You may have heard of a little game called PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. It’s coming to the PlayStation 4 eventually, but is in Early Access at the moment, and Sony doesn’t really support that. Nevertheless, it’s already amassed over six million sales on the PC – and is currently the most played non-Valve title on Steam. In other words, it’s a pretty bloody big deal.
The battle royale genre is nothing new, of course. Brendan Greene – the real-world name of Internet alias PlayerUnknown – kickstarted the format with an ARMA 2 mod, and later worked as a consultant on H1Z1: King of the Kill. While there are nuances between the different games, the overall premise is that you’re dropped into a shrinking multiplayer map, where you must scavenge for resources in order to become the last player standing. It’s basically The Hunger Games.
And it seems ready made for The Last of Us’ universe, don’t you think? We’ve been talking about this at Push Square Towers for weeks, and we think Sony’s leaving money on the table if it doesn’t actively investigate the possibility of creating something like this. Think about it: the series already has all of the elements needed for a kick-ass battle royale mode.
You’d play as an unnamed survivor stranded in any one of the game’s urban locations. You’d be able to gang up with other survivors if you so decide or go it solo, looting buildings for materials that can be used to craft combat equipment or medical supplies. Clickers could be used as a means to eventually funnel all players into the same location – as well as deadly fungal gases and the like. Are you catching our drift here?
Console hardware would probably limit the scale of the game – it’d likely have a much smaller player count than PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ 100-person battles – but we reckon that The Last of Us has all of the ingredients to make the formula work on the PS4, and all with a brand that people recognise and love.
Because let’s not forget, the multiplayer in the original The Last of Us was anything but throwaway. In fact so good were the tense firefights of the SOCOM-esque Factions mode that we want that to return in The Last of Us: Part II, and we’d recommend that if Sony were to ever make a battle royale type spin-off, it’d work best as a standalone game. The platform holder’s been very experimental with pricing this generation, so we reckon a $29.99 multiplayer-only title could work.
But does Naughty Dog have enough resources to do it, or would it need to be farmed out to an external studio? And could a series that’s perhaps best known for its single player story really work as a standalone competitive multiplayer game? These are all questions that we hope Sony’s asking, because there’s clear mileage in this concept. All that's left to ask is: would you play it?
Do you agree that The Last of Us universe is perfect for the burgeoning battle royale genre? Would you play a game like this, and do you think it could work as a standalone product? Stab us in the back in the comments section below.
Should The Last of Us cash in on the battle royale craze? (60 votes)
Yes, it's a perfect fit for the franchise
It makes sense, but I'm not a fan of copy cats
Hmm, I'd need to see it in action
No, The Last of Us is a single player series
Please login to vote in this poll.