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S&S Review: The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC

Posted on the 17 March 2014 by Sameo452005 @iSamKulii
S&S Review: The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC
Title: The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC
Format: PS3
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Naughty Dog
Price: $14.99
ESRB Rating: M

The Last of Us was my favorite game of 2013, and any chance to get back and experience more of the world that Naughty Dog has crafted, I'll take that opportunity.  Left Behind does just that, and gives us a great look at what shaped Ellie's fate.

S&S Review: The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC Story, Presentation, and Gameplay:
Just a fair warning, if you haven't yet finished the Last of Us, then you may not want to read any further.  But seeing as how the game won a number of Game of the Year awards, I'm sure you've already beaten the game, and probably more than once just like myself.  Left Behind serves as a prequel to the main game, as you get a look at what shaped up before Ellie's encounter with Joel.  You also get a look at Ellie's complicated relationship with her longtime friend Riley.  These two were born after the world went to hell, so they've always shared a special bond.  At the beginning of the DLC, Riley rejoins Ellie at a military camp, where they decide to run off for one last adventure.  There's obviously a reason why this will be their last adventure, but it's up to you to experience why that is.  As the two wonder off in the middle of the night, Ellie quickly realizes that Riley led them both to an abandoned mall where the power can be turned back on.  The mall serves as the backdrop for the DLC, and it gives you the chance to fully explore the mall, even during the apocalypse.  The narrative only takes about two hours to experience, but it gives you a great look at two characters that are vital to the lore of the Last of Us.
S&S Review: The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC The DLC also gives you a look at the time before you meet David, and how you kept Joel alive after he took the almost fatal fall at the University.  The game visually hasn't changed at all, and it still reigns as one of the best looking games on the PS3.  Ellie and Riley give strong performances, as Ashley Johnson reprises her role as the lovable teenage protagonist.  Yaani King voices Riley, and gives an equally strong performance alongside Ellie.  The chemistry between the two feels authentic and natural, and it comes off as if these two have known each other for years.  In terms of gameplay, there isn't as much action as there is in the main game, but the DLC does include some new gameplay elements.  Towards the end of the expansion, the game will pit you against the infected and humans in multiple areas.  This creates a new dynamic, as you can draw the infected towards the humans, which is always satisfying.  It's a great new element that gets introduced into the formula, and I wish it was implemented into the main game.  The big draw of the DLC isn't the combat, it's the exploration.  You can explore and interact with a number of attractions in the mall, and the dialog between Ellie and Riley is priceless.  The DLC once again showcases the brilliance that Naughty Dog always puts into their games, even in this two hour expansion.
S&S Review: The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC Final Thoughts:
Left Behind is what I look forward to from DLC, because it further expands on the lore of the Last of Us.  It didn't give us more of the same gameplay, instead it offers you brief stretches where new elements are introduced, and it works well.  If you have the Last of Us, Left Behind shouldn't be missed.
S&S Rating: 9.5/10 @whatsPlay

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