Uncharted 3 is the highly anticipated next instalment in the series and is looking to be one of the greatest releases this year. The team at Naughty Dog worked on introducing multiplayer to the franchise in Uncharted 2, and now want it to be the sort to rival the most popular of games; a true alternative to Call of Duty.
The Uncharted multiplayer system is a typical cover based shooter but with multiple twists. You have the ability to traverse the environment by climbing up ledges and jumping across pitfalls as well as using any walls as cover. There is a small variety of weapons from pistols through machine guns to shotguns, but not to such a great extent that you are lost under a sea of customisation. After a few playthroughs you learn the names of every weapon and their effectiveness in battle. Weapons can be graciously picked up from dead bodies or from their spawn points on each map.
The team deathmatch game-mode placed two teams on an airstrip. One team spawned on a plane which was driving across a runway attempting to take off, the cargo hatch open for easy entrance, with two side doors open as further entances. The other team spawned on a series of open-top trucks which were chasing it. They move sporadically making for exciting platforming with the constant risk of instant death. These trucks drive to all 3 entrances of the plane so flanking is easily encouraged.
After a few minutes within this 20 minute deathmatch the plane takes off and the action converts to an empty airfield ripe with hangars and planes to fire around. Uncharted 3 multiplayer is making a strong effort to integrate cinematics and story in to the multiplayer to make it more immersive for the player.
A new game mechanic featured within the multiplayer is ‘kickbacks’. These are special abilities rewarded for playing well as an individual or within a team. The available rewards shown allowed you to instantly spawn an RPG launcher in your hands, turn your walking speed in to sprinting speed, or upgrading your grenade to a cluster grenade with heavy duty explosive power. The final build will include many more with a noticeable kickback transforming your character in to a swarm of insects.
Another mechanic is ‘power play’ which tries to level the playing field when one team is taking too much of a beating. Power plays give one team a disadvantage to cope with in the hope the other team can rise out of defeat. One such power play that appeared whilst I was playing was ‘cursed’. All of a sudden I saw everyone on either team as a skeleton, I had no idea who to fire at. Any team mates I killed gave the other team 2 points, anytime they killed one of us they also gained 2 points. If we managed to kill one of them we still only get 1 point but the kill is worth double money. I found that these helped level the playing field but not so much that they opposing team gained an astronomical lead. In fact, our team still won.
Uncharted 3 is shaping up to be a fantastic instalment to the series and hopefully will be seen as a top class multiplayer staple of the playstation community on release.