With less than a week to go before the release of The Last of Us: Remastered on PS4, the online community has finally started getting some of their questions answered. Thanks to a Naughty Dog Live Stream via Twitch and an interview from Erin Daly (Lead Multiplayer Designer) and Quentin Cobb (Game Designer) on Playstation Blog, the Remastered ‘Factions MP’ is starting to take shape. Some of these highlights from the live stream and interview were already rumoured, some are brand new information.
Firstly, as we assumed, Factions will also run at a targeted 60fps and at 1080p. According to Daly and Cobb, this makes things much more responsive and accurate. Being that much sharper and running smoothly is bound to help in terms of accuracy – still doesn’t mean I’ll be able to shoot straight, but I’ll no longer be able to blame the game.
Secondly, all the items you purchased or unlocked via the PS3 version Season Pass – WILL be available on the PS4 version too – but you will have to re-download them, so if you were planning to starting on a new PSN account, you might want to think again?
Interestingly, Daly and Cobb spoke of 18 new tweaks to Factions, but only a few are mentioned in the interview. One, very welcome, tweak is that all the game’s maps will be consolidated into one pool. A source of mild frustration for Phil Mower and I on the PS3 version is that, to ensure you got to play on the DLC maps regularly after launch, they were put into separate playlists (imaginatively titled DLC 1 and DLC 2). This was great at first, but then to get back to classic maps – or the other DLC collection, you had to come out of your game and re-enter on the other playlists. Having a consolidated pool will help show the variety of maps the game actually boasts! A great change in our opinion.
Another tweak is that newcomers will start out with 9 Loadout points instead of the 8 we had to suffer through. This is a small leg up, but with the maximum points being 13, it won’t take you long to reach anyway. In many ways, I’m surprised that they didn’t just give new players all 13. The game really gets going once you’ve unlocked everything – and unlocking everything doesn’t take that long anyway!?
The trophies have also been tweaked, not added to, but altered slightly to make them easier to achieve. Previously, trophies were earned on certain maps or play modes for achieving at least three kills – and having no deaths. Not impossible (I have two myself), but very tricky to get. Now the trophies require you to rack up at least five kills, but deaths are irrelevant. This makes them monumentally easier to achieve, there are bound to be a few complaints here, but then they’ve changed it due to complaints in the first place! You can’t please all the people all the time.
We knew it was coming after Neil Druckmann spoke so highly of the Dual Shock 4’s L2 and R2 triggers, but yes, you will now be able to aim and shoot using the trigger buttons rather than L1 and R2 in Factions too! However, if your muscle memory can’t cope, you can, of course, switch back to the traditional controls. I’ll be attempting to use the ‘Druckmann controls’ (as I’m calling them) and have tried to avoid playing much of The Last of Us PS3 since it was confirmed for PS4 in anticipation – however, a map pack was released inbetween so I HAD to play!
Perhaps the biggest reveal came via the live stream. New weapons – or that is new versions of weapons will become available to both PS4 and PS3 users soon after the launch of Remastered on PS4.
As can be seen in this screen grab, scoped variations of the semi-auto, full-auto and burst rifle can be seen along with something called the ‘variable rifle’ – these new weapons, like all weapons, are already causing unrest in the online community. Fears of the game being unbalanced or the weapons being overpowered are already surfacing. However, given the excellent balance the game already has, I’d be surprised if these guns did anything but offer an even greater variety of play styles to suit player preference. After a year of Factions, the game remains one of the best balanced games out there. The easiest way (though perhaps not the most scientific) to tell is that a) there isn’t an dominant weapon or loadout in the game, everyone plays differently; b) the ‘The Last of Us Community Facebook group has complained about every single weapon over the course of the last year – apart from the hunting rifle, 9mm and revolver!
The revamped Factions will launch as part of The Last of Us Remastered on July 29th (US) and August 1st (EU), with over 9000 active players, more set to join on PS4 and further DLC in the pipeline, The Last of Us: Factions shows no signs of slowing down! We can’t wait!