Preview

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Hands-On With Uncharted 3's Multiplayer
by Dan Ryckert on Jun 06, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Naughty Dog
Release:
Rating: Teen
Platform: PlayStation 3

While much of the excitement surrounding the Uncharted series involves its jaw-dropping setpiece moments, stunning graphics, and pitch-perfect action gameplay, it introduced solid yet seldom-talked about multiplayer with its second installment. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception brings the mode back, and I had a chance to play a quick round of team deathmatch after the Sony press conference tonight.

Rather than spawning the opposing teams in a static map, things started out with my squad defending a cargo plane against an invading force. Our enemies pursued the plane with a group of jeeps, and I was able to jump out the back of the plane and take the enemy on while hanging on to their own vehicles. It’s a thrilling way to start a round of team deathmatch, but it was nice to shift to a more traditional map after snagging a few kills in the high-speed chase. Once this segment of the round concluded, the action moved to a series of run-down airplane hangars.

General scoring was done in a familiar manner, with teams scoring a point for each kill. However, “power plays” came into effect at certain times throughout the match. One lasted for sixty seconds, and tasked my team with killing an enemy VIP for bonus points. Once the timer ran out (and my team was unsuccessful in our attempt), it was back to business as usual.

Most of Drake’s abilities from single player transfer over to multiplayer, allowing players to shoot while hanging off ledges or clinging to ladders. It’s not something you’d want to do all the time, but it’s nice to put a few pistol rounds into an enemy from halfway up a ladder where they’re not expecting an attack to come from.

Littered throughout the map are various treasure points, which filled a counter in the upper-left of my screen. Once I collected seven, an icon on my HUD indicated that I had unlocked a smoke bomb. This handy one-time tool allowed my character to throw a ninja-style smoke bomb at the ground, causing him to appear in a puff of smoke at another location on the map. While I discovered this by accident, I can imagine it would be very useful in situations where you’re cornered or facing impossible odds. It’s the only perk of this sort that I saw during my round, but it’s surely not the only one available.

End-round stat screens displayed various medals and cash rewards that are doled out based on how well you performed. I didn’t get a chance to get an extended briefing on the perks, unlocks, and rewards during my short time with the game, but a progression system will undoubtedly be in place.

I only got a chance to play Uncharted 3 multiplayer for one round, but I definitely enjoyed myself. Campaign will be my first order of business come November (as it will be for most gamers, I’d imagine), but the game’s multiplayer seems like anything but an afterthought.