Since its release, The Last of Us 2 has become the fastest-selling PlayStation exclusive in history and the most awarded video game of all time, dethroning the previous record holder, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Although the game has been divisive and controversial, there’s no denying that as far as sales and critical acclaim go, it has been a massive success.
Because of player response to the game and the success of "Left Behind," the story-driven DLC added to The Last of Us after its 2013 release, fans have been hoping that The Last of Us 2 might also get a single-player DLC. Neil Druckmann announced back in June that Naughty Dog had no plans for a DLC, but fans have remained hopeful in speculating if and when one might be announced.
Nine months after its release, however, no additional content has been announced for The Last of Us 2 other than an upgrade that gave the game a few extra difficulty settings and a permadeath mode. Fans still want to see a DLC come to life, and "Left Behind" set a precedent for DLCs within the franchise. A creative fan even made a fake DLC trailer for The Last of Us 2, which only made fans long for the real thing even more.
The Last of Us originally released on June 14, 2013 and established itself as one of the best games of the PlayStation 3 generation. The "Left Behind" DLC, focusing on Ellie and her friend Riley, came out on February 14, 2014. It is now included for free with the purchase of The Last of Us Remastered. "Left Behind" gave players valuable and impactful insight into Ellie’s past and the loss she experienced when she and Riley were bitten by infected. Riley began to turn and Ellie didn’t, causing her to realize she was immune to the cordyceps infection.
This was a critical moment for players to experience, as Ellie’s immunity is what drove the story of the first game. Ellie struggles with survivor’s guilt through the second game as well, which leads to her fractured relationship with Joel. "Left Behind" also revealed Ellie’s sexual orientation, an important aspect of her story in The Last of Us 2 and a huge step forward for LGBTQ+ representation in AAA video games.
In addition to providing insight into Ellie’s past, "Left Behind" let players step into Ellie’s shoes as she fights to find help for Joel, who has been fatally injured. Letting players see some of what happened in the several months between Joel’s injury and Ellie’s first encounter with David helped provide some context, as well as showcased the lengths Ellie was willing to go to in order to help Joel. In its short playtime, "Left Behind" expanded on The Last of Us story and gave players more time with Ellie after spending so much time playing as Joel. Fans loved it, and some still hope that The Last of Us 2 will receive similar treatment.
If Naughty Dog were to release a DLC with a similar gap between the release of the main game and "Left Behind," a DLC for The Last of Us 2 would already be in player’s hands. Naughty Dog has missed that opportunity already, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for a DLC. If one was released, the developer would have no problem selling copies, and there are also several options to feature poignant character-development similar to what "Left Behind" did.
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