The Last of Us Part II will feature the return of the first game’s Factions multiplayer mode, Naughty Dog has confirmed.
In a few separate E3 2018 interviews, the studio confirmed that PvP will make a comeback in the sequel. Co-director Anthony Newman specifically name-checked the first game’s multiplayer mode, telling GameSpot that “Factions is coming back.” The game’s other co-director, Kurt Margenau, however, then chimed in with something a bit more cryptic. “We’re not going to talk details yet about what form that takes, but we can confirm there will be multiplayer,” Margeneau said.
That’s pretty similar to the more vague language Newman used in a later interview with Polygon. “There is going to be multiplayer with the game,” Newman said. “We’re really excited to share details about it, but that’s going to be at a later date.”
It’s a bit strange for Naughty Dog to confirm that Factions mode is returning but then say it won’t talk about what “form” multiplayer will take, given how specific the setup of Factions was in the first game. Though the gameplay was more or less a multiplayer version of the single-player with a shooter-standard variety of weapons, modes, and perks, Factions layered on a whole complex metagame about gathering supplies for your clan. Wins and losses would help or hurt the health of your faction, with each match taking up a day of in-game time and a progression of sorts playing out over 12 in-game weeks.
If Factions is indeed returning with that name, as Newman said, then it’s likely some or most of those ideas will be intact. But if there’s something unexpected about the version of Factions we see, there’s a chance there may be some pretty significant changes, too.
At the very least, the name itself implies that the focus will be on teams, rather than free-for-all gameplay. That would seemingly disqualify The Last of Us Part II from jumping on the battle royale bandwagon, despite the fact that its setting and gameplay almost-kind-of make sense for such a mode.
Either way, we’ll no doubt learn more about the game’s multiplayer in due time, as The Last of Us Part II is still without even the vaguest launch window. At least the PS4 exclusive had some pretty snazzy visuals and exciting gameplay changes in its E3 demo.