The Last of Us Review: Part IV (5/19/19)

[Originally published on 5/19/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]

Chapters 10-12: Bus Depot through Jackson

Spring has arrived, and our two main characters have found their way to Salt Lake City. As they’re walking down the interstate, Joel points out that he sees the hospital the fireflies are supposedly at. You climb over some cars and a bus to get to what I believe to be either a movie theater or a train station of sorts. Ellie seems out of it and extremely quiet, which Joel asks her about. She doesn’t have much of an answer for him and the two of them end up walking over to where a ladder is hanging over a ledge. Joel tosses her up, and she pushes the ladder down before taking off after something that Joel “has to see.” Turns out there are some giraffes strolling through SLC! This was pretty cool, plus If you got close enough you could’ve had Joel pet one! This temporarily seemed to put Ellie in a better mood, but as the giraffes stroll off into the distance, the two of you head down into another building to begin what hopefully is your last voyage to a hospital.

As the two of you walk out of the building, you come across some medical tents, which brings Joel back to right after it all started and he worked for a triage unit. There’s some loot here to grab and a workbench so level up your gear before moving on and try not to get too sad as some somber background music begins to play as Ellie hands you that same picture Tommy tried to give you at the dam a few chapters back. This was a great little scene showing how much the two of them care for each other now after this ridiculous journey they have been on together. After crawling through a bus this time, you walk up to an underground tunnel that you need to pass through to get to the hospital. The second you get into the tunnel it gets very ominous, and then you come across your first enemies. There are three clickers, three runners, and a bloated, yet they’re spaced out enough to very easily sneak by or sneak kill them all. Walking into the next area you stumble across a handful more of clickers and two bloaters, but once again pretty easy to sneak by or use the good ‘ol bottle to bomb technique I’ve mentioned in prior reviews.

Once through zombieville, you need to swim through an underwater bus and come back on the other side to drop Ellie down a ladder before moving on to the final little puzzle area. As you realize how close you are to the hospital, you go to climb a ladder that ends up collapsing down. This requires some maneuvering of the now broken ladder, a pallet upstairs, and that initial ladder to cross a gap to the set of stairs that leads out of the tunnel. Yet there’s one thing left in your way it turns out, a ripping current. As you’re crossing over some buses and other things floating in the water, one gives way and a total shit show ensues. Joel ends up stuck in a bus, and Ellie jumps over to save him and ends up knocking herself out. It almost looked as if she got completely crushed between the wall and the bus, but luckily she didn’t as we see her unconsciously floating away. Joel snatches her and swims to a safe spot, just to get whacked in the head with the butt of a gun.

And thus begins our most important chapter, the Firefly Lab. Turns out Marlene is still alive, which Joel finds out as he comes to. They talk for a bit before Marlene informs Joel that they’re planning on putting Ellie under for an operation soon. Joel suddenly puts two and two together, realizing that what the fireflies are about to extract the cordyceps on Ellie’s brain, which would leave her dead. Joel is putting off the vibe that he knows they didn’t fully explain this to Ellie before telling her she needed the surgery. The guard with Marlene then kicks out the back of Joel’s leg as she orders Joel to be marched out of the building. And she also adds that if he tries anything stupid to kill him, so of course you know Joel is about to do something beyond stupid. As the guard is walking Joel out, Joel notices his gear. He stops and makes the guard shoot and miss, then shoots him a few times to figure out where the surgery room is before popping him one more time in the face. Now he needs to fight through about 30 guards over a few floors to get to Ellie. One of the men drops the assault rifle here, which was super cool, but it also would’ve been nice to have it for more than just one chapter lols. You finally make it to the surgery room, and the doctor decides to be a tough guy and try to maintain his ground. He gets his scalpel in his neck and then you have the option of killing the other two surgeons or letting them live. I chose the latter, and then grabbed Ellie. The next part was just a bit off to me. As you’re running through the hospital trying to escape, you’re clearly running by guards who should be noticing you, yet they don’t. Anyways, you ultimately make it to an elevator and that’s where the cutscene starts. You stop on a parking garage floor, and Marlene is standing there waiting for you before we cut to Joel and Ellie in a car. Ellie is just now waking up and very confused about what happened over the last 12-24 hours. Joel explains to her that they found the Fireflies, but that they stopped seeking a cure. “There are dozens of others just like you,” were the words he used when explaining this to her. At that moment we cut back to when Joel came across Marlene in the parking garage, and she is desperately trying to convince Joel to leave Ellie. Joel had a pistol in his hand that Marlene didn’t see. Joel places Ellie in the car, and walks back over to Marlene. As she’s bleeding out on the ground she begs for her life. “You’ll just come after her”, are the words Joel whispers as he pulls the trigger and we cut to black.

We’re now with Joel and Ellie at some point in the future, and it looks like their car broke down just outside of Jackson. Ellie is staring at her arm as Joel tells her they’ll be walking the rest of the way. We’re playing as Ellie again, and as we follow Joel he starts talking about his daughter and we get a strange reaction from Ellie. They continue through the woods before They reach a peak and we get a superb view of the town they’re heading too. After about another 100 feet and a small ledge, Ellie stops Joel to tell him about the night she was bit. She then demands Joel to swear to her that everything he told her about the Fireflies and her surgery was true. He takes a second and then swears it was. What a liar!! But then we get such an epic scene, with Ellie taking a breath and then saying okay right as an incredible guitar track starts playing and the credits role.

What a freaking game!! I can’t believe I didn’t know about it until three weeks ago. I’m also super pumped for the second one now, which should be out in 2019 from what I gather. Any-who, I hope you enjoyed my final review of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. This game will undoubtedly remain a classic for many years to come, and I think I’ll break down some stuff on the second one once more is released. Thanks again for the read, it truly does mean a lot!

The Last of Us Review: Part III

Part III – Chapters 7-9 (Tommy’s Dam through Lakeside Resort)

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

Tommy’s Dam

We pick back up with Joel and Ellie as they’re walking up to Jackson County, which as Ellie so kindly points out, “must be near Jackson city, right?” The two of you make your way down to a river which leads up to a hydroelectric dam. This part took me foreverrrrrrrr to figure out my first play through. There’s a pallet you need to get Ellie across, but it’s hidden underwater. Where I dove for the first time I missed the little area where it was stuck, so I spent probably thirty minutes searching for this thing haha. Anyways, once Ellie is across she finishes getting the bridge to come up and the two of you climb back up roadside. Once here, Joel realizes the only way to get to your destination is to go through the Dam, which ends up being where Tommy and his crew are. After walking around for a bit, Tommy tells Joel that they’re here trying to get the power back on. He also mentions that when the power is on this place has an electric fence and is great for keeping people safe. About two minutes later the dam gets attacked however, and Joel is stuck helping Tommy defend it. This was a super simple mission here, just run through and kill the bad guys quick as there’s not much to gather here and get ready for the next cutscene.

This one’s a doozy though, because Ellie overhears Joel’s conversation with Tommy about who will be the one to take her to the fireflies. She freaks out and takes off into the woods on a horse, so the two brothers set out to find her. I’m not gunna lie, I wish more of this game had been dedicated to horseback riding. This part was so dope, and it really ties into the aspect of the bike that Days Gone was shooting for if I’m not mistaken. Joel and Tommy come across a small bandit hideout that needs dispatching before finally finding Ellie holed up in an abandoned house (Or maybe a mansion, it was huge!). She ends up being fine, just typical angsty teenager drama on her part. However, some Hunters do end up finding the three of you and sneaking into the house so it’s up to Joel and the gang to take care of them. There’s only five or six so this is also pretty easy, and then your on your way back to the horses for another cutscene. Tommy brings Joel and Ellie to a town where he thinks Joel will stay when he and Ellie go find the fireflies at The University. Little does he know though that Ellie’s shenanigans stirred up some feelings for Joel, and he’s now decided that he actually wants to be the one to take her where she needs to go. So, after a little heartfelt chapter with Joel’s brother, our two main characters are off to UEC to find the firefly doctors in hopes they can create a cure.

The Last of Us University

Once Joel and Ellie arrive at UEC (Go Rams!), they decide to head towards the middle of campus since they have zero clue where the science building is or where the fireflies are. It doesn’t take long to determine the general direction you need to head, and there aren’t many buildings to explore here so you get there rather swiftly. A garage towards the beginning does have the flame thrower though, which in all honesty I didn’t use very often, so go grab that and then head off towards the science building. You stumble across two areas, one filled with runners, the other with clickers and a bloater. As usual, a brick or bottle toss off to one side of the room groups them all up and a Molotov (or the flame thrower if you’re feeling frisky) wipes ‘em all out. When you do get to the bloater you can sneak by if you want, but I suggest killing him as he drops a firefly pendant (for all you completionist’s out there). After this Joel and Ellie finally make it to the Science building, just to find it closed off with no one there… or so they think. After grabbing all the supplies and finding a tape recorder explaining that everyone either died or headed back to a hospital in Salt Lake City, a ton of Hunters swarm the building for the two of you to take on. As you fight your way back down to the exit, Joel gets tackled off a balcony and lands directly on a piece of rebar that penetrates his midsection. I for sure thought we were losing Joel here. This game had already taken his daughter in the first chapter and Tess in the third, not to mention this looked to be a super fatal injury right here. Luckily Ellie is there to save the day again and kills three or four straggler Hunters. This sequence was gripping as hell and super emotional. You can tell Joel doesn’t want Ellie risking her life for his, yet she can’t imagine a world without Joel after all they’ve been through. Not to mention the subtle fading in and out for Joel and feeling his heartbeat slow through the controller made this sequence that much better. Also, these dual shock controllers were new to me but I love how interactive they are. The fact that you can shake the controller to get the flashlight working again, or feeling heartbeats pick up/slow down in certain situations, or even playing the voice from the tape recorders you find… it adds an additional layer to this already spectacular game that I didn’t even know was possible! But Ellie domes these last few stragglers before she helps Joel onto the horse and they gallop away from campus. Joel’s not looking so hot, and actually ends up falling off the horse right as the cut scene starts. Ellie starts to low key freak, then the screen cuts to black as it usually does at the end of a chapter. We then find out it is winter as the next chapter of the story starts to unfold.

The Lakeside Resort

Ellie is stalking what looks to be a nice sized buck through a beautiful, recently snow covered, wooded area. She sneaks up close and gets a shot off with her bow, but no matter where you hit the animal it will run off to the next section of the woods. After two hits it automatically disappears up through some clearings and you find it dead in a small town, which is where you meet David and his companion for the first time. They talk for a bit, and David says there is enough meat there for the two of them and Ellie, and that Ellie should come back with him to his camp too. Ellie says nah, and makes him hand over his hunting rifle. She says David and his people can have all the meat from the buck if they have some antibiotics to trade for it. Before this scene I was almost positive Joel had died, and that the rest of the story was going to revolve around Ellie getting herself to the fireflies. Thankfully I was wrong, and the fact that she wants antibiotics clearly means he is still alive somewhere. David sends his friend off to get the meds from their camp, and after a little while he and Ellie are attacked by a whole mess of runners and clickers. After killing about 15 of them, David says screw it and busts down a door for the two of you to escape through. You quickly get separated when a walkway on the second floor breaks, but after four more stealthy clicker deaths you’re reunited. The two of you end up in a room on the second story of this building. David then realizes that you’re both trapped and that the zombies know where you are. Some come in through the door you came from, and then they start popping in from the windows and the ceiling. Eventually a bloater falls in too, and that’s when you know the battle is almost done. All in all, the two of you probably take out about forty undead before you get another cut scene. This is where David finally shows himself as the bad guy, and he starts talking about a bunch of his men being killed by a crazy man and a little girl back at the UEC campus… Ellie takes off and heads straight back to Joel who, by the way, looks really messed up. Like, how long has he been out with an infected wound? It definitely seems like at least a month has passed by if we’re getting a change in season lol. She quickly realizes that coming here was foolish because David and his men just followed her back. Quick on her feet as always, she decides to lead them away from here before they realize that’s where Joel is. She sneaks outside and hops on her horse, which leads to a sweet chase scene that unfortunately ends horrendously for Ellie’s horse roughly thirty seconds later.

Ellie is now forced to walk through the rest of this camp that turns into the resort. It was meant to be snuck through, but I decided on my second go round that I was just going to run out and destroy everyone. Once you make your way through a few houses, a bait shop, and a bathroom, Ellie shimmies across a broken bridge and moves on to the next area. This is the true lakeside resort. Ellie is faced with five more Hunters before she through a hole in the roof to make her way inside. There are a few more bad guys inside she needs to take care of before making her way to the exit. As she is opening the door to leave, David sneaks up from behind and puts Ellie into a choke hold. She slowly passes out, and next thing you know you’re locked up in a cage in David’s compound. This is now where Ellie begins to see David’s true self. As he’s trying to convince her to switch over to his side, Ellie slowly grabs his hand as if to comfort him before she breaks the shit out of his finger. David gets angry and asks, “What am I supposed to tell the others now?!”. Ellie of course answers sarcastically before David walks off talking about how they will cut her up into tiny pieces.

And from the dead rises Joel! It was nice to be back playing as our guy with all our upgraded weapons. You weakly make your way out of the house and start moving through the town Ellie left you in when five or six hunters attack. After you take out one or two they retreat, and this makes them much easier to take on in Joel’s slightly slower state. I wasn’t 100% positive that he was moving slower because he is supposed to still be injured, or if Ellie’s character just moved that much quicker… but either way Joel definitely seemed slow here. Once the hunters had been taken care of, you hop two small barriers out into a main road we’re Joel gets jumped by two more guys. He narrowly avoids a knife to the gut and ends up knocking both men out, which leads to a grisly torture scene that ends with both men dying by Joel’s hands.

Then we’re back with Ellie, who once again Houdini’s her way out of the situation she’s in. She ends up biting David and showing her infected bite mark before ending up outside in a blizzard. This storm was intense! I could barely see a thing making my way around the town. Ellie needs to avoid a ridiculous number of Hunters here and eventually make her way to a restaurant where she finds herself face to face with David. Ellie needs to stealthily stab him three times before he will go down. The first time is pretty simple, the second time gets more challenging, and the third time David pretty much goes invisible and knows where Ellie is at all times. I died quite a few times on the third stab where I was sure I was being sneaky, and he just turned and murked me with his machete. After a few attempts though I finally sank that third stab right into his back. Unfortunately, as the blade slides into him he spazzes and slams Ellie backwards into a table before they both fall to the ground unconscious.

We jump back to Joel for a second time, and he’s also now out in the blizzard making his way into town. It’s pretty easy to bow your way through this part of the chapter if you have the ammo, and you eventually make your way to the restaurant that Ellie is inside of. Oh yeah by the way, it’s on fire. Like really really on fire at this point lol. It jumps back to Ellie for the cut scene to end the chapter. As she and David are both coming to/too after that last stab, David begins kicking and choking the shit out of Ellie. But what he doesn’t realize is that he’s beating her closer and closer to his machete. You’re prompted with a triangle button mash, which allows Ellie to grab it and slam the blade into David’s arm. Ellie then proceeds to climb on top of him and continuously slam the machete into his skull until Joel comes in and grabs her. He tells her everything will be ok and calms her down. This was one of the more emotional scenes for the two of them. We even get the sound of Joel’s voice cutting out as the camera is focused in on Ellie, showing us that she’s zoned out after this ridiculously traumatic experience. The two stand up to head out, and we get an extremely slow pan to the machete sticking straight up. It sinks in again that this is sticking out of what should be David’s head, and then the screen fades to black.

Next our two favorite characters are shot forward to Spring and the Bus Depot! So be sure to check back soon for Part IV of my review of The Last of Us, where I’ll be covering the final three chapters.

The Last of Us Review: Part III (5/17/19)

[Originally published on 5/17/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]

Part III – Chapters 7-9 (Tommy’s Dam through Lakeside Resort)

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

We pick back up with Joel and Ellie as they’re walking up to Jackson County, which as Ellie so kindly points out, “must be near Jackson city, right?” The two of you make your way down to a river which leads up to a hydroelectric dam. This part took me foreverrrrrrrr to figure out my first play through. There’s a pallet you need to get Ellie across, but it’s hidden underwater. Where I dove for the first time I missed the little area where it was stuck, so I spent probably thirty minutes searching for this thing haha. Anyways, once Ellie is across she finishes getting the bridge to come up and the two of you climb back up roadside. Once here, Joel realizes the only way to get to your destination is to go through the Dam, which ends up being where Tommy and his crew are. After walking around for a bit, Tommy tells Joel that they’re here trying to get the power back on. He also mentions that when the power is on this place has an electric fence and is great for keeping people safe. About two minutes later the dam gets attacked however, and Joel is stuck helping Tommy defend it. This was a super simple mission here, just run through and kill the bad guys quick as there’s not much to gather here and get ready for the next cutscene.

This one’s a doozy though, because Ellie overhears Joel’s conversation with Tommy about who will be the one to take her to the fireflies. She freaks out and takes off into the woods on a horse, so the two brothers set out to find her. I’m not gunna lie, I wish more of this game had been dedicated to horseback riding. This part was so dope, and it really ties into the aspect of the bike that Days Gone was shooting for if I’m not mistaken. Joel and Tommy come across a small bandit hideout that needs dispatching before finally finding Ellie holed up in an abandoned house (Or maybe a mansion, it was huge!). She ends up being fine, just typical angsty teenager drama on her part. However, some Hunters do end up finding the three of you and sneaking into the house so it’s up to Joel and the gang to take care of them. There’s only five or six so this is also pretty easy, and then your on your way back to the horses for another cutscene. Tommy brings Joel and Ellie to a town where he thinks Joel will stay when he and Ellie go find the fireflies at The University. Little does he know though that Ellie’s shenanigans stirred up some feelings for Joel, and he’s now decided that he actually wants to be the one to take her where she needs to go. So, after a little heartfelt chapter with Joel’s brother, our two main characters are off to UEC to find the firefly doctors in hopes they can create a cure.

Once Joel and Ellie arrive at UEC (Go Rams!), they decide to head towards the middle of campus since they have zero clue where the science building is or where the fireflies are. It doesn’t take long to determine the general direction you need to head, and there aren’t many buildings to explore here so you get there rather swiftly. A garage towards the beginning does have the flame thrower though, which in all honesty I didn’t use very often, so go grab that and then head off towards the science building. You stumble across two areas, one filled with runners, the other with clickers and a bloater. As usual, a brick or bottle toss off to one side of the room groups them all up and a Molotov (or the flame thrower if you’re feeling frisky) wipes ‘em all out. When you do get to the bloater you can sneak by if you want, but I suggest killing him as he drops a firefly pendant (for all you completionist’s out there). After this Joel and Ellie finally make it to the Science building, just to find it closed off with no one there… or so they think. After grabbing all the supplies and finding a tape recorder explaining that everyone either died or headed back to a hospital in Salt Lake City, a ton of Hunters swarm the building for the two of you to take on. As you fight your way back down to the exit, Joel gets tackled off a balcony and lands directly on a piece of rebar that penetrates his midsection. I for sure thought we were losing Joel here. This game had already taken his daughter in the first chapter and Tess in the third, not to mention this looked to be a super fatal injury right here. Luckily Ellie is there to save the day again and kills three or four straggler Hunters. This sequence was gripping as hell and super emotional. You can tell Joel doesn’t want Ellie risking her life for his, yet she can’t imagine a world without Joel after all they’ve been through. Not to mention the subtle fading in and out for Joel and feeling his heartbeat slow through the controller made this sequence that much better. Also, these dualshock controllers were new to me but I love how interactive they are. The fact that you can shake the controller to get the flashlight working again, or feeling heartbeats pick up/slow down in certain situations, or even playing the voice from the tape recorders you find… it adds an additional layer to this already spectacular game that I didn’t even know was possible! But Ellie domes these last few stragglers before she helps Joel onto the horse and they gallop away from campus. Joel’s not looking so hot, and actually ends up falling off the horse right as the cutscene starts. Ellie starts to low key freak, then the screen cuts to black as it usually does at the end of a chapter. We then find out it is winter as the next chapter of the story starts to unfold.

Ellie is stalking what looks to be a nice sized buck through a beautiful, recently snow covered, wooded area. She sneaks up close and gets a shot off with her bow, but no matter where you hit the animal it will run off to the next section of the woods. After two hits it automatically disappears up through some clearings and you find it dead in a small town, which is where you meet David and his companion for the first time. They talk for a bit, and David says there is enough meat there for the two of them and Ellie, and that Ellie should come back with him to his camp too. Ellie says nah, and makes him hand over his hunting rifle. She says David and his people can have all the meat from the buck if they have some antibiotics to trade for it. Before this scene I was almost positive Joel had died, and that the rest of the story was going to revolve around Ellie getting herself to the fireflies. Thankfully I was wrong, and the fact that she wants antibiotics clearly means he is still alive somewhere. David sends his friend off to get the meds from their camp, and after a little while he and Ellie are attacked by a whole mess of runners and clickers. After killing about 15 of them, David says screw it and busts down a door for the two of you to escape through. You quickly get separated when a walkway on the second floor breaks, but after four more stealthy clicker deaths you’re reunited. The two of you end up in a room on the second story of this building. David then realizes that you’re both trapped and that the zombies know where you are. Some come in through the door you came from, and then they start popping in from the windows and the ceiling. Eventually a bloater falls in too, and that’s when you know the battle is almost done. All in all, the two of you probably take out about forty undead before you get another cutscene. This is where David finally shows himself as the bad guy, and he starts talking about a bunch of his men being killed by a crazy man and a little girl back at the UEC campus… Ellie takes off and heads straight back to Joel who, by the way, looks really messed up. Like, how long has he been out with an infected wound? It definitely seems like at least a month has passed by if we’re getting a change in season lol. She quickly realizes that coming here was foolish because David and his men just followed her back. Quick on her feet as always, she decides to lead them away from here before they realize that’s where Joel is. She sneaks outside and hops on her horse, which leads to a sweet chase scene that unfortunately ends horrendously for Ellie’s horse roughly thirty seconds later.

Ellie is now forced to walk through the rest of this camp that turns into the resort. It was meant to be snuck through, but I decided on my second go round that I was just going to run out and destroy everyone. Once you make your way through a few houses, a bait shop, and a bathroom, Ellie shimmies across a broken bridge and moves on to the next area. This is the true lakeside resort. Ellie is faced with five more Hunters before she through a hole in the roof to make her way inside. There are a few more bad guys inside she needs to take care of before making her way to the exit. As she is opening the door to leave, David sneaks up from behind and puts Ellie into a chokehold. She slowly passes out, and next thing you know you’re locked up in a cage in David’s compound. This is now where Ellie begins to see David’s true self. As he’s trying to convince her to switch over to his side, Ellie slowly grabs his hand as if to comfort him before she breaks the shit out of his finger. David gets angry and asks, “What am I supposed to tell the others now?!”. Ellie of course answers sarcastically before David walks off talking about how they will cut her up into tiny pieces.

And from the dead rises Joel! It was nice to be back playing as our guy with all our upgraded weapons. You weakly make your way out of the house and start moving through the town Ellie left you in when five or six hunters attack. After you take out one or two they retreat, and this makes them much easier to take on in Joel’s slightly slower state. I wasn’t 100% positive that he was moving slower because he is supposed to still be injured, or if Ellie’s character just moved that much quicker… but either way Joel definitely seemed slow here. Once the hunters had been taken care of, you hop two small barriers out into a main road we’re Joel gets jumped by two more guys. He narrowly avoids a knife to the gut and ends up knocking both men out, which leads to a grisly torture scene that ends with both men dying by Joel’s hands.

Then we’re back with Ellie, who once again Houdini’s her way out of the situation she’s in. She ends up biting David and showing her infected bite mark before ending up outside in a blizzard. This storm was intense! I could barely see a thing making my way around the town. Ellie needs to avoid a ridiculous number of Hunters here and eventually make her way to a restaurant where she finds herself face to face with David. Ellie needs to stealthily stab him three times before he will go down. The first time is pretty simple, the second time gets more challenging, and the third time David pretty much goes invisible and knows where Ellie is at all times. I died quite a few times on the third stab where I was sure I was being sneaky, and he just turned and merked me with his machete. After a few attempts though I finally sank that third stab right into his back. Unfortunately, as the blade slides into him he spazzes and slams Ellie backwards into a table before they both fall to the ground unconscious.

We jump back to Joel for a second time, and he’s also now out in the blizzard making his way into town. It’s pretty easy to bow your way through this part of the chapter if you have the ammo, and you eventually make your way to the restaurant that Ellie is inside of. Oh yeah by the way, it’s on fire. Like really really on fire at this point lol. It jumps back to Ellie for the cutscene to end the chapter. As she and David are both coming to/too after that last stab, David begins kicking and choking the shit out of Ellie. But what he doesn’t realize is that he’s beating her closer and closer to his machete. You’re prompted with a triangle button mash, which allows Ellie to grab it and slam the blade into David’s arm. Ellie then proceeds to climb on top of him and continuously slam the machete into his skull until Joel comes in and grabs her. He tells her everything will be ok and calms her down. This was one of the more emotional scenes for the two of them. We even get the sound of Joel’s voice cutting out as the camera is focused in on Ellie, showing us that she’s zoned out after this ridiculously traumatic experience. The two stand up to head out, and we get an extremely slow pan to the machete sticking straight up. It sinks in again that this is sticking out of what should be David’s head, and then the screen fades to black.

Next our two favorite characters are shot forward to Spring and the Bus Depot! So be sure to check back soon for Part IV of my review of The Last of Us, where I’ll be covering the final three chapters.

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 II (5/15/19)

[Originally published on 5/15/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]

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!

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 (dome-ing?) 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.

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 playthrough, 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.

The Last of Us Review: Part I (5/8/19)

[Originally published on 5/8/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]

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.

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.

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.

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 chapters I didn’t cover here.