Uncharted 3 Multiplayer - Hands On - October 25th 2011

Online multiplayer has became extremely commonplace these days, but only a select few manage to get it just right. Among the legends like Call of Duty and Halo, it's hard to stand out and be noticed, especially if it's not a First-Person Shooter. One game dared to take on the big guns, and throw its own style & flare into the mix. That game was Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and the competitive gameplay was just as brilliant as the single-player experience. Now Naughty Dog are going to do it all again with Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception, and I've played the latest multiplayer beta.

The first thing I noticed going in to the Beta was the new "Uncharted TV", which displays gameplay trailers and, most excitingly, players of the week. Something else you'll notice right off the bat is the new interface. It's all very sleek and features a wealth of new options when compared to the previous game. But since this is technically a Beta, some aspects may still change and evolve before launch, and you can be sure that Uncharted 3 will be heavily supported with DLC and title updates post release.

The online multiplayer has been refined in so many ways.

Something else new is the character customization, which is not quite on the level of Mass Effect, but it's still good for an online mode. There are also custom weapon layouts, which saddens me to be honest because I liked the fact that, in Uncharted 2, a Level 1 player had as much of a chance of winning as a Level 50. Whereas now, there's a danger that the multiplayer will become more a game of who's got the better weapons, rather than a game of skill.

All the modes from the previous instalment can be found here, such as Team Deathmatch and the various objective modes. But Uncharted 3 also introduces a "free-for-all" mode in to the mix, which should keep things interesting. Which brings me nicely on to the gameplay. The character movement is as fluid as ever. And the visuals are spectacular, as is the music. Some new features to the gameplay include the kickback system, which is the Uncharted version of perks, and can range from a simple RPG after a certain amount of kills, to a hoard of spiders that chase after enemies. Also, weapons are now customizable with a range of attachments and additional perks.

The maps look stunning, and each one offers something different.

The maps are still fantastic and they're simply a joy to explore. They vary from the usual temple, to the airstrip from the GamesCom '11 trailer. I'm certain that Uncharted 3 will be this year's most spectacular game, and the online is looking to follow the single-player's lead. I am a little let down by the new ranking system, but I'm still convinced that I'll get as much out of this as I did from Uncharted 2. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception releases on the 1st of November in America, the 2nd in Europe and Japan, and on the 3rd in Australia, exclusively on the PlayStation 3.

Ambrose O'neill

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