Geek Revolt

Tomb Raider and The Last of Us’ Multiplayer Could… Work

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“Seriously, does every game need multiplayer?” I’m sure some of you said this when it was revealed that The Last of Us and Tomb Raider would have a multiplayer component. Now it would be easy to assume that Naughty Dog and Crystal Dynamics are only going after the coveted Call of Duty crowd, and that these modes will come across as ‘tacked on’. But I believe that the multiplayer for both of these games could turn out amazing, if handled correctly.

The multiplayer must be believable within each game’s world. In The Last of Us supplies are limited, the same should be true in multiplayer. Turning it into a standard death match mode with enough ammo and guns to support a small militia wouldn’t make any sense. The same goes for Tomb Raider, Lara and her crewmates are shipwrecked on an island, and unless they were on a ship ran by Koko Hekmatyar (a fictional arms dealer), guns should also be in limited supply.

All of this seems limiting, but it’s why both games could feature great multiplayer modes. If you find a gun you’d have to conserve ammo, and since they’ll be in short supply you’ll also have to use things like bricks, sharp sticks, bottles, homemade arrows, etc. to bring down your foes. Actually, guns should be looked at as an inconvenience, and gamers should be rewarded more for killing the competition with regular objects.

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Elsewhere The Last of Us could have an infected vs. survivor mode, while Tomb Raider could have a shipwrecked crew vs. island mercenaries mode. We’ve seen infected modes a few times already, so I don’t have to really explain that one.

Tomb Raider’s shipwrecked crew vs. island mercenaries mode (or whatever you want to call it) could be more about stealth. The crew would obviously be outgunned so they would have to outsmart the mercenaries and pick them off one by one. Eventually, they’ll have enough of the dead mercenaries’ guns to launch an all out assault on the ones who are still alive.

Crystal Dynamics and Naughty Dog are smart, I’m sure they can come up with some good ideas. The point I’m trying to make is – they can’t copy and paste standard FPS modes into these games. Now that would be ‘tacked on’ and a waste of everyone’s time, if they’re going to do multiplayer it needs to be somewhat unique. Sure, if they go the traditional route they could explain why there’s now an abundance of guns, but they would come across as lazy – an all too convenient plot twist is a major cop-out.

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Okay, I know some of you are still wondering, “Seriously, does every game need multiplayer?” No, every game doesn’t need multiplayer, but in this day and age the average mainstream gamer wants multiplayer. We all know someone who refuses to buy single player games, it’s silly, but they aren’t alone.

It’s kind of like what Ken Levine said about Bioshock Infinite’s boxart – you have to appeal to the people who don’t sit around reading gaming blogs all day. Believe it or not, there are people out there who make a purchasing decision based on a game’s boxart and if it has multiplayer. Publishers want to accommodate these gamers because the truth is they can’t survive from our support alone.

I’m indifferent when it comes to multiplayer, but it’s becoming a necessary evil. And I’m fine with it as long as it doesn’t hurt the single player campaign. Each part of the game should have it’s own team. I know this has led to disaster before (outsourced multiplayer modes can go either way), but it frees up the main team, now they can focus on polishing the single player campaign.

So, are you looking forward to Tomb Raider and The Last of Us‘ multiplayer modes, or will you just ignore them?

I'm DeShaun Zollicoffer, and I approve this message/bio. "26-years-old, Proud Northeast Ohioan, a Gamer Without Loyalties, an Equal Opportunity Offender, Apple Evangelist, Apple Hater, Music Lover, Anime Junkie, Little Monster, Frequent Flyer, Dexter Fanatic, Title Case Addict, and Geek Revolt's Founder and Editorial Director."
  • Camara Wilson

    If they implement it that way, it has potential to be very exciting. But I don’t like the backtrack that ND did with tLOU, first they said no multi and then close to release there is multiplayer? Cant fault them, its their game, myself I usually sell the online passes and if i do redeem them it feels like I must play online to get value

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      They probably flip flopped on the idea a few times. Like Irrational Games was developing a multiplayer mode for Bioshock Infinite, but they recently scrapped it all together. This was probably for the best, Bioshock and multiplayer just don’t mix :)

      • Camara Wilson

        leaving out multiplayer only strengthens single player and if anything they should implement splitscreen coop.

        • http://geekrevolt.com/author/fallguysoldier/ Edgar Ocampo

          Definitely agree on this.

  • http://geekrevolt.com/author/fallguysoldier/ Edgar Ocampo

    “Believe it or not, there are people out there who make a purchasing decision based on a game’s boxart and if it has multiplayer.”

    I personally don’t care for multiplayer (unless it’s local co-op), but I understand how important it is for developers to try to incorporate a feature that’s almost expected from any modern game. It’s the same way as to how I actually judge a book by its cover, and if I don’t like what I see then I don’t bother checking it out, which usually leads me to missing out on a potentially good read. It’s sad, I know, but I’m just one of those people. I suppose it’s the same way for people out there that skip games which lack multiplayer modes.

  • Master Blaster

    It COULD, but it won’t. Uncharted multiplayer was a tacked on mess. They should just leave these games as Epic Single Player expériences. Bad multiplayer just ruins the total package. It’s like everyone is trying to make the next Halo with everything great, but they don’t realise that it requires a special balance and innovation to make multiplayer a great addition.