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The Last Of Us is going to win game of they year awards from numerous outlets, and deservedly so. In years to come TLOU may not be remembered for its multiplayer mode (that Naughty Dog was ambiguously quiet about until launch) but it will be for its incredible single-player campaign. So while The Abandoned Territories map pack isn’t the single-player DLC a lot of fans are waiting on, it does offer four new fresh and diverse multiplayer maps to an already great multiplayer mode, along with a new patch to fix and tighten the multiplayer itself.
Admittedly I haven’t played The Last Of Us’ multiplayer component since June, so I was a little rusty and I needed to gain my bearings upon my first couple of matches. It seems like I was in the minority of people who hadn’t played the multiplayer in a while though, as I was in multiplayer matches with rank 100s, 200s and even 300s. So, suffice to say, I was getting my righteous-A kicked. So if you’re buying these maps casually like me, then be warned: these are hardcore players buying the Abandoned Territories map pack. Good news, though: You’re going to have these hardcore players on your team as well.
I mostly played the relatively new mode Interrogation — which was added a few months back — and I found that it heavily relies on teamwork — which a team-based multiplayer match should do. Every match I’ve played in, regardless of whether or not my teammates had microphones, we were working as a team. Healing each other, gifting each other items, and even moving around as a team — especially when a match first starts and you and your team are stealthily moving around to locate the other team. This is something I didn’t notice when playing The Last Of Us’ multiplayer mode there and around its launch, so it just goes to show how a dedicated fan-base and time can greatly alter how a multiplayer mode is played.
What about the actual maps themselves, then? Firstly, I should say that I had almost forgotten just how good The Last Of Us looks; it’s without a doubt one of the best looking games on consoles, and the four new maps are no exception to the rule. All four maps are cut out portions of certain areas you may recognise from the campaign, and this isn’t a bad thing. No map particularly stands head-and-shoulders tall above another, though, and no map particularly stands out as being bad. A healthy dose of thought and care has gone in to all of them, though my particular favourite is Bookstore; mainly because it’s the smallest of the bunch, and it’s a great map for close-quarters, shotgun-style combat. There’s still plenty of room to take the stealth route, though, either by flanking around the sides or by going up the stairs.
Hometown is the darkest multiplayer to date, and fans may recognise it from the very beginning of the single-player, in Joel’s hometown. Unlike Joel’s Hometown, Suburbs is a bright and colourful suburban area, and it actually looks peaceful and natural in contrast. Both maps are medium sized. Bus Depot, on the other hand, is the biggest of the bunch, and patience is needed to sneak around the map and seek out the other team. Not being the most patient of players, I would’ve said that Bus Depot is my least favourite of maps; however, this was up until (spoiler) I saw the giraffes in the background.
There’s a separate DLC playlist to play all three multiplayer modes on The Abandoned Territories map pack, but for some rather bizarre reason the original maps have been included in the cycle and can be voted to play on as well. Granted the original maps didn’t come up much, and when they did they were never voted to play anyway, but I just feel that it’s bizarre to have included them in the cycle in the first place. I was spawn-killed a couple of times and I was kicked from a match on one occasion for no apparent reason, but apart from those minor gripes the multiplayer ran smoothly and I experienced no lag whatsoever.
If you enjoyed The Last Of Us’ multiplayer the first time round and you’re looking for an excuse to jump into the multiplayer again, then don’t hesitate to purchase Abandoned Territories. If you’re eagerly anticipating the single-player DLC as well as wanting to play on more multiplayer maps then you’re going to save money purchasing the season pass, which gains you access to both the single-player and multiplayer DLC. Purchasing the season pass will also nab you a 90-minute documentary style making of The Last Of Us video, which I can wholeheartedly say you’ll love if you enjoy seeing how games are made as much as you love playing them.
The Abandoned Territories Map Pack will set you back £7.99, and the Season Pass will cost you £15.99.