With the release date announcement of The Last Of Us Part 2 came the huge blow that there’s not going to be multiplayer within the game. However, according to Bruce Straley, Co-Creator of The Last Of Us, the team is working on a multiplayer spin-off title. He’s expressed his faith in the team, and promises The Last Of Us fans that they won’t be disappointed by what has been made for them outside of the upcoming sequel. This is great news, and it really got me thinking about Factions, the multiplayer element to The Last Of Us, and what I want from this new game.
Here are seven features I think need to return from the original game.
Friend’s Names in the Game
In The Last Of Us Factions mode it was possible to link your Facebook account to the game. Why would you do this? Well because it would enable the game to randomly advise you of how your friends were doing within your camp of survivors. Your survivors are a type of meta game played around each match in Factions, and you gain or lose people in that camp depending on how you perform in each match. Initially everyone is healthy and happy, but if you lose a few matches in a row, things take a turn for the worse, and generally more comedic. Suddenly you’re notified of your friends leaving the camp, and if they’re not leaving, they quite often have something horrific wrong with them like dysentery.
I loved seeing my friends suffer in those little messages between matches, and I’d really like to see it again.
Collect, Craft, Use Limitations
The gameplay loop in The Last Of Us revolves around picking up crafting items, creating useful tools, and then using them. This was the same in each match of Factions, with players needing to pick up items from around the map as they moved around collecting resources. They would then be reliant on the weapons they started with, of which you only got two, and the items they can craft with the materials available on the map.
This limited players in terms of just what they could use against the enemy. Quite often you needed to choose between creating a molotov cocktail, or a medkit. The tension this created was palpable in every match, and was made even worse when you added in healing team mates. You also had to choose between a bomb, or a smoke bomb to protect allies, and if you made the wrong call you’d feel awful for letting everyone down.
I hope that whatever this spin-off from The Last Of Us Part 2 is, it uses the same crafting loop as has been implemented in The Last Of Us Part 2. I know this will still be different, but at least it will bring that tension back to matches.
Every now and then, outside of Factions matches, you’d be presented with a problem. Sometimes a group of raiders were heading towards your camp, and sometimes there was a sickness bug. In order to succeed in fending off the raiders, healing everyone, or doing whatever the event required, you needed to accomplish up to three goals. These generally related to either getting kills with a certain weapon, healing team mates, or doing something very specific over the next three Factions matches.
These events always ramped up the importance of winning in the next three matches, and losing just one was crushing. Since the challenges were finite, you had to work your way through all of them over the course of time. This meant that every weapon got used, every item mastered, and all types of play were tested, in order to save your camp.
I’m sure Naughty Dog will bring some Factions maps back from The Last Of Us eventually, if they aren’t in this new spin-off from launch, but I just want to play in all of them again. These maps are burned into my brain because I played so much of them, and I want to use this otherwise useless information at some point in the future.
As you gained experience in Factions you unlocked certain perks. These often related to proficiency with weapons and items, but also included passive improvements, such as better sneaking. Rather than these being basically pointless, a player could hide themselves completely from the enemy, even in listen mode, with the right perk loadout. I want to be able to be a ghost, or a tank, depending on how I’m feeling, in the new multiplayer mode.
Factions mode framed your camp’s journey over the course of 12 weeks, with each day being a match. Of course a camp could go on and be older, you’d just start a new 12 week loop. But the leaderboard that showed the number of survivors in a player’s camp never ceased to make me feel inadequate. I thought there must have been bots playing the game or something, because the numbers I was seeing were crazy. Let’s bring this back so I can make others feel bad about how little they’ve played the game.
The Last Of Us Factions still has a budding community today. There are people who log in and play each and every day, and I’m sure it’s going to grow in October since The Last Of Us remastered is free on Playstation Plus. I want to see this community move over to the new multiplayer game, and I want it to be a success. If this community can do anything, they can stick together against all odds. I can see this new multiplayer game being somewhere that they finally find a true home, one that sees regular content updates and supports them.
Let us know what you want to see in this new multiplayer game in the comments.