If you played Uncharted 2 and didn’t enjoy yourself at least a bit, then you may legitimately be dead inside. You should look into that. But for as good as the single-player was, the multiplayer never really caught on in the same way–granted, that is a fairly high bar that the single-player set. It was fun and original and still maintains a dedicated following online, but when people talk about how amazing Uncharted 2 was, they are usually referring to the single-player experience. Maybe that is unfair to what was a great multiplayer package, but the multiplayer didn’t get people to buy PS3 systems; the campaign did.
With Uncharted 3, developer Naughty Dog hopes to strike a balance that will have people throwing awards like ninja stars at the single-player, while offering a multiplayer that stands on its own as one of the year’s best.
Naughty Dog recently highlighted its multiplayer offering for the upcoming game, and it is an understatement to say that the system has been overhauled. The things that worked in the multiplayer of Uncharted 2 will all return, but the additions will make the sequel’s multiplayer feel like far more than just an update. We’re getting an entirely new experience built on the foundation of the previous game, which could make for a fairly fantastic offering.
The two maps shown were “The Airstrip” and “The Chateau.” “The Chateau” is a fairly traditional looking map with multiple levels spread out over a fairly sizeable area, complete with ziplines for quick transit. “The Airstrip” is a bit more unusual in that it is actually two maps in one. The games taking place in “The Airstrip” begin with a cargo plane being chased by trucks. You jump between the trucks and the cargo plane, then once the plane has taken flight, you switch to a massive hangar that plays in a more familiar way—minus the occasional strafing runs from passing fighter planes.
Naughty Dog also showed off two new competitive modes: free-for-all and “Three Team Deathmatch”, which pits three squads of two players each against each other in a mode similar to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s “Alliance” multiplayer mode. Expect many more modes to be announced in the coming months, including a return of most—if not all—of the modes from Uncharted 2.
The game also emphasizes the buddy system, which Naughty Dog hopes will encourage teamwork. Every player will be paired with another, and the two of you collectively share the success—or failure—of a match. The buddy system also acts like a squad, in that you will be able to respawn near your buddy if you choose.
Character customizations are also an addition where a lot of time can be spent. Many of the customizations will be primarily aesthetic, with hundreds of clothes and accessories to choose from. Emblems will also make an appearance, but where the customizations will really play a major role is with the weaponry. These options will grant new abilities to the weapons, including better scopes, larger clips, better stocks and more.
While playing the online game, there will be two major features that help you to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, etc., etc.. The first is the boosters, which return from Uncharted 2, but with an updated selection. The boosters will, once again, allow you to purchase status upgrades to help you survive. Joining them are “kickbacks.”
Kickbacks are somewhat similar to killstreak rewards. Before you begin a game, you choose your kickback, which becomes active when you have accumulated a certain number of medals. Once you have the requisite number of medals, you can use weapons like an RPG, and other unlock-able items that will be debuted later.
Several more subtle changes have been introduced. Among these are the ability to join a game in progress, new in-game missions that offer rewards, and overtime, which kicks in when when a game is tied or the score is within one point at the end of a match. If a game is still very close at the end of the overtime, it will go into sudden death. On the flipside, if a match is not close, the game will enter a “Power Play,” which will increase the rewards for the winning team, and give the losing team a chance to catch up.
But perhaps most importantly, the one piece of news that is set to make waves throughout the Uncharted community, the one thing that will make all the difference is the inclusion of a Sprint button! Okay, so maybe it isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s neat.
There will also be plenty of co-op online, but that will be announced in the future, as will the split-screen online option that allow you to play all the game modes with your buddy locally.
For now though, check out the video and prepare for the beta. PlayStation Plus members and those that buy special editions of Infamous 2 will be granted access on June 28, while all PlayStation Network users will have access on July 5. Everyone in the world can join when Uncharted 3 is released on November 1.
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