My Weekly Recommendation (#12)

My Weekly Recommendation (#12) – The Witcher III

As I sit and wait for Netflix’s original The Witcher series, I found myself reminiscing of the days back in 2015 when The Witcher III: Wild Hunt was released. It hadn’t been long after that before I logged into my PlayStation and purchased the game, which I haven’t quit playing since. I forgot how incredible this game was, and for so many reasons too. 

Of course, my first go-round back in the day was on an Xbox, so the first thing I observed after logging in was the superior graphics. The hills, trees, and skies off in the distance are more mesmerizing than I recall. And as I mowed my way through some of the earlier creatures, I noticed how smooth the combat mechanics still were. And how could I not mention the storyline! Each and every quest builds upon the next so effortlessly. The conversations between Gerald and the NPCs throughout the story are written so well. Everything about this game is still incredible, and I can’t wait to dive deeper into it over the next few weeks.

So for all the gamers out there, I highly suggest giving The Witcher III: Wild Hunt a go as soon as you can. And for those who have already played the game, go back and play it again! The world is filled with quests and Easter eggs, and I bet there is still something new out there for you. After all, this game was given all those awards for a reason!

Left Behind – The Last of Us DLC Review

Left Behind – The Last of Us DLC Review

Hey everyone! I’m finally back for my final review of The Last of Us, but as you all know this time I’ll be breaking down the Left Behind DLC! This downloadable content came out in February of 2014, which was roughly eight months after the release of The Last of Us itself. Once again, I know I am so far behind on this game, but I have only been on team PlayStation for a handful of months so it is still brand new to me! With that let us begin…

The Characters

So this entire DLC basically revolves around Ellie right after Joel gets the rebar through his gut and Ellie before she is bitten. The main new character that is introduced is Ellie’s best friend Riley, who she mentions a handful of times throughout The Last of Us when she mentioned she died the same night Ellie was bitten. Joel is also in the DLC, but he’s in that comatose state from the middle chapters of The Last of Us and doesn’t say a single word. Along with them are the usual infected and also a shit load of guys who are looking for Joel/Ellie after what they did to all of the guys back at the college. 

Chapter 1: Back in a Flash

So this chapter begins with Ellie stashing Joel in a store within the mall she stumbled across after they escaped the college. Once he is secure, Ellie takes off in search of a first aid kit so she can tend to Joel and his wounds. As Ellie creeps around the barren mall that is covered in snow she stumbles across a pharmacy. Of course it has been picked clean and nothing is there, but she does find a letter that mentions the pharmacist is locked in the store next door. Ellie then turns around and notices that there is a first aid kit in the room employee lounge behind her, but it is locked. She decides that the pharmacist is the best option to find the key and you then walk over to find him. You find the poor bastard grown into the wall in the far back corner of a dimly lit, spore filled room. It was one of the more grisly things the game had shown so far but it was also pretty spectacular at the same time. Anyways, she grabs the key and heads back to the employee lounge just to find out that the kit is completely empty. She turns her head and notices a medical helicopter wedged into the top floor of the mall across from her and decides that’s where she needs to go next. As you move towards the heli, you have only one option and that is to jump down into the center of the mall. As you do the screen goes back and we’re thrown into the past for the second time.

Chapter 2: Mall Rats

Riley and Ellie are together again, and we get our two characters chit-chatting as they make their way through Boston. Riley tells Ellie how she became a firefly and how Marlene has been putting her up to all these tests to see if she was ready to become a firefly. From here the conversation jumps around a little bit, but a lot of it was simply the two girls reminiscing about the past. They eventually make their way into the mall, and I got the impression this was not the first time they had done this. As they make their way through the mall they eventually end up in a Halloween store which was filled with a lot of little jokes and interesting interaction opportunities (one of which, the Frankenstein out of the coffin one, actually made me jump lol).

They leave the Halloween store and almost immediately find two SUV’s down below them, which is where brick master comes into play. Brick master is basically just the two girls chucking bricks at the car windows by the way, which sounds fun but like also, you’re going to draw infected to yourselves so quit! This is an achievement by the way, so be sure you actually beat Riley. From here they take off into a back hallway that leads them to a power room. Here Riley tells Ellie that the whole city actually has power, but that the military goes in and flips all of the breakers so that it seems like there isn’t any electricity. Riley has Ellie flip the switch and we cut back to Ellie in Colorado just as the girls open the mall door again.

Chapter 3: So Close

This picks up exactly where chapter 1 ends. As Ellie lands down in the middle of the mall, she notices an escalator but the power is off so the gate to it will not open. She follows a cable over to a little electrical outpost that is also off before saying, “Follow the cables, right Joel.” I think this was a call back to when they were actually at the college in The Last of Us, and if it was I love that they threw that into the DLC. As Ellie follows the cables back to a generator she finds out that the generator has no gas. There is a gas can and a hose behind the generator though, so Ellie knows she has to go siphon some from one of the cars near her. Of course as soon as you move from the generators ledge, three stalkers show up and catch you off guard. I wasn’t messing around here so I just charged in and killed them with my pistol. Once they were dead I started looking for the gas, which I found on my third try in the second big rig that was within the garage-ish looking room. 

Back to the generator I go, and as you pour the gas in and get the hulking machine going two more stalkers come sprinting towards Ellie. But this time they die before they make it to her when an electrical cord falls from the ceiling and makes the water fatal. This adds a new challenge for Ellie though, because how does she get out of the room? She climbs up and over everything that’s what she does. A ladder behind the generator leads her up to some ventilation system that she uses to cross back over to the mall, where she now finds even more stalkers. There are five of them if I’m not mistaken, but only two of them are walking around so they’re pretty easy to pick off. As you run back out to the escalator however, three more infected run out of the woodwork and block the way. I panicked and shot one here because it started off almost right on top of me. This made this sequence a little bit more challenging because I wasted all of my ammo but didn’t kill all of the zombies. So I had to run around for five minutes until I finally shook them before making my way up the escalator. 

Once up, you see the heli and Ellie runs over to it before she hops out onto a glass ledge (dumb ass idea #1) and then proceeds to JUMP OFF THE GLASS LEDGE TO THE HELICOPTER (dumb ass idea #2).  Of course this was a bad idea, as the second she lands in the heli it begins shaking and then drops a little bit. Thankfully this isn’t Ellie’s demise however, and once she is in the helicopter she realizes there is a fully stocked first aid kit. We then cut away to black again and jump back into Ellie and Riley’s story.

Chapter 4: Fun and Games

As the doors open you can see the look of excitement on Ellie’s face. The first thing they see is a carousel and run straight for it. Once they’re off, Riley pulls out a pun book and we learn where this book (and all of Ellie’s puns) from The Last of Us came from. The two girls then stumble across a “Share Snap” machine, which is just a photo booth essentially, but I thought this bit was funny when it asked them if they wanted to share to Facebook. “What’s Facebook?” Ellie asks, and Riley answers with “I don’t know, maybe it prints our faces to some book.” Next up was the arcade, which was a nice little touch as well. I missed Jak X here because I went to The Turning first and this had me salty for a good five minutes. The Turning was pretty fun as well even though it started off super lame. But once you finish the game Ellie turns to Riley and they start talking which leads into a small fight between the two of them. It all stemmed from Riley telling Ellie that she was leaving Boston with the fireflies because Marlene basically didn’t want her here anymore. 

Riley goes running off and Ellie follows, eventually catching up to her as she is staring at some mannequins. The two talk it out somewhat, but Riley unzips her backpack and throws it at Ellie to show her that she got the water guns back (they talked about these right before or right after brick master if you missed that conversation). Ellie picks them up and says that they will talk more, but only after Ellie destroys her in a soak off. This whole part was kinda cheesy and lame to me, but when Riley suggests that they should “hunt” each other it got a little better. I still didn’t need eight minutes of this though, so when it was over I was pretty happy to be completely honest. Also as a side note, if you best Riley two of the three times Ellie says some stuff afterwards and I swear she was acting exactly like Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad. I don’t know if it was simply the tone of her voice or the words she actually said, but I jumped straight back to breaking bad when she said it. Riley wants to continue of course, but Ellie tells her that she needs to go. She can’t get into anymore trouble at the place she is living now because she’s already used up all of her strikes. 

Riley says ok, but first she wants to show Ellie one more thing. She takes Ellie’s cassette player and starts jamming some funk as they climb up onto a jewelry display case and start dancing. I’m pretty sure this would have broken with how aggressive and jumpy they were being, but that’s besides the point. As they are dancing, Ellie stops and tells Riley she wants her to stay which leads to Riley ripping her firefly necklace off right before the two of them kiss. I 1000% did not see this coming haha, but if I look back it makes sense because all of the signs of a crush were there. As they two are talking and deciding that they will need to figure everything out, Ellie notices some infected running towards them and the screen cuts to black again.

Chapter 5: The Enemy of my Enemy

Apparently Ellie passed out or maybe just decided to take a nap in the helicopter, but as she snaps back into reality she remembers she needs to go help Joel. She jumps down from the heli and then you hear some gunshots off in the distance. You start making your way back to the front of the mall, but before you do two guys come busting out of a door being chased by some stalkers. Unfortunately for them, they get eaten. But their friends show up just in the nick of time to kill the zombies before they can start exploring and potentially find Ellie. They start talking after and mention how they don’t understand why they need to be looking for “that guy and his little girl”. You also get the bow back here, which was nice because I wasn’t a fan of the pistol the entire campaign of The Last of Us anyways. So having another weapon made the DLC a little more enjoyable at this point. You take these three guys out and make your way towards a bloody air duct system that leads you down into a sports store.

Right away you notice three infected chilling down below you, but before you have any time to react to them some of the people looking for Joel/Ellie walk into the other side of the store. They spot the infected and are about to take them out, but the game creators were nice enough to put a brick up near Ellie. I loved this, it basically gave you the option to either let the humans sneak over and take out the infected or you could wake the infected with a brick and let them take out the humans. I reached for the brick immediately and chucked it at one of the sleeping stalkers which led to total mayhem within the store. At the end of it I only needed to loose two arrows at the remaining stalkers before I got to scrounge the store for ammo.

From here you exit the store to find yourself in a corridor where you need to hop over some barricades and into what I think was a bank.You’ll need to square up against a few more stalkers here, but as you near the final two some more guys walk in from and you have the same choice as before. I grabbed a nearby brick and threw it at the stalkers to wake them up and they took out the men for me. Once everyone and everything has been taken care of, you climb up through where the men just came and find yourself in a portrait gallery. You fling open the gate and head back out into the main hallway of the mall where you can now finally see the exit. As you’re running towards it you hear some guys yelling, and notice that they’ve found the locked gate that is housing Joel’s comatose body. Ellie says she needs to do something quick, so I crafted a bomb and chucked it down towards the guys trying to open the gate. It was effective, but not the best way of going about this as there were almost ten guys I needed to take out. 

Once they’re all dead though you run down to Joel’s door just be shot at from where up top where you literally just were. And this was the first and only time I died throughout this DLC because I was caught so off guard by another eight men after I just killed ten. The second go around was a success however since I knew what I was up against, and once you’ve killed about half of these guys more stalkers come in and start picking off the remaining guys. Then you just have a few infected to kill before finally getting over to Joel and cutting back to Riley and Ellie.

Chapter 6: Escape From Liberty Gardens

This picks back up with the two girls running for their lives throughout the mall. After a few close calls and some near deaths, everything is starting to look good as the two girls make it to the scaffolding that leads up to the broken window and the outside world. But as Ellie is climbing the scaffolding, it starts to lean backwards and tumbles towards the ground. Ellie is tossed off the upper landing on down to the mall floor where the infected are and gets attacked by a stalker. This is where Ellie gets the bite that ultimately leads to the entire point of The Last of Us. She struggles to get the zombie off of her and Riley shows up to save the day. She blasts the creature with her pistol right before she gets tackled by another infected and Ellie rushes over to her. This was the most gruesome death of both the game and the DLC, and Ellie takes her switchblade and just yanks it through the stalkers throat. Ellie starts talking to Riley before she is cut off, and Riley tells her to look down at her arm. Ellie looks down and starts to panic, and as she does Riley lifts her hand and we see she has been bitten as well.

The screen cuts to black again and were now watching the final cut scene. Ellie is leaning over Joel with a needle and thread and says “don’t worry, I’ve done this before.” I wasn’t sure if this was another callback or not but I don’t remember her saying anything like that throughout The Last of Us. It cuts back to Ellie after she was bit, and she is in full on freak out mode now. She is swinging a massive metal pipe around and breaking anything in sight. She eventually gets tired and sits next to Riley who starts one of the best end game speeches I have ever heard. As Riley is speaking we hop back to Ellie and Joel. Ellie is saddled up and has Joel all bundled on his makeshift sled. She looks back at him and then we get a close up of her face as she heads out of the mall and into the wilderness that becomes the lakeside resort chapter form the game. Riley’s speech is coming to a close and she mentions to Ellie how their second option is to wait it out and fight the infection. They need to enjoy the little time they have left in this world together. And right as Riley finishes we pan over to Ellie who wipes some tears from her face before the credits roll.

And that’s that! This DLC is just another reason why The Last of Us will forever be one of my favorite PS4 games. I am beyond stoked that the second game will be out at the end of this year and cannot wait to see what the creators have set up for Ellie’s story. As more is released on the game I will be doing an anticipation/breakdown of what is known, so be on the lookout for that later this year!

My Weekly Recommendation (#8)

My Weekly Recommendation (#8) – God of War

Welcome back to another weekly recommendation! This week I will briefly go over one of my favorite video games OF ALL TIME, God of War.

One of the main reasons this has climbed to the top of my favorite games is all of the mythological aspects. I started writing my book about halfway through April of this year, and one of the main things I focus on throughout the book is Norse Mythology. Of course, I have tweaked some aspects of the recognized mythology to add my own personal touch, but after one of my friends read the first chapter, he recommended God of War since it was in the same realm of what I wanted to pursue. And let me tell you what… this game was right up my alley. I put all of my free time into this game for roughly a month and completed 100% of the game. It was so neat delving deeper into the mythology that I was already researching for my book, and to see the spin that the developers took on the mythology that they added into their game.

Another reason God of War is a must play for any of you who own a PlayStation is the fighting. The Leviathan Axe/Blades of Chaos combo is insane and welding them both was an absolute treat. Not to mention the graphics of the game are on another level, especially for someone who had been an Xbox gamer their entire lives. The runic attacks add another layer of incredible right on top of the God of War cake that has been so masterfully created. They effortlessly flow between regular attacks and the graphics behind them were just plain beautiful. All of this mixed with the countless available hours of exploration are the perfect equation for a game that I would rate 10 out of 10.

So, for anyone who is looking into a new PlayStation game, or even if you just want to finally make the switch from Xbox as I recently did, I strongly recommend adding God of War to your list of games to buy. 

P.S. If anyone has any suggestions for content or just general feedback they would like to give, feel free to shoot me a message through the site. Thanks again for another week of reading and support!

My Weekly Review (#8) – God of War

My Weekly Review (#8) – God of War

Welcome back to another weekly recommendation! This week I will briefly go over one of my favorite video games OF ALL TIME, God of War.

One of the main reasons this has climbed to the top of my favorite games is all of the mythological aspects. I started writing my book about halfway through April of this year, and one of the main things I focus on throughout the book is Norse Mythology. Of course, I have tweaked some aspects of the recognized mythology to add my own personal touch, but after one of my friends read the first chapter, he recommended God of War since it was in the same realm of what I wanted to pursue. And let me tell you what… this game was right up my alley. I put all of my free time into this game for roughly a month and completed 100% of the game. It was so neat delving deeper into the mythology that I was already researching for my book, and to see the spin that the developers took on the mythology that they added into their game.

Another reason God of War is a must play for any of you who own a PlayStation is the fighting. The Leviathan Axe/Blades of Chaos combo is insane and welding them both was an absolute treat. Not to mention the graphics of the game are on another level, especially for someone who had been an Xbox gamer their entire lives. The runic attacks add another layer of incredible right on top of the God of War cake that has been so masterfully created. They effortlessly flow between regular attacks and the graphics behind them were just plain beautiful. All of this mixed with the countless available hours of exploration are the perfect equation for a game that I would rate 10 out of 10.

So, for anyone who is looking into a new PlayStation game, or even if you just want to finally make the switch from Xbox as I recently did, I strongly recommend adding God of War to your list of games to buy. 

P.S. If anyone has any suggestions for content or just general feedback they would like to give, feel free to shoot me a message through “get in touch” section. Thanks again for another week of reading and support!

The Last of Us Review: Part IV

Chapters 10-12: Bus Depot through Jackson

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!

The Bus Depot

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 zombie-vile, 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 cut scene 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.

End of the Road… to Jackson

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 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!