The Last of Us Multiplayer Cancelled

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AV_Gamer

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#1  Edited By AV_Gamer

https://www.naughtydog.com/blog/an_update_on_the_last_of_us_online

I had a feeling this was where things were going with this game, especially after the rogue-like mode in The Last of Us: Part 2 remaster was announced. It's a shame. I've never played the multiplayer that came with the original game, but a lot of people seemed to like it a lot. The link to the article is above, but basically, they claim too many team members who work on the single player game, would've spent too much time try to complete the online multiplayer. One possible silver lining is that those team members might now be working on The Last of Us: Part 3 to complete the trilogy. Especially, with a hot television series out there and Season 2 happening in 2025.

Thoughts?

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bigsocrates

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The big question I have is...if the idea is so good and the team is too small then why not build out the team or hire another studio to help? I know Naughty Dog thinks of itself as special but given how many talented developers are out there right now it seems like the perfect time to try and build additional capacity.

This seems like an excuse. "It was so good and ambitious we just couldn't do it without compromise but trust me, you would have loved it."

As for "The Last of Us Part 3"....do we need it? I feel like The Last of Us Part 2 kind of said what it needed to, and we are now going to have remakes of both games and Naughty Dog hasn't made anything else significant in a long time.

I didn't have the same problems a lot of people did with The Last of Us Part 2 but I did think it was overlong and while it was impressive it was also just grimy and depressing. I'm ready for something new. It doesn't have to be Uncharted, though I wouldn't mind following up Lost Legacy by spending more time with Chloe, but maybe something a little less grimdark?

I just don't need to see Ellie go through a bunch more horrible torture and have to kill a bunch of people in brutal ways. I'd rather see something new. Or failing that something a little bit lighter. The Last of Us was a reaction to people criticizing Nathan Drake for being a wisecracking mass killer (murderer is not really fair because he generally does not shoot first) but now that we are getting videos of actual people actually killing each other constantly out of Ukraine and Israel/Palestine maybe a little escapism isn't a bad thing.

Naughty Dog could try a game that isn't even violent, or one where the violence is against non-human enemies. What I'm saying is that Microsoft needs to sell Crash Bandicoot back to Sony.

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ThePanzini

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The idea that Naughty Dog would be tied to a service game is kinda horrifying, Part 3 was always likely happening but the rumoured new ip is a lot more interesting.

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mellotronrules

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#4  Edited By mellotronrules

yeah, bit of a bummer given i really like TLOU's combat, enjoyed the bit of TLOU1 Factions i played in 2019 (went for the platinum on the PS4 remaster and it had multiplayer trophies), and was intrigued to see what potentially fresh ideas they cooked up. Factions to this day still has some interesting design with a slower, more stealth and crafting-focused multiplayer that i'm not sure has an obvious analogue.

that said i'm glad they didn't just shove a product out the door to market, closed their eyes and prayed. better to pull the plug before you reshape the whole studio in the image of a product you don't have full faith in. not releasing does suggest they care about quality, so that's a good sign.

@bigsocrates said:

As for "The Last of Us Part 3"....do we need it? I feel like The Last of Us Part 2 kind of said what it needed to, and we are now going to have remakes of both games and Naughty Dog hasn't made anything else significant in a long time.

as a fan? absolutely. i'm not clamoring- if they decided to hang up the gloves after TLOU2 i'd be alright with that. however, if they have desire to continue- particularly with Ellie- i think there's plenty for them to work with (i often daydream about what a Joel-aged Ellie would look like in that story- we don't have a lot of high-budget video game fiction that follows characters from teen to middle-aged, let alone middle-aged women as protagonist).

the good news is we know Naughty Dog is working on a new project in addition to the presumed TLOU3, so that should (hopefully) be interesting once they share.

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ThePanzini

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I would absolutely take TLOU3 given the high finish rate of Part 2 and the tv show a lot of people also would, factions could easily be in the next game.

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@mellotronrules: If middle aged Ellie is still stabbing people in the throat and burning them alive 20+ years after the end of The Last of Us Part 2 then that's going to be profoundly sad to me and really blunt whatever impact that game's "message" had. It'll be even uglier in a "the cycle of violence is eternal" way, which fits that world but...

I'd almost rather they make some other kind of game with her. Like a Road 96 type game through a slowly recovering world, or a city builder or something other than just brutally slaughtering people to survive. But The Last of Us is such a valuable IP and the nature of big budget video games being what it is that's not possible. It's not that I don't care about the rest of Ellie's story it's that the market has determined there are only so many places that the story can actually go. They tried to break away from that in The Last of Us Part 2 with...mixed results for their audience.

The Last of Us Factions was certainly an interesting multiplayer that didn't feel as generic as Uncharted's but that kind of limited multiplayer mode basically doesn't exist anymore. In the 7th gen it seemed like almost every major game from Assassin's Creeds to Spec-Ops: The Line had a multiplayer mode like that but these days shooters tend to be multiplayer first or just single player. Some of those modes like Factions or Mass Effect 3 multiplayer were actually pretty good, but it seems like with so many huge multiplayer games out there there's just no room for those modes anymore (and game development has gotten more expensive anyway.)

It's pretty crappy that they didn't redo Factions for The Last of Us Part 1. They made a remake of a recent game with significantly less content and charged full price. Video Games.

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AV_Gamer

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#7  Edited By AV_Gamer

I honestly can take another 2 or 3 more The Last of Us games before I felt the story of that world and characters were done to death. I could see it being a generational thing too, beyond Ellie and Abby. But yeah, I believe there needs to be a Part 3 at least. Yes, The Last of Us: Part 2 told a long and detailed story, but the plague is still out there. Abby is looking for her Firefly family, and Ellie is trying to find herself again. A third game can be made around that. Also, given the success of the television series, I believe it will happen, even if Naughty Dog originally didn't plan it.

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bigsocrates

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@av_gamer: It's not about the story and the characters being done to death. You can tell unlimited stories in almost any world (Resident Evil says hi) and characters can always go somewhere new, or you can bring in new characters and phase out old ones (...The Last of Us says hi.) It's about Naughty Dog putting out 1 game every 4-5 years and repeating its own beats, especially when they have literally remade those games each now. This will be nearly a decade of wallowing in probably the grimmest world in gaming outside the much more abstract Fromsoft games. And I think The Last of us Part 2 already had an issue with repeating a lot of the beats from the first game, which is why I think they felt the need for the split protagonist thing, to try and differentiate them.

As I said I think that Ellie's story will be significantly undermined if she's still doing the same stuff in perpetuity. It's not that it couldn't be a good or compelling game, I'm sure it would play well and look fantastic and probably have some really cool moments, but there are a lot of other games that Naughty Dog could make in that time with a fresher slate.

And while you certainly could continue Ellie and Abby's stories (or just one or the other, and at this point I think Abby makes more sense dramatically but less sense commercially because so many people hate her for various reasons) I don't think either is necessary. The Last of Us is not a world where things get wrapped up in a nice little bow. That's part of what Joel's arc was intended to say.

If the Last of Us Part 3 ends with Abby finding her family and happiness and Ellie finding 'herself' in a meaningful way then I think the series will have jumped the shark in a way. That ending made sense for Nathan Drake but Joel's arc shows us what a "The Last of Us" ending looks like when it makes sense.

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mellotronrules

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#9  Edited By mellotronrules
@bigsocrates said:

@mellotronrules: If middle aged Ellie is still stabbing people in the throat and burning them alive 20+ years after the end of The Last of Us Part 2 then that's going to be profoundly sad to me and really blunt whatever impact that game's "message" had. It'll be even uglier in a "the cycle of violence is eternal" way, which fits that world but...

ha, you're not wrong. but this is also TLOU, so if your player 'verbs' don't involve violence and sadness, you're not on brand, haha.

if i were a betting man, my prediction is TLOU3 is broadly a redemptive arc for Ellie (she won't save the world, but she might save some lives), while still steeped in dark melancholy and leaving the door open for new games/protagonists (because as you say, 'Video Games.'). as to whether or not the juice is worth the squeeze- that feels like a personal call most can make at this point.

but yeah, probably a whole lot more shootin, lootin and stabbing.

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AV_Gamer

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#10  Edited By AV_Gamer
@bigsocrates said:

@av_gamer: It's not about the story and the characters being done to death. You can tell unlimited stories in almost any world (Resident Evil says hi) and characters can always go somewhere new, or you can bring in new characters and phase out old ones (...The Last of Us says hi.) It's about Naughty Dog putting out 1 game every 4-5 years and repeating its own beats, especially when they have literally remade those games each now. This will be nearly a decade of wallowing in probably the grimmest world in gaming outside the much more abstract Fromsoft games. And I think The Last of us Part 2 already had an issue with repeating a lot of the beats from the first game, which is why I think they felt the need for the split protagonist thing, to try and differentiate them.

As I said I think that Ellie's story will be significantly undermined if she's still doing the same stuff in perpetuity. It's not that it couldn't be a good or compelling game, I'm sure it would play well and look fantastic and probably have some really cool moments, but there are a lot of other games that Naughty Dog could make in that time with a fresher slate.

And while you certainly could continue Ellie and Abby's stories (or just one or the other, and at this point I think Abby makes more sense dramatically but less sense commercially because so many people hate her for various reasons) I don't think either is necessary. The Last of Us is not a world where things get wrapped up in a nice little bow. That's part of what Joel's arc was intended to say.

If the Last of Us Part 3 ends with Abby finding her family and happiness and Ellie finding 'herself' in a meaningful way then I think the series will have jumped the shark in a way. That ending made sense for Nathan Drake but Joel's arc shows us what a "The Last of Us" ending looks like when it makes sense.

You make a lot of good points, and I'm all for it, shark jumping and all. As The Fonz would say, "Heyyy!"

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bigsocrates

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People in here just love them some clickers.

Look, if they make a TLOU part 3, and they probably will, I'll almost certainly play it. I loved the first one and I liked the second one despite thinking that it was too long and repeated itself mechanically too much. The level of polish of those games is insane and the gameplay loop is fun.

If it's the choice between TLOU3 and nothing I'll take TLOU3. And I'd rather have another single player game than some big live service mess.

I just personally would rather see something different from ND at this point. Which it seems like we will. But I guess I'm the only one because everyone else just wants to keep searching every toolbox for alcohol and gunpowder.

Alternative pitch: It's the Last of Us but it's a Tokyo Jungle-like and your goal is to start as a cockroach and end up as the giraffe.

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I'm just happy ND is given a chance and won't get stuck in live-service hell. Hopefully it works out for them despite the time and effort wasted on this.

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I think it's both sad and hilarious that one of the most celebrated studios in gaming spend many years on this projects and was unceremoniously told to hang it up without even getting their first trailer published. It's that bad in the industry right now.

But personally I'm glad to hear it. We don't need this and it's chances of survival past its first 6 months are slim to none. Doing it in The Last of Us universe was especially jarring because how are they going to sell fancy skins in a deathly serious post-apocalyptic world? It would have eventually ended up with Goku and Nicki Minaj tearing it up in there and that's just not what this game is supposed to be.

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Shindig

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I think my main problem with the world of The Last of Us is how fucking hopeless it is. A cooperative multiplayer might've been a way to instil something more positive. Part 3 can be where the misery lives.

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BladeOfCreation

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@bigsocrates: You're not the only one who feels that way. I played TLoU for the first time in 2020, as everyone was playing TLoU 2. It was an incredible game. But I felt like that was all I needed from that universe.

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ThePanzini

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#17  Edited By ThePanzini

@apewins: This isn't that unusal even for Naughty Dog, Hennig worked on Uncharted 4 for eight months not counting pre-production which was basically thrown out when Druckman took over. Sony Santa Monica prior to God of War 2018 were working on a new ip for four years before it being cancelled, Sony nearly shut the studio down.

ND had a small team working on factions using assets from a game already shipped. Studios regularly pitch projects that never see the light of day.

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ll_Exile_ll

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As for "The Last of Us Part 3"....do we need it? I feel like The Last of Us Part 2 kind of said what it needed to, and we are now going to have remakes of both games and Naughty Dog hasn't made anything else significant in a long time.

The Last of Us 2 "remaster" is just a native PS5 port with a new bonus mode. Calling it a remake, or implying it took anywhere near the resources to make as an actual remake, is inaccurate.

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bigsocrates

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#19  Edited By bigsocrates

@ll_exile_ll: It's more than just a native port with a bonus mode. They're adding cut content and changing other things. Whether you want to call it a remake or an enhanced port or whatever is not the point, it's more that Naughty Dog keeps releasing these games (3 times in 10 years for the first) and spending a ton of time and resources on them.

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ll_Exile_ll

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@bigsocrates: I understand that it has some added content, but it's essentially just a DLC using mostly existing assets. Not too dissimilar from the free DLC that God of War just got actually. I just think equating a port with DLC type content added as being the same as a full on, ground up remake is a little silly. There have been a lot of 8th gen games that got ports to the current consoles, many of them with some bonus content to add value like this. I just find it weird that this narrative around the Last of Us 2's port has been about how it shouldn't exist and that Naughty Dog is wasting resources porting the game to PS5. Granted, they brought some of this on themselves by calling it a remaster and not like "Director's Cut" or something, but that doesn't change what it is.

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bigsocrates

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@ll_exile_ll: I don't see where anyone said that the remaster or whatever you want to call it shouldn't exist in this thread. What I said is that Naughty Dog hasn't made any significant other than The Last of Us Part II and the Part I remake for a long time, which is objectively true since their last major project other than that was the Uncharted: Lost Legacy game, which came out in 2017.

It seems to me that they are putting significant resources into the Part II PS5 version, since they are adding a lot of content and it's taking a relatively long time. Yes there have been a lot of PS5 versions of PS4 games, but they have varied radically on how much effort has been put into them. It's clear that this is more extensive than something like the Spider-Man remaster or some of the very quick ports for games like Marvel's Avengers, which seem to have involved mostly importing some of the more detailed assets from the PC version and doing some dualsense/loading time work around the margins.

They're spending some indeterminate amount of studio resources on this. It seems significant, though not as much as a new game, of course. But my point wasn't that it shouldn't exist but rather that The Last of Us has had 5 versions of 2 games in about a decade, and Naughty Dog has done very little else in that time so I'd like to see something new, at least for now.

Compare that to Insomniac's output over the same period, which is a studio of approximately the same size.

You can argue that The Last of Us is higher production value than Insomniac games (debatable when it comes to Marvel's Spider-Man 2, which has some of the best production values ever) but it's just a lot of time on one franchise and a lot of releases for 2 games.