The jury has been out ever since the developer revealed it wanted to be the "go-to game for multiplayer on PS3", but the latest stream of details released on the PlayStation Blog hints at the studio fulfilling its aims.
Where to begin then? Naughty Dog's touting Uncharted 3's multiplayer as a "complete evolution" of the original game's component. "The leap forward in gameplay, technology not the least of which is 3D stereoscopic support and depth is nothing short of astounding, no joke," explained community strategist Arne Meyer on the PlayStation Blog.
Naughty Dog's revealed two maps from the multiplayer component: Airstrip and Chateau. "Both are great examples of the whole spectrum of map design and dynamic environments were aiming to have available in Uncharted 3," said Meyer, adding that the studio's "goal" is to combine the franchise's gameplay with its penchant for set-piece moments.
The airstrip is the most ambitious of the two maps — largely because it changes mid-round. "The first part of the match takes place on a massive cargo plane being chased by trucks, with players jumping from truck to truck and between the cargo plane and the truck convoy," said Meyer. "The second part of the match begins when the cargo plane is about to take off from the runway. After takeoff, the match changes locations for all players to the airstrip hangar area for a slightly more traditional multiplayer setting and layout. Just watch out for the fighter planes that will inevitably come in for a strafing run." Good grief!
Competitive gameplay modes include Team Deathmatch, Three Team Deathmatch (2 vs. 2 vs. 2) and Free For All. Naughty Dog's promising more competitive game types will be revealed in the build up to release.
New features include Late Join — a method of keeping matches full and competitive while also allowing you to join games with your friends much quicker. Split-screen has also been confirmed. Not only that, but you'll also be able to log into two independent PSN IDs for a majority of the game-types.
Another feature includes the Buddy system. "Each player will be partnered with a Buddy and youll be able to collectively share your successes throughout the match with each other," added Meyer. "The Buddy system also allows you to choose to spawn on your Buddy if they are safely out of combat so you can jump into the action together quicker. This is key since most of our game modes are all about team play and teams that stick together will do far better than teams who dont."
Full character and weapon customisation is in. All character skins will have a range of customisable parts, allowing you to make them your own. There's also an emblem editor similar to the feature in Call Of Duty: Black Ops. The same level of detail has been added to the weapon fashioning system, allowing you to alter appearance and abilities. Boosters have also been given an overhaul. "Weve extended the Booster system with a special subset of Paid Boosters, give you a one-time Booster that you spend some cash to have the option of using during a match. Theres still other ways to get minor advantages during a match. You have to option to select a specific Medal Kickback, which activate when youve racked up the required number of Medals for that specific Kickback."
All of these features mean that Uncharted 3 has a much more robust reward system. These include Treasure which you'll find on the map during matches, and Missions. "There are two types of Missions some are instant missions and others, accessible from the Multiplayer menu, are more long term. Instant missions can appear in the middle of a match and provide a target that you can complete within a few matches tops. The Missions you select from the Multiplayer menu will take significantly more time, days of playtime possibly, and the rewards will be accordingly more significant."
Another upgrade Naughty Dog's adding to the multiplayer comes in the form of match balance. Power Plays activate when a team is way behind in the score count. "They provide the team on top with an opportunity to maximize their cash for the match, while evening the odds a little for the team on the losing end of the equation and giving them the opportunity to close the gap a little."
However, if teams are neck-and-neck at the conclusion, Overtime will activate, giving either team the opportunity to win by more than one point. "If the game is still too close to call, the match enters Sudden Death. Sudden Death is similar to Elimination there are no respawns and the last player standing wins the match for their team."
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