The Last of Us: Part II is a video game that can be defined with many adjectives: intense, intimate, exciting, heartbreaking, harrowing … But if I had to stick with one to talk about how to play, which is what we’re about to speak today, I think it would be ‘smart’, a word that I know can be quite broad. I will give you examples so that we understand each other better, because I cannot tell anything about the story in these first impressions .
After leaving her shelter, Ellie has to search for a very specific enemy, but the path is not exactly easy: the city of Seattle is in ruins and you have to go many times to get to a place, a hospital in this case. There are many distractions, in addition, as it is necessary to collect supplies (parts to make objects, medicine cabinets or ammunition) and there are some secrets that are worth revealing.
In this case, the secret is an abandoned shelter where there are still pieces to improve your weapons and medicines to increase your abilities . The problem is that it is behind a locked door on the second floor and you don’t see a way to get there. But suddenly, you fall into a detail: there is a rope thrown by the building and tied to a concrete block firmly.
You throw it away once, but you can’t see how it stays firmly tied to the balcony with a broken window where it is clear that you could go to the room where the prizes are. You watch a bit, you turn a couple of turns and then the light bulb comes on: what if I break the balcony windows just above where I want to go to hang the rope there and, with my own weight, make it tighten and then swing and fall where I want? Success: you throw a brick, break the glass and solve the puzzle, taking more ammunition and more materials that will scare you on the road.
Because nothing else, but unless you play The Last of Us: Part II in the simplest difficulty modes, you will be short of materials, first aid kits, ammunition and you will be constantly looking around every corner for bottles, scissors, alcohol and the rest. It is a fundamental aspect of the game that will always determine how you play: you try to take advantage of the weapon with more ammunition, reserve components to make first-aid kits or Molotov cocktails, you will spend a lot of time looking for components … In the end, everything adds up and helps to that you survive.
And although The Last of Us Part II is by no means an obtuse or opaque game like Dark Souls can be with its puzzles and solutions, it is very nice to see that Naughty Dog does not give in to the obvious and they have designed with great I taste the scenarios and the puzzles that inhabit them in a subtle way . The solution is always there, but it is not obvious: you will have to look at your surroundings to find it.
THEY ARE NOT ZOMBIES, THEY ARE INFECTED
I give you another example, which happens right after this one. You are on a street, with its abandoned cars, its accumulated dust and the rays of the sun streaming through the trees and the wild vegetation that have grown after years of neglect after the pandemic that unleashed the events of The Last of Us saga . Right in a building with the windows intact, something miraculous, you realize that there are several infected.
Ellie has an ability, inherited from Joel in the first game, thanks to which she can listen to her enemies and highlight them with a white halo through walls with a white halo so that we, as players, have a guide as to where they move and what they do. You don’t detect them at long distances, but it is a useful survival tool that is used constantly.
Now, as long as you break a window to enter the building, you are sold: the clickers are going to hear the noise (they are blind, but they have impressive hearing) and they are going to attack you, something you prefer to avoid because they do not die easily or by shooting. But if you enter without making noise, you will be able to advance crouching and attack them melee to kill them without being in great danger.
The solution to this problem? Break the window with a bottle from a distance, hidden, so that enemies hear the noise, but do not see you, and you can use the tall grass to attack them stealthily and, more importantly, almost without wasting what little ammo you have. The reward for your cunning: more materials of all kinds and the satisfaction of a job well done.
And come on, one last example. In this area too, where it seems that there are no human enemies, you decide that it is a good idea to explore a building that is walled up all over, but that, again, has some windows that you can break to access the upper floor. There you find a safe, which you cannot open without a code, as well as a workbench. How about we use it to upgrade weapons?
Serious mistake: just when you are going to use it, they attack you from behind and ambush you from which you narrowly leave and spend more ammunition than you would have liked. Aiming with the pistol or the hunting rifle in The Last of Us: Part II requires skill and patience: it doesn’t hit the head just like that and Ellie’s hand shakes if you shoot too often , which given the little ammunition that you have, not a good idea.
If you already tense up when you are discovered, the feeling only increases when you are going to fire one of your five bullets and you miss because this is not an Uncharted or a Call of Duty: the recreation of the aim of weapons is more inaccurate on purpose and you’re going to have to be a lot more careful when you aim .
Taking cover, taking cover, creating distractions and trying to catch the enemy from the flanks to kill them with a single headshot is the only way to survive … and the enemies know this too, so they will try to use it against you.
At the beginning, it can take a bit to get the point of the game and you can die several times because you lack tools or skills, but with each encounter against enemies, be they zombies or humans, you will dominate the game more. A tip: learn as soon as possible to dodge attacks and learn enemy patterns . Ellie is very agile and can avoid grabs and melee hits, although one shot will knock her down and expose her and a single clicker can kill her instantly.