The latest Sony exclusive is out today, and a good deal of players are booting up their PlayStation 4s to play The Last of Us Part 2. The first game was known for its depictions of brutal violence, gruesome imagery, and general gloom and despair, and the sequel doubles down on these elements. On top of that, it has an alarmingly high (potential) dog death count.
In The Last of Us Part 2, it's not just humans and Clickers you have to deal with. Enemy factions have trained dogs to track and attack as you try to sneak or fight your way through areas. If you're a complete monster, you can snipe these poor puppers just like you can a human.
If you're anything like me, the idea of exerting extreme violence on an animal doesn't sound like some fun weekend gaming material. A question we've seen pop up a few times is: Do you absolutely have to harm, or potentially kill, a dog in The Last of Us Part 2? The answer, with obvious but still very vague spoilers is below.
The answer is yes, you do have to kill a dog at one point in the game. Without going into detail, it is an unavoidable QTE that the player has to complete to progress forward in the game. And like most things in The Last of Us' post-apocalyptic wasteland, it sounds pretty depressing. Just know that there's no way to avoid it: you're going to have to kill at least one dog at some point. If that's a red line for you, then it's probably something to keep in mind before you decide to pick up a copy for yourself. There are always YouTube recaps and Let's Plays, after all.
Running up to the launch of The Last of Us Part 2, the addition of enemy dogs was both a way for enemies to better track you through the environment, while also a way to build emotional attachment and guilt; dogs would have names and be mourned by their handlers. GameStop even got some heat for noting the fact that players can kill dogs as a marketing bullet point. It's definitely something the Can You Pet the Dog? Twitter account would object to.
The Last of Us Part 2 hit shelves and digital storefronts today. As the sequel to 2013's well-regarded The Last of Us, it sounds like Naughty Dog has once again managed to tell an incredible tale. Its use of violence seems to have ramped up as well, though; much of the story centers around the cycles of violence we perpetuate, sometimes to gruesome effect.
Still, in the moments between the ultraviolence, The Last of Us Part 2 finds the occassional somber moment to reflect and grow. It certainly seems like a high note to end the PlayStation 4 generation on, as it's one of the last few exclusives left before this holiday's launch of the PlayStation 5.