With The Last Of Us just picking up a stunning 10 BAFTA Games Awards nominations, this would appear to be the perfect time for Naughty Dog’s much-loved zombie-survival game to get its first slab of downloadable content. And Left Behind certainly provides a potent reminder of why last year’s PS3 game is still being feted.
It weaves together two stories, centred on Ellie. The main one being a previously un-fleshed-out gap in the original game, after Joel was wounded, and Ellie had to nurse him back to health. As she holes out in a mall seeking medical supplies, she flashes back to a previous day spent in the mall with her friend Riley, post-outbreak but before the events chronicled in the original game. That flashback sequence culminates in what proves to be a key plot-point.
The main story drops you right back in The Last Of Us’s deliciously tense action, with a modicum of puzzle-solving, some clever playing off of hostile survivors versus Infected and the need to reacquaint yourself with the bow and arrow. Alas, die-hard Molotov fanciers may be disappointed – it neglects the excellent crafting system. The flashback, meanwhile, is heavy on beautifully observed storyline, with the odd clever, although non-confrontational gameplay interlude.
Ultimately, alas, you’re left feeling like you’ve been served the best meal ever, but it ended after the appetiser. Left Behind has all the quality which marked out The Last Of Us as a special game, but you’d be hard-pressed to spin it out longer than three hours. Which, given its comparatively high price, is ultimately disappointing.
Reviewed by Steve Boxer