The Last of Us - Left Behind
Recently I played through The Last Of Us again. The last time I played it was a couple years ago on PS3, as part of my dissertation titled: "How do game characters evoke emotional responses for the player". Since receiving a PS4 for my graduation, one of the first games I wanted to play (apart from Overwatch) was the remastered version of TLOU and *finally* the Left Behind expansion.
*** The remastered graphics were really incredible.! I loved going into photo mode to just enjoy the scenery.
The benefit of playing a game through again (which I have rarely done) is probably knowing roughly what is going to to happen and where to go, giving you time to enjoy the little things like; little bits of shrapnel, garbage, shrubbery and rusty cars. It also gives you a chance to play differently, maybe a change of strategy? The first time though, I think I used a lot of bullets (which there aren't many of) and so I made a lot of med kits, since I went in to battle guns-a-blazing. This time round I was definitely more stealthy and set a lot more traps with nail bombs and smoke grenades.
(I may eventually play through on the + mode, to attempt some of the trophies) Another favourite part of TLOU is the Un-lockable concept art. Dollars are earned by completing missions in the game, and you can choose to buy outfits for Joel and Ellie, Skins & Concept Art. This is one of my favourite pages of concept art from the set.
Left Behind I only ever saw gifs on tumblr, of hinting maybe Ellie was gay ? But, I tried to avoid spoilers as best I could.
I thought the play style of Left Behind was really nice. Had a really nice balance of puzzles/ narrative/ and general zombie shenanigans. I felt like the tone of the game was quieter ? maybe because there were less guns involved. Showing more of the story when Joel was out of action was really great, and I think pretty vital in Ellie's development (and setting her as protagonist for TLOU2 maybe? ) rather than just a side kick role to Joel.
I tried to do all the conversational options with Riley, like reading all of the jokes in the pun book. Took a load of photos in the photo booth, and tried on all the masks in the Halloween shop. Those moments were all really lovely, and kind of made you forget there was a zombie Apocalypse happening outside.
I enjoyed getting the infected to go for groups of hostiles by just lobbing a brick in their direction, and mostly because my aim wasn't as true when using the bow and arrow. I won the car window smashing challenge, even though I smashed a window on the wrong car first. HA! Overall I really enjoyed it, and thought it was really nice to show back story of how Ellie was bitten. It was a little bit of a Romeo and Juliet story, warms my cold heart.