It has been twenty years since humanity ruled the world. Now, no one rules it. A plague has destroyed all life as we know it. Nature has started to take over, the infected run rampant all over, and those of us that haven’t been infected will do whatever it takes to survive. In this world, it’s kill or be killed. How will you survive?
That’s the world you’re about to enter when you play The Last of Us. It’s a good thing you’ve got me here to explain just what you can do to survive this harsh world. To begin with, never travel alone. Do whatever you can to stay with others because the more people you’re with, the more protected you are. Should you have to venture off on your own, stay in the shadows and listen to your surroundings. Sound plays a key roll in the game, by utilizing it properly you’ll stay alive. Joel has adapted quite well to his surroundings and can easily make out where certain sounds are coming from. This is good because it allows you to plan your best course of action.
If you know there are three or four infected near you, you can sort of see which type of infected they are by the way they move. You’ve got your Runners, which are basically infected that have just recently turned, then you’ve got your Clickers which have been turned some time ago, and then there are other more ferocious baddies out there. If you’re going up against a Clicker you know they’re blind, so they’ll only attack if they hear you. That’s simple enough, don’t make a sound, and for Pete’s sake don’t fire your gun. The Runners are just like normal people though, so those guys are a little trickier to take out. Do you go in for a stealth kill, or lace into them with a few rounds from your pistol? Remember, if you’ve got a clicker near you, that would give away your position.
This is what makes combat so interesting, this sort of game of cat and mouse, or give and take. You’re always making decisions on how best to proceed. Given items are in short supply, stealth is your best bet, but also the most dangerous. Getting health back isn’t as easy as in other games. Here you need a first-aid, or med kit. You can craft those, but they require supplies. There are a nice assortment of items you can craft, but each takes a certain number of ingredients to put together.
Once you get good at lurking in the shadows, the game mixes things up by introducing regular human enemies into the mix. Let’s be honest here, if the world has gone this much to hell, you can be sure it’s going to be everyone for themselves. So people shoot first, ask questions later. You have to do the same. There’s no such thing as moral choices when the world’s gone to madness.
So how will you survive? Will you waste all your supplies, or try and find a nice balance? If you find the normal mode to be a little too videogame-like for you, up the difficulty and I assure you, these choices become all the more important.
Tomorrow I’ll be looking at the audio in further detail, and explaining just how that works and why it’s so important. Don’t miss it!