Naughty Dog’s not half bad at multiplayer modes. When it was announced that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves would be entering the competitive arena, there was outrage among fans of the original outing – after all, this was a series that prided itself on its plot rather than its gunplay. However, the title’s acrobatic action actually impressed, with its vertical arenas building up a sizeable following of fledgling online adventurers. The Last of Us’ underpublicized Factions foray was host to similar scepticism prior to release, but managed to hook those that actually gave it a go. With such a strong single player campaign, however, it’s easy to forget that the feature’s even there – so here’s why you should try it out on the PlayStation 4.
You’re beautiful no matter what they say
Many single player properties fail to effectively make the multiplayer transition because they forget what defines them in the first place. The likes of Tomb Raider and BioShock 2 both shoe horned competitive play on top of their campaigns, and while there was some fun to be derived from both bonus options, they lost the essence of what makes their respective gameplay entertaining. The Last of Us doesn’t do that, and actually manages to repurpose many of the mechanics from the story in interesting ways. For example, you’ll still need to scavenge for materials and craft, while your ammunition will be incredibly limited. This means that you need to play intelligently, carefully building materials on the fly, and exchanging parts that you earn for an extra couple of shots. Most importantly, though, it gives the whole affair a distinctly different feel, which makes a pleasant change from the string of Call of Duty copycats that occupy every other corner of the industry these days.
How many weeks can you keep your crew alive?
It’s not just the gameplay that steps out of the aforementioned first-person juggernaut’s shadow either, but also the progression system. Rather than earn experience points, you’ll instead be gathering together supplies with each match that you play, which is then used to feed your ever-growing crew. This pulls in data from your Facebook profile, meaning that your real-life friends will become the survivors that you’re trying to keep alive. Each match represents a day in the game, and you’ll have a supply quota to attain. Fail to hit it, and your camp will begin to get sick, potentially forcing you to restart your journey. Your ultimate goal is to survive 12 weeks as either a Hunter or a Firefly, which works out to about 84 matches. However, there are other hindrances that’ll challenge you along the way, as you’ll need to deal with attacks to your camp and more, which are represented by separate in-game challenges.
Supplies may be limited, but content certainly ain’t
Considering the scale of The Last of Us’ single player campaign, you could be forgiven for thinking that its multiplayer mode may be a little half-baked, but that’s not the case at all – even if you ignore all of the cosmetic extras on the PlayStation Store. In fact, seeing as this PS4 re-release comes with all of the PlayStation 3 version’s downloadable content, there are an enormous number of maps to learn and weapons to test out. It’s not just the arenas that keep things interesting, though, but also the loadouts. Sticking with the survival theme, you’ll be given a set number of points to fashion your in-game gear from. Every item has a weight, be it a pistol, sub machine gun, or booster. As such, you’ll need to construct the type of setup that suits your playstyle best. However, the balance is maintained by the aforementioned limitations, as there’ll always be weaknesses in your equipment. This gives the game an almost limitless amount of variety, as there are a neverending number of new tactics for you to employ.
Have you tried out Factions before? Do you play as a Hunter or a Firefly? Are you a fan of the multiplayer action, or do you prefer to play the single player campaign? Bring us some tinned food in the comments section below.