was leaked last week. While Sony and Naughty Dog have confirmed the leak didn’t come from inside the house, that hasn’t contained the spoilers that are circulating online, even from folks who should probably know better. If you’re just now privy to this information and want to avoid spoilers, we’ve got a long list of keywords and phrases you should probably mute on Twitter or through a Google Chrome extension.

Folks, let me tell you: getting spoiled on the sequel to one of your favorite games isn’t fun, and I had the great displeasure of having that happen to me last week not moments after publishing that list of words and phrases to mute. This was by people who thought they were being vague enough to avoid spoiling things, and they were not. After seven years, I got to learn major revelations of The Last of Us: Part II through a longstanding Twitter mutual who I have since muted and will probably never unmute on principle.

While the discussion about how big companies control a narrative through marketing is one worth having, it has been a wild week for me to see people touting out spoilers for a game that’s not even out yet as a means of protesting the worst of spoiler culture. There’s a huge difference between tweeting your hot takes on a game that’s still a month out and Marvel and Disney “demanding your silence” when it comes to talking about Avengers: Endgame and having an actual date people are “allowed” to talk spoilers. But I found out last week that if you’re determined enough, people see no distinction between the two. That’s not to say Naughty Dog is a pristine, sinless figure in this discussion, as the studio has rightfully earned a lot of ire for its crunch-driven workplace practices and trying to cover up a sexual harassment case, I just found this particular strategy mistargeted, as Naughty Dog wasn’t the one seeing your tweets, it was your followers who were just trying to scroll through their feed.

So The Last of Us: Part II’s story trailer came out today, and honestly, it felt like exactly what I needed to cleanse my palate after a week of bad faith discourse and mean-spirited people trying to ruin something for people based on a false narrative that came out of thin air. It’s just vague enough that I don’t feel like I learned much, if anything new about what happens in the game, but shows characters like Ellie and Joel, both during Part II proper, but also during some previously-unreleased scenes between the first and second games that were previously only seen by the audience at The Last of Us: One Night Live event in 2014. There’s also some appearances by new characters as well, but again, there’s nothing here that gives too much away. And thankfully, the comments are turned off, as people are taking any opportunity to post spoilers in the comments of basically anything even tangentially related.

In other news:

After being delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Last of Us: Part II is coming to PlayStation 4 on June 19.