Uncharted 3 – Multiplayer Beta Hands On

A preview I wrote of the multiplayer beta of Uncharted 3 for the website www.square-go.com

There was a school of thought, once upon a time, that every console needed a mascot. Nintendo had Mario, Sega had Sonic. For a long time, despite its success, Sony didn’t really have a mascot. But in recent years that gap has somehow been filled by one Nathan Drake.

It goes like this: Uncharted was, for a fair old while, the only reason to buy a PlayStation 3. Then Uncharted 2 came along and became the reason to buy the console. Now that Nathan Drake returns in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, is it going to be a Toy Story 3 or a Godfather 3?

While most people are (justifiably) looking forward to the single player story mode, developers Naughty Dog have released a multiplayer beta for PSN users. When this was first introduced in Uncharted 2 it was seen as a tacked-on extra that the game didn’t need but actually turned out to be a fun distraction from the main game.

It looks like this is going to be the same with the new game, but with some extra polish. There are now some extra co-operative modes; a siege mode where you have to defeat waves of enemies and a co-op adventure mode where three of you team up in missions structured like the main game. One level in the beta had you finding gold idols hidden in a level and returning them to certain pedestals. Teamwork here is key, as one person has to lift a block for the other to pull out the idol whilst the third player gets to hold off the bad guys.

These modes are very fun with a nice level of challenge. Combine that with some voice chat and you have a great way to spend an evening. You also have the usual Deathmatch and Team modes to enjoy as well. With this game the developers have introduced Power Plays – short sections that change up the game in order to help whoever is on the losing side. One of your team might be marked as a VIP that you have to protect for a couple of minutes, or all of the opposing team might get marked on the map. One of the problems with online games like this is that people can become discouraged from playing, but something like Power Plays should help prevent this from happening.

Additionally you get to customize your character’s clothes and weapons with money that you accumulate in the multiplayer mode, or even from the main single player game. There is also a progression system, which should be familiar to the Call of Duty players out there, which has you increasing in rank and unlocking further bonuses.

It isn’t wrong to say that the main reason the majority of people will be buying Uncharted 3 will be for the story. The previous game was one of the most well crafted cinematic experiences in video games and this new game has a lot to live up to in that regard. As for the multiplayer, it looks like it should be better than the previous installment. Fingers crossed.

Originally published July 19th 2011

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