Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (PS3) Preview
So in anticipation of its November release, another multiplayer beta was put up for Uncharted 3. So if you buy the special cup at Subway, you will get a code that you can enter online that will give you a redemption code for PSN in order to play what looks to be one of the best gaming titles of the year. I missed out on the first beta that came out for Uncharted 3, so I was determined to check this one out. The new multiplayer beta can be played up to a rank of level 35, and all your progress will be carried over to the full game next month.
One cool thing about this new multiplayer is customization. There are a lot more options for your multiplayer character and their dress code. There are even unlockable Subway items like hats and shirts. There are more options for taunts and alternate voices for your customizable character (who can be either a “hero” or “villain”). One of the unlockable taunts is the “Footlong” taunt, again in reference to Subway. In addition you can play as the featured characters from the game including Drake, Sully, Chloe, and Elena. For the villains you can unlock, buy and play as Katherine Marlow. So there’s a nice variety of playable female characters for the game. Like Uncharted 2’s multiplayer, you are armed with one pistol and one long range gun and two booster packs. Upgrades and improvements are available for all the weapons as you level up and unlock new ones. They can be bought using the money you earn from the multiplayer mode. My personal favorite combination for the multiplayer mode are the arm micro and the M-9. In Uncharted 2 I preferred using the AK which is back in this one, but it just doesn’t seem as strong or as versatile this time around. One interesting new feature to the multiplayer is the medal kickbacks. As you play and defeat your opponents in a multiplayer session, you can pick up or achieve various medals. Once you have enough, a voice prompts you that you can use your medal kickback. This is a special ability that will enhance your play and lasts for a short period of time. Using a medal kickback, you can quickly spawn a rocket launcher, a double barrel shotgun, a bolt action sniper rifle, or you can run really fast, or even toss three grenades at once. Another great thing about the booster packs is that they are also upgradeable as you progress fulfill specific tasks and achieve certain medals while you play. The booster packs can be upped to a gold level, but in the beta they can only go up to silver for now. Collectively you get four different load out combinations you can mix and match and also change mid-level when you die and are about to re-spawn.
Now to the maps themselves. The beta has the following maps: The Chateau, London Underground, Yemen, Syria, Desert Village, and the Airstrip. My two favorites are London Underground and the Airstrip. For Free for All and Team Deathmatch modes, both these maps actually have a really clever added feature. In Airstrip, you begin on trucks that are chasing a cargo plane based on one of the stages in the solo-campaign mode. So you get to fight your enemies while you are jumping around trucks and onto the cargo plane. Eventually the plane will land at the main airstrip part of the level. London Underground starts with the teams or players on two parallel moving subway trains, so of course that’s an added hazard if you fall off the trains as well. The trains eventually reach a dilapidated subway hub. You have to be careful in the hub, because subway cars still run through the tracks and can run you over. Now in modes like Team Objective or Plunder, the moving trains and cargo plane are skipped. But the added interactivity for the maps are fantastic. Yemen’s map is my personal favorite and it is gigantic. It has some nice towers for sniping and also zip lines. Besides the trains and cargo plane, there are some other added features to the maps. In Syria, a chopper will approach the area and indiscriminately bomb the stage. In Desert Village, eventually a sand storm will come in and cover the area making your quarry nearly invisible. The airstrip has plentiful items that can explode as well as handy gun turrets you can use to obliterate your opponents. There is also a siren that blares before an air raid strike.
My two favorite modes of play are Team Deathmatch and Plunder. Plunder is a quicker and easy way to rack up money and XP. Though I also really enjoy Team Objective. There are some nice added features to Team Deathmatch where in the level a random team member on both sides will become “marked,” so you have to hunt them down or protect them to earn extra points. Team Objective has your group working to achieve several sort of mini-games in a best 2 out of 3 round session. This includes guarding a treasure idol or capturing certain highlighted areas.
Now I didn’t find the beta completely flawless. There are some definite response issues where it concerns melee attacks. And it is especially hard to aim while you shoot in the middle of a chaotic multiplayer battle as well as move and strafe at the same time as you aim. This bit of controls takes a bit of getting used to in order to improve your battle technique. Besides this I found the controls really smooth and up to par of the previous game. Another tweak or booster I wish the game had was a grenade guard booster. Probably half my deaths in the game comes from grenades from my own team members and this gets extremely frustrating. The grenade explosions also come off a little inconsistent as I can swear that some enemies are right by an explosion and escape unscathed and it seems I will die anyway in the explosion despite jumping away. Another glitch appears to be “Wanted” style curving bullets and bullets going through walls.
All in all, I’ve been having a blast playing this multiplayer demo, and I can’t wait to play the single player campaign for the final product and also co-op mode as well. Uncharted 3 drops on November 1 and it is only available for the PS3.