I feel like I'm playing this game wrong...

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#1 Edited by hach (237 posts) -

I just recently bought a PS4 and have been going through some old games. I was super excited for the last of us because of reputation it has but I feel like I'm not doing something right. I'm liking the story and the characters so far but every time I see a enemy encounter rolling up I get an 'ah shit' feeling. I usually love stealth like this but for some reason it feels like more of a chore than anything, I also feel like I'm constantly crouch walking everywhere until I look back and see the other characters just walking then I stand up. Multiple times I've also just not been able to tell where I'm supposed to go, I suppose you are supposed to explore but when the map is filled with enemies and I'm trying to stealth through it kinda makes me want to beeline for an exit. I usually just end up getting frustrated and sprinting around to either get to the exit or find it so it I can rush to it after reloading.

I am very interested to see how the story plays out but am I just going at the gameplay the wrong way? in my head it feels like it should be very linear and easy and I think that's why it's frustrating me when I can't just walk to the exit in a kind of telltale-esque kind of way. If there's anyone else who felt similarly about this game I'd love to hear if there are any suggestions on how to make the combat/stealth sections more enjoyable (for lack of a better term).

(apologies if this is well trodden ground I've been trying not to read too much to avoid spoilers and such)

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#2 Edited by NTM (11569 posts) -

Some people don't like the gameplay. I don't know what to say, I'm someone that loves it. It's also pretty easy to figure out where to go as it is pretty linear, but yes exploring is a part of the fun. The game is fun to experiment with different playstyles, but if you play it enough the stealth becomes pretty easy for the most part and you can master each section, memorizing it all. The only time stealth is a bad idea is the ending, where learning how to beeline it to the end goal is the fastest way to beat it. There's another section where you're alone and clickers are everywhere; it's best to kill all of them. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't go into detail, but on hard, it deals with using bullets well and bottles and bricks at the best of your ability and timing your punches. Just take it slow I guess. On many encounters, focus on ways to take the enemy down and then explore and find the way to progress.

Some places you'll just want to book it, others it's best to kill everything. The fun is in learning how to master it, but also when things go wrong it can be a nice change from what you can be used to if you feel you already know the situation, but it's also just really good at seamlessly going from stealth to action, shooting or hand-to-hand. Clickers will almost always require stealth though, and it's not always necessary to kill them. I really don't know what else to say, I loved playing the game. It shouldn't matter how many times you die, just try to go about the situations differently until you feel you have it down and do your best to survive when things go bad which is always great.

I don't remember about easy difficulty, but you should be walking slowly as you crouch with the clickers, and probably humans too unless you feel you can get to them before they catch you. Also, remember that you can put a guy in a headlock and drag him to a location out of other enemies' sights. It's not like Splinter Cell where you pick up a dead body, but it works perfectly fine. The friendly A.I. can't be caught or killed, so don't ever worry about them. They're just there to help. I'm curious, where are you now in the game? Oh, and if the friendly A.I. is standing up and walking around, it's most likely because you're not in any encounter with enemies, but from what I remember they generally crouch when Joel does.

Just experiment I guess is the best thing to do and try not to get frustrated if you get something wrong. Oh, and lastly, remember that you can throw items at dudes which can be useful. Throw a brick at a dude or clicker and run up to them to melee for a kill. Don't ever use fists against clickers and you don't really need to shiv them either as you should use them for locked doors for items. Just make sure you have a melee weapon in hand for them, and it's best to get them when stunned unless you feel you can time the attack well, but they often deflect from what I remember. Okay, I had a little more to say than I thought. Hope that helps?

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#3 Edited by hach (237 posts) -

@ntm: I think the clickers are probably the encounters I dislike the most, mostly because sometimes I feel like I can sneak past them and sometimes it feels like even when standing still they're just slowly making their way towards you. I'm also very bad with not wanting to waste shivs and so try not to use them at any cost when I should probably just knife a few clickers here and there (just saw your edit so I guess this was actually the right tactic :P ). The last part that I was at that somewhat prompted this post was:

A little bit after getting ambushed by the hunters on the road, the open area with large tents on the outside and a building with two floors that has a bunch of the hunters in it.

Because there was so many of them I kept trying to stealth past them without alerting anyone, perhaps I should have just tried to take them all out. In the end I just ran up and saw the exit and just went for it while I was being shot at. It's annoying because it kinda takes me out of the game doing it that way not to mention I probably missed a lot of good stuff in the area. I think you're probably right that I just have to take it more slowly and not care about just killing everything. Although I will say there was one part where one of the friendlies was caught and killed but it was after open combat started not during stealth.

huh I actually didnt realise there was any kind of timing to the punching whatsoever, I've just been spamming it mostly which probably doesn't help. Also never really throw anything at enemies that's probably a good shout too. Thanks for taking the time! I think I just need to get my head in a different space when trying to tackle these encounters.

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#4 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1955 posts) -

I play it on hard both times. One of the greatest gameplay experiences I've had. The best part is when stealth is blown and you have to scrap and scrape for your life throwing every resource at the encounter just to get through.

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#5 Posted by Humanity (18581 posts) -

@hach: the gameplay is alright but really you’re here for the story so I wouldn’t worry about it.

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#6 Posted by hach (237 posts) -

@humanity: Yeah it would be nice to get the full experience but I think if, after a second try, the combat still doesn't grab me I might consider just dropping the difficulty and playing it as a story game. I should say the few times that the stealth went exactly the way I planned it is pretty fun but I'm one of those people who restarts whenever I blow the stealth and it seems the game isn't really intended to be played that way.

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#7 Posted by Ceen (29 posts) -

I struggled the first two times I tried to play it. When it first came out and then again remastered. It wasn’t until last year I just decided to put it in easy with aim assist. Then I was finally able to just enjoy the world and story. Had an amazing experience with it this way. One that I may well have missed out on.

Do try and stick with it either way. It can feel slow to get going but it’s an amazing story that is well worth the effort.

And make sure you do the dlc too. Arguably the best bit ;)

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#8 Posted by Humanity (18581 posts) -

@hach: the gameplay is just flawed. The stealth isn’t all that great and neither is the gunplay really. Some resonate with it but it’s hard to recommend to fans of either shooting or sneaking. Then they throw in crafting and the same type of environmental puzzle thrown at you over and over again - it can all be a bit of a grind at times. I enjoyed that game a lot and Winter is one of the best sections, in terms of narrative, of any game I’ve played in the past few years, but I definitely didn’t enjoy “playing” it as much as I enjoyed experiencing the tale of these two people unfold with my input.

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#9 Posted by Teddie (2110 posts) -

@hach: I'm almost positive the enemies are designed to eventually move towards the player during stealth. At some point, I was in an open area with a bunch of hunters, I backed myself into a corner in a second story building with only one exit, and one by one every single enemy in the area made their way up there despite none of them having a regular patrol around that part of the map. I'm guessing they have some kind of adaptive enemy AI that s a bit broken.

The best way to deal with clickers without using a shiv (besides sneaking past them) is to get up behind them unaware with a brick and hit the melee button.

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#10 Posted by hach (237 posts) -

@ceen: I may get to that point soon, I'm really enjoying watching the story unfold and the dynamic between Joel and Ellie is really well done. I'll definitely see it through and I'll almost certainly play the DLC as well.

@humanity: Yeah I think I agree, and I can see how people could very much enjoy the gameplay but for me the combat sections are getting to be a bit of a drag. The bow in particular oh boy, when I found it I thought it was going to change everything but using it is really not great with the sort of grenade lob aiming. But as you said, the story is definitely the draw and its definitely outweighing the negatives for me right now.

@teddie: It seems to be a common AI behaviour to sort of cheat in the direction of the player to keep the action going but I feel it's a little unwelcome here. That may just be because it's not 'supposed' to be an action game in my head so I never really want it to lean towards combat. That's a great tip I had no idea you could take down clickers this way!

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#11 Posted by Heycalvero (289 posts) -

I remember banging my head against the gameplay for a while before getting a hang of it (I was playing on hard). I remember dying at least 20 times to a clicker section early on.

But once I had it down, the gameplay turned into a satisfying, if a bit flawed, experience. The stealth always felt tense and the fights usually impactful.

It's obviously not for everyone, but my point is, even for those of us who love it, it takes a while to get into the groove - which is a failure of the game, to be clear.

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#12 Edited by OurSin_360 (6117 posts) -

The combat was not good imo, i couldn't get through the game because of how tedious and bad it felt to me. I would say naughty dog combat is generally not great, but the platforming and fast pace of the uncharted games hid that fact. When it became slow and you are forced to do it over after one mistake it just highlighted how bad it is. You may just be in the same camp as me, I wanted to love that game but ended up mad I bought it digital on ps3 as I couldn't resell or return it.

I have been thinking about giving it another shot though.

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#13 Edited by NTM (11569 posts) -

@hach: Are you also referring to the moment where you're in the library? If so, yeah you should have taken them all out. Plus, it leads to a handful of funny Ellie moments where she pulls out a joke book. Oh, and reading that you restart when stealth broke isn't the way it's intended. It's awesome when stealth breaks most of the time and you have to think differently; that's one of the strengths of the gameplay I find. I've beaten the game about seven times: a few times on PS3 and a few times on the PS4. I love playing it. I think people that dislike it probably don't know what to make of it or something, I don't know. Plus, one of the best parts of the game, at least to me, is its setting, so exploring everything was fantastic. Clickers tend to have a pattern if I remember correctly.

When it comes to clickers, like I said, walk slowly as you crouch. The game isn't solely a stealth game; it's not like Splinter Cell so don't expect it to be. First and foremost it's a survival game, so you do anything to survive. The shooting feels exceptional when you get shots in. I don't know what it means for the shooting to be 'realistic', but that's the best way to describe its brutality. When things go awry in stealth going hand-to-hand is exhilarating. Besting your foes is a lot of fun and can differ on multiple playthroughs if you want it to. I don't really see it as flawed as some mention; that's a weird way to describe it. It's only flawed if you're expecting it to be something it's not. Mastering the game and figuring out what the game is helps make it phenomenal I guess. I liked it off the bat; I wasn't expecting something out of it though.

Again, I don't know what to say about not enjoying it, it's one of the only games that I don't really get peoples dislike of it aside from 'opinions'. It's also the reason why I've always disliked people saying it's a bad game, but a good movie because that's disregarding so much more of its appeal. The game is neither a shooter like Uncharted/Gears of War nor is it a stealth game like Splinter Cell. It's simply survival which also happens to mix both portions of those games exceptionally well in my opinion, but doing it in its own way where you can't necessarily rely on how you play those to play The Last of Us. The Last of Us is in large part its own thing.

Breaking stealth and getting back into it feels wonderful if that's something that has to be done. Like I said, though I've mostly mastered the way you can go about the setting so each time I try something works, the seamless way you can or have to change up your style of play is just superb. I didn't go into The Last of Us super hyped. I remember seeing the trailers when it came out and said to myself 'I'm sure it'll be good; it's Naughty Dog', but I also felt hesitant because I wanted more Uncharted and it seemed like yet more zombies. I got the game a bit late, but still in 2013 and I instantly fell in love with it, becoming one of my favorite games to date honestly.

The only aspects I dislike is that you can't restart anywhere in the game with your equipment and upgrades, so if I hadn't played it in a long time I'd have to play where I was at the last time I played instead of just restarting the game. I also think the fact that the enemies can't see Ellie or other friendly A.I. can take me out of the experience, but it's also a good thing. I think they're pretty smart and often helpful, but if they got caught (which they definitely would) it'd lead to frustration. There's a moment near the part you're talking about where there are hunters talking and you scramble up some stairs and can hide behind a door, Ellie will still be coming up the stairs as the hunters are walking down them which looks goofy as heck. Otherwise, I have not issue with the game.

Oh, and bricks aren't a good way to take down clickers (unless on easy?) If I remember correctly, that won't kill them. You need a melee weapon to do real damage. Using a brick or throwable will only work if they've been previously weakened.

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#14 Posted by fatalbanana (1106 posts) -

I like the combat but it definitely took some getting used to for me. It's not a faced paced game, it requires patience and a degree of thinking things through. I ended up liking this because it's so unlike other games of its kind where running and gunning always works.

I recommend not rushing through it because that would end up with you banging your head against the gameplay and suck all the potential fun out of your experience. It's about tension and planning your routes and order of attacks. I personally played the game on hard and leaned into what the combat was asking of you and had a great time as a result. That isn't to say the gameplay is for everyone but I ended up appreciating it.

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#15 Posted by Justin258 (15583 posts) -

The Last of Us tells a really good story, but Logan pretty much tells the same story and tells it just as well, if not better. I'm not saying TLOU's story isn't worth slogging through the gameplay, but if you're frustrated maybe consider something else.

TLOU's encounters against humans are fine. They're tense, they're scary, they're brutal, they're generally fine. The infected suck all of the fun out of TLOU, though. Every enemy has an instant kill and they all feel like they require a terrible trial and error approach. Whether you're noticed or not seems like a dice roll rather than a game of skill. The infected sections are just the worst parts of stealth games without any of the good parts. And fuck the parts where you actually have to fight the clickers, fucking bullet sponge headshot-focused gameplay in a game with scarce ammo and bad aiming code.

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#16 Posted by JeremyF (338 posts) -

I've got to be honest and say that I rarely enjoyed any part of The Last of Us. I thought the gameplay was just anti-fun. Guns were stiff and awkward, movement was tedious, stealth was underwhelming. Most of this was, I'm sure, intentional by Naughty Dog, but I never felt the excitement of 99.9% of people who played this game. I only became constantly frustrated as a zombie instantly ripped my head off to the scare chord for the hundreth time.

It's crazy that the same people made the Uncharted series, which I absolutely love playing. The "tense moments" people always rave about with TLOU were much more common to me in Uncharted, because I actually had the tools I needed to recover. If it looks like you're about to die in TLOU, you probably will. Even if it doesn't look like you're about to die in TLOU, an enemy will come up and snap your spine in two. The quicker movement and combat in Uncharted leads to a much more intense, and dare I say fun, experience than looking at Joel's butt while he waddles around.

I also couldn't get that invested in the story since I figured it was a zombie story and everyone likable would die eventually. In particular I felt a huge disconnect with Joel, especially at that one part which I won't spoil here. In Uncharted, every character is entertaining, and I was always glad to have Sully or Elena around, rather than the ambivalence I felt towards Ellie. I also kind of hate how TLOU influenced Uncharted 4, with its higher focus on slowly walking around a house pressing triangle on random garbage.

Environments are uninteresting, including "Boston but it's shitty," "Pittsburgh but it's shitty," and "The suburbs but it's shitty." The creativity in the settings and level design gets nowhere close to Uncharted for me. The whole world and backstory just seems like a lost cause, so what's the point? Am I insane? Did I play it wrong? Why is this game that tops "best of the generation" lists so... not good?

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#17 Posted by bananasbananasbananas (13 posts) -

Play it on the harder difficulties. It's a lot more fun.

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#18 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1955 posts) -

I think perhaps I'm much better at this game than most.

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#19 Posted by Rejizzle (1083 posts) -

Yeah, I'm with you on that "Oh Shit" feeling. Having played the game on hard, I had no idea what the game expected of me. I wanted to treat it like a stealth game, but it would throw random action sections at me every once in a while. And whenever an action sequence would happen it felt less like I messed up the stealth and more like the game just wanted me to use my ammo. This might just be me, but I never understood the Clicker AI and wish they just used line of sight like everything else. I powered through on hard, but really you should just bump it down to easy if the game lets you.

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#20 Posted by devise22 (719 posts) -

Maybe I'm crazy, but when the encounters were so harsh and the combat made me want to flee, I did. I felt that added to the gameplay experience. Coming of Uncharted which is almost an arcade game of "you have to kill x to proceed" it was nice to play a survival horror game like my end goal was to actually survive. The fact that you can run scared past encounters as shit hits the fan I felt made the encounters exceptionally realistic. And the tension to survive during some encounters as you try to get through was very good imo.

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#21 Posted by TobbRobb (6568 posts) -

Do like me an just put it on easy and blast your way through with shotguns. The areas are pretty open so it's fun to flank around and do a really active hit and run shooter style.

But yeah I think the stealth aspects of the game are straight trash, and I don't like survival aspects in general. So I just decided to completely ignore it and played like an action game on easy. And in my book it was better for it!

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#22 Posted by Notkcots (113 posts) -

TLoU's gameplay really rubbed me the wrong way. Many of the set-piece sequences are really rigidly designed, to the point where you have to take the exact path the developers intended or you're just instantly killed. There's one area with a sniper which was especially infuriating for this reason. The environments are designed to make it seem like you have a lot of options and can do stick-and-move tactics, but this is usually an illusion; the game is actually as tightly scripted as any of the Uncharted games. In some cases, the scripting to carry the story forward straight up won't work unless you take the right path, or the game will instant kill you if you wander off the appointed path (as in the sniper section). In other cases, going the wrong way will just wind up with you being swarmed by a totally unmanageable number of enemies, and unless you have a molotov, you're doomed. The illusion of non-linearity makes it incredibly frustrating to figure out where you actually have to go if you want to get through a given section.

It's a real shame, too, because I think that when you're fighting human enemies, the combat engine is a real step up from the Uncharted games. A less linear and punishing game built on this combat could have been really great. Far Cry style outposts that you could attack from any angle would have worked really well, I think. The zombies just really suck, though. I wish Naughty Dog had gone with more of a Children of Men/The Road style post-apocalypse instead of 28 Days Later.

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#23 Posted by cyberbloke (178 posts) -

I loved the game, but came to a point where the tension was unbearable and dropped the difficulty down to easy.

If that's what it takes to enjoy the story, go for it. It gets a lot easier and the story flows better without you dying all the time.

You can always try it on hard at a later date.

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#24 Posted by FrostyRyan (2899 posts) -

I can give you a tip. You can only move past clickers without alerting them if you're crouched and at your MINIMUM crouch walking speed. Don't walk past them at full crouch speed.

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#25 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1628 posts) -

Depends what you came to the game for. If you're progressing, I don't think you're playing wrong.

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#26 Posted by hach (237 posts) -

I haven't had a chance to play again yet but I think it might just be a case of perspective. I think going into it thinking of it as a survival game that has encounters to be endured rather than a stealth game with encounters to be cleared out or evaded will probably help.

@frostyryan: I do crouch walk at the minimum speed and mostly its fine but I feel like sometimes they just catch me anyway (I may be crazy on that). Also I really haven't been a fan of the parts where they mix clickers and runners so you have to both be slow and hidden at the same time, it can get a little tedious. But I do find myself just running for my life when I get caught in those situations and I think I just have to realise that that's an okay outcome in this game.

@ntm: I'm not sure if it was the library honestly but it didn't read to me as a situation where I was supposed to take them out. The section right after Tess dies for example when the soldiers are coming for you. That felt like a section where I was supposed to take all of them out and that's what I did. And yeah I agree it really wouldn't work at all if the NPCs could get spotted and the little goofy moments of them running around in enemies sight is much preferable to that I think.

Worst comes to worst if it really becomes a problem, like people said I'll bump it down (if that's possible, and actually I'm now kind of torn on whether I should bump it up to make it so I have to treat it as a survival situation in every encounter). Thanks all for the insight!

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#27 Posted by Rawrz (673 posts) -

That's like every Naughty Dog game to me. Their storytelling is good but then the gameplay is pretty average.

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#28 Posted by nutter (1890 posts) -

I enjoyed it, but haven’t played in years.

I remember trying to be stealthy, killing only when needed. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. When it didn’t work, I played it like an action game and tried to get through as best as I could.

I felt this added a nice bit of tension without ever being too difficult.

I do remember one encounter in a gym being pretty painful, though...

Can you turn down the difficulty? I’ve done that more in my old age if the story is engaging but the gameplay just doesn’t work for me. Screw badges of honor, the game should be enjoyed, whatever that looks like for you.

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#29 Edited by NTM (11569 posts) -

@hach: It's not really about having to or not having to, it's just about experimenting and figuring out what's best in the end, but also, just running past dudes leads to a somewhat disappointing experience in my opinion in some cases, like the library part. Oh, and enemies don't magnetize to you, that's not a thing in the game. They just patrol and sometimes get close. I've had it where a guy walks right next to me and didn't see me and moved on, potentially leaving room for me to strangle the enemy silently or what have you. It was tense and didn't feel like the A.I. was being dumb. It really is about using everything at your disposal well and moving correctly through the environments. To me, it has always been incredibly immersive and I never once felt 'well that's cheap' or 'the game doesn't work as well as it's supposed to'.

There was only one encounter from what I remember that made me feel I need to book it, and it's at the very end because there is just too many guys and no checkpoints, so again timing is key for the enemies not to see you, but you can still full sprint ahead while mixing in throwables and melee. There's one moment that I've already mentioned that's one of the most intense parts of the game as you're alone in a sewer system with a bunch of clickers and runners which calls for good timing with the melee and throwables, as well as the use of limited ammo you have. In most games, I play on easy first, then I move onto the hardest; it allows for me to appreciate what the game has to offer, but also learn what it has to offer before making it more challenging and possibly more immersive.

I've played The Last of Us through mostly on grounded. I played it so much on it that whenever I went back to easy I totally forget there's a listening mode. The only times I never initiate attack on enemies is as I mentioned, the ending aside from a few dudes that come out of a door I'm trying to get into to progress as well as one of the last rooms of the game with a bunch of enemies that block you're way to again, a door, the moment just before the library where guys are talking about their buddies not reporting back as they walk past you, and the rainy nightfall moment, otherwise I kill everyone.

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#30 Posted by LittleWask (115 posts) -

Keep in mind, the gameplay is supposed to be stressful. The idea is to mimic the experience of the main characters, so that you are feeling similarly to how they are feeling. When you drop into a room with clickers everywhere and you've got like three bullets and a lead pipe, you're sharing an experience with the character. How the hell am I going to get through this without dying? It's a fascinating effect. Don't be afraid to get into an almost RP-esque mindset. I spent most of that game trying to think like I were those characters, and in the end it made all the difference.

That said, I've seen a lot of good advice in this thread. There's no right way to play a game; most important thing is that you enjoy yourself. If you aren't feeling the combat, flip over to easy. Even still, it's not babytown frolics, and you'll still be challenged. The story is the main draw in any case. Hope you have fun!

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#31 Posted by wardcleaver (296 posts) -

I would have to agree with the posters would played it for the story and characters, but found the gameplay lacking.

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#32 Posted by triviaman09 (1032 posts) -

As someone who played this game a few months ago for the first time, I identify with the 'ah crap more of this?' sentiment wholeheartedly. There's some depth to the systems and, like many are saying, it's supposed to be tense. I just didn't find it to be very much fun.

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#33 Posted by CurseTheseMetalHands (165 posts) -

My two biggest mistakes in my first playthrough were trying to save all my goodies for when I'd 'really' need them and always clearing an area. If you're playing on normal, I suggest not being stingy with shivs and bullets (and molotovs!), because there are ample supplies around. I mean, don't play it like an action game, because you still want to stealth to some degree both for practically and atmosphere, but you don't have to play it like a survival horror game either, if you're on normal. Though, there are times where the best stealth approach is to sneak past everyone and not engage, not even going for stealth kills. The biggest problem is that it's not always clear which tactics might be best. If whatever approach you're trying just doesn't seem to be working, then try something else. Trial and error is an unfortunate aspect of the gameplay.

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#34 Posted by Tesla (2292 posts) -

It sounds like you are being too careful; stealth is but one of many options. The gameplay isn't very kind to gamers that like to hoard their items. You'll have a lot more fun if you use all of those other options available to you early and often and save the stealth for when you're low on supplies.

You take this mentality and bump the difficulty up as well, now you're really playing The Last of Us.

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