When decades pass and we look back -as long as cordyceps allows us-, we will remember The last of us (2013) as one of the masterpieces in the history of video games. The title created by naughty dog It is considered, ten years later, as one of the most outstanding, thanks in large part to its careful narrative, its memorable characters and its captivating world. It is likely that what we do not remember is that that exclusive PlayStation 3 game was accompanied by a multiplayer mode called Factions (or Factions) which, although it was not tremendously successful, is loved by a multitude of players who spent hours and hours of their time surviving.
This modality offered the opportunity to play with other users leading a clan of survivors for twelve weeks (each game was one day), being able to get supplies in confrontations against other players in which we could be part of either the Fireflies team, or good of the Hunters. The truth is, although it did not reinvent the wheel, it was interesting to find a cruder and more strategic proposal in the midst of the rise of shooters increasingly frantic multiplayer. Unfortunately, Naughty Dog announced the closure of The Last of Us servers six years after its release.
The multiplayer will have its own story and characters, which makes me think of unusual narrative doses in this type of proposal.
Scam The Last of Us: Part IIthe california development studio promised that multiplayer would return. It did not; at least not with the 2020 video game. In a statement shared on their social networks official a year before the release of the second installment, the team admitted that their vision had changed, leading them to consider multiplayer as a standalone game more ambitious than they had initially planned. “What started as a multiplayer mode has evolved due to the ambition of the team. We really wanted to do something more than what we’ve already done at Naughty Dog,” said Neil Druckmann, co-chair of the study, presenting it to the world during the past Summer Game Fest. “This game is big, as big as any of our single player games we’ve ever made.. And, in a way, bigger still.”
And it will be. Although so far we only have a couple of concept artsIt has been confirmed that The Last of Us standalone multiplayer will bring us a whole new story and characters we don’t know. For this reason, not only do I strongly hope for something big, but I truly believe that they are going to surprise us again with an approach that we do not expect, far from simple confrontations between users.
More cooperative than competitive
Not just the statement that will have its own story and new characters It makes me think that it will be an experience more similar to what the main games propose, but that Druckmann himself left a curious detail in some recent statements. And I don’t mean that he insists that it is the most ambitious project of the studio owned by Sony, but that he said that “you can enter the world of The Last of Us with your friend” really caught my attention. With your “friend”, singular. So far, the images that we have been shown of what the multiplayer seems to propose show only a team of two peoplewhich leads me to think that it could perfectly end up being that way. Joel and Ellie’s journey was the best example that great things can be achieved with a couple of protagonists, and the saga has repeated it on several occasions with other characters in the DLC Left behind and in the second numbered installment. Why not accompanied, this time, by another real person?
It could perfectly combine a cooperative against AI enemies with the possibility of meeting other real players
Every time I think about it, it convinces me more: a two-way cooperative with AI-controlled enemies and the chance to meet other player duos. Although there is the drawback that many will surely not want to be forced to have to play with someone else, I am convinced that Naughty Dog would offer alternatives in this regard (possibility of playing solo? A modality with direct confrontations with a more similar approach? to which we met Factions?). But the base of everything would be a living world that mixes the best of the games single player and the cooperative and multiplayer proposals. So that you understand me better: I am talking about something like Hunt: Showdownwhere there are players who cooperate and face enemies but can also measure themselves against other real players. Of course, The Last of Us would offer a more organic world, without so much screen or specific map, and would have narrative elements and memorable characters to come across.
As for the scenario, so far we do not know many details of what the Californian studio really wants to do, but it has been confirmed that the multiplayer will take place in another city. In the official images you can see large buildings and the coast, so it could perfectly be San Francisco or a nearby town in California, as long as we do not leave the United States.
Put yourself in the situation: you and your companion are in Oakland, and you freely decide to investigate the interior of Oracle Arena, the former home arena of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. You dare to enter there in search of resources, because survival -eating or being healthy- would also be a primary element. In the stadium there is not much basketball left, but the infected and the spores have taken over the place. Once you reach a certain area, skip for a moment hyphenated (prepared, out of your control) and you are both put on the edge, from which you are practically miraculously rescued by a survivor who was following you without your knowledge. You manage to get out of there with his help and he takes you to his refuge, very close to the pavilion, where you discover that he is a merchant who earns his living by buying and selling, but he is dejected because he has a sick daughter from he.
Sony wants to get its head into games as a service
She tells you that she is looking for fuel so that she can travel with her truck to San Francisco, where in a hospital in Los Luciérnagas they have the specific medicine that her daughter needs. He can’t leave her alone for long, so he proposes that if you get him the gasoline (something that other players on the map would also look for), he will share some valuable resources with you and even offer you the chance to travel with them. From there the freedom of choice that the game would offer would come into action: you can decide whether to help or not, and even finding the gasoline you are free to steal their vehicle or be a good samaritan. If you are, you still discover when you return a crude outcome for that father and that daughter.
These are all assumptions and some of you will tell me that I’ve come too high, but given where the shots seem to go and knowing Naughty Dog’s trajectory, I expect nothing less than a combination of multiplayer and narrative at very similar levels. If something very different from what I like to imagine finally comes out, it will surely be for some logical reason, but of course this type of conception fits with the possibility of keep alive in time a game as a service of this caliberwith new stories and events that are arriving periodically or additional paid content if they opt for a model free to play. Who knows.
Why is it important to get it right?
Lastly, I don’t want to finish without emphasizing why it is very important for the studio, but especially for PlayStation, that The Last of Us multiplayer goes well. Firstly, because it is a booming brand, with the issuance of episodes of the hbo series and its renewal for a second season. The second, because it is for sale The Last of Us: Part Ithe remake available on PlayStation 5 that since March the bulk of PC players will be able to play (a very large one), and because Druckmann does not rule out a future Part III. And third, but not least, because the fact that The Last of us multiplayer worked it would give strength to Sony in its insistence to put its head in games as a service: in their forecasts is the launch a dozen before 2026and a success story like The Last of Us would make them take it as a beacon for future projects. And, not another thing, but having a work by Naughty Dog as a beacon… is anything but bad news.