How The Last of Us Remastered Enhances Multiplayer

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How The Last of Us Remastered Enhances Multiplayer

The Last of Us Remastered launches next week in North America. We’ll be revealing some upcoming DLC and streaming a basic introduction to the multiplayer mode, Factions, live later this week over on our Twitch channel. We plan to show off the new features for PS4 as well as give our primer for those not familiar with the mode on Thursday, July 24th at 11:30 AM Pacific and 5:30 PM Pacific.

If you can’t watch the Twitch stream, we asked Erin Daly, Lead Multiplayer Designer, and Quentin Cobb, Game Designer, a couple of questions about Factions multiplayer mode in the game. If you’re new to the world of Factions, this is a great primer. If you’re a hardened survivor with a clan that never diminishes, read on to hear about some exciting developments we were able to make in The Last of Us Remastered.

The Last of Us Remastered Multiplayer
Q: Why is the multiplayer mode called Factions?

Quentin Cobb: We wanted the online multiplayer to focus on the larger story of the player representing a faction (Fireflies or Hunters) and rebuilding their own clan in that faction. This grounds the online matches in a world where each player is fighting for the survival of their clan and therefore gives each match more weight and importance.

Erin Daly: The name Factions came from what we call the “metagame.” Instead of just earning XP and ranking up like most multiplayer games, when you start multiplayer you are put in charge of a small group of survivors trying to stay alive and grow their numbers. To make progress you must ally yourself with one of the major factions from the single player game — the Hunters, a rag-tag group of brutal killers, or the Fireflies, a more well-equipped resistance group that is still trying to find a cure for the infection.

As you progress, events will occur that put your survivors at risk and require you to complete missions during your multiplayer matches to keep them alive. You must survive for 12 weeks with either the Hunters or Fireflies to beat the metagame.

Q: What was the inspiration for Factions multiplayer?

Quentin Cobb: The inspiration really came from the combat encounters of the single-player campaign. We wanted to mirror the slow pace and high lethality of those encounters while keeping a very similar crafting and scavenging system. We did this by making every weapon very lethal, placing crafting items inside of item caches located in strategic parts of the map, having the player appear on the radar while sprinting, and keeping ammo very scarce.

This would lead to the players sneaking around the map, trying to get to item caches and picking the moment to attack very carefully and making their shots count. We also added a down state which would allow players to revive teammates. All of these factors put an emphasis on stealth and teamwork which many shooters don’t achieve. This created a very unique experience which we feel makes our multiplayer special.

Erin Daly: As Quentin mentioned the inspiration really came from trying to capture the slower pace, stealth, lethality, and consequence of combat in single player, something that is really challenging to do in a live multiplayer environment. In most multiplayer shooters these days players sprint around at high speeds and spray bullets at anything that moves. To capture the feeling of combat in single player we had to slow the game down a lot, while still keeping the controls and player movement feeling responsive.

By making the game fairly lethal, but giving players a higher level of awareness of their enemies, we were able to create some very tactical combat, especially when combined with the variety of craftable items like molotovs, nail bombs, and smoke bombs. In general, players playing overly aggressively will usually find themselves at a disadvantage in The Last of Us. In the end it’s a game where your tactical decision-making matters more than your aiming reflexes.

We also needed to add some of our own unique elements to multiplayer that didn’t exist in single player. For this we built a new loadout system with a variety of survival skills, added some new guns, and added an in-game store where players can use parts they earn in combat to purchase additional ammo, weapon upgrades, and armor. Combined with the crafting system it offers a lot of on-the-fly tactical choices. Another big addition was the revive system — when players take enough damage they go into a down state and can crawl around slowly while bleeding out. With only four players on each team it means every life matters and sticking with your team and keeping them alive is a very big part of the game. It also adds a lot of consequence to death, something we also wanted to capture from single player. Taking out one enemy is a big deal, as is losing one of your own team.

We’ve read a lot of feedback from players that they feel the MP game captured the feel of single player very well, which is something we’re really happy with.

The Last of Us Remastered Multiplayer
Q: How big is PS3 multiplayer community and how has it been?

Erin Daly: We have around 9,000 concurrent players at peak and the community has been very active. The community gives us a lot of feedback on our forums that we use to help balance and tweak Factions.

Q: Any cool or funny community stories from people playing Factions?

Quentin Cobb: I would say the “Batman Shiv” is a cool story. People like to drop down from above an enemy and quickly turn around and shiv an enemy. This has become a very stylish way to shiv someone and I wish we could have gotten in some kind of stat to track when a player successfully pulls off a “Batman Shiv” to award them extra points!

Q: What are the new features for Factions in The Last of Us Remastered?

Erin Daly: Well, first off we are running the game at 1080p and targeting 60 fps. The power of PS4 and some of our talented engineers were able to significantly improve the load times.

Quentin Cobb: On the gameplay side we made some important tweaks. The DLC map Trophies now require five downs or executions and deaths don’t matter. We added eighteen new tips for new players.

If you’re a new player you’ll start with 9 loadout points instead of 8. You’ll reach the max of 13 loadout points sooner as a result. All fifteen of our maps are in each playlist so the player pool will be consolidated. This means faster matchmaking and that you will have a greater variety of maps in each playlist! There’s a lot of great new stuff.

Q: What’s your absolute favorite new feature in Factions in the Remastered edition?

Quentin Cobb: Playing with the higher fps is by far my favorite feature. This improves gameplay dramatically and makes shooting much more precise. I find that gameplay in general is much more responsive and accurate.

Erin Daly: Yeah, agreed. Playing Factions running with higher fps is awesome. Everything feels much tighter and more precise, especially when it comes to gunplay. Players are really going to like it.

Q: What are you looking forward to most in the Remastered version?

Quentin Cobb: I’m looking forward to playing Interrogation (my favorite game type) on all the new maps and recording and streaming my matches!

Erin Daly: Yeah, I’m excited to see what our community records and shares. We’ve seen some amazing content and look forward to watching what else get put out there.

Q: I love getting Trophies. Will I be able to collect any new Trophies in the Remastered edition for Factions?

Quentin Cobb: Remastered will include all DLC Trophies along with the original game Trophies. No new Trophies were added but 8 of them were changed to be easier to earn.

Q: Will my The Last of Us Season Pass DLC content carry over?

Erin Daly: Yes, any weapons, survival skills, head items you have purchased on PS3 will carry over. You just need to go into your download list on PS4 and re-download them.

Q: Will we be seeing anymore DLC for Factions?

Erin Daly: Remember those head items some of our more eagle eye forums members caught a glimpse of? We made it work and those will be coming out.

Quentin Cobb: Well… yes, we’re also currently hard at work finishing up some cool new DLC for Factions. We’ll talk about it more after The Last of Us Remastered launches on July 29th.

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12 Author Replies

  • I love The Last of Us but never got into the multiplayer for the initial PS3 release. Now that it’s coming out on PS4 I’ll be all over it.

  • Can’t wait to play the game, Eric. Had a 360 last gen and this will be my first taste of TLOU with PS4.

    PS: Let’s Go Mets

    • Smart move to PS4! The Last of Us Remastered is going to floor you.

      And definitely Let’s Go Mets! :)

  • Gah! I forgot about getting DLC trophies on the PS3 version. Just realized my trophy percentage is no longer at 100% Hmm, to try and squeeze those out now, or just let it go and begin anew with Remastered…

  • Looking forward to it guys. Are the Gold Faction trophies easier to get now?

  • Honestly Factions is probably the best multiplayer experience I’ve ever had. Period. The integration of the overall aesthetic from the single-player, the satisfaction of playing as a team, the excitement of whittling down a team in a variety of ways or pulling out a win at the last second, are just a few of the reasons I absolutely love it. I get that Factions wasn’t necessarily the focus of many LOU players but I really hope that a lot of the new PS4 owners who check this game out for the first time try out the multiplayer because it’s so satisfying.

    I am really curious about what Naughty Dog are doing as far as troubleshooting server/hosting/lag issues now that everything is running on the PS4. Not complaining too much about how it ran on PS3 but definitely did have issues every once in a while so I’m curious as to how it’s going on the PS4?

    • Happy to hear that it’s the best ever! That’s high praise. Thank you. Well, matchmaking will be a lot more direct since it’s one player pool for the PS4 players and we are constantly optimizing any networking issues that crop up.

  • Brought the gamme at launcj for $60 it was amazing so was the dlc best money I’ve ever spent. MP was amazing all the hours I put into it.

    However spending another $50 for content I already own on a Sony platform content that is barely a year old or less will never happen.

    You guys need an upgrade program you’re missing so many sales without it I’m just one of them.

  • cant wait for this on ps4. the last of us mp is what I mainly play now. I just love the tension and tactical gamplay it has. hopefully we can get an update to 1) fully customize our character 2) pick up supplies when were downed 3) ability to free throw nail bombs like the smoke and Molotov 4) nerf the new sub machine( I forgot the name of it).. that’s all I can think of, but you guys did an excellent job with this game! I wish more games were like this.

  • I’m waiting to play this game a second time. I would keep playing this game every console generation if the remastered it. Hands down, probably one of the most immersive games I’ve ever played.

  • I’m confused.. If this is a complete remastered and season pass content carries over.. Then why is it a complete version? What if I didn’t have the season pass? (i do though so..)

    • We want to give people choice on what DLC they buy. The season pass was an outstanding deal for this reason.

  • Is any of the preorder DLC for the digital version any different than what we would have had on the PS3 with the season pass? Just curious if I’ll get all this stuff anyway since I have it all on PS3. I’m really on the fence about this game. As good as it is it’s less than a year old and there’s no incentive for people that bought the digital PS3 version to upgrade

  • I already pre-ordered TLOU from the PS Store. Will there be a preload option for it? I’m sure the download file will be big…

  • Whoa, are these images hints of new maps? =o

    Btw, I’d love to see some new modes for factions. Anyway, thanks for the update, Eric!

  • Missed this game on the PS3, definitely getting this on PS4 when it comes out.

  • I’ll be sure to pick this up. Can’t wait to see the outstanding graphics! I also never delved too deep into the multiplayer, so I’ll be sure to do so this time around.

  • seraphim_falconu

    @purse317 The arithmetic on that is really, really, simple. Unless they are losing more than 5 customers for every 50 dollar copy they sell, it makes more sense for them to not have a 10 dollar upgrade. Since this game was always more for people who never played TLOU, they are making a smart calculation.



    But there will be the play-as-you-download feature.

  • As a PS3 old hat for TLOU I’m picking up Remastered primarily for the factions multiplayer. It’s something I didn’t get into on the initial release after completing the story mode. I figure with the increased MP capabilities of the PS4 it is going to be the perfect time to correct that.

  • the new DLC will be in ps3 to?

  • Looking forward to the game. Though I have to admit the lack of any real gameplay videos and screenshots is kind of concerning considering how close we are to release… I know it’s just a remaster, but a comparison video wouldn’t hurt.

    • We’ll be showing off a lot more very soon. There are some video out already if you haven’t seen them.

  • So… this time we’ll be seing the long waited infecteds on multiplayer? Cause you said that it couldn’t be done on ps3 since it was technically inferior.

  • Really looking forward to the Remastered Edition. Worked hard for the PS3 Platinum. Diving right in to the MP first this time around.

  • So, are you going to take down the inferior PS3 Online Pass?

  • Will our PS3 progress carry over to PS4?

  • Double dip is on!

  • So, are the trophies changed? Or are they just the PS3 ones with the dlc that requires the platinum now?

    • We’ll have a FAQ about this available soon but only a few trophies have changed in how you can earn. You can earn all the trophies again for the PS4.

  • Happy to make the jump in platforms. However will PS3 users be able to play with PS4 users? Will Saves transfer? Will Trophy Progress be shared? I hope the answer is yes to all three.

    • PS3 and PS4 players will be separate player pools. Saves won’t transfer. Trophy Progress won’t be shared between PS3 and PS4.

  • Hey, Eric. Hope everything is good. Me and my friends are so stoked to play this all over again on PS4. I had an idea about some ways to increase immersion in the game. Being that one of my favorite PS4 features is the speaker in the controller, I thought it would be cool to have partner shout outs go through the speaker. In the ps3 version, I found there’s are times that if the camera is not aimed perfectly, you can’t hear something like Ellie’s shouts about an enemy to assist you. Just thought that would be cool to add. Everything else, including share modem seems really cool.

  • + Eric Monacelli on July 22nd, 2014 at 10:04 am said:

    It’s the same preorder DLC but it’ll be applicable for your PS4 playthrough.

    First, thank you for responding to me. That’s actually pretty rare around here and I appreciate it

    So, since the PS3’s DLC is cross-buy with the PS4 version then there’s no incentive to do the preorder since I’ll get all that stuff anyway. Sound about right? I do love the game, but I might wait for a price drop since I already bought the PS3 version + pass on day 1.

    Is there going to be a demo available so people like myself can compare the versions for themselves? I think that would be a big help for people that are on the fence about rebuying the game. Love the game BTW. It just needs more single player story content or a sequel

  • Appreciate the reply Eric. I will keep an eye out for the upcoming videos. Thanks. Can’t wait to play TLOU mutiplayer on PS4.

  • We’re finally getting those awesome head items? Thank you! Will they also be available for the PS3 version or are they exclusive to the PS4?!!

  • Being a huge gears of war player since it was released I was always looking for a MP that could match the intensity and fun of that game, and with TLOU MP I finally found it. Cant wait to play it on ps4.

    Only downside is no dedicated servers which is something SONY really need to sort out, especially with triple A titles like this, playing against a host from the other side of the world is no fun.

  • It’s great to hear that there are still 9,000 concurrent but man I thought it would have been a lot higher. I have probably put over 200 hours into the game and I still play it. More people need to realize how amazing this multiplayer really is. Looking forward to the 29th!

  • The only way I would buy this again, is if there was more single player DLC something with Bill or Tess, maybe Joel & Tommy in the 20 year gap.

  • Will it play with PS3 players?
    Will there be a discount for those who have the PS3 version?

  • ERIC & ND : make more SP DLC!!!!

    Take my money :))))

  • I agree that an upgrade program would be great for those of us who would like to continue the TLOU experience on PS4. I bought the game for $60 and the season pass for $20, so I’m sure you understand that it’s hard to drop another $50 on it. I love the multiplayer, but I don’t play PS3 anymore and would love to continue playing it on PS4.

  • i’ll think seriously about buying. I just know that requires 50gb on hard drive to install the retail copy (the PS3 version not require installation) That 500gb hard drive will not endure for so long :(

  • Eric, can you guys please consider making any new maps you release free to download?

    One of the reasons I’m excited about the remaster is having one player pool, having more DLC maps is just going to divide things up again.

    Killzone Shadow Fall does it, so it must be a workable business – I know I’d support the MP by purchasing new aesthetics/weapons/skills etc.

  • “All fifteen of our maps are in each playlist so the player pool will be consolidated. ”

    PLEASE no more map packs. This is the best thing and one of the main reasons Im getting PS4 TLOU. I hate how paid for map packs separate the community up. If you must release and support a MP game with new content dont make it content that separates the community up. Give us the maps for free or not at all.

  • I tried to get into the MP in the original version of the game but I found the random character model selection for your MP character completely off putting. Some were very distracting looking and it also could be a bit confusing seeing a different body being controlled by the player every new match. They had hat customization, why on earth did they forgo implementing character model selection or even customization like in Uncharted 3 MP. If they release DLC that lets you pick your character model or customize your own I would definitely play it.

  • Will the previously DLC based trophies be required for the platinum?

  • Hey Eric, nice to see you have made those DLC MP trophies way easier now, can you confirm if these separate DLC trophies now included for the PS4 are required for the platinum? Or is it just the standard 24 trophies required to platinum identically to the PS3?

  • It would be nice just to pay 10 dollars to upgrade. I have this game already for ps3. I’ll just wait for the price drop. I can save my 60 dollars somewhere else like Destiny, or new Batman Game.

  • Oh, i’m picking this game again. Never tried the Mp on the PS3 version But I’m determined to get into it on PS4. Naughty dog Eric, Did you guys added a LAN feature to the MP component of TLoU Remaster?

    Uncharted 3 LAN was (and othe games like warhawk, ect) included. It’s a way for us, the gamers to keep playing fun Multiplayer games after THE inevitable server shutdown happens. You get to increase your sales when you add LAN to your titles. Thanks :)

  • Like everyone else here has said, the lack of an upgrade program like I used for Call of Duty: Ghosts makes this a no-sale for me. $80 is enough to spend for one game. $130 is salt in the wound.

  • Would it be possible to add a “microphones/headsets only” option in Factions along with language options? Coming across randoms without mics, or who had mics but were speaking another language was a huge detriment. You needed to make as many friends as possible to play the game properly. Allowing me to search for people with mics (now that everyone has one) who speak English would be a huge improvement.

  • I have a good an important question to naughtydog.

    Will The Last Of Us Remastered for ps4 have improved artificial Intelligence. The A.I of The Last Of Us ps3 version was nothing like the e3 2012 demo.

    Graphics are nice, but A.I should always come first at all times. I hope to see the enemy A.I way improved for the ps4 version but I doubt that will happen.

    It’s funny after all these years since goldeneye came out for n64, no other game has matched it for enemy A.I.

  • Any benefits for US with Season Pass? Will future DLC on PS3 will be for free or a new SP is required to get the best value?

  • For everyone that is complaining about owning a last gen copy of TLOU and not getting a discount for an upgrade; look here:

    “Starting July 27, you can bring in your PS3 copy to a GameStop store and get 50 percent off a new copy of the Remastered version. $25 isn’t bad for a great game and even better DLC. But you only have a few days to do it. The promotion ends on August 2.”

  • Just an extra thought for you folks to digest … while I love single-player, and find co-op grand IF you have the right partner, I can’t STAND multiplayer modes — in fact, I can’t even recall the last time I did even remotely enjoyed it (sometime back in the 80s era). The problem for me is partly that I HATE playing with randoms — the majority of which always seem to have their own agenda, cooperation rarely being one of them — plus I grew bored beyond tears of the standard MP fare, which is always some variant of Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, and so forth. Sure, graphics are much nicer these days, but the dull basic gameplay remains unchanged. (And yes, I’ve retried on a regular basis, and my feelings toward it remain unchanged — most recently Destiny Beta; GREAT game, love the co-op, despise the MP.)

    Just thought you folks at Naughty Dog should know that not every gamer enjoys it, although many devs seem to imply we all do. Also, it should NEVER be mandatory for gameplay progression in any games that are not 100% multiplayer-based to begin with.

    [cont. next comment]

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