My first, and only, play through of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is one on my favorite experiences with my PS3. It isn’t the greatest thing that ever happened to the system (that would be the blu-ray player), but it’s one of the most entertaining action/adventure games and the sequel is looking to improve upon it in every way.
The biggest problem with Uncharted was that after beating the game, there wasn’t much to do afterward. Uncharted 2 is looking to fix that with the addition of a new multiplayer mode. Fearing that it would be a Gears of War clone, I waited impatiently in line and gripped the controller like I was getting ready to drive for the first time.
After my match was over, I can comfortably say that Uncharted 2‘s multiplayer feels like an improved GoW. I wasn’t given any insight into the perks or talents (whatever they want to call them), but I was given an extensive look into a single team deathmatch. The multiplayer mode doesn’t do much different than the single player gameplay, and it’s to its benefit because it feels exactly like it. Uncharted’s control and feel is one of the games highest points and its wonderful to see that those have transitioned into the multiplayer.
The map that I played looked like a dilapidated urban downtown square with a huge center building, and smaller buildings with waist high walls surrounding everything. Playing the lead female from the first game, I made my way quickly to the first cluster of cover. Moving from cover to cover, it was easy to see that the system has improved more than I thought it would. Characters can take cover almost anywhere and moving from each section is easy. There are still times when you press circle to move out you will roll for no reason, or you won’t stick the cover you thought you would. However, these problems have been plaguing cover systems for years and I don’t think they will be leaving us until someone develops an entire new system.
After goofing around with the cover system, I wound up jumping over a wall into an enemies line of fire. Diving away, I took cover behind a crumbling statue and began trading fire. We popped in and out for a bit and I noticed the guns in the game are far less accurate than most of the weapons in GoW. There has been a push towards realism (slightly) and the game benefits from it. Two players that know what they are doing can trade volleys for a few moments before either one figures out a way to gain the advantage. The lower accuracy goes a long way to make you feel like you are frantically fighting for your life. The push towards realism, however, doesn’t always work in the games favor. There is a severe lack of character in the weapons. Halo and GoW are both Sci-fi epics so they are given a bit more freedom in this department, but Counterstrike was able to bring this to real world guns based on their different playstyles. Whenever I picked up a new gun, besides the riot shield, it didn’t feel any different than anything else.
My biggest complaint with the new mode is the outrageous power of the grenades. I’m not upset about the ability for the grenade to kill you in one hit, but the sheer speed that they explode. I wasn’t able to dodge any grenade that landed next to me. The timer was far too short, no matter how fast I reacted. The new white trail that shows you were it will land is great, because nothing will be able to escape the blast.
Besides that, I had a blast playing the multiplayer. It isn’t remarkably different than GoW, but Uncharted was able to keep its style and gameplay intact without making it feel tacked on. It isn’t anywhere as deep as Resistance 2′s or as visceral as Killzone 2‘s, but it’s approachable nature makes it highly entertaining. With MAG, Resistance 2, Killzone 2, and now Uncharted 2 the PS3 looks to be the preimere home for online gameplay.