Holy crap, Sony and Naughty Dog have just released a mega bomb of information in regards to multiplayer in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. This post is going to be quite the info dump, so prepare yourself. I share the sentiment of Naughty Dog’s Community Strategist, Arne Meyer, when he says in his PS Blog post, “I don’t even know where to start!”
But since we have to start somewhere, let’s begin with the fact that Uncharted 3’s multiplayer is apparently an evolutionary step from what Naughty Dog accomplished with multiplayer in Uncharted 2. That game was Naughty Dog “dipping their feet in,” while Uncharted 3, on the other hand, is Naughty Dog “diving in headfirst," to keep the swimming pool metaphors going.
Naughty Dog has revealed two of the maps that we can expect in Uncharted 3 — “The Chateau” and “The Airstrip.” The Chateau is a more traditional multiplayer map that still takes advantage of the vertically the Uncharted series is known for. It accomplishes this by introducing zip lines into the equation. The Airstrip, on the other hand, is a two-part map that first sees players fighting on trucks and a massive cargo plane. You’re able to jump from truck to truck and onto the plane as you see fit. After takeoff, however, the map switches to look more like a standard multiplayer map.
Two new competitive multiplayer game modes have also been revealed. On top of the to-be-expected standard Team Deathmatch, we’ll also be seeing Free For All, pitting everyone against one another, and Three Team Deathmatch, splitting players into three teams of two.
Naughty Dog has also added a “Late Join” feature to multiplayer to get people into matches quicker. This will also aid players in grouping up with friends. In the simplest of terms, Late Join will ensure matches stay full, while also allowing your friends to join up with you mid-match as long as there’s an open slot. You can also get excited over the fact that Naughty Dog is incorporating same-console split-screen multiplayer. Both players can even log into their separate PSN IDs for all game types where that won’t give an unfair team advantage.
Uncharted 3 multiplayer will also feature a “Buddy” system. Players will be able to spawn on their Buddy in order to encourage team play, as well as share treasures with their Buddy that are found littered across maps.
One of the biggest new features to Uncharted 3 multiplayer is the character customization options. In Uncharted 2 you were basically only allowed to pick your character skin. That’s not the case with Uncharted 3. Every hero and villain skin, including Drake and Sully, will have hundreds of customizable parts — everything from shirts, to hats, to pants, etc. Weapons are also fully customizable in Uncharted 3, allowing players to outfit them not only a cosmetic level, but also on the performance side with plenty of scopes, barrels, stocks and more to choose from. There is also an emblem creator in Uncharted 3, not unlike what you would find in recent Call of Duty games.
Boosters will be returning in Uncharted 3. There will be a wide selection this time out, some carrying over from Uncharted 2, while some are brand new to Uncharted 3. There’s even a new subset of Boosters known as “Paid Boosters.” These special Boosters give you a one-time enhancement that can be purchased with in-game currency. Furthermore, Medal Kickbacks are new and give you a slight advantage when activated. The thing about Medal Kickbacks is that specific ones open up when you earn enough Medals in a single match. It then becomes a question of if you want to use your Kickback now, or if you want to hold out for a better one after earning a few more Medals.
Earning these customization and modifier options has also been tweaked in Uncharted 3. Not everything is tied to a level and cash system this time out. Instead, in Uncharted 3 you can also find items in treasure chests on maps. You can even unlock new items and equipment by completing Missions. Missions are another variable thrown into the Uncharted 3 multiplayer mixer. They come in both the “Instant” and “Long Term” variety. Instant Missions will crop up in the middle of matches and be relatively simple to complete, while the Long Term Missions may take a lot more dedication and time to wrap up; however, the rewards for completing Long Term Missions will be much more significant.
Naughty Dog is also making Uncharted 3 multiplayer resemble Mario Kart races by giving the losing team a boost through “Power Plays” so they can close the score gap and make matches more exciting as they near their conclusion. Meanwhile, the team that’s ahead will have the opportunity to maximize their cash flow during these Power Plays, giving incentives to both sides of the match. There will also be “Overtime” and “Sudden Death” in matches that are too close to call when the time runs out. Following typical Overtime rules, the two teams compete for the most points in the allotted time. With Sudden Death, there are no respawns and the game switches to something reminiscent of Elimination where it’s last man standing. Whichever team that last person standing is on wins the match.
Uncharted 3 will feature deeper social media integration. You’ll be able to share videos, photos and updates on both Facebook and YouTube. As of right now, USA Today has the exclusive on how this works, so head over there to read up. Naughty Dog is introducing something called “Uncharted TV” which will play video clips that players have uploaded to either Facebook or YouTube on the multiplayer menu screen. Snazzy.
Also, because this was absolutely necessary, there’s going to be a sprint button in Uncharted 3. Get. Pumped.
Finally, let’s talk Beta business. Naughty Dog and Sony will host a Beta event for Uncharted 3 multiplayer. People who are subscribers to PlayStation Plus or who buy a specialty-marked copy of inFamous 2 will get early access to the Beta on June 28, 2011. For everyone else the Uncharted 3 multiplayer Beta will kick off worldwide on July 5, 2011.
Whew. That’s A LOT of information to process. Hope you like what you read.