Not seeing footage for a game’s multiplayer modes until just weeks before its release is typically a strong warning sign for it being tacked-on. That’s exactly what happened today with Naught Dog’s upcoming survival game The Last of Us. However, if the trailer and some new details are anything to go by, we might actually be in for something surprisingly original and well-made.
According to a recent Eurogamer interview, there will only be two multiplayer modes in The Last of Us, Supply Raid and Survivor. The major difference being that players can be revived in Supply Raid but not in Survivor. Both of them are team vs. team. affairs, and they’ll be more slower-paced and tactical than your typical multiplayer offerings, emphasizing stealth and crafting.
Useful items, such as molotovs, smoke bombs and weapon upgrades, must be made from limited resources that can be gained from searching the environment. This rewards exploration and coordination, since it’s encouraged that your team of up to four players share the materials.
The stealth aspect will be prominent via a ‘listening’ mechanic. When standing still, you’re able to press R2 and ‘listen’ to foes as they move about the environment. They’ll come up as white silhouettes that can even be seen through walls depending on how loud they are, making the whole thing a bit like echolocation. Of course, taking cover and crouching will ensure you’re well hidden.
However, the most interesting feature has to be the ‘Clan’ minigame, which is tied to every single match you participate in. Essentially, you can start an off-screen clan of five people and begin a 12 week journey with them (faster than real time, thankfully). Providing for the clan and making it grow involves completing specific challenges during multiplayer, such as performing a certain amount of revivals.
Assuming your off-screen survives their journey, you’ll be rewarded with unlocks for cosmetic items such as hats, costume pieces and gestures. In other words, you’ll be able to show off your rank and skill with some nifty swag. Unlockable abilities that affect gameplay will also be present, though these will be attained via a standard progression-based experience system.
The Last of Us releases exclusively for PS3 on Friday, June 14th. That’s next week, for those of you without calenders. Check out the multiplayer trailer below. With any luck, this multiplayer portion might not be the afterthought we’ve been worrying about.