I finished The Last of Us in February, but it took me until last night to finish playing the single-player DLC Left Behind. I started it pretty enthusiastically, but because – as usual – I kept dying and dying and dying and dying in the most terrible of ways, I lost my appetite for it a little bit. I also got distracted by two The Witcher III expansion packs I bought, though that is a story (review) for another time.
The Left Behind gameplay was the same as the game play for The Last of Us, so I didn’t have to get used to new commands or anything. Still, I played the first half of the game on the ‘normal’ setting and switched to ‘easy’ when I just couldn’t get past a certain point. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ll swallow my pride to finish a game. And this DLC was certainly worth finishing.
It takes place in the past, and also in an even further past. During The Last of Us you usually play as Joel, but there is a section where you play as Ellie, because Joel is incapacitated. There’s a time jump, and then suddenly it’s winter. In Left Behind, you play as Ellie, right before the time jump. You need to look for medical supplies to take care of Joel, while hiding, evading or killing both zombies and groups of men hunting for you and Joel. It’s a tense situation.
The mini arc itself is interspersed with flashbacks to the period in Ellie’s life before she came into the custody of the Fireflies, and eventually Joel. You learn about her life, and her relationship with childhood friend Riley (now a newly initiated Firefly) and what exactly happened to them. At the end of The Last of Us Ellie tells Joel what happened to her and Riley, and in this game you get to experience it firsthand.
It’s a touching story, and it felt real. The tension of being caught, of being killed (or worse) was there all the time, but the tension was somewhat alleviated by Ellie’s interactions with Riley in the past, and her concern for Joel’s life in the “present”.
I’d recommend everyone who ever played The Last of Us to also take a crack at Left Behind. It’s a part of the story you don’t want to miss out on.