The Last Of Us is a game we’ve raved about, repeatedly. And honestly, it’s hard not to approach the DLC story with a little bit of anxiety. But Naughty Dog has actually delivered an epilogue of sorts that’s every bit as mechanically sound and heart-wrenching as the original game.
The game consists of two parts, the flashback to Riley and Ellie that’s been the focus of the DLC’s marketing and, surprisingly, the modern day, with Joel and Ellie. It’s a story, in the end, about hope: How we get it, how we lose it, how we find it again. Ellie thinks about her past as she rushes to save Joel… only to find that’s more complicated than you may think.
That’s as far as we’ll go with the story; it needs to be experienced, and it hits hard. In terms of gameplay, the DLC adds a new mechanic here, which is that instead of just survivors or fungoid zombies to deal with, Ellie has to fight both and often play the one against the other.
It’s similar in some ways to the Winter chapter of the full game; you’re playing Ellie, you have that unbreakable shiv, but you’re also weaker than Joel and you’ve got fewer tools. Ammo is present, but even sparser than usual, so you’re often going to have to either sneak around problems or outwit them with the resources you have to hand. It’s an intense and often edge-of-your-seat experience.
In short, it’s the rare DLC that both adds something to the larger story of the game and adds something sound and interesting mechanically. While we half-hope that Naughty Dog chooses not to make a sequel, we can’t argue that this DLC genuinely adds something worth playing to a great game.