The Last of Us: Left Behind isn't just an important chapter of The Last of Us, it's a great game in its own right. As a DLC prequel to the main game, Left Behind follows The Last of Us' teenage protagonist, Ellie, and her best friend Riley as the two girls escape boarding school and explore an abandoned, post-apocalyptic shopping mall.
While Left Behind contains a healthy serving of The Last of Us' stealth-and-crafting-based action, the story is the real highlight. The relationship between Ellie and Riley is poignant, complicated, and undeniably touching, and it's no surprise that Naughty Dog won the BAFTA for Best Story for its efforts (the actress who plays Ellie, Ashley Johnson, also picked up a Best Performer award). In short, Left Behind is The Last of Us in a microcosm: a daring and emotional story, backed up by rock solid gameplay.
The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog clearly agrees, as the developer just announced plans to release The Last of Us: Left Behind as a stand-alone game. On May 12, Left Behind hits the PlayStation Store for both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. People who don't own The Last of Us can pick up Left Behind for $9.99 on both platforms; while the prequel is short, that's money well spent. As a bonus, Left Behind also comes with a two hour trial of The Last of Us' Factions multiplayer mode.
Naughty Dog hopes that Left Behind will be a "nicely priced gateway" for gamers who are interested in The Last of Us, but aren't sure about shelling out for the full title. As such, Left Behind comes with a few upgrade tiers: players can spend an additional $9.99 to unlock the full Factions multiplayer game, and $29.99 to add The Last of Us' single player campaign (on PS4; the campaign is only $19.99 on PS3). For the same price as all the individual pieces, players can also buy a bundle that unlocks everything at once.
The developer claims that Left Behind contains some of the "best and most touching moments of any game in recent memory," and encourages fans who are interested in Ellie and Riley's story - whether they've played the full game or not - to check out The Last of Us: American Dreams, a comic book by the game's creator, Neil Druckmann, and acclaimed cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks.
None of this praise is hyperbole, by the way; The Last of Us is currently the most awarded game of all time, with over 240 Game of the Year awards to its name.
Source: Naughty Dog