Recent debates around the impact of violence in video games have not had any impact on the graphic content in The Last of Us, Naughty Dog has revealed.
Speaking with Huffington Post, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann said that violence within the game was necessary for the story.
"The reason... the violence is that brutal is because of what we're saying with the story,” said Druckmann.
“You have to buy into the conflict and desperation these characters live under. If you remove any of those elements, the story suffers, and that's why we would never do it."
In The Last of Us, the player controls Joel, a black marketeer who is tasked with protecting a young girl known as Ellie while the pair trek across a post-apocalyptic United States.
"For someone like Ellie, because this is the only world she's ever known, things we would find horrific and that would probably scar us for life are just everyday occurrences for her," said Druckmann.
"She can still, in a way, keep some of her innocence because of that. She pulls the humanity out of Joel, and this is really a coming-of-age story for Ellie."
The Last of Us is due out on May 7 on PlayStation 3.