The Last of Us is the greatest game ever made. I stand by that statement as much today as I did in June, when I made that statement for the first time. I’ve replayed the game two or three times since, and it hasn’t lost an ounce of impact. It’s powerful. On Friday, the first – and reportedly, only – piece of single-player DLC was released for the game. A short campaign where you play as Ellie, “Left Behind” is an addition in the best sense of the word: it does not detract, change, or in any way weaken what came before. It is simply more.
Actually, allow me to retract that. It’s not “simply” more – it’s quite complicatedly more. While this is the same game to be sure – it has the same pulse-pounding stealth gameplay and is every bit as intense as the base game – this is a decidedly different beast on a narrative front. It, too, has things to say about survival, but where “Left Behind” distinguishes itself from the base game is in its bizarre but welcome sense of joy and optimism in a world that seems so devoid of it.
“Left Behind” is a beautiful piece of DLC, representing the macrocosm of the base game in microcosm.
[Standard spoiler warning applies. There will be spoilers for both The Last of Us and “Left Behind” beneath the cut.]