Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is a stellar game – that much is certain. It’s been nominated for 12 different categories at the upcoming 2014 DICE Awards, received a four-and-a-half-star review from us, and even garnered DT’s award for the most thought-provoking game of the 2013. It’s a harrowing tale, driven by a massive zombie infestation yet firmly rooted in human interaction, while delivering a memorable and mature story enveloped in world of beautiful immersion. However, whereas the The Last of Us focused on protagonists Joel and Ellie, Naughty Dog’s first DLC expansion intends to strictly delve deeper into Ellie’s backstory.
The forthcoming Left Behind, the first of three planned DLC expansions for the acclaimed title, will feature a story-driven prologue following Ellie and her older friend Riley — first introduced in the The Last of Us: American Dreams comic series — in the events prior to her run in with Joel in the Last of Us. Naughty Dog announced the single-player DLC will focus on exploration amid the game’s decaying world, adding new combat mechanics and additional features to the few scenarios in which players must fight. However, lead game designer Jacob Minkoff has also said it’s the narrative that will exceed that of the original title, not the combat. And if the first in-game cinematic is any indication of what’s to come, then returning TLOU writer Neil Druckman is the man for the job.
Left Behind is slated for release on the PlayStation 3 on Feb. 14,Valentine’s Day, as an individual purchase or as part of the game’s $20 season pass. The other two content packs are likely due sometime this year, with a primary focus on an as-yet-unrevealed multiplayer mode.