While The Last of Us single player campaign is sweeping the gaming world with its innovative gameplay and fantastic story, the multiplayer aspect of the game is going largely unnoticed. This isn’t just another rehash of Uncharted 3′s multiplayer, but in fact something entirely new for Naughty Dog. While you still have your levels and general matchmaking, Naughty Dog added a story to give you an added incentive to not only play the multiplayer, but actually try and learn to play well.
Before you even enter your first game you are forced to pick between two different factions that were introduced in the single player portion of the game, the “Hunters” and the “Fireflies”. It does not matter which one you choose, so just pick the faction you liked the most when you encountered them throughout Joel and Ellie’s story. Now within your faction you have your own clan. This clan starts with just 5 survivors, and the goal is to survive a certain amount of weeks without being wiped out. To prevent from being wiped out, you need to pick up a certain amount of supplies every day to ensure that your clan stays fed and strong enough to survive the harsh world surrounded by infected and other survivors. To get supplies you need to kill enemy players in actual games then loot them off their bodies or pick up gears from loot boxes that will then be converted to supplies at the end of the game. Each game counts as 1 day passing, so in each game you need to pick up enough supplies for your clan in order to help them survive. This brings more depth to the average game since depending on how you do, your clan could grow or get crushed in the dirt.
The added incentive of a story in the multiplayer isn’t the only reason to play it however. The multiplayer plays exactly like the single player where you can pick up supplies to create health packs, shivs, bombs, smoke bombs, and molotovs. This creates many different opportunities because each box doesn’t drop the same supplies every time. On top of that, you can also pick up wooden planks to use in melee that can also be upgraded with the same supplies that you would use in single player. These boxes also drop gears that you can use to purchase more ammo for your weapons, armor, or a third weapon if you have one. With all of these creative opportunities you have the freedom to really kill however you want, just like in single player.
As of right now there are two game types to choose from. The first one, “Supply Raid”, is your classic team deathmatch gametype where teams of four Hunters play against four Fireflies. Both teams start at 20 lives, and the first team to get the other down to 0 lives wins. Pretty simple, but oddly entertaining because when you get down to 0 lives you get a sort of last stand where you get to keep fighting until you die. The second game type is called “Survivors”, where when you die, you stay dead until the round is over. Players play until one team wins four rounds.
What makes The Last of Us multiplayer really fun however is the fact that you have to play tactically. Just sprinting forward will show where you are on the map, which usually will follow with the entire enemy team pouncing on you, giving you no chance to survive. Most players always stay crouched and move around silently so they can get the upper-hand on the other team. Flanking and ambushes work wonders in this game where just like in single player, a few well placed shots are more than enough to take down your opponent. Working with your team is often rewarding as it a group of four working together is much harder to kill than a lone player sneaking around trying to do everything on his/her own, and with the ability to revive a downed teammate, teams have a larger lifespan.
Right now there are no multiplayer modes that involve the infected, but with downloadable content promised in the future, you can expect at least one future mode to involve them.
The Last of Us multiplayer’s story combined with its fantastic gameplay make it one of the best multiplayer experiences I have had in quite some time. The fact that you have to actually think about what you want to do, and move around in a tactically way makes it a much more rewarding experience than just the classic point and shoot multiplayers that most games have today.
Do you agree that The Last of Us multiplayer is something that should not be skipped over? And if you disagree tell us why! Sound off in the comments below.