The Last of Us: Left Behind - Recensione

Author: Marco Salvaneschi
Date: 2020-07-30 22:53:36
2:14. That is February 14, Valentine's Day, scientifically using American notation. In short, just today. It's right.

But 2:14 is also 2h and 14min, or two-hours-and-fourteen-minutes, looking incredibly at my final Left Behind rescue. In short, 2 hours and something. I swear.

Just as I swear this will be the only real spoiler - they are worse than clickers! - of this review, admitted and not granted that can be considered as such. Because a small two-hour fairy tale and something cannot be spoiled in its fundamental component.

Two hours and little more than a small parable of life. Two hours that fly, of course, also and above all thanks to a DLC that has the only fault of being too short. Too little to fit in, yes, because the little Ellie from the first (and last) single-player-only DLC from The Last of Us would like to accompany her hand for a little while, between mature scripts and immature physiognomy, mutant ugliness and teenage beauties, damned imprudence and blissful innocence.

If the paternal Joel of the original game represented a vigorous Virgil in accompanying Ellie early beyond the infernal doors of mature age, the same age Riley of this expansion embodies a poetic inspiring muse in guiding her playfully to (re) discovery of her tender childhood. The continuous ping pong between the flashback sequences alongside the enterprising Riley and those at the service of a poor poor man - and I stop here - is just one of the many games that engage Ellie, developers and players during this sort of training novel videogame.

Games for children made as an adult video game which, as such, almost risks becoming cloying in its constant and pedantic recourse to quick time events rather childish in their material simplicity, but truly perfect in the immaterial mirror of knowing how to marvel, the hunger of light-heartedness , the desire to be amazed and the thirst for lightness typical of children. Or kids who never were, just because they never could be, like Ellie and Riley. But childhood found playing like puppies, in a wild world and in an animal habitat like The Last of Us, can only be feral even in the fatal training that it represents in preparation for the games of the great ones to come, the enemies that will chase , of the mutants who will reset.

The playroom! It is still functional, with a little imagination ...

So first you have fun with those who break more windows with bricks, and a "flash-forward" afterwards with those who break more heads like melons - with the same, same bricks. First play a fighting game with your simple, but powerful, childlike imagination, then hit hard with a simple, but powerless, killer blade. First you play hide and seek with your friend for the skin, then you do it with your enemies to save your skin. First take a ride on a twirling carousel, then make a mutant target shot. First rose water, then blood of Things. Ping, pong ... Ping, pong ...

But even in language, perfectly recited also in our language, the game of "before" and "after" continues: the jokes are transformed into swear words; the "cabbages" harden into "cocks"; and swearing away. And also in the settings: first game rooms, then waiting rooms; first Halloween shops, then shop ghosts; and so on. Because what leaves you in Left Behind is precisely that strong contrast that characterizes the game structure itself. First, then ... Ping, pong ...

Little women grow up ... and talk, talk, talk a lot, fighting little.

Too bad that in this game of rebounds and contrasts between children and adults, extremely effective on an emotional and narrative level, Left Behind leaves the gameplay a little behind. If you leave it behind - unfinished wanted? - just like a child not yet fully developed, who can only take the enemy behind him to make him good. In this sense I cannot say that I am fully satisfied by the DLC as the author of our preview. And the criticisms resemble those, however small and measured, addressed to The Last of Us by Mattia himself in his hyperbolic review of the original game.

To the great emotional and life parable described by Left Behind on the narrative level, there corresponds a small evolutionary and novelty parable on that of the actual game. The addition of Riley does not affect in this sense, except by eliminating those inconsistencies in the behavior of the allied AI only and only because, in fact, with her we never fight against enemies, but we explore, chat, play and run away, to the end. For the rest, Ellie is alone, both to solve the only real puzzle presented by this DLC, and to fight against human and mutant opponents. The problem is that she had already been alone, that she had already experienced that perfect and fearful sense of (almost) helpless bewilderment. And we with you, if you remember ...

I didn't mention the graphics, but you played The Last of Us, didn't you?

Compared to that time, it is not that tactically much has changed. The small stature and the reduced arsenal continue to recommend, especially initially, a wary stealth attitude to alerted to sneak away among the enemies or stab them in the back. The fact of being able to lose one's tracks by exiting the sensorial cone of the pursuers - like hide and seek, seen? - and the option of pitting opponents against each other on a couple of occasions actually adds a bit of arrows to Ellie's bow.

Arch that in fact, unfailingly, closes the parable, returning available in view of the only truly challenging fight of the whole game. Survival fights that, by the way, are counted on the fingers of one hand. To count the Trophies it takes two. For the hours of play, however, half is enough. Even if you want to make it last, playing at the highest level of difficulty among the four available, Left Behind will hardly take you more than two and a half hours, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.

G ira the carousel, gi-ra-la: 2. Turn it yet, gi-ra-la: 14. Happy Valentine's Day!

Is an expansion that expands the already expanded emotion aroused in all of us by the wonderful The Last of Us worth the cost of 15 euros for two hours and something to play? Is Oscar's script, direction, acting and emotion worth the ticket price? And what is the added value of video games compared to the film? Of a handful of fights compared to a ton of feelings?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, someone said. The naive and sincere eyes of children, or the expert and shrewd ones of adults. If Left Behind's Ellie would probably pay those "few" euros without thinking about it to start playing and dreaming again, perhaps The Last of Us's Ellie would clench the teeth and cords of the bag to start choosing and rationalizing. Ping, pong ... Ping, pong ...

MODUS OPERANDI
I spent my 2 hours and 14 minutes of play two days before the fateful 2/14 on the PS3 editorial test, even if to install the 5 and broken GB of the DLC plus various and any other patches I already saw "my beloved" fade away. Valentino. But hope is alas the last to die: it's a pity to have quickly recovered the time spent seeing the notorious installation bar move forward by completing the DLC in a couple of hours and collecting 4 Trophies out of the 10 available, in proportion already more generous than those of the original game. Considering the massive presence of slippery movies and gameplay phases reduced to the bone, I would say that you can go from speedrun of an hour at least to "complete run" to Survivor difficulty from three abundant hours at most. I say this for the exclusive benefit of those who delight in these insane practices, huh.