A well-known casualty of The Last of Us Part 2’s development was a follow-up to the first game’s Factions multiplayer mode. Naughty Dog wanted to focus on making a great single-player game, which is great. But now that we know they’re making a multiplayer game, some are speculating it’s going to be a return of Factions. At least one modder has now come across what they believe to be assets from the lost multiplayer mode in the single-player game, including evidence of a potential battle royale mode.
The details come from YouTuber Speclizer, who allegedly found several multiplayer assets within The Last of Us Part 2’s files. These include a map prop, a collar, and some device that would let players use listen mode. The map prop shows a large map, which according to Speclizer, is evidence that the game may at one point have been planned to have a battle royale mode.
There’s no way of knowing for sure if that’s true, but Speclizer added some additional context in a pinned comment: “Didn’t mention it in the video but in the development footage, there’s a compass and a player count which is usually only used in battle royales. Oh and there’s also an emote wheel script.” The battle royale map would have been made up of several of the single-player locations stitched together to be large enough to support a large group of players.
We already know that Naughty Dog is working on a standalone multiplayer title thanks to job listings that popped up. Whether or not it’s a Last of Us Part 2 Factions game that gets its own release or a completely new project, it’s not clear. But Naughty Dog did say in 2019, “You will eventually experience the fruits of our team’s online ambition… we are as big a fan of Factions as the rest of our community.”