The Last of Us Part 2 has been hailed for its performances and characters which have worked together to form a beautiful (and haunting) narrative. One of the actors involved has now shared her thoughts about how the post-apocalyptic sequel “elevates the playing field for storytelling.”
Speaking with Good Game, Nice Try for the latest podcast episode, actress Shannon Woodward, who did the motion capture and the voice of Dina, showered praise on developer Naughty Dog for representing LGBTQ relationships in a mainstream game like The Last of Us Part 2—the right way.
“There has never been a triple-a game that starred a girl, ever,” said Woodward. “and this [The Last of Us Part 2] stars several women, with one who is gay, one who is bi, and then we have a transgender character.”
“For so long people were treating stories in games like stories in porn,” continued Woodward. “Nobody really needs it but it is kind of just there.” She added that “representation obviously matters” and there are obviously other games which have done the same as well, but The Last of Us Part 2 just does it much better.
“It is more fun. It is more interesting. There are a lot of stories people have not told. It is an awesome step forward to open the landscape for different kinds of stories,” she exclaimed.
Woodward also pointed out that The Last of Us Part 2 was her first time working in a game. She was previously only involved in movies and television shows such as the highly acclaimed Westworld. She however is also an avid gamer. BioShock in particular was a game which in her words “brought me back” since it was so much more than just a pointless narrative backing pointless shooting.
Having now worked in both mainstream television and games, Woodward stated that working with Naughty Dog was in comparison “…more intimate and more private.” While she had a small but crucial role to bring to life an important segment of the storyline, Woodward greatly loved playing the game as well. “There is so much [Dina] was not there for; she knew what was happening, but it is different to experience it.”
The Last of Us Part 2 is now available on PlayStation 4 and through backwards compatibility on PlayStation 5. Naughty Dog may yet release an update to make the game native to the new (and powerful) console.