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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!