The lights are on
The Last of Us
proved itself to be one of the best games of all time. Winning countless GOTY
awards, Naughty Dog showed that it wasn't saying goodbye to the PS3 without one
last hurrah. Left Behind, was one of the sole reasons why I kept my PS3, and
was eager to learn the back story of my favorite character, Ellie.
The game starts
with a montage of the events that happened to Joel and Ellie in the university,
before showing another cutscene with Ellie sleeping in a dorm, and another girl
scaring her awake. This girl is Riley, a character alluded to at the end of the
original game. (You may be familiar with her if you read the comic, American Dream). She gives
Ellie big news, then invites her to sneak out. I am then taken back to the present,
with Ellie taking care of the wounded Joel inside of a mall. These transitions
are to be expected in this game.
of Ellie for a long term playthrough was something that I was overjoyed to do.
However, The Last of Us kept its formula for intense battles, and taking them
on while controlling someone as vunerable as Ellie, was terrifying. Sure,
there were moments in the original game where Joel was taking on the world
alone, but he was a hardcore survivor and defending himself was something that came naturally. But, with Ellie, I triple-checked each corner I passed to avoid getting
her killed. At some point, I was faced with both hunters and clickers in a single area. Using distractions, like throwing bricks or bottles, would make them
fight each other, thinning out the opposition in the process. This is a
mechanic, that I wished I was able to do in the original campaign. But, while
observing the hunters fight the clickers and runners, I noticed that the clickers and runners
showed little interest in taking down the hunters. They would do little more than stumble towards their targets, while getting riddled with bullets. But if I were fighting the clickers and the runners, they would
sprint at me full tilt, At any
rate, though, it was still fun to see my enemies attack something that wasn't
me for a change.
Just like the original story, Left Behind truly shined
in the quieter, peaceful moments. In fact, if Naughty Dog left out combat
sequences altogether and just gave us Ellie's story from beginning to end, it
would not have swayed my score in any way. Every interaction between Ellie and Riley felt incredibly real as they
were fascinated by the world before the cordyceps. Some of my favorites moments were when they were making silly faces in a photo booth, or wondering what "Share to Facebook" meant. I was engrossed all the way
through -- all the way up until Naughty Dog (once again) had me torn with the bittersweet
conclusion. One thing I wish they added, was a little more explanation; I still
had unanswered questions after the credits rolled.
Somehow, Left Behind managed to do the nearly impossible. It gave fans something new to play, while also not ruining the impact of the original. If you loved the original game, then this is a must buy.
So I was looking through the Game Informer review of this game and realized that the title of that and the title of mine were almost exactly the same. My bad guys.