The Last Of Us DLC: A Reason to be Disappointed?
NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD.
After much discussion and speculation, the first piece of story-driven DLC for The Last of Us has been revealed–and people are a little disheartened.
The general vibe from the fan base is that the Ellie/Joel story arc originally ended in a more than satisfying manner, and thus revisiting either character would be a mistake. I personally agree with this notion as I feel that The Last of Us‘ universe had plenty more stories to tell outside of the game’s central pairing, which concluded satisfyingly.
I don’t hate the idea of playing through Ellie’s experiences prior to meeting Joel, but it feels like a missed opportunity. By that, I mean passing up the chance to show another side to the world, a different approach, a different character to develop. As Left Behind is a prequel, it makes it hard for the character of Ellie to develop in a meaningful way; instead, it just reinforces things we learned during The Last of Us.
The character of Ellie goes through significant developments during The Last of Us. Towards the end of the game, she’s clearly scarred from the things she’s seen and been through. It’s hard for Ellie to go through anything worse than nearly being raped and murdered by a deranged older man (in the shape of David). It’s simply one of the worst things that can happen to a human being, but her character has been developed. She has been scarred so what can Left Behind really do to further Ellie’s depth?
With all that being said, there is, of course, the opportunity for Naughty Dog to show how children have dealt with the events of the infection. Children interact totally differently with each other than they do with adults; Ellie is no different as shown during The Last of Us. Left Behind gives us the opportunity to see the bonds of friendship being explored, as opposed to the themes of fatherhood present in The Last of Us.
While there is a valid reason for people to feel let down by the concept of Left Behind, there is plenty of room for it to impress. Naughty Dog seems to understand full well how to tell a story that feels very human and natural, so there’s plenty of hope to be had.