Uncharted 2 Multiplayer Beta Hands-On

We were invited onto the Uncharted 2 Multiplayer Beta test, where we were able to try out the competitive and cooperative modes first-hand.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was one of the highlights of Sony's E3 09 press briefing, and on the very same day, the company released the multiplayer beta for the game. As soon as we returned from our LA expedition we booted up our PlayStation 3 and downloaded the 1GB client, and we were pleased to find a feature-heavy trial with both competitive and cooperative game modes.

The Uncharted 2 beta offers up plenty of content to whet appetities for the release of the full game in Q3 2009. It contains three levels, two multiplayer game modes, eight character skins, 10-player online support, and plenty of weapons. Basically, it takes at least a couple of hours of playtime before you see everything, which is a good indication of how seriously developer Naughty Dog is taking the multiplayer portion of the game.

The competitive multiplayer comes in two flavours--team deathmatch, and plunder (think capture the flag with treasure). You start each round with a pistol, rifle and a single grenade, but there are plenty of other weapons scattered around each map. These include some incredibly powerful weapons such as rocket launchers and Gatling guns, but they are big and heavy, and so limit your movement. Uncharted 2 also features plenty of accessories, such as riot shields and gas canisters, which you can toss at enemies and shoot out of the air.

Online veterans won't find much in the competitive multiplayer that they haven't have seen before, but Uncharted 2 still differentiates itself with fluid character movement. Characters run, jump and roll through the world with great athleticism, and you can even dangle from a ledge and fire at the same time. The only downside is that you can often bump into other players and get stuck trying to get around them.

Uncharted 2 also offers a leveling system to reward repeated play, with $500 for each kill helping you to progress up the ranks. There are also two sets of perks, or 'boosters' as they're called in the game, which offer the choice of enhanced skills. The first set offers better accuracy for your pistol or rifle in either standard fire or blind fire mode, while the second slot gives you a choice of carrying more ammo, getting more ammo in each pickup, or having more bullets in each clip. The matchmaking system is a bit buggy at the moment, and it can often take a few minutes of waiting in the lobby to find a game. However, there are only around a thousand players online at any one time, and Naughty Dog is promising a patch in the coming days. The rest of the online systems looks robust--you can buddy up with any of your PSN friends to move between games, and in the finished game, you'll be able to record movies of your multiplayer games to watch later.

The competitive multiplayer is fun, but the game really succeeds with the cooperative multiplayer. In this mode, three people join together online and make their way through a level to accomplish a common goal. The level that features in the beta will be familiar to people who've seen the trailer, as it follows a similar path through the town environment. Most of the cooperative gameplay comes from taking out waves of enemy AI, but there are also occassional simple puzzles, where all party members need to congregate on a spot to progress. For example, one player needs to give the other a leg up to reach higher ground, or someone needs to push a ladder into place to climb over a wall.

The enemy AI really impresses in this mode, holding you down in one position while flanking you from the sides. They also come from behind, meaning you need to constantly change position, and they'll flush you out using grenades. We particularly like how the co-op revival system works--if someone is mortally wounded, another player has to go and save them by holding triangle. The longer you take to get there, the longer it takes to revive them, which encourages teamwork and sticking together.

Digging around in the menus, we were able to find a couple more details about the beta that we expect will make it to the finished game. First of all, you'll be able to use the motion sensitive controller to perform throws, and you can toggle this feature on or off in the menus. Uncharted 2 will also offer support for Dolby Pro Logic II speaker setups, and you can even tweak the size of the centre speaker from small to large depending on your setup. We enjoyed our time in the beta, especially the co-op, which we can really see as being one of the main attractions of the finished game. Make sure you check out our video preview to see the game in action, and head over to our E3 preview for more details on the single player game.

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Discussion

43 comments
toms123
toms123

the game has a survival mode for 2-3 players but is only online, why do they not have a single player survival mode offline? Also the cinema mode is online only, WTF.

Basher9
Basher9

I can't wait for this and MAG. ME WANT!!

hayden0357
hayden0357

you cant forget killzone 2 either =P

hayden0357
hayden0357

this "beeta" is fun buy the game when it comes out if your not a ps3 owner i suggest you become one for 4 reasons Uncharted, MAG, Resistance and Little Big Planet

GiRiSh1982
GiRiSh1982

Beta Multiplayer expired this morning and I'm already missin' it. Come on Naughty Dog, release the game asap.

sashacat222
sashacat222

CANT NAUGHTY DOG JUST MAKE UP A REAL RELEASE DATE

D3A7HJ0K3R
D3A7HJ0K3R

DAMMIT RELEASE IT FOR PUBLIC DOWNLOAD AAAGGHH

Solid_Cipher
Solid_Cipher

Really interesting article u posted Cocker, Im definitely looking foward to this, Cocker. Uncharted 2 FTW!!!!!

alex-hi
alex-hi

Schweeeeeeeeeet!!!! I'm hoping this game is as good as it looks. If so... definitely a contender for game of the year.

dannymeegan
dannymeegan

@ico92 hehe good point. i bet they do. cant wait 4 this game!!

TheGameGoddess
TheGameGoddess

Cant wait for this! Could easily be game of the year :)

ico92
ico92

wow i bet all the sceptics who said "uncharted could never work with multiplayer" must feel like total "A" holes now.

famguyfan2685
famguyfan2685

This looks sooooo freakin' fun! I loved the first Uncharted game, and the addition of multiplayer only sweetens the deal. Already reserved this bad-boy!

Pwnd56
Pwnd56

got the beta... it will be freaking EPIC. Naughty Dog is my fav developer right now:)

scepterone
scepterone

I am got the beta, I am very inpressed with what Naughty Dog has put together for PS3 owners! I am not at all insterested in what Microsoft or Nintendo has to offer gamers. I am no fanboy, but have to say that Sony is a better game console in the market! LONG LIVE SONY!!!

paystation
paystation

carnt wait for this game pre orgerd it from game just a minite ago

link1709
link1709

I too have the multiplayer beta and was really annoyed that other players couldn't figure out that standing in a circle and pressing triangle causes a small cut scene to progress. It is awesome though. I have yet to play as nathan as the auto system keeps putting me in as a drone. I enjoyed the first one immensely and am looking forward to this sequel.

other44
other44

this is going to be great!

gummy_joe
gummy_joe

The multiplayer may actually be good.

FishSquared
FishSquared

Wow... that looks amazing. I'm so glad they have a multiplayer section for U2. I was thinking about U1 having multiplayer when I played it and how awesome it would be.

Tikicobra
Tikicobra

Naughty Dog said they have a different team working on the multiplayer modes, so it's not like the single player team is taking time out of make the epic story to make the competitive play. But either way, the beta is awesome. I hope they add split screen, though.

paystation
paystation

i didnt like how when you aim it looks like you are holding the gun up abit. but eny way the game looks cool and i might just get it

allotheabove123
allotheabove123

if they fix the minor matchmaking bugs then this will be epic

gasm-22
gasm-22

NiCe GaMe We WaItiNg ..

Cerebris
Cerebris

I agree skipper, single player should be the focus with most games, a dedicated multiplayer game is fine and dandy, but I've always supported placing focus on one or the other, so as to have a bigger budget for whatever you choose... versatility is fine and dandy, but I much prefer single player, and I know many other people do as well. When multiplayer gets a story, then we'll talk... until then this game should have stuck with Co Op, not multi.

skipper847
skipper847

Hope they havnt just focused on the MP, this game was ment to be about the SP. I think MP has actualy made SP gaming not as good.

varmintx
varmintx

PLII2 support? I think 7.1 PCM output is the more notable audio feature.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Naughty Dog has a real winner here and if the story and game play are as good as the original its a winner.

robertcain
robertcain

I got in the beta too. Great gameplay but I hope they put in a split screen mode in the finished game

ImYourStalker
ImYourStalker

It kicks me out of every game after 1 min :(

muzik_mafia
muzik_mafia

I played with a Naughty Dog dev today... really awesome guy :P

Tikicobra
Tikicobra

The jungle looks even more beautiful than before.

WorldOfHurt
WorldOfHurt

Looks nice. Hope the end result plays as well.

Just-Adam
Just-Adam

Awesome !! Can't wait to get my hands on it .. one of the games I'm rly looking forward to ..