- by Leo Faierman
[Warning: Spoilers for The Last of Us: Part 2 below]
What will Naughty Dog do to add more playable content to the massive, critically-acclaimed sequel The Last of Us Part II? When Naughty Dog came out with its sole narrative DLC for The Last of Us in the form of the standalone Left Behind, they filled out a blank space in the original story. The game was the equivalent of a pertinent anecdote finally being intimately explained, revealing greater depth to Ellie’s drawn character and showcasing her own adolescent romantic awakening — especially how it related to her eventual survivor’s guilt come the end of the main game. Will The Last of Us: Part 2 players receive the same sort of content? It doesn’t seem likely, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
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Left Behind dropped about a year after the first game released, so fans who have finished the 25-30 hour campaign for The Last of Us Part II probably shouldn’t start prepping for an expansion just yet. Of course, a separate multiplayer experience has been hinted at (whether or not this ends up as a straightforward return to the Factions mode in The Last of Us is presently unknown) but there is certainly more story left to tell after the credits roll on The Last of Us Part II.
Fans of the sequel and critics of its drastic choices may have their own inclinations, perhaps expecting a DLC experience that centers on Joel, but it would be better if The Last of Us Part II DLC opts for a different narrative, one that eschews the two main characters from the original. At the end of the day, there exists an anecdotal story outside of the main plot of the sequel, which would be Tommy’s own journey to find Joel’s killers.
There is plenty left unsaid about what Tommy gets up to on his bloody quest, though players get a few hints here and there. As Ellie and Dina search through Downtown Seattle, they regularly encounter ghosts of Tommy’s mission, be it a used campsite or the evidence of torture used to extract information from two WLF members. The irony is that Tommy heads out ahead of the heroines in the first half of the game with intentions of avenging Joel on his own, but encounters his own trouble with both the Seraphites and the WLF.
When playing through Abby’s section of the game, players discover that she has her own violent run-ins with Tommy prior to the return to the movie theater, though it’s doubtful this moment could be effectively packaged as The Last of Us 2 DLC; for instance, the scene where Tommy snipes at Abby and Manny would have to end in failure, which could prove awkward from a gameplay perspective. However, all the time Tommy spends plunging deeper into Seattle would present numerous engagements that would be fascinating to experience as an untold story, whether it be his own first ambushes with the Seraphites, or possibly removing violent obstacles which Ellie would otherwise have faced herself.
If Tommy gets his own DLC in The Last of Us 2, players could even get a few interspersed flashbacks detailing the growth of Jackson from a small outpost militia to a bustling post-apocalyptic village. Just like The Last of Us Part II’s expansive narrative, Tommy’s DLC could fold his own memories of growth and hardship in Wyoming with the steps he takes to bring Joel’s killers to justice.
Of course, this is all a shot in the dark, and the creative director for the game has stated they have “no plans” for story-based DLC at the moment. While it remains true that some players might prefer getting more Joel and Ellie, it’s arguable that The Last of Us Part II’s flashbacks reveal substantive development for these characters already. Letting the player in to Tommy’s internal narrative and expanding on his relationship with his brother could add new color and detail to the revenge story they’ve now seen. And, yes, players could also probably get some more flashbacks of Joel as well. RIP.
Next: The Last of Us Part II Review: You’ve Never Played Anything Like This
The Last of Us Part II is out now on PlayStation 4.
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About The Author
Leonardo Faierman was born in Buenos Aires, raised in Queens, on the playground was where he planned most of his schemes. Since then he’s plowed a jagged path as a writer, editor, podcaster, comic creator, and mostly benevolent malcontent in New York City.
His favorite comic book is Love & Rockets, favorite film is Mad Max: Fury Road, favorite video game is Guardian Heroes, favorite book is The Thief’s Journal by Jean Genet. At the time of this writing, there is the distinct possibility that all or some of those have changed.
Leo’s 1/5th of the long-running podcast @BlackComicsChat, 1/2 of horror podcast @TheScreamSquad, film editor for the independent sci-fi monthly newsletter Narazu, and generally has words all over the interwebs, but they’re frequently gathered up on Twitter at @LeonardoEff — you can go yell at him there, if needed.
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