Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception multiplayer beta impressions
The Uncharted series is one of the highest rated franchises on PlayStation 3, and is arguably the most popular, due to its engaging story and characters, entertaining and fluid gameplay, and the best graphics on Sony’s console.
However, as good as it was, the online multiplayer component of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was often overlooked by many gamers when compared to the impressive single player campaign, which is a real shame considering the game’s high quality.
This is something that Naughty Dog is keen to address in the series’ upcoming release, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Therefore, the team is pulling out all the stops to make Uncharted 3 the killer online app on PlayStation 3.
To that end, the title is currently undergoing a beta for all PlayStation Plus users, so we thought we’d share our thoughts about the new features, and reveal how the game is shaping up when compared to the previous title in the series.
‘At first glance, the Uncharted beta might not be what you expected. Compared to Uncharted 2, it didn’t seem as strong or as solid. Of course, the thing to remember is that it’s still just a beta, and it was only released a few days ago.
Even so, it’s still meant to give an impression of the final product. The menu system, including presentation issues like fonts, and even the odd spelling mistake, make it seem a little flimsy, and perhaps rushed as well.
However, once you get into a game, things change. The feeling from the Uncharted 2 multiplayer is there, and it’s not hard to get into the swing of things once you drop into the map. Moving and aiming are as smooth as ever and the maps themselves are fresh, with lots of new nooks and crannies to find.
The character models are different though; I’m not certain what it is, but there’s something a little off about Nate and Sully. You can clearly tell it’s them, but something is just a little odd. Whatever it is, it disappears in game, mainly because everyone’s moving too much to notice.’
‘When Uncharted 2 came out, I looked upon the new multiplayer modes with an air of disdain. I didn’t like the idea of multiple Drakes; I wouldn’t have multiple Drakes. It’s the reason I was so relieved to find out that Rocksteady have completely ignored multiplayer for Batman: Arkham City.
However, in the admittedly brief moments I’ve had with the Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta I’m beginning to warm-up to the idea of an online Uncharted experience. I may be a little late to the party but I can recognize the potential that multiplayer has in Drake’s next adventure.
For me the most enjoyable gameplay moments come as a result of the ‘Buddy System’. Working together was a great way to ease into the online arena. This is the aspect of Naughty Dog’s online functionality that will have me coming back for more.
If I’m online with a friend, joining up to take down other teams makes perfect sense. Playing with friends is the main reason I even get online. It’s safe to say that this would have been one of the greatest things to ever happen to 10-year-old Ryan and his friends.
Uncharted will always be a solo endeavour first and foremost but now that I’ve given the ‘other’ modes a fair shake I could definitely see myself hopping online this November.’
‘The new gameplay features, including the kickbacks, game changers, updated loadouts, improved customisation options and the dynamic environments – they all add to the excitement and make Uncharted 3’s multiplayer feel fresher than ever.
The buddy system is another great addition, too; it genuinely encourages teamwork, which is always good, and it’s unbelievably satisfying when it works. I doubt the cheeky high-five-over-a-corpse moments will ever tire on me.
I’ve always associated Uncharted’s multiplayer with variety and a sense of unpredictability, and the changes, I think, help in this respect. I certainly don’t subscribe to the belief that Naughty Dog is dumbing everything down by adding these new features. The team is still rewarding skilful players, and there’s always the hugely competitive Hardcore Mode for those who don’t want the frills (you’ll see me there from time to time).
Unfortunately, it’s not feeling as fluid as Uncharted 2 at the moment. The jogging speed is definitely slower – possibly to make the new sprint button feel more effective – and I think they’ve dropped it too much. But it’s something I’m sure Naughty Dog will look at closely over the coming months, alongside the unreliable covering and ledge grabbing and the imprecise melee combat. All of this is just standard beta issues though.
I’d also like to see the G-Mal made slightly more powerful and the RPG and grenade launcher made significantly weaker – those multiple RPG deaths are the only things that have come close to spoiling my very good beta experience; there’s nothing like this elsewhere on the PS3, that’s for sure.’
‘To me, the beta shows just how serious Naughty Dog is about making the online multiplayer a key part of Uncharted 3, rather than just a distraction from the single player, with new features and environments that genuinely impress.
Only two maps are available at the moment, but they’re both fantastic, and even include their own mini storylines, giving a sense of purpose to the carnage. Jumping from a jeep to board a moving plane is something that you simply cannot do in any other online game.
The new features like the buddy system, kickbacks and power plays are also very welcome, and help to make every game feel different. Uncharted TV is yet another awesome addition, and has an incredible amount of potential.
I’m not often a big fan of online multiplayer in first or third-person shooters (mainly because I tend to be rubbish at them), but things are different with Uncharted. I still normally end up with more deaths than kills, but there’s a sense of enjoyment here that I feel is missing in many other online shooters.
As one would expect from a beta, it’s not quite perfect yet (it takes far too long to get into a game, for example), but I’m confident that Naughty Dog can iron out the kinks and offer PlayStation 3 users something genuinely special this November.’
So that’s our thoughts so far on the Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta; but, more importantly, what do you guys think?