@matt It's true that it can be easier to notice patterns in games, especially games like Last of Us. You walk into an old, broken home - you're probably fighting infected. You find an abandoned parking lot with waist high barricades - you're probably shooting some dudes. You see a high ledge - you're probably gonna give Ellie a boost. I happen to like doing those things, but more importantly, I think Naughty Dog is trying to communicate a certain ascetic to further their characters, emotions and connections. So I can overlook the overuse of some mechanics because it's for the greater good; storytelling.
I will say though, the NPC's can be super dumb. And that really takes me right out the moment.