TLOU DLC: Left Behind review
Naughty Dog has made an expansion on the story happening in The Last of Us. This time we follow Ellie and her friend Riley – does it live up to the standard of the game, is it even possible as there’s only so much a developer can do with an expansion pack? The answer is yes.
We saw it in the cinematic trailer; Riley wakes up Ellie, reveals that she’s a Firefly now. There’s one catch though: Riley needs to leave for another city. Follow the girls in their adventure in Rileys attempt to make up for a few things that’s happened between her and Ellie. I’ll refrain from telling any the plot points throughout this review, but if you’ve listened to Ellie on her adventures with Joel, you’ll know quite a few things is gonna happen already as you boot up the game to play the expansion pack.
Much of the time during this expansion pack, Ellie and Riley is in a mall where they find things we take for granted today, but is amazing to find for people in a world that’s been diminished by infected. Naughty Dog has really one-upped themselves by making the players feel this way, solely by screenwriting. For example how much enjoyment these two teenagers have by finding small things such as a carrousel which is featured in the trailer – there’s other even more amazing things they find, but I’ll keep this to myself: players should experience these small things themselves and being almost as amazed as the two girls.
At some point, Riley gives Ellie a Pun Book – we know from her journey with Joel that she loves jokes, and even more so, she loves puns it seems. When Ellie opens the book and start to read, I thought: I well one or two jokes can’t hurt.I could just keep on clicking that X button to listen to the next joke, amazing they included about ten jokes that Ellie reads for Riley. To top it off, the girls dialogue during this read is making things so much funnier. Fantastic.
“It’s not like he couldn’t juggle, he just didn’t had the balls to do it.”
– Pun Book, The Last of Us, Left Behind DLC
The whole point that Riley is taking Ellie to this mall is that she’s leaving Boston, and Ellie has to stay to not get in trouble, so it’s a form of a good-bye for the girls. As we know, the military and the Fireflies are opposing each other as the Fireflies is seen as a rebel group by the military and the military is a dictatorship as seen by Firefly eyes. Rileys dream is to be a Firefly, and throughout the game, we see the emotional battle both the girls go through: Riley is battling between staying in Boston so she can see Ellie and going for her dreams as a Firefly. Ellie is battling between begging Riley to stay and let her chase her dreams, leaving Ellie behind.
We know the gameplay, it hasn’t been changed since the main game. For newcomers, it is basically a third person shooter with survival and roleplaying elements. You have to collect food and items for stitching up your wounds, and looking out for your health yourself – it doesn’t regenerate, and it doesn’t fill up automatically when dying – you do have checkpoints though. As a note; you need to stitch up yourself in a safe place, as it takes perhaps 10 seconds to close your wounds and get your health back up. Providing you’ve got the tools of course. Collect weapons, scissors, cloths and more to make homemade weapons and clear rooms for infected to progress your gameplay (this was a little different from the main game, but I am not complaining). Some infected you can melee with your knife, but the Clickers are too strong, you need to take these out in other ways. No Bloater encounters, but you’ll meet Spores. The biggest enemy in this story is actually not the infected, but other survivors.
The download takes up a 5GB chunk of your hard drive space on your PS3, and the quality of the game is following suit with the size. There’s a fantastic environment, lots of details, and various minigames in form of delightful gameplay ideas from Naughty Dog. Graphics is still the best ever made for the PS3, using all the power the machine can muster – not many games makes my PS3 starting the top speed on the fans, GT6 is the other, and even that game is only making it do this sometimes – The Last of Us makes it do it all through my gametime.
All in all, Left Behind is extremely well-crafted, rounds up a backstory from Ellie very very well, and you get to love her even more for it – and you get to know Riley that Ellie has been talking about with Joel which fills out a void, an interest I had back when I listened to her stories. One specific sentence from Riley, that Ellie quoted to Joel, sounded way more powerful than expected, and my heart cried out as the expansion pack was about to finish up it’s story. I recommend this DLC to everyone who’ve played The Last of Us and enjoyed it. Or even if you just like a good story, I’d say this game could be a very good choice.
We don’t give scores to DLC’s. We gave the main game an overall score at 9 out of 10, and this DLC pack is definitely living up to that score.