You are no longer a novice survivor but a hardened warrior, a product of the destructive and vicious environment. The infected rose to the challenge of spreading the virus and you met every instance with bravery. You no longer fear death in The Last of Us. You use it to strike fear into your enemies. No matter your race or gender, you are Joel. You are in tune with his struggle and focused on his mission. You protect Ellie not because the game asks you to, but because your passion demands it.
We are here to improve your skill set. The challenges that Joel will face are no longer on a beginner’s level. Joel will now square off against spine-tingling horrors. With the presence of the infected replicating and the human threat growing, Joel and Ellie must evolve to combat the forces in their environment. This moderate guide seeks to influence that evolution and prepare you for the repugnance that is to come.
Advancing Joel’s Combat Mechanics
Crafting new and dangerous weapons are a necessity. Supplies are scarce, but when trying to survive, anything can become a weapon.
Although Joel begins the game with a pistol, melee weapons provide the biggest advantage. What may seem like a normal 2X4 is a dangerous weapon used to beat the opposition literally to death. A rusty old pipe may be viewed as discarded plumbing, but can also be used as a tool of destruction. These weapons can be found throughout The Last of Us. The key is to be aware of their location during battle. Lure the infected or human opposition into a false sense of security and then press Square to create distance. Run to the nearest weapon and hold Triangle to pick it up. Then use it to permanently dismember your enemy.
While the normal melee weapon is powerful in battle, it can evolve over time to become deadlier. Throughout the game, Joel will locate scissors, duct tape and other items that can be combined to craft weapons. The first rule of crafting is only do it in a safe and secure spot. Just like applying a medical kit, you must press the Select button to access your inventory. Then use R1 and L1 to navigate through the options to select weapons. If you have the materials needed to craft a weapon, the option will be available to you. This also increases the amount of wear the weapon can take before it needs to be upgraded again or tossed aside, communicated by a meter located along the bottom of the screen.
Guns are prevalent in The Last of Us, but they come with serious pros and cons. Guns deliver powerful impact kills and are great long-range weapons. They also make a lot of noise that attracts unwanted attention. Ammo is scarce, so you have to make every bullet count. Still, there are some epic gunfights in The Last of Us that you must be prepared for.
While under fire, cover is key; refer to our Beginner’s Mini eGuide if you need to brush up on cover skills. In a gunfight, Joel must use cover to protect him from bullets. Use Circle to enter cover and press it again to exit cover and fire at your enemies. To aim, use L1 to set the sight on your target using the analog stick. Then press R1 to fire. Ammo is scarce so aim for the head and make every shot count. Only fire when you are close enough to deliver a killing blow to your target.
The Human Threat
While the infected pose a natural danger in The Last of Us, it is the human element that poses the biggest threat to Joel and Ellie. When Earth as we know it ceased to exist, humans became just as monstrous. The most dangerous of these humans are a group in Pittsburgh called the Hunters. The Hunters are crafty, skilled and will do anything they can to survive, even if it means killing you.
Hunters are dangerous and will manipulate the environment to take you down. Hunters also travel in groups, which makes them harder to combat. They operate on ruthless aggression and have no problem killing to protect or take what they want. They attempt to lure you in, pretending to be hurt and will pounce the moment you go to help.
To defeat this group, stealth is key. Hunters have pistols, shotguns and numbers on their side. The Hunters also use stealth and will sneak up behind to attack. You will need to use stealth to get them first. Be prepared to strangle or use a melee weapon to take them out quietly. Too much noise, even during the takedown, will attract other Hunters to your location.
Silence is a Weapon
In The Last of Us, the fungus mutated and evolved to infect and take hold of the human species. This viral parasite has evolved enough to feed off of its human host and control its cerebral cortex in order to spread the virus to the masses. During the 20 years after the initial outbreak, the Cordyceps fungus is not the only thing that has evolved. The outbreak imbued Joel with exceptional hearing capability.
The silence in The Last of Us is deafening. It permeates the atmosphere and spreads terror throughout the game. For Joel, silence is a weapon.
Joel has an ability called Listening Mode. Take cover behind a safe location to activate this mode; a wall, not a doorway. Press and hold R2 to enter Listening Mode. In this mode, Joel uses his evolved hearing ability and spatial awareness of his surroundings to locate enemies through walls and cover. This ability works on humans and infected. Joel crouches in this mode. This leaves him open to attack so be aware of your surroundings before activating it.
More Life-Saving Tips