Short on ammo, low on health, you've got your back to the wall, and you're surrounded by Infected. The Last of Us delights in placing players in situations with seemingly insurmountable odds of survival, yet survive is exactly what you must do. With Naughty Dog's impressive tour-de-force just around the corner, we've put together seven tips to help you help Joel and Ellie survive their ordeal.
Always, always scope out the area after being altered to the presence of enemies with R2. Sink some pills into expanding the range of your detection ability, and it'll make sneaking through areas and getting the jump on foes much easier. It's also worth paying heed to your companion as much as possible as Ellie/Joel will point the way ahead if you get stuck, as well as rooting out the occasional hidden item.
Save Your Shivs
Seeing as shivs are your only real defence against the maurauding Clickers, you're going to want to use them as sparingly as possible. Don't waste them on Runners or human enemies that can be choked into submission. Hunt around as much as possible to ensure that you pick up the upgrade schematics that allow shivs to be used multiple times. You'll come across doors that can only be opened via a little blade-work. Open them all -- the rewards you'll find inside are worth a single shiv.
Search, Sweep, and Scavenge
It's an obvious one, but remember to search everywhere. Sweep areas clean of items, and make sure you scavenge every last bit of salvage that you possibly can. Ammo and items are incredibly scarce in The Last of Us, and absolutely everything that you can get your hands on will come in useful. Make sure your crafted items slots are as full as they can be at any given point to allow you to pick up further items, and after a battle you should immediately seek to replenish any crafted weapons that you used. Corpses will yield items and ammo on an occasional basis, so be thorough when pilfering the bodies of your enemies.
It's Fight and Flight
Don't be afraid to run. Joel and Ellie can't withstand a huge amount of damage, and they're not best equipped to win out in any kind of firefight either. You best weapon will always be your mobility. If cornered, run away, regroup, and re-evaluate. Put enough distance between you and your foes and you can drop down again into a crouch, hastily move away from your last "seen" location in cover, and then get the jump on the confused enemies who scramble over to investigate. A hit from a robust melee weapon will generally allow you enough of a window to break free from an aggressor and bid a hasty retreat.
Misdirection is always better than direct confrontation. Use bottles and bricks to lure enemies away from your target destination or disorient large groups of foes with a smoke grenade or nail bomb. Once their back are turned, peg it for the exit!
Speaking of nail bombs, why take enemies out one at a time when you can kill four Clickers in one stroke. Lay a trap with a thrown bottle or two, and lure nearby adversaries into your explosive trap. When the stragglers turn up to investigate the limbs you've blown off of their chums, mop up the rest with a molotov cocktail. Alternatively, if there are Runners in the area, invert the process: they'll run into the wall of fire you create and burn themselves to a chargrilled crisp. I never went anywhere without at least two molotovs, they are invaluable.
Take A Bow
The clunky aiming mechanism and occasional camera issues that you'll have with the bow shouldn't put you off using it occasionally. It's a very useful tool for silent one-hit kills if you want to conserve bullets and stay hidden (though you'll need to upgrade draw power), and if there are no bottles in the vicinity, arrows can be used to distract nearby enemies without tipping them off to your position. Best of all, arrows can often be retrieved, making the bow a very handy weapon in a game where ammo is rare.
Purchase Additional Holsters
There will be moments when open combat is fairly unavoidable, and in those moments, additional holsters are a godsend. The game's menu is deliberately sluggish, and swapping weapons when you have multiple enemies bearing down on your position is hazardous to the extreme. Additional holsters mean four weapons at your relatively immediate disposal; just make sure that their clips are full.