Left Behind, the first and only additional piece of single player content for 2013’s The Last of Us, tells the story of Ellie’s last day with her best friend Riley and for the most part, takes place before the main game. We also get to see what Ellie went through during the initial hours of Joel’s near-fatal injury, but that part doesn’t really factor into why Left Behind is so great.
Left Behind is a perfect distillation of what made the original game such a watershed moment in 2013. A slow start gives way to a series of standout moments that then devolves into some boring shooty bits but wraps up with an utterly transcendent ending. Without giving anything away, there are aspects that will surprise even the most dedicated Last of Us fan.
What’s really striking about Left Behind is how authentic Ellie and Riley’s relationship feels. Now, being an adult man I have to admit to never having been a teenage girl so I suppose I should say, Ellie and Riley’s dialogue and interactions felt real. The writers and voice talent craft dialogue that feels punchy but believable. All this culminates in a final act that had me clenching my sides in anxiety and moaning for fear of the inevitable.
There are so many beautiful moments in Left Behind and as someone who has payed through the original game twice knows, that beauty can only beget great violence and sorrow. The interplay between these occurrences and the feelings caused thereby are the aspects that elevated The Last of Us above games of its kind and Left Behind is no different.
Title: Left Behind
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: Playstation 3