In observing the full demo of The Last of Us we were able to learn a bit about how this game will be a different kind of survival horror title. To help us make sense of it all we’ve organized our thoughts around a few key observations.
Ellie is always with you. - There haven’t been too many games where you as the player have to take care of a “helpless” non playable character. A lot of games have a mission or two of escorting but The Last of Us keeps Ellie with you at all times it seems. She’s not exactly helpless, however. In the demo we saw, Ellie actually distracts an enemy by throwing a rock upside his head (and call him a nasty name), just as the main character has run out of bullets. This distraction allows you to rush the bad guy and take him out with a melee attack.
You’re attacking other humans. - Not only are they people but they refer to you as a “tourist.” I grew up in a resort town so this is a very specific kind of put-down to use on somebody. The bad guys in The Last of Us speak English and everything. Surely this is an important part of the story that we’ll get to at some point..
There really aren’t enough bullets in this game. - The chatter between the two main characters makes them seem preoccupied with the number of enemies. Surely this is a game mechanic intended to remind you that bullets are scarce and that you should prepare for encounters with large groups of enemies. Fortunately, you have several melee options available. Running up on bad guys, grabbing other items and using the environment were all thrilling melee attacks we saw in the demo. The grand finale was an amazing sequence where the shotgun is used as a bludgeon before it’s….well a shotgun. Bad guys get no mercy in this one and it’s shell well spent.
We’ll have more on The Last of Us very soon because we still need to know what’s going on with this one.