The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC Review: Growing Characters

But those weaknesses aside, enough good things can’t be said about Left Behind’s characters and writing. If it wasn’t obvious before, it’s now glaring that Ellie deserves her own game. She can more than carry it, as we see here (and Ashley Johnson’s performance is as Ellie is, once again, a true standout).

Left Behind manages to expand on Ellie’s character in fascinating ways, and even does something to recast and differently illuminate The Last of Us’ wonderful, ambiguous ending. It doesn’t need plot surprises to do it, because it’s full of character surprises. This is a package that manages to tell a new story within the threads of The Last of Us, and the overall tapestry is richer for having it.

Pros:

  • Another very well-written story
  • Ellie remains a phenomenal character, and it’s clear she can and should star in her own game
  • Voice work from Ashley Johnson and Yaani King is great; Johnson shines yet again
  • Naughty Dog’s willingness to place story ahead of body count (for the most part) is commendable; the amount of optional content and dialog squirreled away in the DLC is enormous
  • A few standout moments of fun, tense The Last of Us gameplay

Cons:

  • More of the same issues from The Last of Us — an inordinate amount of meaningless scavenging, some story bits are easy to miss because of geography, some stealthing issues remain
  • There’s not much meaningful difference between playing as Ellie and playing as Joel
  • Some gameplay moments help to tell the story (a bit), but mostly the DLC is a lot of cutscenes; gameplay bits don’t feel as natural as the rest of the story
  • Ending fight sequence is kind of ludicrous, and brings back The Last of Us’ comically high body count problem

Final Score: 80/100


Game Front employs a 100-point scale when reviewing games to be as accurate about the experience as possible. Read the full rundown of what our review scores mean.


Phil Hornshaw is deputy editor at Game Front. Read more of his work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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3 Comments on The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC Review: Growing Characters

ted

On February 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I enjoyed the DLC and I think this is how a DLC should be done.

R.J.

On February 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm

I enjoyed this overall, even if I do think that the price was too high. The only part that I had a real problem with was at the end since it seems like a game about survival shouldn’t have you single-handedly wiping out so many enemies, but that was also a problem throughout the game, so no surprise there. I really liked the new aspect of having infected and human enemies mixed together since the way things turned out could actually be altered by the timing of when I tossed a bottle to turn the infected on the humans. If there is a sequel, I’d like to see this fleshed out some more.

dweezil

On February 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm

rejiggering?

doing the dlc on survivor was definitely the way to go. almost no crafting, a lot of stealth, and very little ammo. the ending battle would have been more realistic with infected playing a bigger part.