There are shots fired as the boss of Eidos Montreal's Shadow of the Tomb Raider has inadvertently started a turf war with The Last of Us Part II fans. After both games showed off their impressive gameplay at this year's E3, the titles are set to go head-to-head in the fight for best action-adventure survival game.
While The Last of Us Part II is the long-awaited sequel to Naughty Dog's apocalyptic adventure from 2013, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will wrap up the three-game arc of Lara Croft's Survivor timeline. It was battle of the trailers at E3, but one of Shadow's biggest names has called out Naughty Dog over footage that he claims was a little too good to be true.
Posting on Twitter, Eidos Montreal studio head David Anfossi slammed The Last of Us' cinematic animations as being "fake" in a now-deleted tweet shared by Naughty Dog animator Jonathan Cooper. The apparent comment came after one gamer said The Last of Us Part 2 was at the "top of the animation game" with its graphics.
It’s since deleted, but the studio head of Shadow of The Tomb Raider just accused the animation of our The Last of Us Part II demo of being fake. C’est trop délicieux! pic.twitter.com/NsU0ZikPlS— Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) June 12, 2018
With the comments seemingly coming out of the blue and not being very sportsmanlike, the backlash against Anfossi was almost immediate. Fans jumped to the defense of Naughty Dog's game and called Anfossi out for his unnecessary outburst. Seeing the error of his ways, Anfossi followed up with an apology tweet for what he had said was "bad wording."
Hi #naughtydog fans. Please don’t be tough on me, just bad wording from à french speaking person. Always been a big fan of #Uncharted and #LasOfUs games; played all of them and #lastofus2 is on my list. And what @naughtydog does is a ref to me. Sorry for this situation...— David Anfossi (@DavidAnfossi) June 12, 2018
The boss leveled his criticisms at The Last of Us Part II and accused Naughty Dog of using footage that wasn't actually the game running on the PS4. Ultimately, it was a case of coincidence as The Last of Us Part II used forest gameplay of leading character Ellie to showcase what the developers have been up to. The imagery of a bow-wielding Ellie has already being compared the Croft's latest iteration, so Anfossi was presumably a little annoyed and let off steam. The comments probably would have gone unnoticed if it had been from a member of the public, but being the head of Eidos Montreal, Anfossi was always going to come under scrutiny for aiming such an opinionated response at another studio.
Regardless if Anfossi was making a joke or whether the jibe was meant with malice, he has at least apologized for what he said. At the end of the day, The Last of Us Part II and Shadow of the Tomb Raider may have some similarities, but both are aimed at a different fanbase of players. Also, instead of seeing it as a negative, those at Naughty Dog should be thankful that the graphics are so good they actually look fake. Don't worry Eidos Montreal, your graphics look just as stunning too. The Last of Us Part II currently doesn't have a release date, but find out more when Shadow of the Tomb Raider is released on September 14.