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Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta Impressions

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I thought Uncharted 2’s multiplayer was surprisingly good, but issues with connectivity and matchmaking prevented me from playing for a brief period of time and I never went back.

Naughty Dog’s take on multiplayer was surprisingly good for their first attempt. It completely destroyed the notion of it being tacked on.

What I enjoyed most about it was its simplicity on the surface. It was a third person shooter where you could climb, take cover and shoot dudes in the face. The depth came through exploration of the game’s levels and abilities. For example, not many people knew that it was possible to pick up ammo while rolling over ammo. Those were simpler times.

In contrast, Uncharted 3’s multiplayer appears to be needlessly complicated at first, but upon closer inspection, it’s just a Call of Duty layer on top of Uncharted 2’s multiplayer.

Medals are no longer superfluous and serve as the “points” required for “kickbacks”. I say “points” because it isn’t strictly kill dependent. Other actions like completing objectives, taunting a dead foe, reviving buddies or simply running around nets me medals. Medals are then fed into “kickback” rewards. I like this type of reward system. It doesn’t encourage holing up in a corner and picking off unsuspecting passerbys.

There are other mechanics at play here including PowerPlays, Paid Boosters and the Buddy System, but I think folks would be better off reading the NeoGAF official thread. Now that I freed myself from the nitty gritty details, I can focus on impressions.

The shooting in Uncharted 3 feels tight. The burst fire FAL equivalent and the AK-47 assault rifles have tangible recoil and thanks to little touches like hit markers give much appreciated feedback. On the other hand, it does highlight the number of bullets necessary to bring down a seemingly normal human being.

I don’t believe the weapons were as ridiculously weak as they were in Uncharted 2 prior to patch 1.05, but they weren’t as deadly as the ones found in that controversial patch either. With weapon modifications, boosters and all the other balancing altering noise found in this beta alone, it’s tough gauge where that weapon lethality value should be.

I tried most of the modes available in the multiplayer, but the two I enjoyed most were Co-Op Hunter and Team Objective. I enjoyed Co-op Hunter’s mix of computer A.I and real life opponents. Team Objective was Killzone 2 and 3’s Warzone and its rotating team objective games — they took the best thing about Killzone 3’s multiplayer and I’m all for it. More developers should!

Both of these modes emphasized teamwork which was what I enjoyed most about Uncharted 2’s multiplayer’s Plunder/CTF mode. I’d go as far as to say that anything, but traditional team deathmatch was enjoyable — even their spin on three team deathmatch.

So far so good for Uncharted 3’s multiplayer. I still have concerns over how powerful/game breaking some of the higher level boosters/mods/power ups can be, but those can be remedied by playing “Hardcore” only mode which strips out all those things or by Naughty Dog who’ve come quite a long way on the multiplayer front.

Looking forward to the final product!

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