The Last of Us EP10: Free Range Zombies

By Shamus
on Oct 22, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

If the start of this episode makes no sense, it’s because the whole conversation is a call-back to the first season of Spoiler Warning, which was the last time Randy was on the show.

I’m really struggling with this season now. I’ve nitpicked the plot as much as I dare, and I’ve praised all the stuff I like. At this point it would be time to talk about the mechanics, but I haven’t played the game myself. I don’t know if it’s hurting the commentary, but I feel like I’m not doing my job.

Like, the entire inventory system seems ludicrous to me, because I’m looking at it like a movie-watcher and not a player. Bricks are massively useful. Why can we carry only one? Why do they poof into nothing after being thrown? Why don’t we carry something smaller and lighter that can still make a lot of noise? Why do shivs break? THIS IS ALL RIDICULOUS NONSENSE!

Of course, these are all simply videogame contrivances. Like, I accept that Batman has infinite explosive gel but can only use three globs of it at once. It’s an abstraction around which puzzles and challenges are built. It’s a small compromise made with realism for the sake of gameplay. Arkham is full of silly little details like this that make perfect sense as a player and no sense as a viewer. I’m sure the same is true for TLOU. If I’d played the game myself, this contrivances probably wouldn’t bother me…as much..

I don’t know if this is hurting my commentary, but I I’m going to avoid covering games I haven’t played in future seasons.

Anyway: Story is great, characters are vibrant, scenery is amazing, etc etc.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] …as much.



20201555 comments. It's getting crowded in here.

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yay,the old gang is back.With Chris as a bonus.

    • James says:

      its a full on nostalgia trip.

      we have randy, we have zombies and we have a character who puts on a face of badassmcgrufferson but is a softie on the inside. this is Mass Effect all over again.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wait,he actually takes TWO WHOLE SWINGS to cut off a head?Whats this (semi) realism doing in ma vidja game?

  3. Rike says:

    And because of it “The Last of us”-season is just not as interesting as other ones (at least others I watched, i.e. DE3, AC2, Dishonored, F3, Metro). The core of this game, as it is seen from here, is a survival shooter, nothing more. Doubt, that, for example, 15 episodes of story discussion would be as interesting, as 2 episodes of weird child-blowing nonsense from F3.
    Because of variability.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ha,there,he mentions that the military is building new stuff.Sure,he mentions just the car batteries,but its enough to imply they do the same for bullets,fuel and spare parts.

    So,umm,whats up with post apocalyptic settings where the adults dont want kids to have weapons?That stuff should be mandatory for everyone,especially in a zombie setting.I mean look at walking dead,where lee teaches a 10 year old to handle a gun.

    Yeah,weve got a shotgun!

    So Josh complains about the hunting rifle,gets a shotgun to replace it,and then…he upgrades the hunting rifle.Shamus,how did you miss that?He even started upgrading the shotgun,stopped,and put another point into the hunting rifle.

    Well,Im glad I live in a place where literally everything can grow.Yes,literally everything.Coffee,tobacco,marijuana,bananas,shiitake mushrooms,everything.Well,you could before the weather started its weird shifting.Though if you had a big ass green house,you could still grow all those stuff.

    Hah,and people call Randy a nice guy.

    Boston in the future year of 2013 is made of chalk.

    That thing Shamus said about the sound makes me wonder:How do bats fly in swarms?I mean bats use echo location to see,so how do a bunch of them scream without messing with one another?

    Wait,this game has arcing arrows?Amazing,another bit of realism!Well ok,maybe they shouldnt arc that much,but still.

    • guy says:

      Guns are only useful in the hands of people with some idea what they’re doing. Especially when bullets are in limited supply.

    • ehlijen says:

      Teaching gun use requires a fair amount of ammunition.

      If ammo, and apparently guns (as the protagonist is a gun smuggler, meaning there must be someone regulating guns) are rationed, that would mean you don’t teach people how to shoot unless you have access to those guns (and ammo).

      And on top of that Joel’s unwillingness to ever think about young girls and bullets in the same context, and I can totally buy him not wanting to give her in particular a gun.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Ok,but she did ask for a bow first.And she did say she is proficient with it.

        It just seems like current morals being shoved into a world that does not operate by the same rules.Especially since she is a kid born into this world,and not one that transitioned into it from better times.

        • ehlijen says:

          Yes, she should probably have a weapon. But it’s not society’s morals stopping her from getting one, it’s the word of a man who’s still not over the fact that this own daughter got shot.

          It’s him, and him alone as far as we can see, who is objecting out of a mix of no longer applicable morals and avoidance of a trauma.

          It’s not about whether she’s been trained or not. The game says she is, so sure, she is. It’s about Joel wanting her to have one, and he clearly doesn’t. He’s probably wrong, but I think that’s the point.

          • Thomas says:

            Yeah, when Ellie uses a gun she shows that she wasn’t lying about being able to use one. It’s Joel’s hang ups.

            I’ve been thinking about why that is, it didn’t make total sense to me when I played it the first time and Rutskarn’s comments brought it up again.

            This is what I’m thinking: It’s not because he would never trust his daughter with a gun.

            In fact Joel is trying his best not to think of Ellie as his daughter right now. He doesn’t want to be involved in her life, he doesn’t want to see her as a person. He’s treating her as a parcel which he has to manhandle across the country.

            If he gave Ellie a gun, he would have to take an interest in her, he would have to let her become involved in his activities and let her be part of his journey. Parcel’s don’t speak, they don’t get involved in combat situations and they definitely don’t shoot.

            When Ellie gets the gun it’s because he’s given up pushing her away and has instead decided to treat her as a replacement daughter. He teaches her things, lets her do things for him, talks to her etc…

    • syal says:

      Bats are actually screaming out various beloved bat phrases. They’re not just listening for any old echo, they’re listening for the specific “I love my life!” or “Sure is cold tonight!” message they threw out.

    • Adam says:

      Wait, the apocalypse happens (sorta) in 2013, and the rest of the game mostly takes place 20 years after that? I’m starting to think, given the amount of subway crawling you seem to be doing, that this game needs a new title. MTBA: 2033, or something like that.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “Bricks are massively useful. Why can we carry only one?”

    What makes this even funnier,is that from the looks of it,you can carry a bunch of weapons in your backpack.It actually seems like a pretty decent inventory,in that you have a few quick slots,but then you can stop,open your backpack,and change whats in one of those slots.Thats a neat idea.

    I mean,a full inventory where you could choose if youd rather carry a weapon you never use or 3 bricks you use constantly is even better,but still,a neat idea.

    • Given you’re in a crumbling urban area, it’s only game balance making things available for throwing rare. There should be rubble, sticks, clods of dirt, etc. everywhere.

    • Thomas says:

      I actually think it would be kind of stupid to carry multiple bricks and bottles with you in your backpack. They’re heavy, they’re clunky, bottles are loud and they take a ton of space.

      I appreciated the one brick limit because I thought, as a player, of course I’d want infinite bricks, but as a person walking around a world (full of rubble) where I have to keep everything I own in one backpack, I fight zombies every day and food can be hard to find… you’d be an idiot to lug a load of bricks around with you.

      I mean can you imagine being captured by bandits ‘Hey you’re carrying a bunch of bricks! Why would you even do that? Where’s all the food we wanted to steal from you?’ At least guns are useful, and he doesn’t actually store many of them, most are strapped to his body.

      The flamethrower (and some of the rifles) break suspension of disbelief though.

    • Scourge says:

      I am amazed no one uses the ‘brick in a sock’ as a weapon.

  6. Interesting dialog from Bill: “The only one’s making car batteries are the military.”

    Just throwing that out there, calling back to earlier conversations about resources and manufacturing.

    • lostclause says:

      See, that was the most interesting line for me. I don’t think it’s likely to be realistic that you can just produce batteries but I’ll buy it and it’s part of what makes TLOU a bit unique compared to the other apocalypse games (bear in mind I’ve only what’s been shown on SW). You see that there’s a bit of society rebuilding that’s begun, with the police in the beginning, the scanners that must have been made after the fall of society, the hints that there’s some manufacturing going on and we’re not just scavenging everything.

      Even the central plot of a ‘cure’ shows that this game has an optimism that is absent from most other ‘we’re doomed’ apocalypse scenarios (and yeah, I know how that ends, but still). The Fireflies themselves seem to be a rebellious political movement, not raiders or survivalists or slavers, and that’s a much more sophisticated idea (in the sense that political agendas come after basic survival in terms of needs).

      It’s neat and that tone makes the whole thing feel much cooler. Heck, Joel’s cynicism stands out so much more thanks to it and I really dig it.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        “I don’t think it’s likely to be realistic that you can just produce batteries”

        Why?The plague hasnt destroyed the infrastructure,it merely reduced the number of people.And judging by everything,at worst humanity got knocked back to the early 20th century,a period where we already had industrialization.

        This is why I dont get all the “what do they eat” and “where do they get the fuel from” questions.With infrastructure intact,and reduced workforce,youd only need to retrain existing workers to do something else.Youd have reduced production capacity,sure,but it would still be there.

        • lostclause says:

          Honestly, I don’t know enough about battery production to know whether or not it’s realistic. Even if it’s possible to do it without specialised equipment, are the reagents readily available? Do the spoil over twenty years or can they be reproduced or salvaged? These are questions I genuinely don’t know the answers to, ‘unlikely’ is just my first gut reaction based on no evidence so I wouldn’t take it too seriously.

          It’s not so much that we’ve been knocked back to early industrialization, it’s that trade has probably collapsed is my bigger problem with regards to manufacturing. Let’s say I need mercury, is it still mined somewhere? How does it get from there to here? Where is it refined? If there’s not a mine nearby, or a readily scavenged source, then you’re probably not going to get it without trade, same goes for fuel or other refined products. Trade fills in all kind of plot holes because it all occurs ‘somewhere else’, you don’t need to show it (granted, you need to have a world where trade is semi-safe).

          That’s why I have no trouble with new things being produced in Fallout, they show that trade still occurs alongside primary industries like mining, whereas TLOU hasn’t shown trading yet outside smugglers like Joel and Tess (suggesting they’re unlicensed scavengers rather than a caravan network). Doesn’t mean there isn’t one but the lack of any mention so far suggests there’s no regular network with the outside world.

          • Abnaxis says:

            But, while trade is integral to the way we do things today, you don’t have to be able to trade to do any sort of manufacturing. It’s just massively, massively more efficient.

            So yeah, relying on today’s infrastructure will limit you somewhat if you are constrained to only one area, because that area is likely specialized for producing one particular sort of good. However, that far from precludes any sort of industrialization. It just requires adaptation.

            To follow the example, batteries require a cathode, and anode, and an electrolyte. They sound complicated, but really it’s two pieces of different metals for anode/cathode (aluminum and copper work), and some acid or base for the electrolyte. In the case of car batteries, chemical engineers have spent many hours maximizing the current output, energy density, and convenience of current batteries, and you won’t be able to replicate that by yourself. However, at it’s very basic you can probably make a battery with crap from your garage that will get the job done, it will just be bigger, won’t last as long, and require periodic refilling with water.

            The same goes for a lot of the “holes” people keep bringing up about the suvivability/availability of goods in an apocalypse. We’ve learned a few things in the last couple of centuries, and even if the status quo could never exist without substantial infrastructure, that doesn’t mean we can’t adopt our knowledge to make things work at a 20th-century level without globalization.

          • Tom says:

            The mistake with the approach you mention in Fallout is that it takes place in a long-industrialised former country that has already used up all its natural resources. It’s right there in the backstory: the Resource Wars. There’s nothing left in the mines to dig out, even if you do have the manpower and materials.

            You’d need to trade much further afield; Canada, Australia and SE Asia, where there’s possibly still material left in the ground. Which does fit, actually – in the Fallout backstory, the USA invades Canada to take all their stuff, and China invades most of SE Asia (Australia doesn’t get a mention, so that’s probably the best place to live in the Fallout universe).

            It’s conceivable, because they never explicitly say otherwise, in that game that some other major countries didn’t get nuked at all and are ticking along just fine, wisely ignoring the dysfunctional remainders of the idiots who did nuke each other; however, the official canon line is that secondary effects of the gigantic nuclear exchange affected the whole globe, so even countries that never actually got hit by a single bomb have still got the radioactive fallout, nuclear winter and subsequent continuous desert climate, though they’d at least be facing it with far more of their infrastructure intact and maybe a few natural resources left.

            • lostclause says:

              Yeah, Fallout’s approach wasn’t perfect and its own lore was a bit muddled in that regard. For instance, why did everyone go to war over the last oil when in Fallout 2 you get a car that can run on fusion cells? You never see any working cars ever again. Why does no-one use this sort of thing to trade further afield (South America, Canada)? There’s pretty much no reference to other countries so I think it’s safe to assume if they still exist, there is no longer any contact.

            • I thought all the stuff in Fallout was a combination of drastic population reduction and the tropes (jokes?) of “old stuff is better and lasts longer” and “50’s food preservatives”.

              While new food is being cultivated, the old stuff (due to radiation and the aforementioned preservatives) are still around because there weren’t millions of people around to eat it. Weapons are still abundant for the same reasons along with the BoS, Gun Runners, etc. out there repairing and building arms.

              I look at it this way: If 99% of our population vanished, a few decades later, it’d be quite possible that someone could put together a working car from all the derelicts.

        • ehlijen says:

          And who does the retraining? And who feeds everyone while the retraining happens?

          Intact infrastructure is one thing, but once you stop trade briefly and remove a large chunk of the population (while bringing the outbreak under control you’ll be hard pressed to keep everyone working), it’s pretty hard to get it back running the way it was. And if most of the people who worked in a factory died, who still knows how everything worked? Where all the things it needs to run are delivered from? Sure, there’re probably records, but who has the keys/password?

          And if it’s a world wide outbreak, how long before everyone will be happy to open their borders to international travel again, assuming such travel is still feasible?

          You can probably build new car batteries that are weaker than the old factory standards if you’re lucky enough to have a physics school teacher in your group and a former factory engineer. But machining spare parts for engines that probably weren’t built in the factory you have? Refining more fuel? You’ll need a lot of experts with just the right knowledge to rebuild all that (and rebuilding is required given the suggested casualty counts of the outbreak in this story).

          • Octapode says:

            Honestly, I’d rather machine new engine parts than try and do home electrochemistry for the sorts of output demanded by a car battery. A college (I think US high schools would?) or uni will have the machining capability to work on anything short of an engine block, albeit slowly and in low quantity of course. Getting the chemicals for a lead-acid battery, in the quality needed, is a lot more of a challenge, and far more dependant on our current infrastructure, than scavenging some steel and rigging a power source for some machine tools.

          • Abnaxis says:

            If you want a working automobile, sure. But really, there’s not a lot of point in getting a car working if the road infrastructure has collapsed.

            To me, you have two priorities if things have devolved as much as Last of Us: survive, and figure out how to survive tomorrow. By and large, the first one is temporarily solved for a decent amount of time as soon as you establish a secure place to live. All the crap leftover from before the end of the world can probably keep you going for a couple years.

            After that, it’s figuring out how to use what skills people do have to survive. While it seems your attitude is that such skills are rare, I think it makes a difference if you actually try to find useful application of seemingly useless knowledge. For example, take a journeyman electrician. They were trained in a world where houses need wired for large scale electricity distribution. Without such distribution, what use are they?

            Well, they can tell you exactly where all the best places to strip copper out of a house is. Copper is really, really useful, and here you have someone trained to go salvage it for you. Find out what they need to go get it and give it to them.

            Remember, the point isn’t to rebuild the world as it was, it’s to cobble something together that is sustainable. For the first two to five years, that means gathering as much knowledge as you can while you freeload off of the remnants of the old world. And half a decade is a helluva long time to learn how to survive if you have a hundred people all applying themselves to the problem.

        • Shamus says:

          See, I can believe that 20 years after the apocalypse people have gotten on with their lives and are engaging in trade, gathering resources, and going to their jobs every day. But the game shows us a world where zombies are EVERYWHERE. In the fields, in the streets, in the buildings, in the wilderness, in the underground, relentlessly hunting humans whenever anyone tries to do anything. I get this picture of people hiding behind barricades during the day, and hiding indoors at night. Nobody seems to have regular jobs. That’s what we’re shown.

          (And between the cities we have clusters of cannibal(?) bandits, making it seem like formal, large-scale trade isn’t going on.)

          That’s why this “farms and infrastructure” stuff comes off as so weird. There’s apparently this massive system of farms and factories that were never shown or talked about in the beginning, even though that stuff ought to be the center of their entire society. 9 out of 10 people should be farmers, yet nowhere in the game is anyone mentioned being a farmer – or even knowing any farmers. Which makes it seem like they must not exist. Nobody has a job producing anything. All the characters in our story shoot zombies (or people) for a living.

          I can believe there are factories in a practical sense, but the writers didn’t leave any room for them when they sketched out the world.

          • Octapode says:

            The abundance of zombies does seem very odd compared to the way society does seem to be restarting in the cities. Are the zombies meant to all be from relatively soon after the end, or are they from people getting caught at a slow rate in the time since the start of the apocalypse? If they are from the initial start, then they are in a remarkably good state, but if they have been picking away at the survivor population over time, then humanity should really be more screwed than they are.

            Have there been many zombie survival stories where the apocalypse happens and finishes prior to the story, and encountering a zombie is a rare but risky event? I think that would be a more interesting take on the concept, rather than having more zombies than cars in town.

          • lostclause says:

            Actually TLOU is a bit confused in that regard. The police are willing to sortie beyond the walls to get Joel and Tess, does that mean they regualarly patrol? Do they organise caravans to nearby settlements? They must feel safe enough to do that so zombies can’t be that great a problem, at least nearby. They have vehicles so it’s likely to be possible to travel, surely they can’t use them just for catching smugglers.

            So that standards are a bit inconsistent, it’s possible there’s satellite towns around the city that regularly trade but it’s just not shown and a bit too much for us to make up on our own.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            If you write a story about a paper boy in the 19th century doing stuff in london,nowhere in the story would anyone mention farmers,but those would still exist.You can also make a story about an airplane pilot traveling the world in the early 20th century without ever mentioning the farmers,or fuel production,or factory workers,without the pilot ever seeing one of those things in his low altitude flights,but those would still exist.

            And no,9 out of 10 people do not need to be farmers.This world obviously has fuel,so having tractors and combine harvesters is not out of the question.But even if those things stopped working,the yield of current crops,even the not top of the line one,is way higher than it was in the middle ages when that proportion wouldve been the case.

            As for the zombies running everywhere,it makes sense then to have the workers stationed in a town during night,then transfered via buses to their place of work with a military escort.Though I admit that their abundance does stretch the suspension of disbelief quite a bit.

            • ehlijen says:

              But you also wouldn’t be able to set part of those stories in the territory that would have to be farmland and fill it with monsters.

              We see Joel leave the cities, we see him go where we should be seeing farmers. We don’t. All we see is more zombie infested territory.

              If not outside the towns, where are the farms? Why are there this many zombies around?

              And while you might not need 90% of the population to farm, without reliable refridgeration and expedient transportation of the food from the farm to the people (and that takes a lot of fuel and machine use), you shouldn’t be able to get much lower than ~70%.

              If anything, we should be seeing steam trains resurge, not combustion engines.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Farms dont cover every inch of land outside cities.Even outside the villages,where people do have big farms,I still saw a lot of empty space dominated by wildlife.And in a big contry like usa,Im confident you can go for miles between some cities and see not a single bit of civilization.

                “If anything, we should be seeing steam trains resurge, not combustion engines.”

                With that,I agree.Though the usa still has a lot of coal and oil under it,so it should depend on which resource is closer.

  7. Isy says:

    I, at least, am enjoying the freestyle commentary on New England geography, bricks, and fat middle aged men duck-walking.

  8. hborrgg says:

    Are we still looking for Kenny’s boat?

  9. Muspel says:

    Technically, wasn’t Randy last on the show during one of the Mass Effect 3 episodes?

  10. ET says:

    Boo, Shamus! Booooo! Claptrap was like, the best side-kick in a game! Invincible and wacky. Now, Dogmeat on the other hand… Yeah, I stopped reloading the game after like, the fourth time he wandered into a super mutant’s machine gun. ^^;

  11. James says:

    Actually Shamus I would like to disagree on your contrivances bit. In batman I accept the unlimited explosive but only 3 at once, and the other weirdness because at the end of the day Batman is not realistic, he doesn’t feel realistic, its not trying to be realistic and so you don’t notice it usually. TLOU though not so much.

    The problem with TLOU is that because the characters feel real, because the aesthetics, graphics and scenarios are trying to feel real these video game contrivances that are usually ignored start to come up in your mind (ok maybe it just did for me). Stuff like why not use just a rock and not a brick? Why do these 10 bandits with guns have no ammo even after stealth kills? All this scrimping for ammo how did I get my revolver with unlimited ammo? So the bandits have no ammo, but Zombies are filled with em? The video game contrivances take you out of the game a bit, not enough to ruin it for me but enough to make it problematic.

    • Ofermod says:

      “Why do these 10 bandits with guns have no ammo even after stealth kills?”

      Let me tell you, that was one of the things that really annoyed me about Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I get that it was for balance purposes, but the sheer minimal amount of ammo in any pickup was… kind of astounding.

      • Matt Downie says:

        I can imagine a particularly cunning boss villain in a first-person shooter saying, “I’m only giving you guys one bullet each. That way, if you get attacked by a lone hero, he’ll eventually run out of ammo.”

      • JackTheStripper says:

        I’ve been waiting for games to more realistically deal with resources where enemies have a limited amount of ammo and only attempt to shoot you if they actually see you and have a clear shot.

        In most cover based shooters you have no problem identifying where enemies are because they reveal themselves by shooting wildly in your direction even if they don’t see you (thanks to their infinite supply of ammo). Having enemies with limited ammunition would solve the scavenging issue where you get nothing out of the dead enemies’ bodies and add to the tension of the fight since enemies would be harder to spot.

        Really though, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the reason TLOU has pretty crappy gameplay mechanics is because they’re all geared toward wild gun fights (a la Uncharted or latest Tomb Raider) rather than stealthy knockouts and resource salvaging that it pretends to be. Going through an entire section stealthily in TLOU is near impossible with the few options you have at your disposal (especially since there are some areas where the “director” forces a fight on you) and then attempting to fight but not waste your resources strain on your enjoyment of the mechanics (“I got killed because I wanted to save that shiv for the locked doors so I didn’t use it on the clicker, this sucks” or “I won the fights and that was cool, but now I’m out of ammo and health kits, this sucks”).

        In Uncharted, stealth is also difficult, but then if/when a fight breaks out, you have a large arsenal and near infinite ammo to deal with the enemies that come out (and also a few more fighting options like grenades or shooting while hanging from a ledge so that you’re in cover, etc.), so the resulting feeling from those fights is more exhilarating and rewarding (“I won those fights using several different techniques and that was awesome, now I’ll pick up that dead enemy’s weapon to replace the pistol since the pistol is low on ammo. I’m kicking ass and this rocks!”).

        TLOU does have an increased ammo drop rate when you’re low on ammo, but it still limits certain ammo from appearing in certain sections of the game (I remember going through lots of sections without rifle ammo, and then all of sudden I have too much, and then at the end areas there’s no rifle ammo anywhere again). And whenever the “director” forces a fight on me, I can clearly see that they’re simply taking away my ammo and resources because they want to forcefully create tension. For example, in the fridge trap fight scene that ensues right before you meet Bill, I had been saving up on my revolver ammo and then all of a sudden I had to spend almost all of it because the game forced me to (no other way to save Ellie and yourself in that situation). This is the same thing that Alan Wake did where they simply took weapons away from you because your character lost them in a cutscene so that the next part of the game is more tense, only TLOU is less obvious about it.

        Anyway, I’m rambling, the point is, using a hampered, less varied version of the fight mechanics from Uncharted in TLOU simply felt out of place for a survival/horror game. And the limited resources just felt taxing throughout the entire game, where even doing the right thing by saving them up didn’t feel like it accomplished anything. I can agree that that’s what the developers went for, but I don’t think it was executed well enough.

      • James says:

        The thing is I would forgive TLOU if it only gave me that much ammo from enimies because it would make sense, this guy with the shotgun in the wasteland only has 3 shots, I can buy that. Or you kill them in a gunfight and find 1 or 2 ammo and you just shrug it off as that was all they had left. It would make more sense than the zombies having all the ammo and incentive good aim because dammit you only got so many bullets and their may be zombies ahead.

  12. I kinda like how the dialog continued while Josh was at the workbench.
    Not sure if that was intentional originally or not but it “felt” more natural this way.

  13. Thomas says:

    I think the reason I’m the only one who actually likes TLOU’s stealth system, is because I actually hate all the gadgets and gizmos in stealth games. At most I’ll use one or two throughout the whole game.

    It just feels really inelegant to me to have a One-Man-Band’s worth of equipment to throw at any problem. I like the idea of stealth being a simple puzzle with only one or two components generating all the game space.

    I didn’t even ever use the bricks and bottles in The Last of Us. All my stealth was just about avoiding sightlines and sneaking up on people.

    It’s why the last level which everyone complains about was absolutely fine for me. Everyone else slogged through wave after wave of military dude. I didn’t even kill a single person, I ghosted my way through the entire level and it wasn’t even hard.

  14. Thomas says:

    Joel has the ability to magically detect if they’re any enemies left in the developer designed combat areas. If there aren’t he’ll smash their heads in instead of doing his normal strangle thing.

    4th Wall knowledge is a superpower.

  15. @14:00 – I had a similar experience. I let my then ten year old cousin watch as I played the first Silent Hill game and it fuuuuucked him up. Nightmares going on a week or more. His parents had a talk with me about that…

    • JackTheStripper says:

      Sort of a tangent, but in my case, I let my 8 year old cousin play Fallout New Vegas and I personally had to stop him from playing it when I saw that he couldn’t be bothered to do anything other than murder everything. I felt like he simply wasn’t mature enough to handle this sort of game without turning it into Grand Theft Auto (even though I was there helping him with the dialogue so that he wouldn’t have to read everything and help him understand things he could miss) and I felt really guilty afterwards for not realizing it beforehand considering how he is. I didn’t get in trouble with his parents though. I don’t think he even told them about it and I’m sure as hell not going to.

  16. Microwaviblerabbit says:

    While they would not have actual coffee, there are substitutes (though most are horrible). People working out in the forests used to make acorn and/or hickory nut ‘coffee’ that was apparently passable. Producing tea would be even easier since most of the ingredients for common herbal teas such as peppermint and chamomile grow in North America. I have personally drunk ‘tea’ brewed from pine needles and mint leaves which was decent.

    A real life example of these solutions are the ‘Ersatz’ products used in Germany during the First and Second World Wars to replace imported goods.

  17. krellen says:

    Shamus, as a fat man who naturally walks very softly, I am frowning so hard at you right now.

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