Some details about the Uncharted 3 multiplayer have finally made their way out. For people that enjoyed Uncharted 2 multiplayer the news sounds mostly good, for those that didn’t, well…not so much.
The multiplayer in Uncharted 3 will play extremely similar to that of Uncharted 2. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The changes to the multiplayer are mostly filled with borrowing ideas from other games. Chief among those ideas is player customization. Uncharted 3 will let you customize your character and weapons to your heart’s content. Character customizations will be mostly cosmetic, but weapon customizations can alter the gun’s effectiveness through its damage, recoil, etc.
Expanding on this idea is the concept of treasures, which can be picked up from downed opponents and will give you in-match boosts either directly, or via an in-game currency that can be spent on bonuses from within that match. Earn enough of these and you can get Medal Kickbacks, which give you in-game boosts such as the ability to spawn once with an RPG.
Again borrowing from other games, Uncharted 3′s multiplayer will feature a “buddy system” that allows each player to spawn on their designated buddy, similar to the squad system in Bad Company 2. Again, nothing new here, but Naughty Dog seems intent to bring features that have had success elsewhere into their offering.
Continuing with the “borrowed” theme is the newest gameplay mode, Three Team Deathmatch, which will split the teams up into 2v2v2 similar to the Wingman mode in Gears of War 2. The buddy system will of course be in play here, probably more prominently than in any other mode. The other new game mode is the even less created, but oft requested Free For All mode which is pretty self-explanatory.
One thing that Naughty Dog always felt was missing from the multiplayer experience when compared to the single player campaign was the cinematic experience. The goal of bringing that experience into multiplayer has led to the idea of ever changing environments. Again, this is nothing new in the multiplayer world, but Naughty Dog vows to bring it to a whole new level. While other games have simple, triggered events that change an environment throughout the course of a match by opening up a new area or closing one off, Naughty Dog intends to make their changes more perpetual. Remember that burning chateau campaign level that we showed you? That will also be a multiplayer map, complete with the raging fire that will drastically and continually alter the level throughout the course of your match. Another example we were given is a level that takes place on a cargo plane, with the contents (including large trucks!) constantly shifting around throughout the course of the flight as you do battle with your enemies.
None of these ideas are really anything new, but there’s nothing that says that something has to be original to be fun, and I applaud Naughty Dog from not letting their pride get in the way of incorporating ideas that have benefited other games. Pack these ideas up with the multiplayer of Uncharted 2, and you have a good looking offering for Uncharted 3.
One idea that is a bit more original, and much more controversial, is the idea of “Power Plays”. The concept of Rubber Band AI that gets more difficult as you pull away from it has always frustrated gamers, though Naughty Dog seems to think that may fit well into their multiplayer. As matches go on, when one team gains a distinct advantage over the other, the game will try to level things out with “Power Plays” that give bonuses to the team that is trailing or cripple the team that is leading. These may be things like extra damage for the trailing team, lower health for the leading team, etc. While this should go a long way to keep the matches more even, being punished for doing well is something that is also likely to frustrate some gamers.
Whether or not these Power Plays can be toggled on and off is still up in the air. Soon, however, we will get to find out for ourselves as well as test out all these other new additions in the Uncharted 3 beta. Until then, we can only speculate.