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Last of Us EP19: Condemned to Pittsburgatory

By Shamus
on Wednesday Nov 12, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


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.

Comments (80)

  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.

  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.

    • 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.

  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.

  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?

  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?

  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.

  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.

    • Humanoid says:

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

    • 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. :)

      • 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.

      • 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.

  13. Tony Kebell says:

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

  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?!

  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.

  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.

    • 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.”

  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.)

  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?

  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: http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/12/microsoft-makes-visual-studio-free-for-small-teams/

  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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