With TLOU Part 1 being remade, Naughty Dog has the perfect opportunity to improve the story and make it into a seamless narrative experience.
The Last of Us Part 1 is receiving a remake, and it presents the perfect opportunity for Naughty Dog to make a major improvement to the game. Considering the Left Behind DLC is already bundled into the PS4 remaster of The Last of Us, it will be more than likely to be included in the upcoming remake as well. Therefore, Naughty Dog should integrate the Left Behind DLC directly into the game at the point (in winter) where it was meant to take place.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part 1 and its Left Behind DLC.]
The Last of Us Part 1 takes place in the United States after it’s been ravaged by a the outbreak of an infection that drastically changed life for the survivors. The game follows Joel, who has become a smuggler since the collapse of society. He gets hired to smuggle Ellie, who is immune to the infection, to the Fireflies so they can use her to find a cure. Summer Game Fest 2022 revealed that The Last of Us Part 1 is being remade, so players will have the chance to relive Joel and Ellie’s journey across the United States with improved graphics. Alternatively, players who never had the chance to play it before now have the opportunity to give The Last of Us Another try when its remake is released.
Plenty of games are getting renewed attention with remakes, and The Last of Us Part 1 has now joined the list. However, the trend for the recent remakes of games hasn’t been to just improve the graphics and smooth out gameplay. Instead, developers have been changing other elements of games in remakes, including story content, with some remakes resembling their original inspirations more indirectly than others. Naughty Dog likely does not need to go that far, considering that the story is already impactful enough that Mary Kenney, a Marvel’s Wolverine writer, used The Last of Us to explain her career choice to her family. The greatest improvement that Naughty Dog could make for The Last of Us Part 1 remake is to include the Left Behind DLC in the game at the time when it takes place.
The Last Of Us Part 1 Remake Can Improve The Flow Of Its Story
Not everybody can sit down and play through the entirety of a game without stopping to sleep or go to work or school. Some people are lucky to fit in an hour of playtime on just a couple days of the week. Because of this, it would be helpful for the Left Behind DLC to be added as part of TLOU’s main game so that players automatically play it during the winter portion, and those who are unable to play the game straight through would not need to think back to what was happening at the time that the winter section of the DLC takes place. Since it seems as though Sony approved The Last of Us Remake in order to keep Naughty Dog’s developers busy with a lower-effort project while the creative leads draft new ideas, shifting the Left Behind DLC to be part of the main game would not only improve the gaming experience, it would give further opportunities to work with the PS5.
Considering the Left Behind DLC takes place at the same time as the winter section or before the start of the main game, integrating it into TLOU won’t cause any issues in terms of spoilers as it focuses on Ellie trying to help Joel survive after he was impaled and shows how she was first bitten and discovered her immunity to the infection. The additional content adds another layer of complexity to Ellie’s character and reinforces why she’s among the best PlayStation protagonists like Aloy and Kratos. She feels real and human because she’s flawed, and anybody would have struggled when faced with the same decisions she was.
If The Left Behind DLC Content Is In, It Can Be Integrated Into TLOU
Since The Last of Us Remaster on PS4 bundled in Left Behind, then there’s no reason for it to not be integrated into the remake. Doing so won’t make any changes to the story of the game on the whole, except to put it in an order that’s generally more chronological (aside from Ellie’s flashback to being bitten), which would leave the content overall the same. This change would likely then improve gameplay without actualizing the fears of some fans that Naughty Dogs will end up making similarly drastic changes to TLOU as Final Fantasy 7 Remake did with its story. So far, it is not clear if Naughty Dog will be making changes to the story at all, so the players who look back on TLOU with nostalgic do not need to worry about how different it will be beyond the new graphics just yet.
Players who are still concerned about the nostalgic value of TLOU and what Naughty Dog might do given other developers changing their games extensively through remakes can continue to look forward to TLOU 3 instead of the remake. At the same time, a whole new set of players will be able to experience TLOU even if they are not the owners of a PlayStation because TLOU Remake will release on PC after PS5. Integration of Left Behind into the main narrative would provide any first-time players with a smoother experience that has heightened emotional value from being able to see Ellie’s solo journey and how she ended up being shuffled across the country because she discovered she’s immune to the infection.
Since the Left Behind DLC is already part of the story of The Last of Us Part 1, integrating it into the game where it takes place would not be a big change in terms of the overall story. Players already know that Ellie works to help Joel survive through winter since he was injured, and they know that she was bitten at some point before the beginning of the game. Regardless of players’ views for TLOU’s story and what, if anything, should be changed, there are other elements in terms of gameplay and options that TLOU Remake needs to fix, making this simple change of integrating the DLC an easy one. It would give more depth to Ellie, demonstrating how dedicated she was to keeping Joel alive, and would thus be a major improvement for the story in the remake of The Last of Us Part 1.
Next: The Last of Us Part 3 Doesn’t Need Ellie (Or Joel)
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