The Last of Us Part II is a story-heavy game (with quite a heavy story), but there’s still plenty of combat in between the cut-scenes and scavenging sequences. While there’s no right or wrong way to play the game, there are some things to keep in mind both in general and for the different kinds of enemies you’ll come across.
Stealth against humans
The Last of Us Part II greatly improves upon the stealth aspects of its predecessor by giving you much more control over your movement and positioning throughout the various levels.
- Crouching is a reliable way to stay hidden behind objects and in tall grass. Crouching will also increase your accuracy.
- Going prone does this even better, allowing you to sneak through medium height grass and greatly reducing weapon sway.
- Throwing bricks and bottles around is great for distracting enemies, but be warned: humans in this game are mildly intelligent. They’ll often figure out you’re trying to distract them, but this can still be used to increase their paranoia and get enemy groups to converge on the wrong location.
- Use listen mode frequently to keep track of enemy movement. Again, they’re not so dumb this time around. Enemies will check around objects for you and look under cars.
- Use the silenced pistol whenever possible, but keep track of how many uses your silencer has before it breaks. It starts off capable of three shots but can be upgraded.
- Stealth killing enemies is your best bet whenever the opportunity arises. You don’t need to be directly behind the enemy to do so. If you move quickly enough, you can grab an enemy before they have a chance to raise any alarms. Other enemies will definitely find the dead body, though, and get suspicious of the area. Don’t linger in any one place too long. When in doubt, it’s never a bad move to run away.
Fighting the WLF
The WLF are the first type of human enemies you will encounter. They are a paramilitary-type organization and, as expected, operate with a degree of strategy and coordination. Sometimes you’ll be able to pick them off one at a time, but they do also move in groups. They will frequently be communicating with each other, notifying others when they spot you or growing suspicious when one of their pals suddenly doesn’t respond.
Like you, they use firearms, but their most fearsome weapon is undoubtedly their dogs. Their dogs can pick up your sent and track you down, so whenever you see a pooch, stay as far away as possible—or, you know, try to kill the dog. If you do kill a dog, make sure to take down its handler as quickly as possible as well. For WLF, bows and arrows are great tools to pick people off as you make your way through levels. Usually one arrow is enough, but if you hit someone in a non-vital part of the body, you might have to strike again. The WLF are a very mobile bunch, so leaving trip mines around is also a worthwhile tactic.
Fighting the Scars
The Scars are the second type of human enemies you’ll encounter. While they don’t pack heavy firearms or wear body armor like the WLF, they make good use of the tools they do have. These folks are quite good with bows and arrows. If you get shot with an arrow, you’ll continue to lose health until you use a health kit. They also will come at your with some wicked melee weapons.
In general, the best strategy with the Scars is to keep your distance. In a level with Scars, leaving trip mines around is a good idea, and long-range weapons are great. Since they don’t have as much protection as the WLF, they go down pretty easily. Don’t get too intimidated by their whistling either. It certainly sounds creepy, but it is essentially just their way of sounding suspicion.
Surviving the Infected
Most encounters with the infected occur in instances isolated away from other human enemies. When you don’t want to just sneak by them, you can apply a lot of the same strategies against them that you use against humans, although there are unique kinds of infected that ought to be dealt with differently.
- Runners are the lowliest of the infected you’ll face. They’re the most common and, unsurprisingly, will run at you if they spot you. Make use of your dodge move and you can pretty easily stab them to death without wasting precious ammo. If you catch them hanging out in a group, give them a Molotov cocktail.
- Stalkers are surprisingly not as dumb as many of their zombie comrades. They will patrol through areas and try and flank you if they can. Flank them first and use your revolver or shotgun to take them out with ease. Stalkers can easily be identified by the fact that they usually are wearing jeans…
- Clickers are the folks with full-on cauliflower-heads. Since they don’t exactly have eyeballs anymore, they can’t see you, but they do have incredible hearing. If you can sneak up on them and get a stealth kill, great. If not, put them down with a few rounds of heavy ammunition as soon as possible, because getting caught by a clicker can be a one-hit kill.
- Bloaters are the big boys you’ll occasionally encounter. They can pull off chunks of their infected flesh and throw them at you like acid grenades, so keep your distance and try and circle around them when possible. Use a Molotov cocktail to stun them and get some headshots in when possible.
- Shamblers are kind of like Bloaters, but even grosser. Instead of just throwing flesh-grenades at you, they’ll exude clouds of acid from their body. If they grab you, they’ll give you a hug full of this acid cloud, so keep your distance and follow the same strategy as with Bloaters. Once you down them, though, skedaddle away from their corpse as quickly as possible. They’ll explode in one last cloud of acid as a final farewell.
In general, sneaking through the infected when possible is probably your best strategy. If there happen to be humans around, you can pit them against each other and sit back and watch the terror for a minute or two, and then clean up whoever is left.
Running is always a fine option, but fire is definitely your friend against all kinds of Infected. Fire is great against everyone, actually. Use the tools you have available, but exercise discretion when possible. There are limited resources around, and the world of The Last of Us Part II is a harsh one.