I logged on to play a little DC Universe Online before heading to bed and… what’s this?  Would I like to play Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta?  Yes please!  I sat and stared at the download screen afraid it might stop if I walked away.  Almost there, almost there, bam!  In I dove having never played an Uncharted game. I have to state that because the initial headset chatter had a lot of “what the hell is Ripper doing?” or “So… you are just spraying and not aiming?” in it and I felt they deserve an explanation.  After I figured out the controls though I was hooked and hooked solidly.  This was a beautiful co-op!  I usually like bigger teams for multiplayer but the four or less team intimacy worked great toward reviving each other and really forced players to either work as a team or lose.  If someone always seem to rack up the kills, get all the loot and never do a revive they found themselves fresh out of help when they got surrounded or went down.  Lives are pooled as well so it is in the team’s best interest to get a fallen comrade back on their feet (though they do get points for that too).  There were two basic styles of play, PvP and PvE, so either two teams of four or less or your team versus the world.  PvP was pretty straight forward stuff that we are used to, a scramble across the map to take out enemies.  The maps are very graphically nice and detailed and the weapons are plentiful.  It was the PvE that I fell in love with though, each map had a variance on how it played out dependent on map topography but in the end it came down to one thing: work as a unit or lose.

There were three basic setups for each wave of the PvE battles: transport, defend, or protect.  Transport was a loot transport from a drop location to a chest and the team worked with one or two players trading off as carriers while the rest of the team defended (this was also part of the PvP battle maps, fighting over the loot, but the team closer to drop tended to have a huge advantage).  This was a lot of fun since there were multiple ways to transport and each way had a choke point or sniper spot that you had to be really careful for because even if a player might miss that spot you can bet the game didn’t and there is someone waiting for you.  The game populated with plenty of enemies too so even the smaller map had plenty of baddies as obstacles, maybe even worse from the crossfire possibilities.  The defend is the most free flowing of the waves, basically a certain number of enemies are coming for you and you have to kill them all.  This is where a lesser team player might split off and try to get their own head count but it is also where is shows the teammates you want to friend because you will all huddle in a room together, each on an exit and watching for one of you to fall or start to get choked from an enemy that flanked.   Remember your lives are pooled so it is in your best interest to watch your teammate’s back but it’s when you get teammates who risk themselves getting you back on your feet in a hot spot that shows the players you hope to go into another game with.  This is also shown in the last setup protect too, but to a lesser degree.  In that one your whole team is assigned to stay in a square and if you step out of the square the kills no longer count.  So your team needs to stand in a square, sometimes with very limited cover, as the enemy progresses from all directions.  The square is in a different location each time this wave comes up so once again the team that stays together will get the kills to start counting sooner and increase the chances of clearing the wave faster.  A certain amount of time is awarded for clearing a wave but the time reward is lower each time so teamwork really made the difference between winning and losing.  To win you had to complete a certain number of waves in the allotted time with the waves being all three mixed together.  This kind of play took much longer than the quick PvP rounds, that is if you had a good team that watched each others backs.  If you had a lone wolf then the whole pack would go down fast.  When a team was good you might find yourself playing with them for a few rounds and before you know it hours have past.  Remember how I said I started playing right before I was supposed to go to bed?  Yay for energy drinks the next day!

Last Call:

I mostly just talked about PvE here because there was plenty of that to fill my time and keep me thoroughly entertained.  From what I hear the PvP players were kept just as busy if not more so in those games making me really excited when this ships later this year.  I only got a brief taste of this multiplayer but I was immediately sucked in and would be playing it tonight if it hadn’t already gone dark again.  It may still be in beta but is is already very polished and a must play when it comes out or anytime you see the opportunity to dive in on more testing.  Trust me I will be checking for it later tonight.

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Dustin "Ripper71" Thomas has been a staff writer with GamingShogun.com for over 10 years and has taken on the role of Editor with a brief stint as Editor-In-Chief. He is also a co-founder of @IsItOctoberYet where he covers haunt nightmares, amusement park fun and Golden Knights hockey.