This week has been rather a frenzy with the eagerly anticipated multiplayer beta of the latest Uncharted game. Released on the 28th June to Playstation Plus, IGN Prime, and Infamous 2 owners it has seen a flurry of downloads and is bound to ramp up excitement for the finished product. In the week following the release I’ve managed to put in a few hours and get a good idea of how things handle in this newly refined multiplayer. Through the course of this article I’ll be explaining my impressions, opinions and how I think it matches upto others on the market, I’ll also be walking you through some of the finer points of the beta and how I see the multiplayer developing before retail.

User Interface

The first thing you’ll be served up with in the realm of Uncharted 3 will be of course the main menu, which is rather spiffy I must say.

Maps

There are two maps available to play in the beta, Airstrip and Chateau the former of which is split into two stages. Airstrip is a map that operates in a two stage format, whereby one set of players (Drake, Sully etc) are confined to defending a plane trying to take off and the other set (pirates) beset with the task of assaulting it. The first part is rather reminiscent of UT2004’s excellent Assault map AS-Convoy, but plays to Uncharted’s strengths by allowing some acrobatics to be employed across the many trucks attacking the plane. This segment ultimately decides which spawn point in the next map you get, plus allows for some nice bonuses if you successfully attack the plane. The second part of the map is an assymetrical map where the pirates (if successful in assaulting the plane) spawn on the plane side. The level works on three levels (ground level, upstairs of the warehouse, and warehouse roof) with a large warehouse as the main focal point of the map. The three level layout provides plenty of opportunities for monkey business using Uncharted’s parkour system, and many strategic angles to attack your unfortunate foes. There are a few power weapons lying around the map such as a grenade launcher, riot shield and sniper rifle, plus two powerful fixed turrets for those who persevere with their hard to reach locations.

The second map Chateau is another assymetrical map in which the multiple levels and parkour skills of the players are integral to success. The level has many dark passages, stairs and high up vantage points which make sniping a distinct possibility in this map. However with two fixed turrets at opposite ends of the map it’s often possible for the two teams to easily control one of the sides rather effectively. It’s split into two large reasonably open spaces with an intervening building which works on three levels through the use of stairs an ladders. These choke points prove to be very useful in controlling the map and getting to the higher ground above the turrets (they are located on the middle level) is often the best tactic. This map fails to break ground as much as the Airstrip map as it lacks the two section approach and has poor spawn balancing which often leaves you near enemies ready to be picked off. The advantage it has compared to the other map though is that it’s much more suited to other gametypes due to the segregational layout and larger open spaces.

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