At the launch of the Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta, I was scrambling around to get my internet up because for some reason it was slow and disconnecting me but after a quick call to my ISP provider, got it back up and finally got the chance to download Uncharted 3 Beta but even after it was done installing and loaded up, it was not connecting to a single match.
When things started to calm down later in the day, it went back to normal and I was finally able to check out a couple of matches and the multiplayer is exactly what you would expect it to be if you have played Uncharted 2 but with the exception of a lot of customization.
Customizing Your Character
Now the first thing that you’ll notice once you head in the multiplayer menus is your character standing in the middle of the screen with a brand new menu layout. Immediately after hitting this screen I was given a notice that I can customize my character and that is exactly what I did next.
Customizing is a brand new thing to Uncharted 3’s Multiplayer and it definitely was something that should’ve been added in the first attempt of multiplayer but I could understand how a company would rather put priority in completing a playable and fun multiplayer for the game than adding a few clothing options for people to choose from.
In the customization screen, you’ll be able to do a number of things like changing your competitive & co-op weapon load-outs, upgrading your weapons with cash earned from matches, changing your appearance, creating an emblem, changing your taunt and picking your default Free for all character model.
If you head in to the weapon load-outs menu, you can change what weapons you start off with in your next match. You have about 4 different setups you can adjust with the addition of picking 2 Boosters and a Medal Kickback.
If you’re not familiar with Boosters, they are exactly what perks are in Call of Duty. They give you additional in-game traits that will help you kick some ass. I’ll list the available boosters that are in the beta and what they do:
Slot 1 Boosters:
Come Here – See the opponent that killed you up to 15 meters away until they die. (3 Lvls)
Endurance – Decrease sprint recovery time by 20%
Cloaked – Opponents will not see your player arrow and yyou are difficult to hear
Weapon Expert – Add one additional MOD slot to all pistols
Booster Slot 2:
Power Hunter – See the location of Power Weapons within 10 meters
Daredevil –Taunt over an opponents body to receive ammo
Back in the Saddle –Respawn time reduced by 2 seconds
Bargain – Decrease Medal Kickback cost by 1
Co-op Booster Slot 1
Scoped In – Co-op Reduced pain wobble while scoped in
Regeneration – Co-op Recover from wounds faster
Beast Mode – Co-op Move faster with heavy objects
Co-op Booster Slot 2
Monkey Man – co-op Increase traversal speed
Bargain – Co-op Decrease Medal Kickback cost
Back in the Saddle – Co-op Respawn time reduced by a specified time
Now Medal Kickbacks act like a killstreak but instead of having a consistent streak of kills, you can use the medals you collect to activate whatever Medal Kickback you’ve chosen. Throughout the maps you’ll be given a number of options to take to get as many medals as you can to activate your kickbacks. There’s also treasure chests that are scattered about the levels that give you a treasure piece and some medals you can use toward your kickback.
Here are the available kickbacks that are in the beta:
RPG –Spawns an RPG (Costs 14 Medals)
Speedy G –Speed boost (Costs 7 Medals)
Smoke Bomb – Vanish in a puff of smoke (Costs 7 Medals)
Militia Man – No reloading (Costs 7 Medals)
Cluster Bomb – One grenade explodes into multiple (Costs 10 Medals)
Disruption – Nearby enemies cannot see player arrows (Costs 7 Medals)
Creepy Crawler – Transform into a swarm of spiders (Costs 17 Medals)
Co-op Medal Kickbacks
Militia Man – Co-op No reloading
Team Medic — Heal yourself and teammates
Speedy G – Co-op Speed Boost
Mega Bomb – Co-op One massive grenade explosion Army of Three Doubles the damage of all players within a specified distance
Unlockable Treasures: My Precious……
To unlock some of the clothing options for your character, you would have to collect certain treasures pieces that are part of a set. Once that set is complete, you’ll unlock whatever clothing option that set belongs to. It’s kinda like completing challenges in call of duty to unlock certain attachments for your weapons but you would have to grind away at matches to find the treasure that you need. There’s two ways of getting them, you either kill an enemy that’s holding the treasure or finding it in one of the chests located somewhere around the map.
The only thing that I don’t like about this is that spending time grinding away match after match after match and end up unlocking a pair of sunglasses that you don’t even wear properly….. is a bit underwhelming. I would rather have Naughty Dog put in some clothing options that would be worth the trouble of looking for these treasures like unlocking Jak’s (from Jak and Daxter) hairstyle or maybe his jacket or better yet…his character model.
Emblems and Creativity
The one thing I found really interesting about Call of Duty: Black Ops was the amount of creativity players had with their emblems which either impressed the hell out of me or made me laugh my ass off every time I saw it pop up on my screen. I think we’ll be seeing the same type of creativity with Uncharted 3’s emblem editor although it’s not as robust as Black Ops’ selection of images, it’s still something to look forward to.
You’re able to select four different layers of decals (23 to choose from but hopefully not the final count when the game is released) that you can adjust the size, rotate the image and change the color.
The sad thing about the emblems is that you won’t be seeing them placed on your weapon (obviously not because the game is a third person shooter) but instead If you’re one of the top players in the match, you’ll be seeing your emblem posted around some of the areas throughout the map which I guess is still pretty cool.
Best Friends Forever <3
Love playing with your best friends online? Well Naughty Dog have implemented this pretty neat feature that battlefield players will easily recognize, it’s called the Buddy System.
In the beginning of every match you’ll be randomly paired up with a buddy or one of your friends you’ve invited. The Buddy System will let players spawn right next to their paired up teammate, allowing them to jump straight into battle and help out against the opposing team. But to balance things out, you’re not allowed to spawn next to your buddy if they’re engaging an on-going firefight, when the area is clear, a safe re-spawn will become available.
Another cool thing that comes with the buddy system is the option to give your friend a high five or a fist bump over a dead enemy that both of you killed. Doing this will reward you with a medal and a cash bonus.
Modes Modes Modes….
Team Deathmatch, Free for all and co-op arena are back in the multiplayer playlist with addition of two new modes you can pick; Three Team Deathmatch which pairs you up with a partner to take on a few teams of 2 and Hardcore mode for those who don’t want to play with any of the specials perks added to the game.
Naughty Dog had mentioned in their FAQ that a couple of other modes will be available to play in the next upcoming weeks of the beta, two of them being Co-op Hunter and Co-op Adventure.
The Scenery and Beyond
Each map of Uncharted 3’s multiplayer starts off with a small cut-scene that introduces both teams with their objectives and why certain things in the level look the way they do. For example in the beginning of the Chateau level, the enemy faction sets a blaze to some of the old wood in the building and you will still see fire burning during the match. I thought that this was a pretty cool way to set the mood of the map.
Chataeu is definitely your typical Uncharted multiplayer map with a lot of places to climb and a zip-line that you can use to either escape from the enemy or zip-line right to them, guns blazing, chow yun fat style. The map is big enough to get lost a couple of times but eventually you’ll get the hang of where you need to go. The chataeu has three floors that you can climb and towards the upper-left side of the place is a broken hole in one of the towers that’s perfect for a sniper nest. But don’t get to comfortable in one area because it still feels pretty open enough that you’ll need to keep watching over your shoulder for sneaky takedowns.
The Airstrip map has to be my favorite map because of its pre-game arena (not sure if it should be called that but I’m going with it), that starts off with each team put on either a moving cargo plane or the trucks that are driving behind it. The trucks alternate driving to different positions while they’re moving alongside the plane. I’ve died a couple of times because of this but I still find it fun jumping from one truck to the other.
After a certain amount of time, the plane takes off and players are taken to the second part of the map where most of the action is going to take place. The second portion of the Airstrip map is pretty low leveled compared to Chateau, where most of the firefights would be found inside the warehouse or on the roof of it. There’s also two highpoints in opposite corners of the map that have a shielded turrets waiting to be used. Another reason why I like this map is because there is hardly a gap of rest when you’re running around looking for the next enemy to kill.
The Arsenal of Uncharted
The AK47 is back as your main default weapon with a new gun sound and a slower rate of fire. The slower fire rate is balanced out with power and a bit of accuracy giving the gun a different feel from Uncharted 2’s version of the gun. Don’t let that scare you from using it though….you can easily adjust yourself to the gun in no time.
Replacing the FAL is the G-MAL which is exactly the same thing. I didn’t notice a difference in the gun.
The M4 has been replaced by the M9 which acts just like the M4 with its accuracy and rate of fire but having a completely different look. When I got my hands on it, the gun felt very stable while it was shooting and it’s just as accurate as the M4 was.
The shotgun is still in the game and that’s all I gotta say about that. Moving on…
Snipers rejoice! The Dragon Sniper rifle (Dragonuv?) is still available and it’s one of the standard weapons you can use in your weapon load-out. The other sniper rifle that you can find in the game is the T-Bolt which is a one shot but it will instantly kill your enemy if they’re hit.
Snipping not your style? What about blowing shit up? If that’s the case then you’ll be able to use the M32-Hammer grenade launcher or the standard RPG which can also be summoned for 14 medals if you choose the RPG medal kickback in your loadout.
Among the group of big guns are your pistols which include the Defender, Para 9, Pistole, and the Arm Micro (Uzi). I believe there is another one among the group but I haven’t come across it during my play time.
Grenades are limited to one per person now which is a lot better than people stocking up on two grenades in Uncharted 2 and always using it when they’re trying to get away from you. That was honestly the most annoying thing about the game…..but I don’t I should be complaining if I was doing the same thing.
A lot of players are going to be somewhat annoyed by the sprinting in the game. I’ve played Uncharted 2 without the use of a sprint and now with it implemented, it just doesn’t feel right. Controlling the sprint can be a little stiff and underwhelming but in time, it’s something that you can get used to.
Lights, Camera, Upload!
Judging from what I saw in Cinema Mode, there’s hardly anything different from Uncharted 2. You have your basic playing functions like fast forward, slow-mo, record and changing the position of the camera from orbit to free mode. Pressing the start button will bring down a menu that lets you go into the visual tweaks section. In that section you’ll be able to change a number of things like the field of view, depth of field, focal range, add fog, changing the lighting, tint and desaturation.
Once the player is done recording what they need, they’re able to upload the finished product onto Naughty Dog’s servers and access the video from their website just like in the previous game.
Overall the beta seems pretty solid with a few hiccups and the occasional long waits in the matchmaking lobby. The game doesn’t seem too unbalanced at the moment and that usually says that the developer is doing something right. I look forward to the upcoming weeks to try out the upcoming co-op modes and the final map called yemen. If you want to check out the schedule, take a look at their FAQ.
If you don’t own a copy of Infamous 2 or if you’re not signed up for Playstation Plus, the beta will be available for you on Tuesday, July 5th.