Left Behind – The Last of Us DLC Review
Hey everyone! I’m finally back for my final review of The Last of Us, but as you all know this time I’ll be breaking down the Left Behind DLC! This downloadable content came out in February of 2014, which was roughly eight months after the release of The Last of Us itself. Once again, I know I am so far behind on this game, but I have only been on team PlayStation for a handful of months so it is still brand new to me! With that let us begin…
So this entire DLC basically revolves around Ellie right after Joel gets the rebar through his gut and Ellie before she is bitten. The main new character that is introduced is Ellie’s best friend Riley, who she mentions a handful of times throughout The Last of Us when she mentioned she died the same night Ellie was bitten. Joel is also in the DLC, but he’s in that comatose state from the middle chapters of The Last of Us and doesn’t say a single word. Along with them are the usual infected and also a shit load of guys who are looking for Joel/Ellie after what they did to all of the guys back at the college.
Chapter 1: Back in a Flash
So this chapter begins with Ellie stashing Joel in a store within the mall she stumbled across after they escaped the college. Once he is secure, Ellie takes off in search of a first aid kit so she can tend to Joel and his wounds. As Ellie creeps around the barren mall that is covered in snow she stumbles across a pharmacy. Of course it has been picked clean and nothing is there, but she does find a letter that mentions the pharmacist is locked in the store next door. Ellie then turns around and notices that there is a first aid kit in the room employee lounge behind her, but it is locked. She decides that the pharmacist is the best option to find the key and you then walk over to find him. You find the poor bastard grown into the wall in the far back corner of a dimly lit, spore filled room. It was one of the more grisly things the game had shown so far but it was also pretty spectacular at the same time. Anyways, she grabs the key and heads back to the employee lounge just to find out that the kit is completely empty. She turns her head and notices a medical helicopter wedged into the top floor of the mall across from her and decides that’s where she needs to go next. As you move towards the heli, you have only one option and that is to jump down into the center of the mall. As you do the screen goes back and we’re thrown into the past for the second time.
Chapter 2: Mall Rats
Riley and Ellie are together again, and we get our two characters chit-chatting as they make their way through Boston. Riley tells Ellie how she became a firefly and how Marlene has been putting her up to all these tests to see if she was ready to become a firefly. From here the conversation jumps around a little bit, but a lot of it was simply the two girls reminiscing about the past. They eventually make their way into the mall, and I got the impression this was not the first time they had done this. As they make their way through the mall they eventually end up in a Halloween store which was filled with a lot of little jokes and interesting interaction opportunities (one of which, the Frankenstein out of the coffin one, actually made me jump lol).
They leave the Halloween store and almost immediately find two SUV’s down below them, which is where brick master comes into play. Brick master is basically just the two girls chucking bricks at the car windows by the way, which sounds fun but like also, you’re going to draw infected to yourselves so quit! This is an achievement by the way, so be sure you actually beat Riley. From here they take off into a back hallway that leads them to a power room. Here Riley tells Ellie that the whole city actually has power, but that the military goes in and flips all of the breakers so that it seems like there isn’t any electricity. Riley has Ellie flip the switch and we cut back to Ellie in Colorado just as the girls open the mall door again.
Chapter 3: So Close
This picks up exactly where chapter 1 ends. As Ellie lands down in the middle of the mall, she notices an escalator but the power is off so the gate to it will not open. She follows a cable over to a little electrical outpost that is also off before saying, “Follow the cables, right Joel.” I think this was a call back to when they were actually at the college in The Last of Us, and if it was I love that they threw that into the DLC. As Ellie follows the cables back to a generator she finds out that the generator has no gas. There is a gas can and a hose behind the generator though, so Ellie knows she has to go siphon some from one of the cars near her. Of course as soon as you move from the generators ledge, three stalkers show up and catch you off guard. I wasn’t messing around here so I just charged in and killed them with my pistol. Once they were dead I started looking for the gas, which I found on my third try in the second big rig that was within the garage-ish looking room.
Back to the generator I go, and as you pour the gas in and get the hulking machine going two more stalkers come sprinting towards Ellie. But this time they die before they make it to her when an electrical cord falls from the ceiling and makes the water fatal. This adds a new challenge for Ellie though, because how does she get out of the room? She climbs up and over everything that’s what she does. A ladder behind the generator leads her up to some ventilation system that she uses to cross back over to the mall, where she now finds even more stalkers. There are five of them if I’m not mistaken, but only two of them are walking around so they’re pretty easy to pick off. As you run back out to the escalator however, three more infected run out of the woodwork and block the way. I panicked and shot one here because it started off almost right on top of me. This made this sequence a little bit more challenging because I wasted all of my ammo but didn’t kill all of the zombies. So I had to run around for five minutes until I finally shook them before making my way up the escalator.
Once up, you see the heli and Ellie runs over to it before she hops out onto a glass ledge (dumb ass idea #1) and then proceeds to JUMP OFF THE GLASS LEDGE TO THE HELICOPTER (dumb ass idea #2). Of course this was a bad idea, as the second she lands in the heli it begins shaking and then drops a little bit. Thankfully this isn’t Ellie’s demise however, and once she is in the helicopter she realizes there is a fully stocked first aid kit. We then cut away to black again and jump back into Ellie and Riley’s story.
Chapter 4: Fun and Games
As the doors open you can see the look of excitement on Ellie’s face. The first thing they see is a carousel and run straight for it. Once they’re off, Riley pulls out a pun book and we learn where this book (and all of Ellie’s puns) from The Last of Us came from. The two girls then stumble across a “Share Snap” machine, which is just a photo booth essentially, but I thought this bit was funny when it asked them if they wanted to share to Facebook. “What’s Facebook?” Ellie asks, and Riley answers with “I don’t know, maybe it prints our faces to some book.” Next up was the arcade, which was a nice little touch as well. I missed Jak X here because I went to The Turning first and this had me salty for a good five minutes. The Turning was pretty fun as well even though it started off super lame. But once you finish the game Ellie turns to Riley and they start talking which leads into a small fight between the two of them. It all stemmed from Riley telling Ellie that she was leaving Boston with the fireflies because Marlene basically didn’t want her here anymore.
Riley goes running off and Ellie follows, eventually catching up to her as she is staring at some mannequins. The two talk it out somewhat, but Riley unzips her backpack and throws it at Ellie to show her that she got the water guns back (they talked about these right before or right after brick master if you missed that conversation). Ellie picks them up and says that they will talk more, but only after Ellie destroys her in a soak off. This whole part was kinda cheesy and lame to me, but when Riley suggests that they should “hunt” each other it got a little better. I still didn’t need eight minutes of this though, so when it was over I was pretty happy to be completely honest. Also as a side note, if you best Riley two of the three times Ellie says some stuff afterwards and I swear she was acting exactly like Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad. I don’t know if it was simply the tone of her voice or the words she actually said, but I jumped straight back to breaking bad when she said it. Riley wants to continue of course, but Ellie tells her that she needs to go. She can’t get into anymore trouble at the place she is living now because she’s already used up all of her strikes.
Riley says ok, but first she wants to show Ellie one more thing. She takes Ellie’s cassette player and starts jamming some funk as they climb up onto a jewelry display case and start dancing. I’m pretty sure this would have broken with how aggressive and jumpy they were being, but that’s besides the point. As they are dancing, Ellie stops and tells Riley she wants her to stay which leads to Riley ripping her firefly necklace off right before the two of them kiss. I 1000% did not see this coming haha, but if I look back it makes sense because all of the signs of a crush were there. As they two are talking and deciding that they will need to figure everything out, Ellie notices some infected running towards them and the screen cuts to black again.
Chapter 5: The Enemy of my Enemy
Apparently Ellie passed out or maybe just decided to take a nap in the helicopter, but as she snaps back into reality she remembers she needs to go help Joel. She jumps down from the heli and then you hear some gunshots off in the distance. You start making your way back to the front of the mall, but before you do two guys come busting out of a door being chased by some stalkers. Unfortunately for them, they get eaten. But their friends show up just in the nick of time to kill the zombies before they can start exploring and potentially find Ellie. They start talking after and mention how they don’t understand why they need to be looking for “that guy and his little girl”. You also get the bow back here, which was nice because I wasn’t a fan of the pistol the entire campaign of The Last of Us anyways. So having another weapon made the DLC a little more enjoyable at this point. You take these three guys out and make your way towards a bloody air duct system that leads you down into a sports store.
Right away you notice three infected chilling down below you, but before you have any time to react to them some of the people looking for Joel/Ellie walk into the other side of the store. They spot the infected and are about to take them out, but the game creators were nice enough to put a brick up near Ellie. I loved this, it basically gave you the option to either let the humans sneak over and take out the infected or you could wake the infected with a brick and let them take out the humans. I reached for the brick immediately and chucked it at one of the sleeping stalkers which led to total mayhem within the store. At the end of it I only needed to loose two arrows at the remaining stalkers before I got to scrounge the store for ammo.
From here you exit the store to find yourself in a corridor where you need to hop over some barricades and into what I think was a bank.You’ll need to square up against a few more stalkers here, but as you near the final two some more guys walk in from and you have the same choice as before. I grabbed a nearby brick and threw it at the stalkers to wake them up and they took out the men for me. Once everyone and everything has been taken care of, you climb up through where the men just came and find yourself in a portrait gallery. You fling open the gate and head back out into the main hallway of the mall where you can now finally see the exit. As you’re running towards it you hear some guys yelling, and notice that they’ve found the locked gate that is housing Joel’s comatose body. Ellie says she needs to do something quick, so I crafted a bomb and chucked it down towards the guys trying to open the gate. It was effective, but not the best way of going about this as there were almost ten guys I needed to take out.
Once they’re all dead though you run down to Joel’s door just be shot at from where up top where you literally just were. And this was the first and only time I died throughout this DLC because I was caught so off guard by another eight men after I just killed ten. The second go around was a success however since I knew what I was up against, and once you’ve killed about half of these guys more stalkers come in and start picking off the remaining guys. Then you just have a few infected to kill before finally getting over to Joel and cutting back to Riley and Ellie.
Chapter 6: Escape From Liberty Gardens
This picks back up with the two girls running for their lives throughout the mall. After a few close calls and some near deaths, everything is starting to look good as the two girls make it to the scaffolding that leads up to the broken window and the outside world. But as Ellie is climbing the scaffolding, it starts to lean backwards and tumbles towards the ground. Ellie is tossed off the upper landing on down to the mall floor where the infected are and gets attacked by a stalker. This is where Ellie gets the bite that ultimately leads to the entire point of The Last of Us. She struggles to get the zombie off of her and Riley shows up to save the day. She blasts the creature with her pistol right before she gets tackled by another infected and Ellie rushes over to her. This was the most gruesome death of both the game and the DLC, and Ellie takes her switchblade and just yanks it through the stalkers throat. Ellie starts talking to Riley before she is cut off, and Riley tells her to look down at her arm. Ellie looks down and starts to panic, and as she does Riley lifts her hand and we see she has been bitten as well.
The screen cuts to black again and were now watching the final cut scene. Ellie is leaning over Joel with a needle and thread and says “don’t worry, I’ve done this before.” I wasn’t sure if this was another callback or not but I don’t remember her saying anything like that throughout The Last of Us. It cuts back to Ellie after she was bit, and she is in full on freak out mode now. She is swinging a massive metal pipe around and breaking anything in sight. She eventually gets tired and sits next to Riley who starts one of the best end game speeches I have ever heard. As Riley is speaking we hop back to Ellie and Joel. Ellie is saddled up and has Joel all bundled on his makeshift sled. She looks back at him and then we get a close up of her face as she heads out of the mall and into the wilderness that becomes the lakeside resort chapter form the game. Riley’s speech is coming to a close and she mentions to Ellie how their second option is to wait it out and fight the infection. They need to enjoy the little time they have left in this world together. And right as Riley finishes we pan over to Ellie who wipes some tears from her face before the credits roll.
And that’s that! This DLC is just another reason why The Last of Us will forever be one of my favorite PS4 games. I am beyond stoked that the second game will be out at the end of this year and cannot wait to see what the creators have set up for Ellie’s story. As more is released on the game I will be doing an anticipation/breakdown of what is known, so be on the lookout for that later this year!