Over the past weekend, certain PlayStation Plus users dove into Uncharted 4’s multiplayer beta during a stress test conducted by Naughty Dog. The test featured a few maps, many well-known characters, and a brief tease of their new purchase system – which is just about the only thing that needs a little work.
I’ll admit, Uncharted multiplayer is one of the greatest experiences on PlayStation since Uncharted 2: Among Thieves dropped back in 2009. Ridiculous melee attacks, hilarious taunts and some of the best character skins in a multiplayer game to-date. It was an absolute blast. Plus, it helped create one of the best multiplayer communities on Sony’s platform – filled with montages, plays of the week and more.
Since then, Naughty Dog has produced many great multiplayer experiences with Uncharted 3: Drakes Fortune and The Last of Us. That being said, I’m happy to say that after spending some quality time with Uncharted 4 this weekend, it looks like Naughty Dog has delivered another great multiplayer experience this year.
During the test, we only had access to Team Deathmatch and a few maps – none of which revealed anything major, save the new grappling hook added. Essentially, this hook lets you hover above your enemies at will in multiplayer, engaging in mid-air fist fights to instantly defeat your opponent. While the format is unfamiliar, the game allows you to perform some crazy stuff with a little bit of practice.
Like previous multiplayer installments from Naughty Dog, Uncharted 4 enables you to select heroes and villains, each with different customizations. In beta, we were able to choose a skin for each character, along with a taunt and head item. Most of the items we accessed were leftover from the previous installments of Uncharted — like the aviators with a few new additions. While I didn’t see any wild adjustments like the Marco Polo or skeleton skins in beta, I’m sure hoping they return when the full game releases. The only concern I had here, though. was that two forms of currency were present in the beta, one premium and one regular; this goes along with the addition of a cash shop. While most items can be unlocked through regular gameplay, I’m hoping this cash stop doesn’t hide all of the cosmetics and rare items behind it.
Weapons remained largely the same, and all basics made a return: sniper rifles, assault rifles, submachine guns and the traditional handgun arsenal from Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3. Makers did, however, upgrade the purchasable system this time, a welcome change of pace.
Now you’ll be able to purchase upgrades for your grenade ability. You can also access heavy weapons, similar to previous installments of the franchise. Most importantly, you’ll be able to use to purchase sidekicks and mystical items. Sidekicks are exactly what their name would suggest: small allies who storm the battlefield to assist your team. Some heal and revive fallen teammates, while others suppress direct fire from a dedicated position. While these certainly aren’t big changes, they can shift battles in a large or impossible engagements.
Mystical items are the game-changers, though, and each provide a unique function for the artifacts involved. For example, the Wrath of El Dorado allows you to throw a giant totem that summons specters to seek out and attack nearby opponents. These items do pack a huge punch, but again – it’s nothing you can’t just ignore by running in the other direction.
All-in-all, Uncharted 4’s multiplayer is shaping up to be similar to its predecessors – and that’s not a bad thing at all, especially since we haven’t yet seen the vast majority of the unlocks in the game yet. While the cash shop and microtransactions are something to be a little concerned about for those of you who love cosmetic unlocks (such as myself), I’d say it’s safe to assume we’re going to have another great multiplayer experience on our hands come May.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will released on PlayStation 4 May 10.