The Last of Us Remastered has one heck of a good story, but it also has some absolutely brutal and unforgiving combat. Whether it's the up close and devastating Shotgun, or the stealthy, long range precision of the Bow, the violent encounters can test a player's fortitude.
Not to worry, though, we here at Prima Games survived more than our fair share of near death experiences while hiking through the rotted, post-apocalyptic wasteland in our quest to deliver Ellie to the Fireflies. Stick with us and you'll bathe in the tears of your enemies in no time.
Disclaimer: Cordyceps is transmitted through bodily fluids, so we don't advise you literally bathe in the tears of your fallen enemies.
Become a Switch Hitter
We're sure the game teaches you to do this, but in case it doesn't, learn how to switch which shoulder you look over in third-person. Imagine you approach a piece of cover where you can peek out to the left or right. It doesn't make much sense to look over your right shoulder as you're trying to peek around a corner on your left. Whenever you feel like you can get a better angle than the one you have, switch your view by pressing the R1 button while holding L2 to aim down sight.
Know Your Enemy
As you might expect, different weapons deal different damage in The Last of Us Remastered, and each enemy can take a specific amount of punishment before going down. Knowing how many shots it takes to drop someone, or where their weak points are, is absolutely key to conserving bullets and arrows. For instance, using a Bow to take out a Clicker will typically take two arrows to the torso or one straight to the head. We don't have an exact damage model for you to follow, but pay attention as you play and you'll gradually get a sense for what weapons can dominate certain adversaries.
Pay for Quality
It's not possible to fully upgrade all of your weapons in one play through, but if you replay using the New Game + feature, you can start a new journey using your already upgraded weapons. Should you do the right amount of scavenging for supplies, you should have a fully upgraded arsenal part way through the second campaign. The benefit of this is that certain weapons, like the El Diablo or Hunting Rifle, can be counted on to give you one-shot kills when fully upgraded. This will make combat much easier as it gets more intense. Of course, difficulty level plays a factor in this as well.
Molotovs are basically the Clicker killers of The Last of Us Remastered. Because Clickers are blind and navigate using echolocation, Molotovs are the safest way to kill them from a distance without drawing attention to yourself. If you spot one and know others are around, hit the first one with the Molotov, which more often than not will cause the others to blindly wander into the flames and burn to death. Consider using this tactic in the subway of Chapter 3: The Outskirts and the tunnel in Chapter 10: Bus Depot. It should even work to take out Runners and Bloaters.
Rule #17 - Don't Be a Hero
Before we get into an explanation, let's throw out a plea for Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg to make Zombieland 2. We need this in our lives.
With that out of the way, Columbus had a point in that movie when he referred to Rule #17 - Don't Be a Hero. Even though it's a different apocalypse on a different format, it's a good piece of advice, and one we're going to repeat.
At certain points of the game, you'll be paired up with supporting characters, the most notable being Bill in Chapter 4: Bill's Town. You see, Bill has a big knife and sexy Shotgun, and he knows how to use both, so why not let the man work? When the infected blood hits the fan, don't be afraid to take a step back and let Bill get his kill on. Keep an eye out for anything that gets close to you, or when he's in trouble, but don't be afraid to pull up a lawn chair and conserve some ammunition.
Who Needs a Gun?
To answer our own question, you do, but the Bow is a pretty sweet option from the moment you pick it up in Chapter 4: Bill's Town. It allows you to take out enemies at medium to long range distances without making a sound or risking getting caught out in the open. It is a bit of a pain before you upgrade it, so don't be hesitant to spend some of those valuable Parts on doing just that. When you finally have all the upgrades purchased, this weapon will bring you as much joy as anything else the apocalypse has to offer.
The Reload Addict
We have a sometimes good but often bad habit of reloading our weapons when we still have half a magazine of ammunition. In Battlefield 4, that can get you killed, but in The Last of Us Remastered, it will probably save your life. We're not suggesting you swap magazines in the middle of a fist-fight with a Bloater, but when everyone is dead, take a moment to reload every single weapon you have. This way, the next time you're staring death in the face, you'll at least to be able to go out guns blazing.
A Hostage Situation
We're familiar with how to Grab someone in The Last of Us Remastered. If you're not, there is a step-by-step tutorial in Chapter 2: The Quarantine Zone. What most people don't do, however, is use the person they grab as a hostage. Maybe that's because we're all just super good at being ninjas and the situation never calls for it, but it doesn't hurt to add one more item to the tool chest, so to speak. When you Grab someone, rather than Square to Choke or Triangle to Shiv, try aiming down sight. This will allow you to briefly move the person around, using them as a human shield while you light up their buddies with your 9MM Pistol or Revolver. You may not use it every day, but it could save your life under the right circumstances.
My Back is Against the Wall
Normally, being cornered is not a good thing, but in The Last of Us Remastered, it's somewhat comforting. Nobody likes getting shot in the back or bitten from behind, so whenever you are faced with a room full of bad guys, make them come to you, keeping your flanks cut off by walls, barriers and boundaries. Think about this as you enter the subway on Chapter 3: The Outskirts, or the room full of Infected (while with Sam) in Chapter 6: The Suburbs. Why risk getting attacked from behind when you can make a bit of noise and draw them into a kill zone?
While throwing Bombs in The Last of Us Remastered is really fun and fairly effective, they're better at giving you peace of mind than they are at acting like grenades. Yes, throw them when the situation calls for it, but don't be afraid to just press R2 when you have one in hand to drop it at your feet. You won't set it off, and if it ends up not exploding you can pick it up and stuff it back in Joel's dirty backpack. Use them like trip mines in doorways or flank routes to make sure nobody can sneak up behind you, allowing you to focus your attention in one direction while laying a beating on your foes.
Rule #17 - Don't Be a Hero
Just as Columbus taught us in Zombieland, some rules are made to be broken. There still isn't any harm in letting Bill get his hands dirty, but every now and then you have to throw caution to the wind and rumble in the jungle to the motion of the ocean. We aren't really sure what that even means, but we know there is no way to keep Joel and Ellie alive without sometimes being a hero. When your last bullets are gone and your melee weapon is destroyed, make a tight fist and start cracking some post-apocalyptic skulls.