Picture the scene: your daughter has trapped you and your partner inside the bodies of a pair of toy dolls. Clearly escaping these newfound miniature vessels is vital. But is the obvious solution here to murder her precious toy elephant ‘Cutie’…?
This is the conclusion that the protagonists May and Cody, of Hazelight Studios’ It Takes Two mysteriously come to. What follows is possibly one of the most heartbreaking scenes in recent video-game memory. Cutie’s torturously long, drawn-out death scene is as harrowing as Hazelight have managed to put out yet. As to what players think about the scene, well, Twitter can, as usual, help in providing more than a little insight here.
Is The Cutie Criticism Justified?
The scene has clearly elicited some upset and the deep emotional impact that the scene seems to have on its audience says a lot. Responding to criticism regarding the scene, game director Josef Fares has explained the scene as necessary for the audience to understand the game’s protagonists. In particular, how egoistic they have become, with the absurd cruelty of the act highlighting this. Clearly there is some reasonable intent behind the scene but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch.
Part of the issue that people have raised with regards to the scene is how tonally jarring it is with the rest of the game. The game itself revolves around the protagonists, May and Cody, attempting to leave their newly acquired forms behind. Their attempts become more strained and desperation ensues, but they gradually learn to work together. The game is focused on love, compassion, loyalty, and how hard relationships can be. However, while the tone blurs the line between heartwarming and dark throughout, the Cutie the Elephant scene is different. It has an intensity and brutality that are unmatched by the rest of the game. The controversy is a result of the argument about violence in video games and it is telling that such an act of violence causes controversy about the game.
Is the violence in this video game justified in its service to the game’s storytelling and character building? Or is it violence without reason? Watch the scene below to make up your mind: