Uncharted 3 Beta [Un]Impressions

The Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta is up and running on PSN. So whats the news?

Only two maps are open in this beta, Chateau and Airstrip.

Chateau is your basic map with teams spawning on two sides of a large house (a chateau?). One of the rooms has a burning roof that eventually collapses at some point during the match and kills whoever happens to be underneath. A few turrets can be found on the map and with a few choke points the map is interesting to play but after a few play-throughs it becomes quite bland.

This map looks pretty, pretty bland (they can't all be winners).

Airstrip is definitely more interesting with the pirates starting off on trucks and the heroes starting in a airplane attempting to take off. It’s your basic attack and defend but the trucks move around making it more difficult for those in the plane to hit the pirates while they leap from truck to truck to get at the plane. It’s definitely more interesting and allows for some fun moments. Once a few minutes pass and the airplane takes off, the map switches to an airport hanger/warehouse area. Here it’s more of what we’re used to with two teams facing off against each other until you reach the kill limit. Unfortunately, one end of the map contains a turret making it impossible to take without a sniper. I’ve had more than a few games go bad because it took a few minutes before someone finally pulled a sniper rifle and took out the gunner on the turret.

This map rocks... for a few minutes.

Players start off without any perks er… I mean boosters but you do start off with an RPG kickback. Guns come in three flavors; the Ak-47, some tri-burst rifle with a scope, and a sniper rifle. Each gun has a few mods you can unlock but other than that, it’s a beta what do you expect?

Character customization is there but just barely, it’s totally cosmetic and isn’t important (not to me, not during beta).

So lets get down to what’s important.

The Good:

The game modes are basically what you’d find in any team based shooters. This isn’t a bad thing, however, with traditional TDM and FFM the basics are all here. Upon entering a TDM, the game automatically assigns you a partner who you can keep track of in-game. In addition, when either of you die you can spawn on your partner putting you back in the game instantly.

Power plays are in-game “contracts” (for CoD players) offset balances on teams by increasing or decreasing damages for teams depending on which team is leading and by how much. They also highlight certain team members (notably the lead scorers) as VIPs and show them to enemy teams. They add a new element into each game and add a little bit of strategy into the potential chaos.

The Bad:

No caption necessary.

Hit detection is iffy and so is collision detection. Trying to jump onto a wall is harder than it should be and scaling the walls are slower than I’d prefer. Sprinting is awkward and makes you feel slow like an accident victim trying to hobble away from a wreck and the same can be said for melee attacks. Rolling around and getting in an out of cover is difficult if not outright impossible but on the flip side aiming your weapon is hard too so you’re less likely to be killed while doing so. In reality overall interaction with the environment and combat is difficult if not damned near impossible. Most of these issues can be attributed to the fact that this game is a beta and hopefully they’ll be fixed before the final version is released.

The Ugly:

Loadouts in the game require medals to switch mid-match (medals you get for in-game actions like kills, assists and etc.). These medals are usually used for kickbacks that serve uses in game. Spawning seems uneven with base spawning the norm for games ten years ago, it seems a bit dated now. Spawning on your partner is great but I would prefer to be able to spawn on more than one player in the game.These seem to be set for the final version of the game and may never be changed, but hopefully they’ll tweak them around to make them more bearable.

While the Good kept me coming back for a few matches, the Bad and the Ugly eventually made me stop and turn on some CoD. This game is definitely not ready for final release and Naughty Dog has a lot of work to do before this game keeps me entertain enough to keep me coming back. I’ll be playing this game until the Beta drops off and after I read a few reviews of the final product, maybe I’ll pick it up. For those of you hoping to get a good preview of U3’s multiplayer action, this isn’t it. It’s a beta and it needs a lot of work before it’s ready to be fun for longer than a few minutes.

The public beta starts soon (July 5th I believe) but for those with Infamous 2 or a Playstation Plus account (that should be everyone), get online and get some killing done. At least until this beta stops anyway.

Reload:

For more opinions on the Uncharted 3 Beta, head over to Kotaku or Gamesages and get their impressions.

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