The Last Of Us Part II does not facilitate target practice

Illustration for the article titled iThe Last Of Us Part II / i does not facilitate target practice

Screenshot: The last of us, part II

Campaign coachCampaign Coach is a month-long miniseries that finds a first-person gaming expert trying to teach a hapless hobbyist.

It’s a scare from the horror movie. My character, Ellie, is busy exploring a long-abandoned cafe in Seattle, picking up pieces of equipment left behind by those who fled long ago, when I head to the back to quickly examine the bathroom. I slam the door open, and bam, there is an infected runner screaming throwing himself at me. “Jesus Christ!” I scream as I take an initial hit before recovering enough to dodge the next round and plunge my knife into her head. I desperately need to improve the speed of my weapons; There was not enough time to pull out a pistol and shoot at such close range. “How do they get there?” My character’s traveling companion, Dina, wonders. Oddly, Ellie doesn’t take this opportunity to look directly into the camera and say, “THAT’S A VERY GOOD QUESTION, DINA.”

It’s only been four days since I started my search to conquer The last of us part IIAs part of an attempt to see if a terribly awkward gaming video game player like me can not only get over the game, but can also improve his skills along the way. Last week, I completed my old enemy, The last of us, to demonstrate that it was worth starting even this much bigger (and more complicated) game. I sent my campaign coach William Hughes, our head of game coverage at The AV Club“Some images of my struggles while defeating the first game, and he gave me some homework: Make a commitment to use the biggest and best weapon without worrying about running out of ammo.” Oh, and learn how to launch a damn projectile, because dropping a smoke bomb at your own feet is embarrassing.

It turns out that one of those things was much easier to accomplish than the other. One of the best things about this game: the simplified narrative, which prevents you from wandering, open-world style, to do whatever you want, it also means that if the game doesn’t want to let you practice throwing things, you’re not going to practice throwing things . There’s a very early one-minute pitch session, when Ellie and Dina get a chance to join a snowball fight with some of the kids living in their camp, but after a measly dozen pitches, it’s all over. Did I hit my targets every time? I did not do it. In fact, a little bastard ran up to me, laughing, as I picked up a snowball, carefully aimed and proceeded to throw it directly at the fence several feet to his left. He could almost see the disappointment on his digital face when he realized he was fighting a random launch generator.

However, I got my essays where I could. Every time a bottle or brick appeared, I took the opportunity to point to a nearby window, door, or tree, sometimes turning first in a circle to force myself to reorient and aim quickly. When I took the time and was patient, I was able to land any shot. When I did the spin-and-throw, I was … less successful, let’s say. Still, any moment that can be considered downtime is an opportunity to catch your breath in this game. Many of the early stages are a combination of stressful stealth that alternates with pure panic. It’s hard to take the time to consider your options when faced with scenarios like this:

The plot of this game has honestly intrigued me so much that it has made it difficult to focus solely on the game. In other words, sometimes I loosen up as a student, the equivalent of reading stormy peaks for the English class without paying attention to the themes of passion and how the tempestuous environment reflects Heathcliff’s internal conflict. (It’s been a while since high school; that’s what you say about stormy peaks(However, right?) I almost suspected that killing Joel would be the act that set the plot in motion, but after he got so long into the opening section, I started to think that something else would come and spur Ellie in. . action. No, it’s Joel and he’s brutal. (Also, it may be an obvious tactic, but having you play as the vengeful Abby for a few sequences before he executes his bloody revenge is an undeniably effective way of forcing you to see things from his point of view.) Ellie and Dina begin to wander around Seattle, he was deeply interested.

However, I was not so inverted as not to be very aware of my fighting tactics. I was downloading clips without worrying about running out of ammo, per my coach’s instructions. And yet, I still found myself often forced into close combat, despite my attempts to avoid it and focus on shooting zombie heads dozens of feet away. I am not sure why it is happening; Perhaps it is just an effect of the game’s intentions to keep you out of balance and forced to improvise on the fly during hectic battle situations? I recorded the fourth time through a particularly stressful sequence of when Joel is still alive, when he, Tommy and Abby are trying to escape the horde that was chasing me in the clip above. Maybe my coach can watch my clumsy efforts and tell me what, exactly, I’m doing wrong.

William: Let’s start with this, Alex; Congratulations! Any fight you can walk away from The last of us, part II It’s a good fight, and you came to that battle in the gondola room, the first legitimately difficult combat encounter that players go through, with great success.

The best thing about watching this little takedown is watching you understand, intuitively, that keeping your distance is your best weapon against Runners and their infected enemies. Although Part II has made his melee combat more robust, especially with the addition of a dodge move that allows you to shake and weave a surprising array of psychotic mushroom zombie attacks, you’re almost always better served in this type. of fights by keeping enough space between you and them to be able to target effectively. (Once you get a shotgun, that pressure is relieved a bit, but at first, the gun needs room to do its job.) Also, consciously or not, you made perfect use of Joel, allowing him to take some of the heat. (and burn some of your unlimited ammo) to keep the worst of the hordes at bay.

If I’m really focusing on errors in judgment (and projecting some of my own future experiences with the game on your learning journey), the harshest criticism I can find is that there are times when that dodging move really could have useful arrived, especially that grip that almost takes you near the end of the clip. So that’s what your next task will focus on: the next time you come face to face with a lone Runner, why not do some shadow boxing? Let it hit you for a minute or so, learning the dodging rhythms in a low-impact way. Then, once you’ve sweated, the satisfaction of killing the poor bastard will only feel sweeter. And keep practicing your pitch! Let the lock be your guide; No one likes self-inflicted Molotov wounds.

A.M: Okay, this feels like instructions that I can use. On the other hand, I assumed that I would inevitably come across an early equivalent of a green when it came to practicing projectile throwing, and the game greatly hindered my efforts there. So far I’ve only had one encounter with a lone Runner (the high-stress bathing incident mentioned above), but there have definitely been a few times when only one was left standing during a stealth takedown sequence. I’d be glad to let Ellie spend a little time learning exactly when to duck and when to jump forward with that little razor of his. Watch out, Seattle infested with overgrowth! I’m going to lift bricks a little too low and to the left through your windows!