As Twinstick Gaming’s (joint) No. 1 The Last of Us fan, I’ve been watching that digital horizon for weeks now for the first sight of the illusive DLC announcement. At first we thought August, then the end if August, after that it was sure to be Gamescom or PAX Prime… These came and went with not a whispered word. All hope was lost until- 26th September, Twitter was suddenly rife with #Outbreak Day posts and we knew something was imminent!
Well, yesterday it FINALLY happened, a multiplayer map pack called ‘Abandoned Territories’ will launch on October 15th. Word of the DLC spread like Cordyceps through a playground!
The ‘Abondoned Territories map pack’ will include 4 new muliplayer maps. One, ‘Suburbs’ has a suburban setting with a dust storm swirling about the place , ‘Hometown’ is a potentially risky venture as it’s a night map (though the pictures look as though it will have sufficient ambient lighting from flames), ‘Bookstore’ is said to be boasting vertical gameplay, and ‘Bus Depot’ brings the presence of a giraffe over from the main game.
For me, multiplayer DLC is music to my ears (read our full multiplayer review here), not that the existing maps are running dry, but the thought of 4 brand new ones to add to the mix (and push the ever unpopular ‘Downtown’ map further out of rotation) left me feeling practically giddy! So imagine my surprise, when frantically clicking through the news for details on the DLC, to find that the general tone of each article was one of – dare I say it – disappointment. As it became clear the highly anticipated DLC was to be the first of the multiplayer packages and not the single player addition.
Through my giddy haze, I read article after article bemoaning the multiplayer announcement (or just plain disregarding it) to talk about the brief single player announcement also mentioned on Playstation blog. Apparently, the single player component is being written and cast as we speak and will feature new characters rather than Ellie and Joel. That’s cool and all, as a season pass holder I’ll be delighted to play it when it too finally drops in December/ January time, but the fact that multiplayer DLC ‘Abandoned Territories Map pack’ is coming next month SHOULD have set the world alight!
Only, it hasn’t. There are, as I see it, 2 likely reasons for this. The first is simple. The second unbelievably frustrating.
Reason one: Why simple? Well, yesterday half of Naughty Dogs employees took to twitter, using #Outbreak day and chatting about what they were doing on the date (26th September, 2013) when the (in game) outbreak occurred! This prompted immediate and wild speculation that this was it! This was a thinly veiled announcement that clearly stated the DLC was single player and was set at the very start of the outbreak! Case closed. It was in no way, Naughty Dog employees arsing around on twitter because the real life date had finally caught up with the video game outbreak date. So when, yesterday, the DLC actual announcement came and was anything other than what the press had already decided it was going to be… boom. Disappointment.
Reason two: This is by far the more worrying, disappointing and frustrating reason. People out there own The Last of Us, it’s on their shelf right now, yet they are NOT playing the Factions (online multiplayer) part of the game. I don’t mean like, on a brief hiatus while we give GTA V a go- we’ve all done that. I mean they are not, have not and will not play it at all- yet. They are disappointed because they see no value in the multiplayer DLC!?
If that sounds like you, I implore you to pick up your PS3 pad, fire the game up and play play play! It is easily one of the best online experiences out there! It’s stealthy, tactical- yet accessible and non-intimidating! The meta game within is stunningly original as it is simplistic! You can play with friends, or on your lonesome- and it is always awesome! Give it time, unlock some weapons, try the interrogation mode and become mindlessly addicted! It really is worth the price of entry (and it’s bloody free if you’ve already got the game just stirring there)!
I’m terrible at the game (ask Mowerman) and yet I love every round I play! It IS a unique experience that too many people seem to have disregarded. Don’t be that guy, try it again – give it some time and you’ll see. Just don’t expect it to play like Call of Duty – this game is more intelligent than that.
Richard is a father, teacher, gamer and writer. He believes that The Last of Us and Olli Olli 2 are the finest games ever made, feels that the StarWars Saga should only be watched in ‘the Machete order’ and once cleared Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in one sitting. Took him 20 hours, four cups of tea and a sausage roll. You can follow him on twitter @TLOUFactionsMP or @VigilanteSanta and view his occasional twitch outbursts on twitch.tv/spooklebeans.