Are the controls meant to be awful in The Last of Us?

stroopwafel

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Having recently replayed the game(though this time the 'remastered' version on PS4) I think the controls are fantastic. Tight and responsive but also restrictive and slightly 'off'. It suits the kind of game perfectly. Like when you aim the reticule is slightly floaty which adds a layer of tension b/c in hectic situations you have to make every shot count due to limited ammo. It's also balanced really well with the kind of crappy and make-shift weapons/traps available in the game(atleast early on). Your vulnerability and underwhelming weapons adds a layer of dread that wouldn't be there if you had like an AR-15 with perfect aiming. They figured this out really well. Infact Last of Us gameplay reminds me a lot of a mix between Resident Evil 4 and Manhunt(vastly underrated gem).
 

Fieldy409_v1legacy

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Nieroshai said:
Fieldy409 said:
Yeah it's this stupid thing where devs seem to think scary survival games need clunky controls to be scary. It's atmosphere that makes a game scary, clunky controls only frustrate.
It's also this stupid thing where people get the impression that survival games have to be scary, or every player character needs to be as capable of combat as a COD soldier.
Good controls does not automatically equal 'as capable as a cod soldier' there's a hundred ways you could show your character is less capable. Lower health and better aim for the enemies so that fighting two at once becomes a problem, weapon jams, enhanced weapon shake after firing, inability to fire from the hip etc do a fine job. You don't need to make aiming fiddly so it's unnecessarily hard to headshot. Proof that it can frustrate is the op.

One of my favourite survival horror games is Doom 3 where you literally are a badass space marine with perfectly fine controls but you felt terrified because all the enemies were hard to kill and ammo was scarce plus the claustrophobic atmosphere.
 

drummond13

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Joel CAN kill with headshots.

The aiming isn't any worse than any other PS3 game without autoaim.

You can absolutely fight off the enemy even once they've discovered you, and succeeding when that happens is rather satisfying.

It's just a hard game. Some people can't get used to the style, and that's totally fine. It's not for everyone. Do remember that your guns aren't your only weapon. Sometimes running up to a soldier who's around a corner and beating him to death works great, as long as another enemy doesn't have a bead on you. Sometimes grabbing someone and giving them a quick shiv, then turning around and beating up the guy behind you works too. It takes practice, but if you ever get the hang of it it'll give you more satisfying fights than any other third person game I can think of.

Oh, and it gets MORE frustrating, not less. Wait until you meet the clickers...
 

Ronald Nand

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I'm in a similar situation too, I've borrowed the game of a friend, the story seems interesting but the gameplay is a total slog. I find the stealth lacking, there's no indication that you're about to be detected like Far Cry 3 and there's no indication of whether you are visible or not like the light gem in Thief 1 and 2.

Also why do all the melee weapons have the durability of a water cracker, the good ones will last for maybe three enemies at most, and the poor ones last for only one, why can't Joel keep a machete like Bill does, it could be weak and take a lot of hits to kill enemies, its annoying because since Joel can't line up a good headshot making melee more effective. Another small thing is that the arrows from your bow aren't retreivable, it throws me of when games like Tomb Raider, Far Cry and Crysis let you do that.

If anyone is having problems with aiming, put one point into the weapon sway skill that makes things much better, also hold on till you get the shotgun, you don't need to aim carefully with it, I'm saving all my shotgun shells for the forced combat encounters.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Ronald Nand said:
I'm in a similar situation too, I've borrowed the game of a friend, the story seems interesting but the gameplay is a total slog. I find the stealth lacking, there's no indication that you're about to be detected like Far Cry 3 and there's no indication of whether you are visible or not like the light gem in Thief 1 and 2.

Also why do all the melee weapons have the durability of a water cracker, the good ones will last for maybe three enemies at most, and the poor ones last for only one, why can't Joel keep a machete like Bill does, it could be weak and take a lot of hits to kill enemies, its annoying because since Joel can't line up a good headshot making melee more effective. Another small thing is that the arrows from your bow aren't retreivable, it throws me of when games like Tomb Raider, Far Cry and Crysis let you do that.

If anyone is having problems with aiming, put one point into the weapon sway skill that makes things much better, also hold on till you get the shotgun, you don't need to aim carefully with it, I'm saving all my shotgun shells for the forced combat encounters.
There is an indication that you're about to be detected. There's a sound cue that gets louder and louder. Listen for it and you'll notice it.

Arrows are also retrievable, but only if you actually kill the thing you're shooting at. Arrows break if you shoot a wall or the ground with them.
 

Rozalia1

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Weapon Sway upgrade will improve your accuracy.
Headshots do get kills unless they are an armored enemy. Such enemies can still be one shot in the head if your weapon is one with armour piecing.

The game gives me almost give me the same vibe those beautiful survival horror games of old did. You miss/get hit a lot at first but if you bother to improve than the controls become something you're just used too (nope I have no problem with tank controls).
Having heavily played the online I really enjoyed the combat.
 

Netrigan

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I think this goes into why I preferred to play as Ellie in the game. I kind of like that the combat is a bit clumsy with her, because it adds to the tension. The game pushes you into more of a stealth mode with her because you can't just bum-rush an enemy and expect not to take a ton of damage. Getting into an open fight always feels like a mistake on your part... but a survivable one.

With Joel, the game just feels like a shitty shooter/brawler, because they game seems to be encouraging you to play exactly as you are... at least on Normal difficulty.

Kind of like Uncharted, the game could stand to lose more than half its combat.
 

Ragnar47183

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I hold the un popular opinion that The Last of Us is INCREDIBLY mediocre.

The gunplay, crafting, stealth, story, and characters are all passable but none of them are done really well.

The exception to that would be Ellie though. I feel that she is the best thing to come out of that game by far. I just really wish the rest of the game matched how well they did her.

It doesnt help that I saw the ending coming from about 3 miles away. It also doesnt help that the setting has been done to freaking death the past few years. I am sorry, changing the name from zombies to infected does nothing for me.

I am really hoping they either improve on it if there will be a sequel or go back to Uncharted which they had a good handle on. The controls are much better in Uncharted.
 

Netrigan

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Fieldy409 said:
Yeah it's this stupid thing where devs seem to think scary survival games need clunky controls to be scary. It's atmosphere that makes a game scary, clunky controls only frustrate.
I'm not a fan of intentionally bad input. The first Dead Rising springs to mind which moved around the control scheme in such a way to make shooting a completely unnatural thing to do in the game.

But the problem with shooters is it's hard to do anything more than jump-scares since you can easily defeat just about anything in the game. Alan Wake was a delightfully tense game whenever your ammo was running low and you had to make the decision between shooting an enemy or running away from it (perhaps to find ammo), but anytime it decided to focus on the shooting the scary atmosphere just evaporated.

I've got my problems with The Last of Us, but the slightly crappy fighting controls weren't part of it. The lack of ammo and clumsy fighting meant that I had to think through fights a bit more than I would in a shooter.

But, as I said, I think I would have been happier with a lot less enemies to fight. I would prefer going up against half a dozen really tough enemies, all of which could end my existence easily, forcing me to think through every take-down... then spamming me with dozens upon dozens of enemies where I'm encouraged to fight them all. And the game chose the latter option far too often for my tastes.
 

Little Gray

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Yes

Headshots do kill as long as you hit them in the head and they are not wearing a helmet.

The reason the guns are not that good is because most of them are old and have not been serviced properly for years. Joel is a somewhat experienced mercenary but that does not mean he is good with guns. Ammo is very limited and he never had that much experience with guns.

The stealth is serviceable and I never really had to many issues with it. If you know how to use your surroundings and items that you can craft combat should not be any issues. You need to use strategy instead of just running and gunning.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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endtherapture said:
I wish I could play this game on M&K, PC gamers have been spoiled having to play with such a perfect input device whilst console gamers struggle around with these controllers for shooters.
So, you're just not used to aiming with a controller then? I find the M&K too easy and completely unchallenging. It's already way way way easier to aim a gun with a controller than real life that shooters already aren't ever close to realistic. I've learned to be able to 180 degree turn around and headshot someone shooting at my back in less than a second on a controller (due to playing MGO for 4 years where headshots only killed as it took 20 plus body shots to kill). All you do is center the free look camera on an enemy then aim (L1) and shoot (R1); you should never be actually aiming when you hold down L1 to bring the crosshairs as when you press L1, the crosshairs should be on the enemy from the get-go.
 

Robot Number V

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For one thing, even if you get discovered, you usually don't have to fight enemies to get past them. I spent quite a lot of time in game just desperately running from enemies.

Anyway, my only problem with the controls was reloading with a shoulder button. I never had a problem shooting.
 

Mykal Stype

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Dirty Hipsters said:
...Clickers "see" you if you move while they're making their clicking noise. That noise basically works like sonar. If there's clickers around and you're moving behind cover when they start clicking they won't see you, they'll just see that piece of cover. If you're in the open and you stop moving when they're clicking they also won't see you, they'll just think that you're on object. If you're in the open and moving around and they aren't clicking they won't see you because they're blind. The only time clickers will see you is if you touch them, or if you're moving around out of cover when they start making their clicking noises.
I wish I knew that, because the clickers are my nightmare. During the part near the end where you are walking along a highway, I was thinking "oh cool, I'm almost at the end of the game!" And then there were more clickers. Luckily I only had to stealth kill two infected and molotov a group of them to get around the rest, but just the sight of them made me frustrated. But at least a bloater got in that ring of fire I made, and watching bloaters burn is quite fun.
The problem is that the sonar mechanics make sense, and I'm still not used to that. After all, it's only in recent generations that game mechanics have been this close to real life, and my brain is still thinking in the All Doors are Wallpaper era of games. I also didn't run as much as I should because I'm still under the assumption that if I run, the enemies can retrace my exact path like hunting dogs. I'm obviously not including stalkers, which can retrace my exact path like hunting dogs.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Mykal Stype said:
Dirty Hipsters said:
...Clickers "see" you if you move while they're making their clicking noise. That noise basically works like sonar. If there's clickers around and you're moving behind cover when they start clicking they won't see you, they'll just see that piece of cover. If you're in the open and you stop moving when they're clicking they also won't see you, they'll just think that you're an object. If you're in the open and moving around and they aren't clicking they won't see you because they're blind. The only time clickers will see you is if you touch them, or if you're moving around out of cover when they start making their clicking noises.
I wish I knew that, because the clickers are my nightmare. During the part near the end where you are walking along a highway, I was thinking "oh cool, I'm almost at the end of the game!" And then there were more clickers. Luckily I only had to stealth kill two infected and molotov a group of them to get around the rest, but just the sight of them made me frustrated. But at least a bloater got in that ring of fire I made, and watching bloaters burn is quite fun.
The problem is that the sonar mechanics make sense, and I'm still not used to that. After all, it's only in recent generations that game mechanics have been this close to real life, and my brain is still thinking in the All Doors are Wallpaper era of games. I also didn't run as much as I should because I'm still under the assumption that if I run, the enemies can retrace my exact path like hunting dogs. I'm obviously not including stalkers, which can retrace my exact path like hunting dogs.
Yeah, it definitely takes a while to get used to that mechanic because it goes against all your instincts when you're playing stealth. You always want to be moving out of the view of your enemy but doing that is what ends up getting you killed. What you need to do is sit there in the open and just let the enemies walk by, but in your mind it just makes you feel unsafe. It's really unnerving the first few times you do it until you really get the hang of it.

I got a friend to play through the game at my house and I watched him and gave him tips. He likes survival horror games but he's terrible as stealth games because he gets too nervous and too tense while playing them. I taught him the mechanics right off the bat instead of letting him learn them organically because I knew there was no way that he was going to figure them out before he got frustrated. Even then he still had trouble adapting to the fact that he had to stand still in the open to avoid getting detected by clickers.
 

Ronald Nand

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Dirty Hipsters said:
There is an indication that you're about to be detected. There's a sound cue that gets louder and louder. Listen for it and you'll notice it.

Arrows are also retrievable, but only if you actually kill the thing you're shooting at. Arrows break if you shoot a wall or the ground with them.
I'll try that out next time I'll play. I checked the wiki and it said arrows have a chance to break, so I guess the first few times I used them I got unlucky. My friend also mentioned I should use listen mode more.
 

Fox12

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endtherapture said:
So I borrowed TLOU off a mate and got playing. I loved the opening and the graphics and visuals are amazing so far. I'm up to the point where I'm sneaking out of the city in a rainstorm.

However I just can't get used to the controls. Joels' supposed to be an experienced mercenary and gun runner...so why can't he kill with headshots? Why are the controls so floaty and the aiming so bad? Can someone explain to me why the stealth is temperamental? You can't fight off the soldiers when you're discovered so why is there even the option to get discovered?

I just don't quite get it so far. I'm used to tight controls which make you feel like you're in control of the character, it's weird going back to 1998 esque controls.

Hoping people can shed some light on this and if/when game gets better!
Weird, I didn't have these problems.

Joel could always kill with headshots when I played, unless the character was wearing a helmet. Are you still at the first city? All those guards are wearing helmets and extra layers of armor. I think the developers were trying to force you to use stealth in order to make you feel under powered, but this goes away as soon as you leave the city. After all, their trained soldiers and not thugs, like in the rest of the game. I didn't mind it myself, but I promise the rest of the game isn't like this.

As far as floaty aiming goes, have you upgraded your character yet? There's an upgrade system that improves your skills. If you put points into your aim then it removes the sway entirely. It's usually the first thing I upgrade. Again, I didn't mind this myself, but you can get rid of it pretty quickly if it bothers you. I can understand why it would.

As far as stealth goes, I rather liked it. The enemies you fight later don't have as much armor. They're still incredibly deadly in a fight, forcing you to be strategic, but they're not nearly as dangerous as the guards in the city. A single headshot will kill them, and you can also stealth kill them with various weapons. In fact, you're encouraged to try and kill them in one shot. The game rewards you for sneaking, but fighting gives you multiple ways to solve one problem. I didn't have any issues with hiding, though. Maybe practice with throwing bottles to distract your opponents? You're allies don't alert the enemy to your presence. This can be immersion breaking at the start of the game, but it makes your job a little easier.

If these are your only problems then I think you'll like the rest of the game. As long as you enjoy stealth, like me, then it will be fine. It can be a little jarring, though, if you're used to Uncharted. It'd got a very different style, but it's not bad. I liked it much more. The story is quite good as well.
 

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I've been thinking about this recently, and looking over some of the other posts here this seems like a good place to talk about it. I'm not really talking exclusively about The Last of Us here, mostly just other older horror games.

I never subscribed to the whole 'shitty controls can give a sense of vulnerability' idea. If I'm constantly wrestling with the controller in my hands to get my tank-control style protaganist to face the right way so he can hit a monster with a piece of wood the game is busting my immersion, flow and suspension of disbelief in the situation over it's knee. It's frustrating and doesn't give me a believable sense of controlling my character. Surely a sense of vulnerability and inexperience should be impressed through the abilities, relative stats and animations of the character rather than a shoddy system by which I interact with the game world. It should be balanced through, you know, game design. Say my character stumbles a bit if I miss with a swing, or my character takes a short time to recover between attacks, or I can only block one enemy attack every few seconds which discourages you from fighting monsters, rather than kneecapping my ability to react and move.

It just makes the experience of playing the game a chore. The line between the player and the game (the method of control) should always be as intuitive and unobtrusive as possible.

Meh, just my two cents on the subject. I only played the The Last of Us for a while, and I didn't have a huge amount of trouble with the controls. Took a little getting used to, and it wasn't nearly as fluid as it could have been, but it was adequate.
 

MirenBainesUSMC

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I think the worst level for clickers was that one flooded tunnel close to the end of the game.

Now that part sucked --- sucked worse than the University basement.
 

Rozalia1

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MirenBainesUSMC said:
I think the worst level for clickers was that one flooded tunnel close to the end of the game.

Now that part sucked --- sucked worse than the University basement.
Not really considering the arsenal you have at your disposal by that point. To me (and I played on Grounded mode) the hardest section from memory was the first encounter with the clickers. Everything just gets progressively easier from there until it hits a little spike during the opening Ellie segment, before going right back down afterwards.
 

Mykal Stype

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MirenBainesUSMC said:
I think the worst level for clickers was that one flooded tunnel close to the end of the game.

Now that part sucked --- sucked worse than the University basement.
I'm not alone! That's the section I mentioned up top, because you're so close and then have to deal with all of that. It's easier if you don't follow your instinct to kill all of them and saved up on arrows, but it's such a long highway. I was so excited to get to the end, but those clickers ruin everything fun. And then Ellie has to taunt you by rubbing up against those clickers like a desperate stripper with no repercussions.
I think the worst level for humans was the Firefly HQ. You have to be far too specific in your movements, and almost everyone has heavy armor and high powered weapons. It didn't help me either that the game forgot to generate some enemies until I was right next to them. Nothing ruins stealth more than a magical teleporting super army.