The Last of Us has a compelling single-player campaign, but don’t ignore multiplayer. The developers at Naughty Dog added more depth than expected, and the result is some of the most balanced multiplayer action you'll find on PlayStation Network.
In the Factions mode, you'll choose one of two sides – the Hunters or the Fireflies. From there, you'll hop into battle while completing one of two objectives depending on the mode. With Supply Raid, you'll have a huge amount of re-spawns as you try to keep your inventory in check. Survivors is much tougher, as you only have one life each round. The goal is to simply stay alive until the other team gets wiped out.
If you're just getting into multiplayer for the first time or you're curious to see what it has to offer, we have some tips that will help you out.
Pledge Your Allegiance
When you choose a side – either Fireflies or Hunters – you must stick with that group until the end of the campaign. You can't restart; you can only wait until you've completed your side of a story or if your clan gets wiped out completely.
Even if you feel like you made the wrong choice, there's no real advantage for either team. The goal is generally the same – help your team not only survive, but also become stronger in the process.
You do this through winning multiplayer match-ups, either Supply Raid or Survivors. The story for either faction moves forward a day and your population increases with each round. If you lose, your people take a massive hit and you lose certain resources that you'll need to build up via winning.
Don't Forgo the Facebook Option
Similar to Uncharted 3, Naughty Dog provides the option to log your clan's progress through Facebook. This helps you keep track of its growth to see who’s developed a hobby or worked to keep the clan’s spirits up.
With this in mind, there are crucial moments in the game when you'll have to decide between clan members – the one you turn your back on faces certain death.
You don't necessarily need to take the Facebook route, but it’s worth looking into, as it’s a good way to bide your time at work when you don't have access to the PlayStation 3.
Fools Rush in
The Last of Us' multiplayer functions in a similar manner to the single player campaign. That means you must approach each situation with caution rather than run-and-gun.
Always make sure you have a sharp weapon handy for close encounters. The shiv is perhaps the most useful of the bunch because you can stab and go. You'll also want to keep several resources available so you can build more elaborate weapons, like a Molotov cocktail that is most effective against groups.
The "listen" ability from single player proves useful, as you can hold down R2 and scan the environment for nearby enemies. Don't be too hasty to run after someone – they have the same listening abilities. Just because you take down one enemy doesn't mean you’re in the clear. Carefully plan your approach.
Pay Attention to Your Objectives and Supply Spending
Multiplayer includes objectives you’ll need to complete, like achieving a number of kills in a matter of minutes, so coordinate with your team and figure out who's going where. At first this may seem overwhelming, but after a few rounds you'll get an idea how team play works and what you can do to meet objectives.
Supplies also play a huge part in the multiplayer experience. You have the option to stock up on necessary tools with points you earn over the course of a match; save some resources to help your clan grow. Plan accordingly and don't buy everything on your first visit.
The Last of Us' multiplayer takes some getting used to, but it's definitely worth experiencing. Give it a go if you can pull yourself away from the gripping single-player campaign.
The Last of Us is available for PlayStation 3.
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