The "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception" multiplayer beta launches today, and you may have a few questions as to how you gain access, how the multiplayer works, etc. Well, fear not, for the folks over at the PlayStation Blog have posted a handy frequently-asked-questions blog and an insightful video explaining the changes since "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves." I thought I would run through the mode's updates here, getting you all ready before (hopefully) jumping online tonight.
First things first: almost anyone with a PlayStation 3 can get in on the beta. Those of you with a copy of "inFamous 2" should have received a code with your game, so just enter that into the old PlayStation XMB. More importantly, anyone with a PlayStation Plus subscription can grab the "Uncharted 3" beta, as well.
If you'll remember that little problem PlayStation Network had recently, part of Sony's "Welcome Back" program was giving everyone 30 days of free access to PlayStation Plus' premium services. The program launched on June 3, so even if you signed up on day one, you should be good to go. If you singed up for a PlayStation Network account after April 20, you're out of luck, but the beta goes live for everyone July 5. The beta ends on July 14.
So, what about that gameplay? What's changed since "Uncharted 2?" Here's a quick rundown of what to expect when joining an "Uncharted 3" multiplayer match.
THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Everyone is randomly assigned a "buddy" at the start of every game. When you or your buddy take down an enemy, you'll be able to high-five or fist-bump your partner by pressing down on the d-pad. Sure, it's a bit dudebro, but the action will reward you with cash, medals, etc. More importantly, you're able to spawn on your buddy – similar to "Battlefield Bad Company 2," for instance – with a simple press of the triangle button; that's invaluable if you're making a strategic push against opponents.
Whenever you take out an opponent in "Uncharted 3" multiplayer, there's a chance they'll drop a piece of treasure. Either you or your previously mentioned buddy can pick the treasure up, and collecting an entire "set," you're awarded with unlocks for your character.
Economy is playing a bigger role in this game, and you'll have to spend more time thinking about where to allocate your money in order to effectively succeed in multiplayer. When a match begins, you'll have a bit of time to purchase "boosters." Boosters work a bit like perks in "Call of Duty," giving you a slight advantage during the match. Unlike perks, the boosters' bonus only lasts for a single match. Keep in mind that you also need to keep money aside for things like weapon mods.
There also general boosters, which are unlocked through gameplay, and remain as permanent upgrades. Those perks – I mean, boosters – are upgraded through collecting medals and completing challenges.
TREASURE CHESTS/MEDAL KICKBACKS
Just like in the single-player game, treasure chests are scattered around the multiplayer maps. Always make sure to open them when spotted, as they'll contain either medals, treasure pieces, or boosters. If you collect enough medals, you'll unlock a "medal kickback" that automatically gives you an advantage, such as a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. The kickbacks are assigned prior to the match, and remind me quite a bit of "Call of Duty" killstreaks (are you seeing a pattern here?)
The beta will rotate through three different maps and a variety of gameplay types, with some changes to both, over the course of the next three weeks. This also includes the just-announced "hardcore" mode that sounds an awful lot like – OK, I think you got the point here. Have fun, and see you online.