Around three and a half years ago, when I first played through Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune I never at one point thought that it was a game that could really benefit from multiplayer. Uncharted, to me, was always about the adventure. It’s the wonderful story and the action-packed sections above all make it. So, when Uncharted 2 came along and brought an online mode with it, I didn’t think much of it. I played some games and enjoyed them, but I never stuck around.
The third game in the series arrives in November, and brings with it a revamped multiplayer mode. Over the past few days, I’ve been exploring the beta. How does it hold up, and has it changed my mind about multiplayer Uncharted? To a certain extent, yes it has. One main reason: the maps. They’re more than just maps that you’re dropped into for a match – more like short, action-packed scenes. It’s this that puts the Uncharted 3 online mode, even in beta form, above many other multiplayer games.
Airstrip in Team Deathmatch, then, starts with an explosive fight involving an airplane taking off and the trucks on its tail. It’s a dynamic scene that lasts for two minutes of the twenty minute time limit; just the right amount of time so that on playing again it doesn’t get boring. The plane takes off, leaving both teams to fight it out at an abandoned airfield. This map is quite well balanced: two flanks, littered with cover and great for both long range shooting or close quarters fighting, on either side of a warehouse, which you’re able to climb on top of for a useful vantage point, or go inside for more close quarters action.
The other playable map, Chateau, is undeniably Uncharted. It’s a massive, ruinous building with a walled garden surrounding it. This allows for combat inside the building, out in the garden or down the side that connects them together. Whilst it has nothing to match the runaway plane section of Airstrip, it does have a small cutscene at the start showing one team attacking the chateau whilst the other team enters from the other side, and the interior of the building will eventually catch fire and burn down, making the roof fall through; it’s obvious that Naughty Dog are aiming to bring what made the story mode so good into the multiplayer, and it’s done well.
There’s one big problem with these two maps, however. As with many other multiplayer games, the turrets are unbalanced and often taken advantage of. There’s a few other little bugs too, but that’s to be expected from a beta. The gameplay is solid, with third-person shooter controls near identical to previous Uncharted games. Shooting and cover mechanics are as fluid as ever, it’s great to see a control scheme such as this that just works.
The beta brings its own form of perks with Boosters. You can unlock these by ranking up and buy them with the cash you’ve earned. Boosters give you a slight advantage, such as being able to see the enemy that killed you when they’re near you so you can get revenge, or having respawn time reduced. Then there’s the Paid Boosters, unlockable by spending your earnings, that appear before a game starts. These only last one game, however, so you have to be careful with your money.
Kickbacks are effectively super Boosters, although the catch here is that they don’t last throughout an entire game. These include getting an RPG, a speed boost or having no reloading for some time. You activate these by achieving the quota of medals in a game. Medals add to your cash when received and are awarded for doing things such as getting a kill streak or getting so many assists.
Click the ’2′ below to read more.