E3 2011Previews

IVG at E3: Uncharted 3 multiplayer hands-on

If there is one game franchise that everyone knows cannot go wrong, that would be Uncharted. After two brilliant games, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is looking all set to surpass them all. No wonder the game was the show favourite all through E3, drawing the loudest cheers during the Sony conference, and then drawing hordes of gamers to the Uncharted booth on the E3 show floor. Luckily enough, getting a seat in the VIP section at the Sony press conference also meant that I could be one of the few people who got to enter the post-press conference gaming arcade and get my hands on the game. Minutes after the press conference concluded, I was picking up the controller for a few rounds of Uncharted 3 multiplayer.

The game mode available was your standard deathmatch. Off the bat, the visuals looked at par with those seen in Uncharted 2 multiplayer. The level featured the decaying ruins of a French château, with lots of rubble to take cover behind and take out the opposing team as they appeared in your crosshair. The verticality of the previous game is still very much a deciding factor; if you can use it to your advantage, you will find yourself in unique positions to take out that pesky little guy entrenched behind a fallen pillar. That added advantage is that you will also get access to gattling guns placed at different locations, which can be then used to decimate the entire opposing force. Be careful though, for they can circle around you, climb up, and take you down with a humiliating melee kill.

It never felt safe to be anywhere for too long, which is a good sign for a fast-paced multiplayer game. Bursting into a fire fight though would get you killed instantly, thanks to the high recoil of the weapons. A skilled player would take cover, take a few shots, and then move on before the enemy can zero in on his location. The recoil of the guns was a tad too much for my taste and maybe something that would eventually be fixed before the game hits retail. What I would love is to add some environment-based hazards in the game as well; the level was just begging for such traps that could be exploited to take out whole teams together with one well placed shot, while continually altering the playing field.

Once I got into my groove, I started earning medals at a quick pace. Headshots, getting kills while low on health, and other such scenarios will reward you with medals, adding an incentive to be more inventive in your approach towards putting lead in the enemy. I also got a taste of ‘Power-play’, which when activated, designates one player from the opposing team as the marked man. Your task is to go after him, while the opposing team’s is obviously to protect him. Such power-plays hold the promise of subtly, alternating a multi-player session in progress. You still need to take down players from the opposing team, but it is even better if you can simultaneously work your way towards getting closer to the marked man. The opposing team would likewise alter tactics on the fly to be more defensive.

Once the multiplayer beta of the game hits the PSN a few days from now, more and more people will get a chance to jump into the world of Nathan Drake and battle for treasures, or simply get trigger-happy in deathmatches. With maps that feature firefights on a moving plane that is being pursued by trucks, game-changing power-plays, and the vertical nature of the levels, multiplayer fans will not be disappointed one bit. Plus, you get to see a little bit of what Uncharted 3 has to offer before the game hits shelves later on in the year. With Naughty Dog at the helm, it appears like Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception just cannot go wrong!

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is set for release on November 1, 2011 on PS3.

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