Now that The Last of Us is out, it’s now confirmed that some of Naughty Dog’s marketing claims didn’t turn out to be truthful to gamers. The Last of Us 2 false advertising has been spotted, as Naughty Dog has purposely replaced character models to mislead fans. Warning to all, this story is filled with spoilers.

Back in 2016, Naughty Dog debuted The Last of Us 2 trailer. In it, we saw Ellie covered in blood and playing guitar, with an old man version of Joel making an appearance at the very end. It was clear from the trailer that Ellie was on some sort of revenge path, setting the stages for expectations.

Of course, being four years old now, the development of The Last of Us Part 2 likely went through a lot of changes. In fact, this scene is no longer present in the final build of the game, which shouldn’t come much as a surprise considering that it was just a teaser. However, the tease originally implied that Joel had a much bigger involvement in the main campaign. This in fact is actually backed up by evidence, as the studio had marketed Joel’s to be far more involved in the latter portion of the story.

Again, SPOILER WARNING. If you haven’t started The Last of Us Part 2 yet then we suggest you skip this next section as it will touch upon heavy spoilers from the game.

Still with us? Okay, so in The Last of Us Part 2 Joel is brutally murdered at the very start of the game. A rather controversial moment for many, however, it’s actually the scenes that occurred later in the campaign that has many wondering if this death was actually originally intended.

Taking a look at the trailer from 8 months ago, there is a scene where Joel appears and grabs Ellie from behind. He utters a line “You think I’d like you do this on your own?.” Have a watch down below.

This is now the new scene.

It’s the same line and the same scene. As you can see in both backgrounds the very same staircase, the only difference is Joel is absent. The trailer isn’t even that old either as it was published just 8 months back and was for the official release date, which was later delayed. Meaning the game had only been less than 5 months away from release when this trailer was published.

Over on Reddit, a user did a side-by-side comparison of this scene.

Incoming False Advertising Settlement Money go Brrrrr from TheLastOfUs2

This isn’t the only instance that Naughty Dog has replaced character models, and in fact, they did so less than a month back with the official story trailer as a good chunk of scenes featuring Joel show him as an older version along with Ellie.

We took some screenshots from the month-old story trailer and the final build to show you that they are very much different models.


From the 2020 Story Trailer

From the Final game


From the 2020 Story Trailer

From the Final Game


2020 Story trailer

From the final release


From the 2020 Story Trailer

From the Final Game

Yeah, we have to say this is most definitely not good on Naughty Dog’s part as it’s clear that the scenes are portrayed as completely different. One clearly takes place in the present while the other a flashback, but it’s clear that both characters differ in their ages. We aren’t sure why Naughty Dog decided to make these edits, but no doubt that they are clearly misleading. Perhaps it was it hide some of the story spoilers? Either way, this isn’t going to sit well with many as it comes off of advertising a different game due to the character’s age differences in each scene. Although the main focus is on the scene from 8 months backs where Joel has been replaced entirely. The implication that the scene provides is that Joel would be helping Ellie along her journey, but as we know from the start of the game this wasn’t the case at all.

Make sure to read our The Last of Us 2 review to see what we thought of the game. We’ve also posted a bunch of guides that you can check out here.