Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Last of Us: Left Behind: PS3 Review

The Last of Us: Left Behind: PS3 Review

Platform: PS3
Released by Naughty Dog

So, The Last of Us, one of the absolute best games of last year, gets a DLC that proves almost as good as the original story.

Centring around Ellie and running as a side story to the original, it follows Ellie after she's forced to leave Joel when he's critically wounded at the end of the autumn section of the main story. Interspersed with Ellie's hunt for medication for Joel are a series of playable flashbacks as Ellie relives her time with a friend Riley, 3 weeks before the main story.

The Last of Us: Left Behind is an essential addition to the canon and proof of more sterling work from the Naughty Dog team.

They've managed to pull together something which is deeply enriching and which works again at scaring you stupid, even though you know what to expect from the Clickers and the environments around. And yet, with graphics that are totally impressive, there's something almost atmospheric about what's been pulled together. As snow gently rains down on Ellie and her surroundings, there's some real beauty at work - and as Riley and Ellie explore a Hallowe'en clothes shop, there are a few spooks and scares of the old school variety to be had.

Yet, among all the expansion of the world that Naughty Dog created, there's no drop in quality of the writing of the overall story. Great care is thrown into the back story, so much so, that when it reaches its end, you'll be breathless with sadness and swept up in the poignancy on show. I won't ruin it with spoilers, but the bittersweet feelings when it ends are proof of your investment in this world.

It would be a real shame if The Last Of Us never garnered a sequel - as the DLC demonstrates, there's a great deal more to be explored within it. And clearly, the writing continues to be of an exceptionally high quality so there are many more avenues to explore. But what Naughty Dog has shown once again in this outing, is that character and story are king. There's no way you'd be as invested in this as much were it not for the fact that those involved have imbued Ellie with a sadness, a depth of character and a story arc that's as compelling as it is rewarding.

It's best to experience the Last of Us: Left Behind without spoilers - much like the main story - but do yourself a favour, ensure that you do give it a go. There's no better piece of DLC on show and I hope The Last Of Us 2 or more DLC is on its way, because this is not a world I'm ready to leave behind yet.


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