Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Last Of Us Has Confirmed Multi-Player

When you're announcing something, there's generally three ways it comes out:  1.)  You just say "Hey, this is happening" with some sort of aplomb or spectacle, 2.)  You -try- to say "Hey, this is happening" with some sort of aplomb or spectacle but some sort of promo material or leak steals your thunder or 3.)  You just sort of mention it casually, presumably with a little grin on your lips as you do so.  The third method is not often employed, and when it is, it's actually really kind of effective at disseminating a bit of information more than actually making a spectacle of it would be, since, with an off-hand mention, you're ensuring people are going to pick up on it more intently as if they've discovered a really obscure little fact or something.  I say all this because this is what happened with The Last of Us - multi-player was announced in the Playstation Blog Post that offers a new trailer, a re-affirmation of the release date which is May 6th, 2013 and the reveal of both pre-order bonuses.

The first pre-order bonus pack, the Sights and Sounds Pack as it's called, is going to be available everywhere, it seems, and simply includes the Official Soundtrack (presumably as a download), a dynamic theme and two avatars, one each of our main characters Joel and Ellie.  The other pack, the Survival Pack you see above, is set to be a GameStop exclusive as a bonus to the Sights and Sounds Pack (so pre-ordering at GameStop nets you both) and focuses primarily on the not-yet-mentioned Multiplayer modes that...continue to be not mentioned.  From the items in the pre-order flyer, we can assume it's likely going to be something like the Uncharted MP, but possibly with less Deathmatch (or maybe the same amount of Deathmatch because squads of survivors are out there as trailers have shown) and because if it isn't broke, you don't fix it.  Uncharted's MP is certainly not broke and, if I had more time, I would likely spend quite a bit of time with it, but I just do not as I've lamented here several times.  But if you don't believe me about the MP just being mentioned off-handedly and don't care to click the link, then hey, here's a quote for you:
Multiplayer, wha? We’re not quite ready to talk about it yet, but stay tuned as we’ll be revealing more details on multiplayer before The Last of Us is released on May 7th, 2013.
That, of course, suggests that there just might be a little more to the whole MP onion than we know of, which is a really intriguing thing.  I could sit here and ponder of all the different things that could really be possible, but I'm not...not really going to do that.  Since there will either be cooperative MP against Platforming/Puzzles, Cooperative MP against waves of AI, or various modes of Deathmatch or some combination thereof.  We've really more or less exhausted the well of just -how- you keep people who are playing a video game on the internet interested in continuing to play a game on the internet, and those three options are pretty much the stand-outs.  Mostly because they are in every single game that has multiplayer in its own way, from Assassin's Creed which sort of re-invented the wheel to fit its own mold to Call of Duty which has turned it into a refined, near-game all its own, to Mass Effect which was sort of the last series you would expect to get MP within its casing.  What with being a Shooter-RPG with a single-player focus and everything.

If anything, it's just what 'twist' on the existing formulas the game offers that makes it something stand-out.  As stated, Assassin's Creed took it and ran with it in its own direction - giving you the single-player focused character feel and turning it on its head as everyone had that as well, in game modes that actively tried to get you to not act as you do when you play Single-Player.  You're still killing mans for points at the end of the day, but the line between Point A and Point B bends and swerves in all the different places than most others attempt, and that's what made it stand out.  Call of Duty's twist is that there really -is- no twist - it's simply meant to be a very polished, very refined experience and generally lives up to that with the odd exception here or there.  The line for it from Point A to Point B is very straight, but lined with all the best, so to speak, which makes it its own beast.  So, much as most things in life, it more or less boils down to what is essentially semantics - not what you say, but how you say it.

My own personal hope is that the game sort of takes a page from another popular game that I won't really mention because I am being cryptic or something, and focuses more on survival in its MP.  Not survival from enemies, be they AI or Player primarily, but simply survival from the environment I suppose.  The game has already shown off a crafting system to create a few things like molotov cocktails and the like made from random supplies and I imagine that could be extended to other things.  Things like torches and fires to keep warm, meals to eat and the like.  A multiplayer mode in which you simply try to out-live another individual with or without direct contact with them seems intriguing enough, really, and it would likely involve the trappings of enemies whether they're just scavengers or those strange mutants from the first trailer.  Regardless, I doubt I'll be disappointed by the MP because I'm not looking forward to it as much as I am the single player campaign.  That's what we know of and that's what's exciting and, for all intents and purposes, that's all I really care about.  May simply cannot come fast enough.

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