Looting, Crafting and Stealth-Kills: Hands on with The Last of Us
Making Our Way Forward
That scene was the most intense combat I encountered in The Last of Us demo. After some more time spent exploring the building, I eventually found a lead pipe, to which I attached blades to make it even more powerful. Melee weapons all carry a bar on your heads-up display that notifies you of how long they’ll last before breaking, and the upgraded weapon is not only good for more strikes, but it leads to one-hit kills instead of repeated bludgeoning.
Before long, we descended into a kind of darkened basement, littered with lockers and benches, and filled with infected. In the darkness, they had a hard time seeing me and many were distracted. With Ellie and Tess behind me, I began sneaking through the room, carefully coming up behind enemies and shiving them. When I botched a strangulation attempt — that mechanic seemed a bit buggy in this “pre-alpha” build — a number of infected descended on us. Tess and Ellie both helped out in the fighting with their guns while I used them as bait, ambushing infected as they approached and taking them down with my pipe.
With ample use of the listening mechanic and lots of sneaking, before long, we’d cleared the room. The final clicker, standing next to the exit ladder, I killed with a molotov cocktail, with the creature screaming horrifically as it burned to tdeath. Then we climbed free and headed back outside. The demo concluded with a fight against several runners not long after, which more or less resulted in my panicked mashing of the melee button and wasting of some very scarce ammo. I’ll need to work on my sneaking skills.
The short time I spent with The Last of Us revealed a lot of emphasis on horror mechanics, stealth mechanics and looting, all of which give the impression that the game will offer equal parts of survival and strategy to couple your sneaking and hiding. Scarcity of resources is going to factor in heavily, as is careful planning for approaching groups of enemies. But from what I’ve heard and seen, The Last of Us seems as though it’s carefully crafted to scratch your post-apocalyptic zombie story itch in a way that few other games have: by emphasizing care, forethought, and absolute panic.