Naughty Dog Community Strategist Arne Meyer has confirmed that a multiplayer beta for the studio’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception will go live worldwide on June 28. The beta will have tiered access, similar to that of SOCOM 4. Playstation Plus members and anyone who purchases a specially marked copy of inFAMOUS 2 will gain early access.
Meyer didn’t stop there; he also discussed some of the game’s multiplayer maps and modes. The Chateau is a classic arena map with several levels that give players opportunities to utilize the game’s various platforming maneuvers. The Airstrip is a two-parter; meaning that the map morphs into something different in the middle of each battle. As seen in the trailer, Airstrip begins with players in the back of a moving cargo plane and then forces them to leap between the plane and a group of trucks. After the plane takes to the skies, everyone is moved inside the hangar bay for a more traditional firefight. As long as you consider fighter jets raining down machine gun fire as they strafe by to be traditional, that is.
Team Deathmatch is obviously making a return in Drake’s Deception. There will also be a variation of that mode involving three teams of two players each. Free For All, in which every man fights for himself, was announced as well. All other modes will be revealed in the coming months leading up to release.
Several new features designed to optimize the game’s playability are on the way too. Late Join will help to keep matches fuller, provide a way to quickly jump in and eliminate some of the waiting time for friends trying to join up with each other. The oft-requested split-screen competitive play will finally make its debut in the series. Players will even be allowed to sign into two different PSN IDs on the same console. Split-screen will be available for all modes except ones that Naughty Dog feels would allow for an unfair advantage. On top of all that, a buddy system gives you the option to spawn on a friend and collect Treasures. Details as to what exactly Treasures are will be coming later.
For the first time, Naughty Dog has decided to introduce character customization options to Uncharted. Hundreds of customizable shirts, pants, accessories, weapons and emblems are promised for every character (main cast included). The weapon mods go beyond aesthetics and affect each gun’s functionality. Boosters, returning from the last game, offer another way to gain a personalized advantage in battle. Aside from the returning boosters, Uncharted 3 will have one-time-use boosters that can be quickly purchased while in a match. If all of those customizations sound daunting, don’t worry; you’ll be able to set up four loadouts in order to streamline the swapping process.
Anyone who’s played games competitively has experienced the thrill, or frustration when you’re on the other end, of getting whupped. Uncharted 3 is going to have a power play mode when the score tilts too far in one team’s favor. During power play, the team that is getting pounded will be given some sort of means by which to level the playing field. Conversely, the side that is kicking ass will be able to nab more cash for the match than is otherwise possible.
Matches that are tightly contested will hopefully be even more exciting once they enter Overtime. During this brief additional frame, one team will need to go ahead by two or more points before the timer runs out. Failing that, Sudden Death will kick in. This boils down to a no-respawn, last-man-standing setup.
Every online title out there is exploring new ways to increase the socialization aspect. For its part, Uncharted 3 will be implementing YouTube and FaceBook directly into game. Forget about posting updates to your feed; players will instead be able to see what FB friends are currently playing the game and what modes they’re in right from the lobbies. You’ll be able to post videos, screens and in-game accomplishments to your wall while playing as well. Uploading videos to YouTube will also be simplified. Now you can post and watch a video without ever having to exit a game. If Naughty Dog likes your video enough, it will be spotlighted in the game’s menus. This sounds like a marked improvement over the convoluted video sharing procedures that other titles have included.
Meyer concluded the update by noting that sprint functionality will be included and that the game is being balanced out with this new ability in mind. This move will no doubt split the fan base between people who like to move quickly and those who view Call of Duty as the devil. Try not to overreact.
Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception will be releasing on November 1 in North America and November 4 in Europe.
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[Sources: Official Playstation Blog and USA Today]
[Images courtesy of SCEA.]