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Naughty Dog has announced that the multiplayer beta for Uncharted 3 will begin on June 28 and has released a massive amount of new details on the game. Along with a bunch of new screens to drool over, a new video has also surfaced which showcases a good deal of the game's new mechanics, gameplay and customization. The latest installment promises to be a huge leap forward from the previous title and even more action-packed! The developers have stated that they have preserved the signature Uncharted style of gameplay while making the game even more revolutionary and unique. The set piece moments that have made the single player experience so memorable now serve as key element to creating a unparalleled multiplayer game in Drake's Deception. “We dipped our toe in with Uncharted 2. Now, with Uncharted 3, we’re diving in headfirst.”
Two of the multiplayer maps that will be featured in the game, and possibly the beta, were shown recently during one of the company's press events—Chateau and Airstrip. “Both are great examples of the whole spectrum of map design and dynamic environments we’re aiming to have available in Uncharted 3.” Some of the new maps are very different from the ordinary competitive playing fields that gamers are used to. Unlike more traditional maps, the “dynamic” multiplayer levels of Uncharted 3 reflect the game's single player story mode. For example, in Airstrip, the level starts out with players battling on a convoy made up of various trucks and a large cargo plane which is about to take off. Once the plane is airborne, the next part of the map is put into play. Players will now spawn at a different location which, in the case of Airstrip, is a hangar and runway where more traditional combat will ensue.
Some new information on a couple of the new competitive modes has been detailed as well. A three-team version of Team Deathmatch has been introduced with 2 players on each team along with a free for all match style. More information on the new multiplayer modes is due soon, and according to Naughty Dog there will be plenty. As for the matchmaking system, there have been some improvements. This includes getting into online matches faster, finding friends to play with, and keeping matches full with “Late Join.” One of the most exiting new features is split-screen cooperative play, which was unfortunately absent in Among Thieves. Players will also be able to log in with two different PSN ID's during same console split-screen for most game types. A “Buddy” system has also been implemented where players will be paired up in order to collectively share success in matches. The goal of this is to ensure rich team-based action and to encourage that players stick together. Cooperative play (against AI) has also been confirmed, but most of the details are still under wraps.
One of the biggest new additions to the multiplayer portion in Uncharted 3 is weapons customization and player personalization. Users will be able to choose from a huge selection of weapon parts and character accessories—along with a emblem editor, similar to what is present in the latest Call of Duty games. The weapon customization is not limited to cosmetic changes only. Players will be able to modify weapon functions too, such as accuracy, rate of fire, and clip capacity. Boosters and Medals are back as well as the addition of paid boosters and Medal Kickbacks, which give slight advantages in matches. To reduce the time players spend browsing all of the options, the game will feature four slots in which to save specific weapon and booster load outs—your starting rifle, a starting sidearm, weapon customizations and mods, Boosters, and Kickbacks. This will also make experimenting with different setups more accessible and a lot easier to manage.
The in-game rewards and unlocks system will of course determine which equipment and Booster options you will have access to. However, the implementation of contract style missions and instant objectives offer players the opportunity to earn bonus rewards and score extra points. Some of these missions are more long-term and may take hours of hard work to complete, but the rewards will be worth the effort. The development team and analysts at Naughty Dog have made a considerable effort of their own to make sure that the matches in Uncharted 3 are not so one-sided and that losing players are not overpowered. “It really sucks to be blown out on the way to losing a match and that winning or losing a tightly contested match by some kill made way off-screen is a bit of a letdown.” Power Plays are put into effect when a losing team is far behind on points and Overtime is initialized when a match is too close to call. The will lead to a Sudden Death which is essentially a “last man standing” type of deal. The last player standing will win the match for their team.
A lot has been planned for the multiplayer component of Uncharted 3: Drake's Fortune, and Naughty Dog has revealed their plans for social networking integration with the new title. The game will support posting video recordings of matches to YouTube and/or Facebook and the Uncharted community—via the game's Cinema mode. Players will also be able to view others' videos within the game using “Uncharted TV” feature. More information on this and the other innovative plans for the game will be revealed soon. As for the beta, worldwide access starts in a couple of months with PlayStation Plus members getting early admittance. Others can get in early by purchasing specially marked copies of Infamous 2, which launches next month. It's obvious that Naughty Dog is aiming to knock one out of the park with Uncharted 3, and make it the best title in the series yet.
Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Preview (YouTube)