The Last of Us: Left Behind Review – One Last Time
For those who have not played The Last of Us, spoilers for the main game will be told during this review. Just as a warning if you have not played the main campaign please do so before you continue reading.
Now let’s get to the review. If you’re a fan of The Last of Us then more than likely you have already played this stand alone single player DLC and you have some strong opinions about it. This review is for those who are more on the fence and aren’t sure if the DLC is worth its price of $14.99.
The Last of Us had one of the most perfect endings in video game history. It ended on the note that we might have been playing as the bad guy the whole time. It left me speechless and an emotional wreck. Not many games are able to grab me and tug at my heart strings the way that The Last of Us did. So when word came out that I was going to be able to revisit this world one more time, I was overjoyed and a bit worried at the same time. Revisiting this amazing world could be an incredible journey but it could also diminish from my first experience.
I guess I can come right out and say that what Naughty Dog was able to craft in TLOU: Left Behind was an outstanding story that truly shows us what made The Last of Us one of the greatest stories ever told in video games. Being able to go back for a few hours and explore the post – apocalyptic world one last time was phenomenal.
Left Behind takes us back to a point where Ellie and Joel have never met. We get to see Ellie before she was bitten and what her life was like with her friend Riley. This is a story that was explored deeply in the comic series The Last of Us: American Dreams (Highly recommended for fans). The story takes place 46 days after Riley ran away. She has resurfaced in Ellie’s room and the two are hanging out and reconnecting as friends. Most of the story is centered on the two girls exploring a nearby mall that was abandoned years ago.
The meat of the three hour experience will be spent will little to no combat. This is what manages to work perfectly. It’s about the characters and not about any kind of action filled adventure. It’s about getting to know who Ellie was before everything went bad for her. Knowing what made her become who she is at the start of The Last of Us. It’s what we love about the game and also what you will love about the DLC.
Though story is a major factor in Left Behind, combat still manages to sneak its way into the playthrough. The problem that it brings to the DLC is that it did not feel very necessary. Just being able to explore and talk to Riley should have been enough but, I understand that it is a game and combat is needed to please the masses.
I can’t really get into much detail without spoiling the story for you but understand that fighting as Ellie is way different then fighting as Joel or even as Ellie in the second half of “The Last of Us”. She is weak and has no experience with major weapons. It’s all about avoiding detection and running for your life.
I assume that this was what led to the game designers to introduce something that was actually never really explored in the main campaign. What that was, was the ability to pin the “Infected” against other humans. It’s something that I never knew was missing from the original campaign until I played “Left Behind”. The feeling of being tailed by other humans and luring “infected” towards them was exhilarating and something I hope to see explored in more Naughty Dog games in the future( The Last of Us 2, I hope).
Look if “The Last of Us” did not make an impact on you emotionally then “Left Behind” will not do anything for you but, if you were in love with the original story then this is just a must play. For the moments that will bring a tear to your eye and for the shocking moments that reveal themselves in only this DLC. Sure it’s a bit expensive for a 3 hour story but it’s the amount of detail and care that is taken with this DLC that will make your money and time spent feel worth it.