This weekend Naughty Dog is hosting an open stress test Multiplayer beta for Uncharted 4 on PS4. I’d never really played the multiplayer components of previous Uncharted games, but being excited for Uncharted 4 I thought I’d give it a spin. The good news is… it’s a lot of fun! More fun than Star Wars: Battlefront, though I don’t think it will have the staying power of a Destiny or Battlefield.
There are different load-outs you can pick from which determine your weapons, gear and special abilities for the match. You can also opt to customize your own load-out, which is always welcome. For the handful of matches I played, I opted for the Tactical load-out, which seemed to give me a good mid-range weapon and my favorite explosive C4, though the latter didn’t have the oomph that I expected it to have.
The gunplay and cover mechanics will make any Uncharted veteran feel right at home. A new gameplay element as seen in some of the single-player footage is the ability to use your grappling hook in certain areas to quickly swing or climb to another area, though I didn’t find this ability all that useful. Uncharted 4 also seems to have gone to the Gears of War school for multiplayer, as in most cases you are downed first before you are knocked out. When you are downed, your teammates have an opportunity to revive you before a timer runs out. There were many instances where I’d find four or five players crawling on the ground after a firefight waiting for a revival or the final nail in their coffin.
During the course of a match you will accrue money. Money is gained from killing enemies or picking up treasures on the map. This currency is then used to upgrade your weapons, abilities and equipment, or even call in some A.I. help, for that specific match. Its a nice touch and helps to keep things fresh each match as you can level up your character differently every time.
I played on three different maps, and all of them seemed to be relatively small yet open with lots of cover. The first map I played on took place at night on some rooftops. The second map took place outdoors during the day in a town. The final map took place in a mountainous jungle, complete with waterfalls and bottomless pits. Hopefully there will be some larger maps in the final release. The only game type available in the Beta was a 5v5 Team Deathmatch, so I wasn’t expecting 32v32-sized map, but I can’t imagine playing too much multiplayer in the same small confines.
There is a set of daily challenges that you can complete for in-game currency that you can use to purchase unlockables. The only items you could unlock in the beta were cosmetic, such as wearables for your character or taunt animations. Speaking of characters, there are five “heroes” and “villains” you can choose from plucked from previous Uncharted games (and presumably more in the final release). Using currency won from completing challenges you can also unlock alternate costumes for these characters.
Overall the multiplayer component of Uncharted 4 looks promising, though I’m not sure I personally will enjoy it more than the occasional match. If anything, the beta has given me hope that the single-player campaign will have tight gameplay and beautiful locales. Hopefully they can muster up a great story for Drake’s last treasure hunt.