The Last of Us Review: Part II

Chapters 5 – 7: Pittsburgh through The Suburbs

Warning: This post has spoilers for the PlayStation game The Last of Us. Proceed at your own risk!

Chapter 5: Pittsburgh

As Joel drives down the interstate, slowly getting closer to the bridge that leads out of Pittsburgh, he notices how jammed up the highway is with old, broken down cars. He decides to cut through downtown, and while driving on one of the streets a man pops out from behind a car looking like he needs help. Ellie tells Joel that they should stop to help the man, but before she can finish her thought, Joel mashes the gas pedal down and heads right at the bystander. As the truck crashes into him, others begin to shoot at the truck which causes Joel to swerve into a convenience store. As the cutscene ends and you take control of Joel again, a stranger comes from nowhere and grabs Ellie. As Joel is fighting to pull her away from the man, another stranger comes up from behind him and smashes Joel’s face into the center console. He then pulls you out of the car, throws you into a freezer cooler, and attempts to slam your neck down on a piece of shattered glass from that shattered cooler. You shake him off and do a sick spin move which in turn leaves the Hunter with that same piece of glass wedged into his jugular. Joel runs back to the truck to get his gear when a swarm of men come out from across the street and start firing at you. This was a fun little battle, lots of places to hide and get sneaky shots off from inside the store while they tried to get in.

Once you take care of the thugs though, the two of you head outside and begin to search for an exit route to the bridge. Ellie eventually finds a garage door that’s unlocked, and you shuffle your way underneath. Once inside you see a huge pile of dead bodies, which sparks a conversation with Ellie. After this brief discussion, the two of you gather up the room’s supplies and start your journey to the bridge again. Almost immediately after leaving the garage, Ellie asks Joel how he knew the man did not actually need help. “I’ve been on both sides of situations like that” is what he responds with, giving a little more info on himself through the last twenty years of apocalyptic madness. You eventually come across a crashed bus that you need to get by, but as you get closer three men hop over it. This was fairly easy, as they just walk right by you if you stay hidden, and once they were gone it was over the bus and into a large hideout full of Hunters.

This outpost requires you to sneak past (or kill) about 20 men. This area was very challenging to complete solely by sneaking, so I found myself hiding for about two minutes before I pulled my bow and started merking everyone I came across. After cleaning out the hideout of Hunters and supplies, you head out back to a street where you see two guards moving a piece of plywood that crosses over a river, thus marking your new destination. There was more swimming here for Joel and another pallet to grab for Ellie before finally reaching the crossing. It was an extremely short walk from there to the hotel, which you now must go through to get to the bridge. Once in you traverse two floors of enemies, which again was basically impossible to sneak through, before climbing up to a third floor where you find a broken-down elevator in its shaft. This had sketchy written all over it, but Joel pushes forward anyways. He and Ellie crawl through and jump on top of the barely hanging elevator, and as he hoists her up into the next floor the elevator gives out. Joel falls four or five stories, lands on the elevator, and then bounces off into the water below. He finds himself in probably one of the creepiest areas of the game, and this part was definitely the scariest part of the entire game in my opinion.

As I made my way around the dimly lit lower levels of the hotel, the eeriest sounds are emanating in the background. At one point a light fixture breaks off the ceiling and debris falls into the water in front of Joel and I jumped assuming I was being attacked by runners. After some maneuvering and swimming, Joel finds himself in a massive area with a bunch of destroyed rooms. All of the power is off in this area of the hotel as well, which added that extra layer of fear when moving through each room. My first two stabs at this I had zero clue what I was supposed to be doing in here and I died miserably. I stumble across a generator and attempt to start it, but as I do I am jumped by four runners who nearly killed me due to the sheer unexpectedness of the attack. I heal myself and give the generator another go. This time I got the power on but then realized six more runners have now found their way into this area. And guess what? They brought some clickers and a bloater along with them too. My first instinct was to hide so I could sneak around and kill them one by one before tackling the big guy. Yet I made it maybe four feet before I ran right into a clicker who ate the flesh right off my very face/neck. The second attempt I got the generator going and ran straight up the stairs, shotgun blasting my way through all but one clicker and the bloater. I then found the door I was supposed to exit out of, but it required a key card that I had not found in all this chaos. I was low on ammo and decided to just let the bloater put me out of my misery this time. The third time I nailed it. I had gone and found the key card before I started the generator, which was upstairs on a desk hidden in a room that you could only get if you crossed through two other rooms. Once the generator was on this time, I made a mad dash for the key pad but made a pit stop in a side room to throw a bottle. This pulled the clicker and the bloater away long enough for me to sneak by and get through that damned door.

Once through and up the stairs within, Joel takes out a few more Hunters in a kitchen before seeing a ladder he could use to climb back up to the floor Ellie was on. As Joel reaches the top a man kicks him square in the jaw, and he falls all the way back down to the kitchen level. Joel is really taking a beating this chapter, and this man is actually about to kill him before Ellie shows up to save the day. From here the two of you climb back up the ladder and head outside, where you find a rifle and a few more Hunters waiting. Joel leaves Ellie up top with the rifle as he heads down to try and take the men out. There was probably supposed to be an element of surprise here on Joel’s part, but I just rushed in and got the job done. From here the two main characters slowly begin making their way back towards the bridge. You come across a few more enemies who’ve set up some booby traps, but they’re in plain sight and it’s cake to get through this area. You pass through another abandoned building and come up to some windows. Joel hears screeching and tells Ellie to get down just in time to see a Humvee run up on two innocent people and just light them up with a mounted machine gun. This was brutal, not to mention I now am assuming that at some point Joel will have to take this thing out haha. Luckily the next area can all be snuck through and then when the Humvee notices you (which happens no matter how stealthy you are apparently) it’s easy to not get hit by its bullets as you sprint between back alleys. Once Joel and Ellie have escaped, they climb up a fire escape and shimmy across a ledge for one more almost scare by the Humvee before slipping into an open window where some new characters are introduced.

Chapter 6: The Suburbs

Henry and Sam get off on the wrong foot with our characters after they jump Joel and point a gun at he and Ellie. Henry quickly turns it around when he notices Joel has Ellie and states “He’s good. The bad guys don’t keep children with them.” All four of you head down to the ground level of the housing complex and into a… toy store? Why in the world is there a toy store here haha. Anyways there’s a little scene with Sam trying to take a toy that Henry says no to, and if you pay attention you’ll see Ellie go back over and grab it. Henry then leads you all to the architect firm to show Joel that across the street is their way out of the city, and they’re making their escape tonight. This part was pretty cool in my eyes. As you make it down to the bottom level of the building, Henry and Joel duo sneak attack two Hunters. You then get to sneak up to the guard tower while they’re focused on sniping clickers, which is kind of entertaining to just sit and watch. But the generator needs to be turned off, and in doing so you draw the men down to you. One well-placed Molotov did the trick for me, and I was on my way. As the four of you are pushing open the gate, THE HUMVEE SHOWS UP AGAIN!! Henry slams the gate and you all run over to a ladder attached to a truck. Henry goes first to scout, then max, then Ellie. But as Ellie gets pulled up the ladder breaks, leaving Joel down by himself. Henry apologizes and then dips so fast, what a guy huh? Ellie’s dumbass jumps back down and says that she must stick with Joel no matter what. How touching right? Anyways after this you run into a garage and then out a door where the Humvee comes crashing through right next door. It’s all sprinting after that until you get to the bridge, and as Joel and Ellie are crossing they realize it’s been destroyed in the middle and is impossible to cross. Ellie’s full of great ideas suddenly, and she decides to jump off the bridge into the rapid waters below. And it’s as she’s jumping that I remember, wait she can’t swim?! Joel dives in after her, grabs her, and then slams his head against a rock to end the chapter (FYI: this was probably the longest chapter of the game. It took me just as much time for this chapter as it did for the first five combined!). Joel wakes up on a beach with Ellie, Henry, and Sam. Apparently to Henry, “you’re a survivor. I knew you’d survive”, which is just him covering his ass right? The four of them start heading down the beach trying to find a way up. You get down to a beached boat that has a comic for Ellie in it (Also, I loved that fact that she stole a comic from Bill and after that you get to start collecting them for her! Such a dope concept to throw into the fourth/fifth chapter of the game) before you hear Max call to Ellie saying they found something. It’s an entrance to the sewer and all four of you crawl into it. If this were me I’d have been finding the way around rather than going through. This area ended up being pretty cool though, and it had tons of super interesting artifacts and collectibles. After the four of you have done some exploring, a security door falls between Joel/Sam and Ellie/Henry and a group of five or six clickers come out on the other side of the door. This results in Ellie and Henry running while Joel and Sam are left to deal with the runners on this side of the wall. This room could have been tricky if you weren’t stocked up on ammo, but thankfully I was. After taking out the zombies you climb a ladder just to jump back down into another sewer alley way of sorts, which is when Ellie and Henry come back into the picture. They are currently sprinting away from a mob of clickers and runners so apparently, they just ran the entire time you were killing haha. The four of you narrowly escape and climb up the stairs surrounding a broken elevator shaft. You finally get to a room up top with a door leading back outside and out of the sewers, but whatya know it’s jammed shut from the outside. Joel and Henry fight off the attacking wave of undead as Ellie and Sam climb out of a window to open the door. This fight was simple in all honesty. There were only two doors in for the zombies, so when a squad of them got close I just launched a Molotov or a nail grenade over and took them all out. Once outside you all turn around to see a massive warning spray painted on the wall next to the door, if only you would’ve come through this way and not through the back end of the sewer!

The four of you begin heading down a hill and end up in what seems to be an abandoned suburb. After upgrading your gear and taking every single thing from the block, you jump down into another suburb. As you’re all jumping down someone starts shooting at you, and it seems as if he has a sniper. This area requires you to sneak through the suburb and avoid the sniper, who can land some ridiculous shots apparently. I was hit a few times through windows that I passed by on the opposite side of a building that he had been shooting at. Basically, if you’re anywhere near an opening he can hit you, and it does quite a bit of damage. Once you get past his men you sneak into the house and kill him just in time for Ellie, Henry, and Sam to all get attacked. Luckily for Joel, he knows how to use this rifle and starts picking off the bad guys one by one. There’s also a cool part when the Humvee shows back up and you shoot the guy who is about to throw the Molotov at your companions, and he then drops it into the Humvee killing himself and the driver. After this some runners start chasing your friends. You hold them off long enough to get to the house Joel is in and then the four of you meet up downstairs and trigger a cutscene. As you all leave the house and finally make it to the radio tower, it jumps ahead to later that night/day. Basically, everyone but Sam is enjoying dinner and Ellie goes to talk to him. He is basically brooding and hiding in another room, which is when Ellie pulls out that toy he wanted from back in Pittsburgh! Yet it seems like he was hiding for a good reason… he was bit when the zombies attacked in the suburbs!! Yet his dumbass tells no one, so when the next scene starts with Ellie going to grab Sam for breakfast, he is full on zombie and grabs her instead. They struggle for a few seconds on the floor before Henry comes in and shoots Sam. This was when I realized how dark this game truly was, because at that moment it clicked that Sam was Henry’s younger brother. Henry is immediately distraught and points the gun at Ellie and Joel. Then, overcome with grief from ending his own brothers’ life, he puts the gun up to his own head and pulls the trigger before the screen cuts to black.

Well, I hope you enjoyed Part II of my recap! As I continue completing my play through, I’ll be uploading other reviews of the game. I’m thinking there will be two more, but who knows. This one ended up being quite long, so I may end up needing three or four more. Keep an eye out for Part III, the review of Tommy’s Dam through Lakeside Resort!

The Last of Us Review: Part I

Chapters 1 – 4: Prologue through Bill’s Town

Warning: This post has spoilers for both the PlayStation game The Last of Us and the TV series Game of Thrones. Proceed at your own risk!

I know I’m a few years behind on this, but oh my god oh my god how incredible was The Last of Us!? I just recently made the switch from Xbox to PlayStation after being an Xbox boy for, oh I don’t know the last 16 years of my life. So far I am definitely regretting the last two or three years on Xbox. There hasn’t been one game on the same level as The Last of Us In that time frame! Anyways, one of my friends suggested a few games for me to buy when I finally made the switch. He said no matter what I did I absolutely had to buy and play The Last of Us before any other game though because it was such a staple in the PlayStation community. Long story short, I just finished the campaign the other day and had to write about how incredible the game actually was.

Prologue and The Quarantine Zone

I’ll start at the beginning, when Joel’s daughter died in the opening mini chapter I was instantly thrown back to when Ned Stark died at the end of the first season of GoT. This game hooked me so quick. I hadn’t even really played a reasonable amount of the game yet and I was in love. Then, you’re thrown into a post-apocalyptic world with the main character having aged twenty years and having a new partner in crime, Tess. I realize I was playing on a remastered, post original release game… but man did Naughty Dog nail Joel’s older look. If I could describe how I wanted my worn down, zombie fatigued main character to look I don’t even think I could’ve gotten anywhere close to how perfect this was.

After I explored and wandered for about 30 minutes and things settled down, I was still wondering where the crazy zombies were. As the first chapter unfolded, I found myself battling against a man who not only stole my weapons but who also already sold them! Even though I hadn’t really fought any undead yet (other than the three “runners” they give you right off the bat), I was still all in on the game.This is where the plot thickens. The fact that you not only run into the Firefly leader (Marlene) who has your guns, but that she’s injured and needs your help was a nice touch. Come to find out, the package that needs delivering is a teenage girl named Ellie, but why is she so important? The two of you then ship off to the outskirts of town in what turns looks like an insane attempt to get to the Firefly group at the capitol building.

The Outskirts

If I wasn’t all in already, this next chapter was when I realized this would be one of my favorite games of all time. You don’t get very far before you get a cut screen where the three of you get jumped by armed soldiers. Ellie spazzes out and attack’s one thinking that the three of you would knock them unconscious, but Joel and Tess end up killing them. And then the bombshell, Ellie got bit two weeks ago! Yet somehow she is immune, which explains her importance to the fireflies and the entire human race. The rest of this chapter turns into sly fox as you sneak by guard after guard collecting ammo and preparing yourself.

Once you escape all the armed guards, the voyage through the city begins and the first new type of zombie appears, The Clicker. These hideous creatures can’t see but have incredible hearing, making it difficult to sneak by them in some instances. Their heads are split into two, or maybe they just exploded I’m not sure. All I know is they’re super creepy and make an even stranger clicking noise as they walk around. This is where the crafting aspect shows up for the first time and you learn to make a shiv, a health pack, and a Molotov. The only way to kill the clickers is with bullets or a shank to the head, which makes for some dope stab and kill graphics as you make your way through ruined building after ruined building. Right before you make it to the capitol building, the three of you get separated while in an old run-down Museum. This was probably the first moment the game started elevating my heart rate. You’re plopped on one side of a broken-down wall as three clickers are walking around the rooms outside. As you sneak (or shank) your way by them, you ascend to the top floor where you find the two girls being attacked by what seemed like an endless horde of zombies on my first play through. It turns out it’s only like six runners, but still an epic battle for being so early in the game.

As you climb out of the top floor you finally set your eyes on the capitol building and make your way to the firefly group waiting on Ellie. The only problem is, when you get there they’re all dead! More armed guards are here and it looks like they killed Ellie’s ride to save all humanity. As you go through the building you come across a dead man with a hunting rifle, which at first was not my favorite weapon but by the end of the game it was one of my go-to weapons. After killing all the guards and sneaking out of the capitol building, you sprint off to a subway station filled with spores. Of course I thought I was finally safe, but then more guards show up shooting at you. They follow you down into the subway and then you get a nice little interaction between Joel and Ellie where Joel basically asks, “How the fuck are you breathing all these spores?” As you exit the subway station you get a cut scene explaining where you’re off to next, Bill’s town.

Bill’s Town

This was one of my top two favorite areas/chapters in the game, and one of the most nerve-wracking. You start off sneaking your way through the forest surrounding the town. The goal here is to find Joel’s friend Bill so he can fix up a car, which Joel then plans to take to see his brother Tommy up in Jackson city. Once you’re in the small town there isn’t much to do besides explore and pick up materials. Eventually you come across one of Bill’s traps, and as you do a clicker sprints around the corner and BOOM a homemade scissor pipe bomb goes off and you see the clicker slam against the wall. You come across a few more of these as well as a bow and arrow, which is mighty helpful for dispatching clickers. No more wasted shiv’s stabbed into evil zombie cerebellums!As you enter the warehouse at the end of this area a cut scene triggers and you see an elaborate rope trap snag Joel’s ankle and sling him up into the air. This was where things got quite interesting. While you’re still hoisted and Ellie is attempting to cut the counterweight, runners and clickers start climbing over and through the fences surrounding you. I’m not sure if it was the camera angle from hanging upside down or simply my fear, but I reallllllllly struggled with this part. After a few deaths I finally get past the attack and lo and behold Bill comes to rescue. The three of you escape to one of his hideouts where you restock and hatch a new plan. Bill says a military vehicle crashed into the school on the other side of town and that if he can get the battery he will be able to fix a car up. So you leave almost as soon as you get to safety, just to get bombarded by 8-10 undead when you get to the parking lot outside. No tricks here though and after a few Molotov’s and some headshots you’re on your way to the armory. Once inside Bill tells you to stock up again, then shows you how to make his cool scissor bomb thingamajig and gives you a shotgun!

The next area is a spooky graveyard filled with clickers, but it’s light work with your new(ish) bow and arrow. After about 12 more kills, a doggy door, and a treehouse, you finally get to the schoolyard. Surprise surprise… another 15 runners waiting for you. I tried sneaking here to conserve ammo, but it seemed pretty much impossible and I ended up shotgunning some zombitches. As you get to the truck you’re ambushed by even more zombies but luckily you get to just run and slide through a window this time. Now in the garage, Bill runs straight to the truck just to find out that someone else has already taken the battery. The door then gets busted down and you’re chased into the school, which eventually leads to the intro of The Bloater. A massively chunky zombie that rips off chunks of his spores to throw at you, as if the weird split head clickers weren’t creepy enough. These guys take lots to kill, but like all the rest of ‘em they gots to die.

You climb up some bleachers and hop a fence to a random house, but you get a big surprise once inside. There is a truck is waiting for you with the stolen battery in it! Apparently, Bill had a “friend” in his town who eventually got fed up with Bill’s antics, so he left him. Seems as if he gets bitten and then commits suicide though which is unfortunate. This brought forward for an interesting reaction from Bill, in which he seems upset but also pissed and then tosses the note explaining all of this to him. From here you begin your journey to Tommy (Joel’s brother) but end up making an unexpected stop while driving through Pittsburgh. Stay tuned over the next few days to see the rest of my breakdown! As I go through my replay I’ll be adding more details on The Last of Us chapters that I have not covered, but be sure to check out my other content in the meantime.