Last of Us EP19: Condemned to Pittsburgatory

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Nov 12, 2014

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 80 comments

Link (YouTube)

These idiot raiders are just too much. They’re willing to expend all these lives, all this gasoline, and all these bullets, for what? To kill an adult and a kid? They’re not even trying to rob us! They’re just trying to kill the player because this is a videogame. And we’re still not done with these assholes.

My suggestion:

Remove everything between the initial ambush and the moment we meet up with Sam. Replace all of that with zombie fights. It would still be a gameplay slog, but at least we wouldn’t have a city of ten thousand well-fed raiders with infinite bullets and an insane lust for pointless murder. If that middle section was removed, then the raiders might seem like a small group and we wouldn’t spend so much time scavenging around their homes and noticing all the ways in which their community makes no damn sense.


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80 thoughts on “Last of Us EP19: Condemned to Pittsburgatory

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    How about darth beardicus?

    “The problem with this part is that you spend too much time alone with ellie”

    Thats a problem?How?Ellie is cool.Everyone loves ellie.

    1. Camp Solo.
      Campster Jettster.
      Obi-Wan Campnobi.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Haven’t watched the episode yet. Is he no longer the Mandalorian Bowcampster?

        1. He appears to have declined the position.

    2. MrGuy says:

      C’hristo Ph’r

      1. It ain’t sci-fantasy without random apostrophes! :)

        1. Hitch says:

          I think you mean apostrophe’s.


            1. Grudgeal says:

              I’m nicking that for my next game.

            2. Daemian Lucifer says:

              And his queen ”””’.

              1. Scourge says:

                Not to be confused with her Sister “‘””‘

                Admittedly, they almost sound the same.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    There,a full frontal of a bridge!Now Shamus can finally tell us where we are and if its accurate.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Im really glad we spotted you.Otherwise we wouldnt have anyone to distract the enemies next time we ran into trouble.

    Seriously,shoot this guy.

    1. MrGuy says:

      Honestly, I really liked Henry leaving you there. Because he’s right – it’s exactly the choice you would have made, unapologetically. If the choice was between saving Ellie and getting away, balanced against taking a very strong chance of getting both of us killed trying to save a stranger, Ellie and I are getting out of there and wishing you luck.

      It’s not because he’s a bad guy – it’s because it’s a really tough world, and Henry has responsibilities bigger than just himself to worry about. He may like Joel, but he barely knows Joel. Sam is his first, second, and third priority.

      Henry doesn’t leave you because he’s a traitorous weasel who’s been scheming to betray you all along as soon as he got what he needed from you (which is how almost any other game would play a “betrayal” moment). Had the ladder not broken, he’d have offered you the hand up. When the ladder broke, and with the seconds ticking down to murder o’clock, he made a choice. I like how the game allows him to be a reasonable person making a reasonable person choice without feeling the need to paint him as a villain to the core. I like the game acknowledging you being mad at him and roleplaying the emotion you’re likely feeling without making YOU be a disproportionate fool by making you shoot the only normal people you know.

      I really like the handling betrayal and the uneasy reconciliation. It’s human without feeling false. It lets you know the concept of who’s a “friend” and an “enemy” are complicated here.

      1. Thomas says:

        Yeah I love it, especially when they hammer with the saving-from-drowning that he wasn’t a bad guy, he was just a guy making the awful tough kind of decision that close personal love could drive us to in the right situation.

        1. Thomas says:

          The other interesting part is I genuinely believe Joel might have shot him over it if Ellie weren’t there.

  4. MrGuy says:

    So, when you show up with the wooden pallet to get Ellie, she says “Oh! This thing again.” in a bored, sarcastic tone.

    You know what, game writers? Screw you. Because that’s what I think of your stupid, repetitive “find the pallet” lame ass puzzle. You’re not allowed to be bored with it when you’re the ones who keep insisting on putting more of these in the game.

    “From the people who brought you that last thing, it’s more of the same!”

  5. MrGuy says:

    Also, no one picks up O. Henry also being a famous writer, and almost certainly more famous than the candy bar (which may or may not have been named after him)? Where is Rutskarn when we….umm…uh….sorry, lost my train of thought there.

    1. Joe Informatico says:

      One day I’ll read another story of his other than “The Gift of the Magi” and figure out why he was so famous.

      1. Groboclown says:

        Obviously, because one of the places he lived in is still standing in the middle of a park in Austin, Texas, which is the place for the annual O. Henry Pun Off. Isn’t this what everyone thinks about when they hear O. Henry?

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ugh.Seriously,if you are going to put subtitles in your game,at least do it properly.Put the name in front of those sentences so that we can know who is speaking when we cant hear them.

    Ish seems cool.Why wasnt this game about ish and ellie?

    Did…did that guy just do the jerk off motion before pulling you up?

    1. MrGuy says:

      I actually really liked Walking Dead’s solution, where everyone got their own color for the subtitles. Really easy to pick up on, and didn’t require taking up additional space for the name every single time.

    2. Groboclown says:

      I’d like to think that Ish likes to wish for fish with his Ish wish dish.

    3. IFS says:

      I think Ish’s name is actually a reference to an early work of post apocalyptic literature, I just can’t remember what its title was.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (1949)?

      2. Microwaviblerabbit says:

        I like to think of Ish as the alternate universe version of Ishmael Ashur, ruler of the Pitt in Fallout 3.

  7. The Rocketeer says:

    Fantastic use of “Picksburg” by Shamus at 1:25!

    Although he might have just tripped over that syllable while laugh-talking to Kellexy Gumbles.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    That note made me think:Why arent there kid clickers?

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      So you aren’t influenced to kill mushroom children in real life.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Galaxy Gun,did you play sins of the solar empire?Because that game has a galaxy gun building that you can use to shoot at planets from across the whole map.

    1. Alex says:

      I prefer the Advent version. It fires weaponised peace. On the whole, though, I don’t find it an especially fun game.

  10. Isy says:

    Sure, Joel is an anti-social jackass who threatens to shoot some guy for leaving without him, but he didn’t actually do it, so he’s still ninety-nine times more reasonable than most the characters we had to put up with in The Walking Dead.

  11. Alexander The 1st says:

    Don’t worry, Galaxy Gun – this game couldn’t be about you and Josh – Ellie’s not a cannibal, and…wait; Ellie *is* part zombie…*and* she can drive clutch…

    …Though she can’t swim, I guess.

    Also, Joel can’t loot all the toilet paper from hotel bathrooms.

    So, you know; major differences there.

    1. Humanoid says:

      So she didn’t take Swimming but did take Chemical Resistance.

    2. Actually, there’s currently a “crisis” in people not being able to swim. Half of Americans appear unable to swim well enough to save themselves in an emergency, and four of ten UK kids can’t swim after passing through primary school.

      There just seems to be a lack of desire to enroll kids in swimming classes. The tragedy happens when they go to the beach or a pool and can’t safely “rescue” themselves if they get into trouble.

      I’ll leave it up to others to say whether or not one nation has “solved” this problem by having a more buoyant population. :)

      1. Grudgeal says:

        Well, my dad used to throw us in the North Sea when we were younger, that did the trick for us.

        Also helped with our Cold Resistance stats.


        “I can swim but I hate going swimming with the school! I get pulled in every year to go but I hate it and would rather do maths.”

        That last page is obviously a blatant fakery. Just look at those personal accounts.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          So what youre saying is that kids like to swim in their friends pee?

      2. I’d also think there’s some economic discrimination involved. There’s a ton of Swim and Tennis clubs around here, but they cost A LOT to join. Chastain (which is partly owned by the county or city or something) is 1-2 bucks for children and 4 for adults, but that’s just public swim, not actual lessons, and is in an affluent area which would involve gas, bus, or a good chunk of walking (1.5 miles at least) to get there from the nearest not-so-affluent area.
        And PE involves swimming at some schools? Wow, I woulda killed for that. I don’t even remember learning how to swim (I was 9 months or so) but I loved it. PE would have been so much better in a pool! Pity none of the schools I went to had one (swim teams in jr high and high school had to be bussed to a local college with one).
        There’s also the problem of while there are local water sources to swim in (Chattahoochee river, Lake Alatoona, Lake Lanier), there’s no way in Hell I’d take a kid there to learn. The water’s so murky you can maybe manage a foot’s worth of visibility so if a kid goes in and doesn’t come back up you’re going to have a heck of a time finding them fast enough. Also, except for the river, there’s no mass transit access, and quite frankly the river is perhaps not the best place to swim. It may not be deep, but there are strong current pockets, poor visibility, and I don’t really want to think about what’s in the water besides H2O.

  12. Tony Kebekk says:

    Wrestletalk with Mumbles!

    Lita is sick! Best WWF/E female wrestler ever.

    1. Mumbles says:

      Lita was my fucking hero!

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Is that similar to regular heroes?

  13. Tony Kebell says:

    If there is ever a SpoilerWarning-Con?/Meet-up. (longshot, yeah) It should be held in Pittsburgh.

    1. MrGuy says:

      Pfft. It clearly needs to be held in City 17.

      1. Sigilis says:

        Yeah, it’s safer there. Safer than Pittsburgh at least.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          But it has the old guy with a cool voice.

          1. I seem to recall there being an issue with the catering. Something about the food, but… I forget.

  14. merkel says:

    When I was seven or eight, I was at the pool playing with my family. I decided to jump into said pool, spinning on my way down. I managed to catch my chin on the edge, from a height of no more than four feet, splitting it open and sending blood everywhere. It required a dozen stitches, and I still have a half-moon scar from it nearly twenty years later. So I can confirm that, yes, that fall onto the palate would hurt.

  15. The Rocketeer says:

    Wait, a machete has only three hits before it breaks?! I’ve chopped down a pine tree with a machete! Is this some sort of improvised prison machete made from toothpaste and socks?!

    1. MrGuy says:

      Also, when it DOES break, why is it less use than a broken scissors?

      1. Thomas says:

        Well when a machete breaks after you’ve strengthened it by tying broken scissor to the handle, obviously you’re left with less than scissor sized chunks.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its people like you that ruin the machetes for everyone.You use up all their hitpoints,and when the apocalypse comes and kills you,the poor sap that finds your machete will only be able to use them for three hits before they break.

    3. Chefsbrian says:

      I forgot how hilariously stupid the edged weapon reinforcement was. I mean, I guess the dev was thinking “He can poke people with the butt end of the machete for kills” But really, you smash down that things butt end on someones head, its gonna ruin their day, scissors or not. I’m trying to remember how bad the fire axe is for it now.

      1. Thomas says:

        I hope he just straps a pair of scissors to the blade of the axe.

        I never even tried reinforcing the edge weapons, I assumed you couldn’t do it

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well you know what they say:When you assume…

          …it means you give the developers too much credit.

        2. Chefsbrian says:

          I think that may be it… Like, taped to the blade spear style, If I remember correctly.

  16. Excludos says:

    I’m trying to tell you, there was only a handful of raiders in that town. Joel just choked them out for a couple of seconds, long enough for them to wake up after he left. In reality you were just fighting the same couple of dudes the entire way through.

    1. Humanoid says:

      Also the ones Joelbert set on fire didn’t really die. Low energy weapons skill, see.

  17. Mandrilltiger says:

    You know I never got the feeling that the game dragged on really anywhere. The pacing is weird I’d say Summer is 40% of the entire game. But the raiders fights are pretty fun and after the game was over I just started it up again.

    Pittsburgh is the games weakest point but it isn’t as a slog to play as it is to watch.

    1. Thomas says:

      Raiders are fun to fight, so whilst I think this section did drag a little, I think it dragged a lot less than it does to watch. When you’re watching you only really focused on the narrative questions, which fall apart in Pittsburg.

      But as a player, most of the encounters in Pittsburg are each a different kind of scenario. Fighting baddies in the hotel feels different from fighting baddies in the first fight which feels different than sneaking up on the gate. Not hugely different, but different enough.

      For me the section that drags is the section with David later on. It’s going great up to a point, but (as with Pittsburg) it just keeps on chucking bad guys at you until it makes absolutely no sense that there were this many bad guys hanging out with each other. The first encounters feel genuine and the rest feels like padding

  18. Hitch says:

    But if they replaced all of the raiders in this section with zombies someone would complain about the lack of enemy variety in the game. “It’s just zombies, zombies and more zombies.”

    1. Sigilis says:

      I know, ugh. It’s like some sort of zombie apocalypse or something.

  19. Thomas says:

    Ish’s story is my favourite sidestory in the whole game. I think for me, it makes the sewer level my favourite level (apart from the zombie section)

  20. guy says:

    That fleeing from the humvee scene really stretched credulity for me. It’s a pretty much straight run, good chunks of it without cover, being fired at by a vehicle-mounted machine gun. I really feel like they ought to have hit at some point.

  21. Adam says:

    I think the ideal set-up for a game like this would be to cut WAY back on the number of humans, and have the majority of the combat be Joel/Ellie vs zombies (perhaps some ludic jiggery-pokery could be arranged to make combat with them more varied, as exemplified by the Flood from the Halo games. Make them a diverse enemy faction, but give them only bare-bones combat AI. They rush the player in numbers, but don’t cooperate and have little self-preservation instinct. The (FAR fewer) human enemies could then be played up as dangerous adversaries. After all, they’re the rare breed so badass or clever that they can survive in this zombie-dominated world. A single raider could be a hell of an enemy who ambushes you, seeds the path with deathtraps, and leads the zombies at you to weaken you and slow you down. A few of them could band together, leading to larger encounters like there are in this game, but spread out and more thinly, to increase their impact. And these guys should be scavengers. You should be able to tell when you’re getting close to a raider camp because boxes of food will be mostly picked clean; ammunition and medical supplies should be scarce. And these camps should be DECKED OUT. If four or five guys had their pick of everything in a five-block radius, taking out their camp should yield some impressive goodies. Guns, armor, survival gear, D&D-style treasure hoards, etc.)

    1. Shamus says:

      I want to play this game.

    2. IFS says:

      This sounds excellent, especially if it let you use some of those same tactics against the raiders (like the leading zombies to them thing). Someone needs to make this game.

  22. Spammy says:

    Ugh, that room. That room at the end. That room hit me hard when I was first playing. My jokes kind of stopped for a minute after I saw the writing on the floor and read the note. I don’t know why, but that kind of being trapped and helpless really gets me sometimes. As soon as Josh reached that door I knew what room what coming up.

    For anyone who missed what was on the floor, I’m guessing the last thing that Kyle did before killing himself was to write on the floor, “THEY DIDN’T SUFFER.”

    Guys I am actually, seriously sad and depressed solely because of that single room and the storytelling it pulls off.

  23. Josh, you and the janitor would get along swimmingly.

  24. At 2:00 mark. Anyone else notice that the garage door is remarkably bullet proof?
    Wasn’t that mounted gun like a or a M16 or something equally nasty?

    That garage door may be thin steel but more likely it’s aluminium (look, there’s no rust, that’s aluminium, stainless steel garage doors are rare I’m pretty sure), a heavy mounted machine gun like that would turn that door into swiss cheese very quickly.

    Heck watch an episode of Mythbusters and you’ll see them with normal automatic rifles tear holes through a car which has thicker aluminium than this garage door.

    Also. Pee Pants Campster? Wasn’t it McPee Pants or am I recalling that incorrectly?

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Aye, I was thinking that! (About the adamantium garage door, that is – not sure about the McPee McPants thing.)

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      If video games have thought me anything,its that any metallic/concrete looking surface,no matter how it looks,is 100% bulletproof.Even if you fashion the metal into a chain link fence,youll be safe.

      Also doors,doors are huge bullet stoppers.

      1. Grudgeal says:

        If video games have taught me anything it’s that anything not explicitly coded to be destroyed, won’t be.

    3. Humanoid says:

      Joel’s skin is mostly bulletproof too, so maybe the problem is the bullets?

    4. 4th Dimension says:

      If that gun came with the Humvie it’s probably a 50cal. And from what I understand 50 cal bullets would go through that gate AND walls like through butter. BU than again this is the game where Joel instructed Ellie to take cover behind plywood when he gave her the rifle.

      Seriosly though watching ArmA videos on youtube is spoiling these Hollywood/Games moments for me.

  25. Zukhramm says:

    They're just trying to kill the player because this is a videogame.

    To its defense, it really is a videogame.

  26. Lee says:

    Hey Shamus. Not really relevant to this post, but you’ve posted about not having a decent version of Visual Studio before. This might be of interest to you:

  27. Epopisces says:

    I notice the number and severity of expletives (from the entire group) increase dramatically when galaxy gun is around lol.

  28. Name says:

    Why not have someone actually competent play the games?

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