So apparently that whole thing played out differently than what we saw. That "ever so out of place" ladder doesn't exist. There is a lot more focus on exploring and finding items that you can use to craft other items with, and you can totally tackle those enemies differently than a knockdown-dragout brawl.
Seems to me like the weirdly-non-functioning stealth from Uncharted has been fixed to the point of it being a viable option as opposed to open gunfighting.
The game certainly has a lot more depth than "shoot this guy, get forced into a scripted battle with this guy, and then burn this guy". GET HYPE.
When Ellie asked Joel if he wanted to go around the looters last time, he seemed to do just that. This time, he went straight at their location. Rather than go through the doorway, Joel ran up to the broken windows and waited for the enemies to disperse. Then, he hurled a beer bottle into the room on the far left and waited for a guy to come investigate. Joel hopped in, took him hostage, and choked him out. Rather than engage the rest of the enemies, Joel and Ellie took off in a new direction.