Joel and Ellie’s emotional journey is usually the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions The Last of Us two , as most wait for the continuation of this prestigious single-player narrative. What does not come to mind for most people when considering The Last of Us is multiplayer, that was never a popular or defining facet of this game at launch.
Regardless, The Last of Us 2 will once again obtain a multiplayer inclusion, even if it is coming a bit later. The”Factions” multiplayer style from the first The Last of Us was received fairly well during a time where almost each and every player match had an extra multiplayer mode attached. Naughty Dog plans to present a stronger and ambitious version of its Factions multiplayer following The Last of Us Part two releases after this year, meaning fans should be excited for what is to come.
When the first game came out in 2013 on PS3, it was praised for having extremely high production value and a strong narrative. Game Rant’s review of The Last of Us even praised the few multiplayer modes that came with the base game, despite their limited scope. Obviously, the incredible single player experience that came from The Last of Us was the star of the show, while Factions was often considered an afterthought.
Initially promised to return, Naughty Dog confirmed that The Last of Us Part 2 would not have a multiplayer mode attached to it. This came to the disappointment of the small but vocal community of fans who had continued to play the Factions multiplayer long after launch. Naughty Dog had cited that its single player experience in The Last of Us 2 was becoming very ambitious and, due to the time constraints the development team was under, it would have to cancel any multiplayer plans that were coming along with release.
Luckily, players weren’t disappointed for too long, as fans later found out that multiplayer was coming to The Last of Us Part 2… Kind of. Confirmed on Twitter from an official update, Naughty Dog stated that a standalone multiplayer game separate from The Last of Us Part 2 was coming from the same team that crafted the original’s Factions multiplayer.
Once again, Naughty Dog specifically cited the ambition of the ideas behind the multiplayer becoming too large in scope, and that “the vision of the team grew beyond an additional mode that could be included with our enormous single player campaign.” Now the multiplayer mode becomes its own standalone project, and while it wasn’t explicitly stated that the project will still be part of The Last of Us Part 2 directly, it’s likely the experience will follow similar concepts.
Factions from The Last of Us became a much more impressive and definitive multiplayer experience in retrospect. Around the time of its PS3 release, The Last of Us‘ multiplayer was criticized for being a “tacked-on” mode, wasting precious development on a mode that wasn’t part of the core experience. Many years later, thousands of fans still enjoy the Factions multiplayer and praise it for being very innovative and underrated. Many YouTubers and streamers took it upon themselves to highlight Factions’ unique nature when compared to other traditional multiplayer games.
Factions’ signature aspects are its focus on the gritty survival tactics introduced in its single-player component, and how these tactics factor into the multiplayer mechanics. There were only two modes released, Supply Raid and Survivors, which were both four-versus-four player deathmatch modes with slight variations between them. Both of these modes contributed to the metagame aspect of Factions, which involved each player becoming the leader of their own respective group of survivors. Players could align with either the Fireflies or the Hunters, the titular divisions that each represented different organizations of survivors in The Last of Us lore. From there players compete in these “12 week” seasons to survive and win the metagame, a microcosmic version of what many Esports games like Call of Duty do today.