The Last of Us: Left Behind review (PS3)

FogLight | 250d ago | User review
Reviewing: The Last of Us: Left Behind
The Depressing Valentine
The Last of Us was a gem made by Naughty Dog, a studio owned by Sony Computer Entertainment, and it won many awards for its great narrative and gameplay which we needed for a long time. Unfortunately it did not win VGX's Game of the Year award, it did win couple of them in other award giving ceremonies like D.I.C.E.

Now this is going to be a short review for its anticipated DLC, Left Behind. The DLC is set before Joel met Ellie, and in the middle of The Last of Us's events. The DLC also released during Valentine's Day for us gamers, and oh boy it was a great gift from the Naughty Dog as Left Behind was a great experience to witness and is the worthy addition as one of the chapters for The Last of Us.

OVERVIEW:

Like I said at the beginning of the review, the DLC was made by Naughty Dog for the critically acclaimed Playstation 3 exclusive: The Last of Us. Unlike Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, Left Behind needs The Last of Us to be able to be played by players since it isn't a standalone DLC.

This DLC focuses on Ellie's experience in the apocalypse before she met Joel, and when she was with her friend named Riley. Riley is a Firefly who appeared in American Dreams comics for the Last of Us which is the prequel for the game so the DLC is another prequel that continuing the events of the American Dreams.

Like the base game itself, it is still a survival horror game that has an addition to the game's combat, and more narrative to follow in the game.

STORY:

The DLC is set in a fungous infected mall only unlike The Last of Us which was in variety of locations. We follow Ellie when she remembers about her fun and sad times with Riley as she tries to help Joel after a certain event halfway in the game.

The writing in the DLC's story was just brilliant. The good times Ellie and Riley have as Ellie keeps remembering while she is out in the mall exploring until the demise that occurred which was already explained in the base game's ending. There were couple of moments that dwelve in those girls' personalities and feelings with each other as friends whom were separated recently. That feeling when you see a friend whom you thought you would never see again was the main point of this game's story line.

I would also say that there will be a moment in the game that could be debated after some discussion. This DLC touched upon a subject that could surprise some people at first glance but after some time of thinking, it would be a great touch by the writer(s) of the DLC as many developers and publishers wouldn't touch upon which is unfortunate since this kind of writing could make people talk about it, increasing the popularity of their games. Any kind of publicity would help the game, whether it would be good or bad. I will just want to thank Naughty Dog for thinking out of the box and thought of something meaningful but risky and it was worth it.

The ending though, as much as I loved it, I didn't feel that closure I needed for Ellie and Riley's story. I wanted to see a little bit more after what happened during the final scene which was unfortunate and a small negative point in my opinion.

The DLC made me want to laugh, smile, frustrated, and depressed. This managed to twist with my emotions which very few games managed to make me feel like that. Only a visual novel Clannad, and games like The Walking Dead, and Mass Effect 1 and 2 managed to make to do that to me, and I am adding both The Last of Us, and Left Behind to the list as I loved the game's story line.

GAMEPLAY:

There isn't much difference between the game play of both the game and the DLC except for one thing. You can make the infected, and the survivors fight against each other until one of the sides fall so you can kill off the other. That idea executed greatly and was extremely useful during some of the encounters with the survivors as the infected were yearning for human flesh. Other than that though, there were couple of events in the game which were some kind of mini-games, and fun stuff to do during the game which brought comic relief to the game. It was helpful and a great idea in my opinion as I enjoyed all of them, and there was a certain event that made me laugh at the girls' confusion towards that certain thing.

My other complain about combat though is that it felt as combat was forced in the DLC. There were couple of moments that I kept asking myself why the survivors keep hunting me in the game for a false or no reason. I just felt that it wasn't needed in the game but I should say that the mechanic with infected against survivors was great.

Some people would complain about the DLC being only two hours but I will just say this. I would prefer short, but great experience more than long, boring experience. It would be great to have both but it is just a DLC so don't get your hopes up for it.

GRAPHICS:

The mall was shown in both ways: Almost like plants invaded the mall, and snow during winter with few to no plants. The environment as you look around abandoned stores and sections of the mall were great to see but they weren't as jaw dropping as some certain parts of the base game but that doesn't mean the background of the DLC was bad, in matter of fact I loved every single detail I have seen while exploring the infected and abandoned mall.

Other than that though, there wasn't anything new in terms of visual improvement or etcetera.

SOUNDS:

The composer strikes again with music of the DLC which was really pleasant to hear and the voice acting was just top-notch. I take back what I said about Ashley Johnson as Ellie as she just did the perfect job conveying emotions to Riley, who was also been voice acted by a great voice actress Yaani King. They were just perfect in Left Behind as I was convinced that they were in danger or they were having fun together. I will say it again, top-notch voice acting as the base game.

The sounds of Left Behind were as immersing as the base game like the clicker's clicks and steps when they get closer to Ellie, the sounds of weapon shots, and etcetera. No difference between them which is great to hear.

OVERALL:

Left Behind was worth the money as I rarely buy DLCs for the games I own, and I am proud to say that I loved Left Behind, and Naughty Dog didn't just attempt to cash-grab the consumers for money. The story was great but had a bit unfulfilling ending, the additional mechanic for the combat was executed well enough and made me wish that it was possible in the base game, the voice acting was once again top-notch, the music was great, and the sounds were as immersing as The Last of Us.

You can't go wrong with fifteen dollars you have to own Left Behind. If you are a fan of The Last of Us and want more single-player content, you can't go wrong with Left Behind.

I hope you all have a good day!
Ups
Emotional Story
A Combat Mechanic Executed Well
Great Voice Acting
Downs
A Bit Unfulfilling Ending
Few Forced Combat Encounters
Score
10.0
Graphics Great mall setting and same visuals as the base game.
10.0
Sound Ashley Johnson and Yaani King made a great job voicing Ellie and Riley respectively as I take back what I said about Ashley in my The Last of Us review. The sounds and music were as great as the base game.
9.3
Gameplay The additional combat mechanic was executed well but couple of combat encounters felt forced into Left Behind
8.5
Fun factor Same as The Last of Us, you would only play it once, or replay it twice to get the Survivor difficulty trophy or something. No additions to multi-player portion of The Last of Us so it has less replay value than the base game
0.0
Online
9.5
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
imtheman2013  +   249d ago
*THIS COMMENT CONTAINS SPOILERS*

I stayed up until 6 am playing Left Behind on Survivor on the day it was released, and it was totally worth it.

I agree on a couple points you made, the first being the ending. I wanted to witness the change that occurred as Riley became an infected. I wanted to see the emotional despair that Ellie would have went through watching her closest friend turn into a monster, and knowing that she has to kill her. Still, even though the ending wasn't all it could've been, it was a fantastic edition to The Last of Us' campaign.

The second point I agree with is the forced combat situations. Well, really I only felt that one combat situation was forced, that being the final one. I felt that this instance was forced because of one reason: you HAD to clear out the area to progress. There was one area before this where you had to clear it out, but there was only a few infected to deal with. I like the option of being able to sneak past enemies if it seems possible to do so, and once the infected arrive and clear the guys away from the door, it was totally possible to get in there without them noticing.

Anyway, great review for a great piece of DLC!
#1 (Edited 249d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
FogLight  +   249d ago
*THIS COMMENT ALSO CONTAINS SPOILERS*

I regret not pre-ordering it to get Ellie's theme and the first issue (even though I have read the comics)but I still bought it day one and I don't regret it.

That was the small criticism I had with the ending. Ellie killing Riley as she got infected could have been more emotional than Joel losing Sarah. I said could have been, especially with minigames and that kiss they had before the last scene.

And that was the area I was complaining about in "forced combat situations". I mean come on! Why would the survivors keep hunting us in the mall? Yeah we have killed their friends but it doesn't make sense that they were looking for us till death in a freezing and infected mall. I wouldn't put my men to search for those survivors unless I wanted to have fewer men in my group and just give them death wish. I also completed the game on Normal so I can't imagine Survivor on this portion of the DLC...

And thank you for enjoying the review! It is kind of unfortunate that it is kind of short but it is a review for a DLC so it makes sense that the review has fewer paragraphs. The thing is that I loved that DLC, and it was worth the money even though I rarely buy DLCs. Man now Naughty Dog is getting even more respect thanks to Left Behind :3
#1.1 (Edited 249d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
coolbeans  +   249d ago
*THIS COMMENT DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS*

Pretty close to what I'd give it overall, but I honestly thought its ending was rather fitting. Leaving it open-ended as to how much time they would spend together before Riley turned seem to flow with the present-Ellie ending. I thought that enemy human vs. Infected vs. you was a great nuanced idea that can be built upon if a sequel was to be made. It reminded me of Alan Wake's DLC building upon one concept seen at the end of the main game.

The final combat scenario annoyed me too not only because its length felt pried in, but the 1v1v1 mishmash showed design kinks. Even when remaining stealthier then human baddies shooting at Infected, those clickers still did that...swatting attack run (<-whatever you want to call it) towards me.

Besides that part, I really thought it was the consistency of the storytelling through the same play mechanics that won me over.
FogLight  +   248d ago
It is good to see someone being fully satisfied with the ending but unfortunately, I just wanted a little bit more :/
CertifiedGamer  +   247d ago
Left behind from slipknot as the dlc theme song
#3 (Edited 247d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Bathyj  +   246d ago
"Same as The Last of Us, you would only play it once, or replay it twice to get the Survivor difficulty trophy or something. "

Gotta disagree with that. I did the same thing when I finished the DLC as I did when I finished the main game.

Started again.

And I dont give a damn about trophies. I played it cos it was fun and beautiful.

Also I didnt feel the combat was forced. It was a short game and it has to have SOME action in it. The new mechanics were so good I only wish it were longer with MORE combat to break up the dramatic bits.

It would have been nice if Ellie and Riley had some combat together to re-enforce the comradery they shared since they were so close. You would have got the same protective feeling looking out for her as you did while playing as Joel.
FogLight  +   245d ago
You know, finally I can see someone having totally different opinions.

You find it fun to play it multiple times while I find TLOU to be one time experience. Sure you could replay it multiple times to get more progression but I don't see it as the kind of game that has HIGH replay value unless for trophy hunters.

And about forced combat encounters, some of them didn't feel forced, but there are others that in my opinion, dragged on which is why I consider it forced.

And the final part I agree, it could have been great to see both of them attack and defend together but they are teenagers with limited ammo and weapons so I wouldn't see it logical in terms of narrative.

I disagree with your points, but I give an agree since you had valid reasons :)
Bathyj  +   245d ago
That's cool. I respect your opinion. You have a nice way of disagreeing with me.
FogLight  +   245d ago
I am trying to be as respectful as possible man since I know everyone has a different opinion ;)
GribbleGrunger  +   241d ago
I've replayed it 7 times. The first time I played it for the story and overall experience. Not knowing how to approach each different scenario added an interest and even before I'd finished the game, I was thinking on how I could handle particular scenarios differently

The second time I played it I stealthed as much as possible. I also took the opportunity to search every nook and cranny for the hidden collectibles, Trophies and alternative conversations.

The third time I played it I went for an out and out 'avoid' tactic, trying to kill as few people/infected as I could and making it through to the next level unscathed (if possible)

The fourth time I played it I went for a combination of the two, using my upgraded bow in new game plus for that sniper feeling, while in the sewers I threw all my arsenal at the infected.

The fifth time I played it (on easy) I went full on Rambo and kept why finger on run even when I was collecting materials to craft with. This was quite a scary approach because certain areas where crammed with the infected. Running and gunning was also very difficult in areas filled with bandits.

The sixth time I played it was purely to take in all the nuances of the story, characters and acting. Having already played it several times, it was much easier to understand plot threads and narrative tricks you would normally only find in films or books.

The seventh time I played it was because I had naff all else to play and the characters were calling. Every single playthough was completely different.

I'm on my third playthrough of Left Behind, and when I've finished that ... I just might play TLOU one last time.

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The Last of Us: Left Behind

Average Score 8.9 Reviews(140)
Release Dates