The Last Of Us Multiplayer: All The Facts
We go hands-on with multiplayer in The Last Of Us to detail Naughty Dog's little-discussed mode.
Published on Jun 3, 2013
Naughty Dog has kept its Last Of Us multiplayer details secret for quite some time, but since we’ve played it you’ll probably want to know what it’s all about?
While there hasn’t been much in the way of details it has been teased as being a fascinating addition to the game. It is enjoyable, truth be told, but it’s little more than a entertaining aside rather than deep multiplayer mode.
Kind of like Uncharted’s multiplayer, really.
The Last Of Us Multiplayer Overview
So: the crux of the gameplay. The Last Of Us multiplayer mode ties into the story and world that Naughty Dog has created, as well as working effortlessly within the mechanics of the single-player experience.
The multiplayer modes themselves are a 4v4 deathmatch of sorts, where you and three allies must take on another group. Respawns are limited each round, so staying safe is of key importance.
Matches are a more subtle affair than your usual multiplayer modes, with each player creeping around the environment to carefully pick off enemies – either alone or working strategically with your team mates.
You’ll be able to pick from a bevy of weapons and loadouts, meaning you can bring two weapons to each game and a selection of passive buffs and game-wide benefits.
Sound is important, too, since giving away your position – whether running or, worse, shooting – will bring down the wrath of your opponents.
Knowledge of the map is equally important too. Every map can be navigated in a number of ways, whether clambering over objects to reach higher ground or sneaking around the back of a building to enter through the back.
Looting caches litter the ground throughout each map too, and stored inside is a selection of items for you to put to use, primary among them being the ability to craft additional weapons to use in that round.
How The Last Of Us Multiplayer Ties Into The Story
Before you even enter a multiplayer match you pick a faction; either the Hunters or the Fireflies. The difference is largely aesthetic, but once chosen you’ll be put into a crew.
This crew will be filled with NPC survivors, initially five but increasing exponentially with each match played.
You start on Week 1, Day 1; your objective is to survive for as long as you can.
It ties into the lore of the world well, though the details of this are provided with little more than a menu screen with a radar on the right. The radar includes a dot that represents every survivor you have in your group.
You’ll require supplies to keep your group alive, which is initially fairly low but as the group increases in size so will the requirements.
Supplies are gathered in two ways: first by claiming them from the bodies of anyone you kill in a match and secondly by converting any claimed gear (from loot caches) into supplies.
Each match counts as a day, with the necessary supplies being deducted after each match. Any leftover are bundled into a total, which acts as an XP system enabling unlocks of new weapons, upgrades, buffs and customisation options for your character.
As you progress through the days, however, you’ll encounter a number of problems – from zombie attacks to sickness – that can be overcome with missions.
These missions ask that you complete a set number of actions during a set number of matches. This might be special executions, headshots or any other number of trackable statistics.
Successfully complete this and sick survivors will be cured or more survivors gained.
It ties neatly into the world of The Last Of Us, but isn’t nearly as impressive as it sounds. It’s all done through a handful of menu options, and lacks the personal touch – names aside – to make it feel like a fully-fledged part of the multiplayer.
Craftable Items In The Last Of Us Multiplayer
Much like the single-player, it’s possible to open up your rucksack during a fight to craft one of six items to assist you in battle.
The parts for each of these are littered throughout each map, scavenged from the loot caches that are dotted at specific points.
But don’t worry, these aren’t first-come first-served, every survivor gets their own selection of stash from each crate.
The contents are random, however, so you may not have a craftable item from the start – you’ll need to gather extra pieces if you want to really put your supplies to good use.
You can craft shivs for easy stealth kills, molotovs for setting people aflame, nail bombs for… well, exploding them with nails or smoke bombs for creating diversions.
Parts and equipment doesn’t carry over through each round, however, so if you want to really dominate you’re going to need to make use of everything you have access to.
It makes the need for scavenging massively important in the multiplayer and every hard-earned tool feel like a huge advantage.
It also means you’ll never know what your enemies have access to, and needing to stay aware of that will prove more important as you understand the game’s intricacies.
The Last Of Us Multiplayer Is Kind Of Like Counter Strike
Gear is a currency of sorts and is earned as you battle through a match. Killing enemies, scoring headshots or surviving the round the longest earns you additional Gear and this can, in turn, be used for purchases between rounds.
You’re going to want to save this early on to ensure you buy the armour. Enabling you to take a considerable amount of extra damage, this is a must-have and will help you survive in a gunfight.
After that you can purchase additional ammo – though you’ll begin each round with a base set of ammo – as well as expensive upgrades for each of the two weapons you’re carrying.
All upgrades are carried through each round for as long as they exist – so unspent extra ammo and unbroken armour – meaning they are important methods to improve your game.
It’s not quite as in-depth as Counter Strike’s system – which enables a lot more adaptive choices depending on enemy play style – but it’s an enjoyable twist on typical multiplayer gameplay.
It ties into the loadouts system too, a system similar to the one we’ve already seen in Uncharted’s multiplayer. Enabling the customisation of passive effects – such as stronger melee attacks and the like – that will help tailor your character to your play style.
If you like stealth, for example, you’ll want the ability to detect people for longer or improved hearing range. It’ll give you an advantage and though your enemies can use the same, it’ll be useful all the same.
All this is limited by loadout points, however, so don't worry about characters feeling overpowered. Upgraded weapons - in other words, silenced or scoped weapons - cost more points, but you'll unlock more as you 'level' up.
There's a careful balancing act available here: do you want the silenced weapon, or would you opt for two weaker passive buffs? Or instead how about a single powerful buff? It's interesting, and something that can't really be tested until the release date and the masses get involved.
So How Is The Multiplayer In The Last Of Us?
As great as The Last Of Us’ multiplayer mode, it doesn’t really feel like a huge – or even innovative – addition to the game. Much like Uncharted’s multiplayer, it will gather a passionate group of players but won’t pull in the masses.
It’s the pacing that is most refreshing about the multiplayer mode. Even when compared to Uncharted, it’s a much slower, thoughtful affair. When you shoot, you do so to kill. Wasting bullets could see you lose the inevitable war of attrition.
The added bonuses of the Factions mode is a quaint addition too but, again, never really feels as fleshed out as it could have been.
Overall it’ll certainly be worth jumping into multiplayer when The Last Of Us launches later this month, but we doubt it’ll keep you hooked for long.