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A Survival Guide for Anyone Venturing Through The Last of Us
on June 24, 2013
The Last of Us is a game worth experiencing. And it's got a lot of collectibles and a lot of hidden goodies to explore within every area. It's a rather nice change of pace in gaming. So naturally, when you think of collectibles you probably also think that it would be nice to have a strategy guide to help you out in those situations. The Last of Us Official Strategy guide is here to help. It's a good guide overall and actually provides a lot of information about the game. I do suggest, however, that the strategy guide be used on a second playthrough, and we'll talk about why shortly.
The guide begins, as so many do, with a lot of the game basics. There's actually reason for any newcomer to The Last of Us to spend time here. While the game is more than willing to explain everything about it in easy tutorials, the guide is willing to explain the basics of everything and go a little further. The Last of Us is a huge game and one that, at some point, really banks on you knowing what you're doing to get through. The fact that all the basic survival and combat stuff is willing to be more than just a "how to," guide all the time is rather nice. Bradygames has always had a problem about talking about the difficulty settings, but with this guide you won't mind as much. The authors note that the guide is written with the assumption that you are playing on Hard Mode (usually Bradygames writes their walkthroughs with the assumption you're playing on Normal). The guide does talk about the basics of weapons here, but it doesn't quite give any suggestions of how to upgrade them in anyway. It probably doesn't have to, but at least you know that all the basics of The Last of Us is covered in surprising detail.
The enemies chapter is also pretty useful as it talks about the enemies in good detail as well. There isn't much to say, but it does note certain things about them, such as how they attack and what you can expect from an attack. Which is probably much more useful than specifically telling you how to go about it (though the guide is quick to point out this as well). You will learn about your foes. The walkthrough also calls out the new enemies as they appear. But having this section is still going to be useful.
Once we get to the walkthrough this is where the guide becomes truly useful in so many different ways. Each section begins by showing you the chapter itself. Beyond that there is always a chart that tells you what collectibles can be found in the chapter and what supplies you can find as well. It also mentions the enemies you'll encounter within that chapter. The maps showcased in each chapter as you arrive at new areas are invaluable. They are incredibly detailed, pointing out every item in the area and being more than just wireframe maps. A lot of guides fail to put a lot of detail into their maps, but here the maps are so well done that you won't find yourself disoriented if you walk away because they always make sure you know what scenery is around you and the like. Players who hope to explore and pick up every last item in an area will probably find that the maps alone will suffice in helping you navigate through much of the game without actually reading much of the walkthrough.
The walkthrough also points out any time you meet new characters. It's got some good organization and a great layout in many respects. They always point out collectibles as you meander through the world at hand. Often times not just putting it in the main text of the walkthrough but actually having callouts. They also highlight any new tutorials, enemies and items that pop up at any given time. It's a really in depth walkthrough that helps get you through the game. It's also complete with tons of screenshots to illustrate a lot of things. It's unusual to see a Bradygames guide this well organized. There is a lot of text, though, so you may spend a lot of time reading some parts rather than being engrossed in the game.
The guide isn't without it's faults. For instance, while I like that Bradygames played through hard mode, I still feel that for those who want to tackle higher difficulty settings the guide simply won't help them. Survivor is a totally different beast from the other difficulty settings and Bradygames does nothing to really help the player prepare. As is standard: They mention how you do less damage and how enemies do more... but there are some really important things they're missing out on by not having some kind of addendum for Survivor. There are fewer items. Meaning that items shown on the map might not necessarily be there on Survivor. Since the maps correspond to Hard Mode this means that when playing survivor it's pointing out items that may not be there. Likewise, this also means that there are MORE items in an area on Normal and Easy that the maps aren't pointing out either. It's a good walkthrough and has some good strategies and maps, but Bradygames still isn't willing to go that extra mile that could help a player master the game as opposed to just learning as much of it as they can.
All this amounts to a great strategy guide in the long run. Anyone playing on Hard difficulty or lower will find a lot of use in its maps. For those playing on Survivor (and if you are you probably know the game anyway) there isn't much the guide will do to help you prepare for that.
There is one other problem with the walkthrough. The information is sound. The strategies are awesome, the guidance is good and those maps are probably the most valuable resource the guide has. However, the walkthrough is very forward and direct that it WILL spoil major plot points. It doesn't just detail what to do in an area, but also what will happen to you after you've done it. This means for those hoping to avoid spoilers the guide has plenty of them and they won't be highlighted as spoilers. The Last of Us is quite an engrossing game. The story is really good and many a gamer probably shouldn't have it spoiled for them. The walkthrough leaves no stone unturned, this includes any twists in the story and plot. Don't take this to mean the guide isn't good. It's a very good guide. One that will help you uncover everything The Last of Us has to offer, it's just not shy about telling you what's going to happen. As such I recommend it for a second playthrough. It will help you find everything and for those who want to find everything it's going to do just that. But the guide is also going to make sure you KNOW everything about the story as well. If you're the type who doesn't like spoilers, save the guide for a second playthrough.
However, even if you only wanted the guide to find all the collectibles, the guide did make sure to include a separate chapter in case you didn't want to go searching through the walkthrough. It's very well organized and shows you everything without giving away anything to the plot. For those who also want to know, there is also a Tags and Trophy guide in the event that you just want to know those things as well, complete with strategies and commentary. Meaning that even with spoilers, those who want to find everything can still do so without fear of the experience being ruined. The guide is good for a quick reference as well as those looking for more in depth descriptions.
The guide also has a huge section dedicated to talking about the various factions you'll see as well. It provides much of the same info as the walkthrough itself. It treats Factions as though it is a separate game, going over the basics all over again. But everything that's great about the walkthrough is still really good here.
For those wondering, there's not much difference in picking up the Limited Edition Guide or the Standard Edition. The Content in both guides is exactly the same. Both guides are the same length. There are only two distinct differences. The Limited Edition guide comes with a Firefly Keychain and is in hardcover. That's the only difference. Three's no "extra content," in the Limited Edition Guide. And you won't find anything in the Limited Edition guide that you won't find in the standard. It just has a hardcover and keychain.
The Last of Us is a pretty amazing game on its own, so it's nice to see that it also has a relatively amazing strategy guide to go with it. It leaves no stone unturned and often provides all the information you need to go through any one area. For those hoping to find everything The Last of Us has to offer, this is a good strategy guide to help you out.