While most of the emphasis on The Last Of Us has so far been squarely aimed at the game’s single player, the game does come with a multiplayer section – and we’ve been dipping in and out of it for the last few days in-between bouts of the main story mode. Multiplayer is called ‘Factions’ and is split into two game types, which we’ll come back to shortly.[drop]The premise is that The Last Of Us’ multiplayer involves the player choosing to join one of two teams – two groups of humans taken from the singleplayer portion of the game.
We’ll not spoil anything in terms of names, but chances are if you’ve been keeping an eye on the game recently you’ll have some idea of who we’re referring to.
Whichever you choose, you can then begin to customise your character in terms of appearance (with various options for hats, masks, helmets and gestures – most of which will need unlocking rather than being available from the start) and you can also design an emblem, although you’re really pulling from pre-made shapes rather than creating your own.
More interesting are the load-outs – there are four default ones (assault, sniper, support and stealth) and four custom slots. Each has a small and large weapon (for example, the stealth class has a silenced 9mm pistol and a bow) and there are also additional bolt-on skills, like Covert Training 2, which lets you crouch-walk without showing up on an opponent’s Listen Mode tracking.
Choose one of two clans
Each match represents a day, try to survive 12 weeks
There are two game types
There are seven maps
Plenty of customisation options and load-out tweaks to keep things interesting
Yep, Listen Mode is in, although unlike the single player in Factions it’s limited to a few seconds at a time before it recharges. Generally keeping still will mean you’re not visible to others, but the skill mentioned above at least lets you move undetected, albeit slowly.
Other skills available from the off include the ability to craft items (something the single player game is heavily focused on) in half the time, the sniper’s deadly Sharpshooter 3 (less scope sway and regenerating health for headshots) and the ability to know when you’ve been ‘marked’. There are also one-use boosters, but you’ll need to grow your clan population before you can use those.
When you select a clan, you’ll get a handful of survivors too. The aim is to play matches over a series of days and weeks (each match represents a day) and get enough supplies out on the battlefield to slowly grow your survivor count. Pretty much everything you do in a battle is translated into supplies, including crafting and healing.
Both game types allow up to four players per team, eight players maximum.
Factions is an interesting diversion. It’s clear that the bulk of The Last Of Us in is in the single player (more on that on Wednesday) but this isn’t necessarily something you should just skip over. It’s presented well, looks just as good as the single player mode and controls the same, so there’s little in the way of a learning curve.
We didn’t get enough time to properly evaluate the multiplayer beyond a functional check and a few quick tests – these things are always much better once the game is out and the player count is much higher – but there has been a lot of people asking about what multiplayer is all about, so hopefully this will help to answer the questions.
Stay tuned for more on The Last Of Us.