Troy Baker, who is known for his voice work in various popular video games franchises, recently shed some light on why he thinks Joel is more of a villain than a hero in The Last of Us.
Baker has portrayed both protagonists and villains in different titles, including voicing none other than the Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins. Though most of Baker's roles are straightforward, as he usually knows when he's playing the hero or the villain, Joel is one of the more complex characters Baker has portrayed.
In The Last of Us, survival is the main focus for everyone who is still alive. Joel doesn't care much about having a moral compass and doing what's right. In the character's view, it's all about doing whatever you can to survive for as long as possible. With that mindset, you might be forced to do some terrible things.
"I don’t think Joel believes he’s a hero," Baker said during Manchester Comic Con, via GameByte. "If he was to lean anywhere I think that Joel would consider himself a villain, which is why he can say that he’s been on both sides."
Baker goes on to explain that Joel isn't looking to save anyone or go out of his way to mess with other people's plans. Joel is only set on surviving each and every day in a world that's ravaged and swarming with dangerous Clickers. If you have played The Last of Us, then you know that the ending does not paint Joel in the best of light. It's safe to say the character is operating in a grey moral area in the end.
As for Joel's role in the upcoming The Last of Us Part II, it's still unclear just how much he'll be in the sequel. So far, all of the trailers and gameplay footage only include Ellie, save for a brief shot of Joel. The sequel might be focusing more on Ellie instead, with Joel's fate still up in the air.
Though it's not too surprising to hear that Baker doesn't see Joel as an outright hero, it's still fascinating to learn what the actor thinks about one of his most prominent roles.
The latest rumor has set The Last of Us II's release date to February 2020 and there are rumors that the sequel might not include multiplayer. In any case, we're likely not too far off from seeing Ellie and Joel back in action once again.