When "survival" is trotted out as a game genre, it usually comes with implicit caveats. Developers often seem scared of the player, fearful of the controller-crushing outrage that surely results when a game constricts resources, punishes careless actions and dares to craft a deliberately unpleasant experience.

The Last of Us is a crafty, tense experience in which my attempts to attack bandits and disfigured creatures head-on usually resulted in a gruesome death. Upon starting a two-level demonstration of the game, I only had two bullets in my pistol - missing a headshot felt like a catastrophe. Surprise and caution enable success, just as cynical protagonist Joel constantly tells Ellie, a young girl who hasn't yet been turned dour by the terrible state of the world.

To grasp what's most important in The Last of Us, and what it might deem valuable in comparison to other games that blend stealth, scavenging and shooting, I asked Naughty Dog designer Ricky Cambier for some general survival strategies. Gallery: The Last of Us (04/17/13)

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The Last of Us: Bricks, bottles and a few bullets originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 17 May 2013 03:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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