A review of the Left Behind expansion pack for The Last of Us - an almost exemplary expansion

Author: Kwiść
Date: 2014-02-14 10:43:00
The review was based on the PS3 version.

The Naughty Dog company made us wait a long time for the first and last story expansion to The Last of Us . Eight months have passed since the premiere of the stand and during this time many players have forgotten that something like Left Behind is even created. I was very excited when installing the add-on, but also full of doubts. I was afraid that the DLC would not live up to my enormous expectations, thus spoiling the great impression left by the original. Fortunately, all my fears vanished very quickly and after a few minutes I knew that I would not leave the TV until the end credits appeared on the screen. Left Behind is a really great position that includes everything we love The Last of Us for , and can surprise you with a few new ideas.

The writers from Naughty Dog decided to experiment a bit when creating Left Behind and decided to divide the expansion script into two historically distant plots that intertwine with each other at roughly half an hour intervals. The common feature of both stories is the character of the main character, which is well known to all Ellie fans. The first part presents us one night in the girl's life, before she met Joel and set off on the long journey to the Firefly base. This time our young protégé participates in an escapade to a ruined shopping center, where her school friend named Riley takes her. This thread focuses primarily on the accounts of young ladies and the exploration of the mysterious world of long abandoned stores, and both of these elements have been done sensational.

Despite the lack of a higher goal, typical for most games, consisting in saving the world, humanity or a princess imprisoned in a castle, the plot does not allow you to tear yourself away from the screen for even a moment . The greatest merit of this is well-written and perfectly recreated dialogues. After just a few minutes of contact with teenagers, we begin to care for their fate, experiencing the fears, joys and sorrows of life in the post-apocalyptic world with them. Huge applause is due to the authors of the Polish dubbing, which sounds really great and is in no way inferior to the English-language original.

The knowledge of its ending certainly has a great influence on the reception of the story told. We already got to know them in the basic version of the game, but we still hope that the fate will be different. Maybe it's not yet? Maybe it wasn't that friend Ellie told Joel about? The happier our protagonists are, the more they enjoy the next amazing experiences, the more painful we are to be aware of their further fate. Although the creators used a similar procedure in the prologue from the basic version of the game, in Left Behind it affects the emotions experienced by the player just as strongly.

The third hero of this story is the aforementioned shopping center. It was made with great attention to detail and surprises us at almost every step. Seemingly banal places like a costume shop, a games room or a photo booth can be truly magical in a world full of ruins. Both heroines of the add-on grew up after the outbreak of the epidemic, so even playing a broken slot machine or a few seconds' ride on a carousel is a great experience for them. The exploration of the world is the main element of the game in this part of the story. Apart from a few simple mini-games or a water pistol duel, we spend most of our time exploring the abandoned building and listening to the conversations between our protagonists. Puzzles, compilation stages and shootouts known from the basic version of the game play the first fiddle in the second part of the story, which is significantly different from the one discussed so far.

In the second thread we play the role of Ellie again, but this time we move to the moment well known from The Last of Us . Joel, who takes care of us, is wounded during the fight with bandits, and our task is to find a first aid kit that will allow us to sew a hole in his side and save the man's life. This is a very simple story, the main task of which is to justify the inclusion of the sneaking and combat stages in Left Behind . The clashes with bandits and clickers apparently did not fit the story of two teenagers, so the developers decided to introduce them in a slightly different way. Is this a good solution? Yes and no. On the one hand, it was the smooth combination of a great story with very good gameplay that was one of the greatest advantages of the basic version of the game. In Left Behind, apart from the main character, almost nothing connects the two threads appearing in the game. They are two separate parts that could as well be released as separate DLC. On the other hand, the intertwining of arcade and story stages works really well . Thanks to this, we do not feel bored for a moment, because the game from time to time serves us completely different types of gameplay.