Despite receiving overwhelming praise from critics upon release, The Last of Us Part 2 has been embroiled in backlash from fans who are angry at its story. The Sony title was even review-bombed on Metacritic.
YouTube channel Girlfriend Reviews faced criticism after the game’s creator Neil Druckmann praised their critique as a “must-watch” on Twitter. On July 3, the gaming duo hit back at trolls.
Girlfriend Reviews first launched in 2018, and their unique style and POV has made them a rising voice for criticism in the gaming industry. The duo is made up by Matt, who edits and write the scripts, and Shelby, who narrates and creates commentary.
Their nine-minute video essay on The Last of Us Part 2 dropped on July 1 and gave an in-depth analysis that even received praise from the game’s creator Neil Druckmann. “This review is extremely articulate, funny, and moving. A must watch after you finish the game,” he tweeted.
However not long after, the couple began to receive a flood of negative comments and harassment. Some even went as far as to claim that they were paid off for liking the game, which caused the content creators to address the allegations on July 3.
In a tweet from the official Girlfriend Reviews account, the YouTubers hit out at trolls claiming their review was paid. “Sucks to have to say this but we’re getting comments constantly saying we admitted to being paid for our Last of Us video. That’s not true, we were not paid. We bought the game with our own money. No one paid us at any point and we were not blackmailed either,” they said.
For anyone who doesn’t know: it is ILLEGAL not to disclose a sponsor. Not only would being caught doing that end our career, but it would be extremely detrimental to a studio secretly paying people for reviews. Not worth the risk for either party.
— Girlfriend Reviews (@itsgfreviews) July 3, 2020
Matt and Shelby have been receiving negative comments since first uploading the video on July 1, such as as an angry viewer who called them “garbage” and told them to “kill yourself.” The duo responded to the message with “off to a good start.”
While The Last of Us Part 2 was critically lauded upon release, it’s quickly become a divisive title among the gaming community. The PlayStation 4 release has sparked a wave of backlash online from players who dislike the direction Naughty Dog went with it.
Despite the backlash, Girlfriend Reviews’ critique has been praised by many for being a deep dive into the story’s themes and plot points. At the time of writing, the couple has amassed over 976k subscribers to their channel.