The Last of Us: Left Behind Review

Stay True to Your Heart

The Last of Us: Left Behind
Playstation 3 | Naughty Dog | February 14, 2014

Naughty Dog drafted a love letter to fans of The Last of Us, and Ellie specifically, with their first-and-last piece of single player DLC, Left Behind. It’s either cosmic timing or marketing inequity that this game was released on Valentine’s Day because this is a story about relationships and how they define us. Your enjoyment of this DLC is directly proportionate to how much you enjoy Ellie’s character. This is her story, and yours.

The DLC’s primary draw is the interaction between Ellie and her best friend Riley. This is a relationship that was hinted at during the main campaign but never truly fleshed out (A tease occurs if you open Ellie’s backpack and look at her Artifacts in the main story). Through a single night of events, players are treated to the full spectrum of how these girls interact with each other, everything they have been through in the post-infected world and what’s most important. This doesn’t play out like Joel and Ellie smashing through hunters, it stands on its own merits. Riley is in not a palette swap character for Joel.

Combat returns and is as familiar and capable as it was in the standard game. Ellie has her own feel compared to Joel. You have to be sneakier and more selective with your shots. If an enemy runs at Ellie, she can’t stand her ground. On survivor difficultly you will go down fast. There are no new weapons or tricks; in fact, the weapon selection and enemy type is less the main story. The combat sections are enjoyable but ultimately aren’t anything that you haven’t done before (save for one situation listed in the spoilers below).

The Naughty Dog Easter-Egg-Hunt returns and the payoff is better than the Uncharted board game. Naughty Dog plays these loose and fun, willing to be a little self-deprecating at times and nostalgic at others. If you engage in every optional conversation (which you should for maximum enjoyment and trophies) you’ll encounter a series of inside jokes and callbacks to the main story. Players can make it through this in about 2 hours, with an additional hour for trophy mop-up.

This is a character centric story that doesn’t add anything to the mythology of the Last of Us but instead details Ellie’s back story. Through her interaction in the past, players better understand where she draws her strength and why she keeps fighting.


Score: 9.0 /10

+ Captivating Story
+ Amazing Voice Acting
+ Pushes PS3 to limits
–  Meaningless Combat


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Spoiler Inside: Story Elements SelectShow