The Last Of Us Part II – separate multiplayer now seems like a shoe-in

The makers of Uncharted claim to have ‘big ambitions’ for what sounds like a spin-off from The Last Of Us’ Factions multiplayer mode.

Now that Death Stranding is out, Sony’s next big exclusive is The Last Of Us Part 2. Assuming it doesn’t get yet another delay it will be out on 29 May 2020, and Naughty Dog has given another clue as to what will follow it.

Lead game designer Vinit Agarwal has just tweeted out a job ad for an online systems programmer, which might not seem terribly interesting except for the fact that The Last Of Us Part 2 has no multiplayer of any kind.

That, combined with the fact that the multiplayer for the original The Last Of Us was highly regarded by fans, makes it surprisingly easy to guess what the new project is.

‘We want someone who is passionate about online games and is willing to jump into a variety of systems including server technologies, core game networking, matchmaking, player data storage, and virtual store transactions while maintaining a high standard for reliability and information security’, reads the full job ad.

There’s nothing to indicate the game is multiplayer-only, but the description certainly implies that it’s a major component and the obvious assumption is that they’re creating a standalone version of The Last Of Us multiplayer mode Factions.

Alternatively, it could be an expansion for the main game but if they’re only hiring in November, and the single-player isn’t out till May, that implies it’s a way off yet – and therefore certain to appear on the PlayStation 5 as well as, presumably, PlayStation 4.

The Last Of Us Part 2 is also very likely to be remastered for the PlayStation 5, but whether that would come first or not remains to be seen.

Rumours of a standalone version of Factions have been floating about ever since it was announced that The Last Of Us Part 2 had dropped the mode, with Naughty Dog themselves hinting as much.

‘You will eventually experience the fruits of our team’s online ambition, but not as part of The Last Of Us Part 2’, they said in September.

Which means this is already the second time they’ve hinted about a standalone multiplayer game.

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