Hi, a clueless newbie here. The first time I played through, it took me every night for two weeks. There was just so much lush detail in this fully realized world, that I took my sweet time to explore the scenery and to scour every centimeter for supplies.
Another thing that caused my progress to be so drawn out is the fact that I have an obsessive compulsive disorder that has been enabled from years of primarily playing on the PC where most games allow quicksave and quickloads at any moment, which I do when something isn't executed absolutely perfectly. The Last of Us was my favorite game of 2013, but I almost ragequit several times due to the awful checkpoint/save system. From how restarting a checkpoint from the menu doesn't always get you the same place as the one from dying, and thus pushes you back further that you care for, to how it irreversibly overwrites the last checkpoint after a bad run (Why not have two or more autosave slots, where the older one is deleted? That has been the norm in many games for over a decade.), to how every profile on the system shares the same saves so I have to compete with my friends and cousins, to how sometimes while restarting a checkpoint health either mysteriously vanishes or miracoulously heals. I had to stop after a couple of days because while still in progress, I decided to replay the Pittsburgh section after having reached the Winter chapter, and despite making a new save with a different slot, the progress overwrote my most recent progress in the game.
I really hope some of that gets patched in the upcoming updates.
That save-overwrite thing has bothered me too couple of times. But if you just save twice on two different slots, the first save will remain and the second will be your quicksave slot and it doesnt matter if it gets overwritten by bad runs, because you still have that first one. Only make sure, as soon as you go back to that safe-save game, to immediately save again on another slot so you don't lose it. Hope you got what I tried to say. It's just that your latest save game, or moreover the savegame you are playing on, will always be overwritten by the auto-save. If you like it or not, that's just how ND implemented it. They wont change that.
About competing savegames with your friends/sisters/brothers: If you have people in your house using the PS3 too, just create a new PS3 user for all of them. Everyone will have his/her own savegames, progress, trophies. If you get additional PSN accounts for them too, you can even play Multiplayer without any interference. Most games are only connected to the PS3, not to your PS3 user, so everyone is able to play them as soon as they are installed, TLOU is no exception. (They are however connected to your PSN account of course, if you bought them online though. So only you will be able to download and install them)
Do I have to sign them up for a PSN account? The problem I have is that no matter whose profile is being used on the system, the saved games are all the same and get overwritten regardless of who is logged on. This is the only game I know of that does this.
I just checked with a PS3 user that was not used for the single player yet, and if I start a new single player game I have no save games to use/overwrite at all in my list. I can only choose "New save data". I do have a PSN account for that user though, so maybe that does make a difference. But I actually doubt that.
It would be really odd if the game shares your savegames over different PS3 users. It does not for me apparently.
My first playthrough took around 20 hours. I've replayed it several times and it now varies between 15-18 hours. Even though i know where every collectible is now (yes after my 4th playthrough i did look online for help in finding them) i still don't want to rush the game and i still need to try it on hard and survivor.
took me 1 day and a half of the next day. i would took longer, but a week before i got it, or it came out i had watched the entire gameplay. and in that case ruined the entire game for me. nothing was a surprise, but i still play it. but just not engaged in it too much.