The Last Of Us Limited Edition Strategy Guide is an incredibly comprehensive book that any completionist will want to pick up.
The Last Of Us is a game that hardly needs an introduction. Garnering countless perfect scores from the press (including Metal Arcade), Naughty Dog’s PlayStation 3 survival horror game is a bona fide masterpiece. It’s also a pretty difficult game. Luckily, BradyGames has released a great companion guide that does a stellar job of aiding players in their quest to survive this post-apocalyptic world.
Unlike the extremely polished feel of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series, The Last Of Us is intentionally rough around the edges. Joel is not a master marksman with weapons, and his aiming is as shaky and erratic as the infected populating this dystopian wasteland, which is frustrating yet realistic. You’re always low on ammo, and avoiding shootouts is absolutely necessary to survival. There’s plenty of moments of utter desperation in the game, where you’ll be rushed by a swarm of crazed monsters with only two bullets and a wooden plank to defend yourself with, as your heart threatens to burst out of your chest. Many times all you’ll have in your inventory is an empty glass bottle or a brick to use as a distraction. You’ll always have to make sacrifices and tough decisions, such as using your alcohol to make a molotov cocktail or saving it for a health pack.
Creating the guide took 16 days of playtime, two trips to Naughty Dog’s studio, and a ton of back and forth between the two teams. It’s “the most comprehensive look at The Last of Us you’ll find outside the walls of Naughty Dog”, according to BradyGames. It’s hard to question that claim, as during my playthrough of The Last Of Us I had no trouble finding the correct path or stealthily sneaking past the Infected with the help of BradyGames’ guide. If you like full walkthroughs, this guide has you covered. If you want just hints and tips when you get stuck, that’s here too. The guide does a fantastic job of leading you down the correct path without spoiling any of the major story elements, which was highly appreciated. Everything from detailed maps, informative screenshots and a breakdown of your enemies is included in the guide, alongside sections detailing the collectibles and even the multiplayer.
Opening the book is the Survival Guide, breaking down the basics and combat of the game, as well as acclimating players to the UI and crafting abilities. Combat is definitely something you want to avoid in The Last Of Us, and BradyGames does a great job of explaining Joel’s Listen Mode and leading players through the safest path, while also making sure extra ammo and collectibles are easy to find.
The main guide is broken into twelve chapters. There’s plenty of background information on the various characters you’ll run into in The Last Of Us, and the maps at the beginning of each chapter are detailed; it’s easy to discern where the player is in relation to their environment. For players that just want to make sure they don’t miss any collectibles (or Ellie’s jokes), there’s an entire section at the end dedicated to that. Thankfully, this info is also shown in the main guide, so you won’t need to flip back and forth as the strategy section has the best of both worlds. That said, I had a few problems here and there where the main guide notified me of a collectible after I had passed a section that I could not go back to without re-loading a manual save. If you make sure to note the sidebars with this info on each page ahead of time, though, you shouldn’t have a problem. Beyond that, there’s info on every weapon and ability in the game, complete character biographies and extra story information.
The Limited Edition of this guide comes with a very cool Firefly pendant, which feels solid and has a nice weight to it. The book itself is quite sturdy, and the paper that BradyGames used to print on feels heavy and lends a quality feel to it.
The Last Of Us Limited Edition Strategy Guide is an incredibly comprehensive book that any completionist will want to pick up. The construction and printing of the hardcover book is excellent, and the key chain pendant is something that die hard fans will definitely want to hold on to.