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A "modding and exploration" expert by the name of Speclizer has uncovered a treasure trove of evidence from the critically acclaimed single-player game that all points to a battle royale using the same engine. As you can see in the video below, there are a number of in-game items that suggest multiplayer, but the biggest indicator appears to be a map prop.
A number of other assets, including a Listen-Mode Device, Handheld TV, and various armour upgrades - have also been found. Speclizer has yet to restore these items, but it certainly sounds like they would have been key items scattered across a multiplayer map that grant various perks.
In the video, Speclizer speculates that Adler Park, Camallito and Port of Camallito would have been combined into one large map to host an unspecified number of players per game.
"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," Speclizer added in a comment under the video. "Oh and there's also an emote wheel script."
It's no secret that The Last Of Us Part II was originally supposed to feature a multiplayer mode just like its predecessor. Several months before release, however, Naughty Dog announced that this multiplayer component had grown too ambitious and would be cut, to be released as a standalone project somewhere down the line.
"As development began on the evolution of our Factions mode from The Last of Us, the vision of the team grew beyond an additional mode that could be included with our enormous single-player campaign. Wanting to support both visions, we made the difficult choice that The Last of Us Part 2 would not include an online mode" the developer said in a statement at the time.
"When and where it will be realized is still to be determined. But rest assured, we are as big a fan of Factions as the rest of our community and are excited to share more when it's ready."
Sounds to me like The Last Of Us Battle Royale is very much inevitable at this point. Sign me up.
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