Joystiq recently attended a Sony Gamers Day event in Los Angeles, where we got hands-on time with a lot of upcoming titles that we can't speak about just yet. However, the event that capped off the day of gaming was our first hands-on time with a title that we know you're eager to see more of, along with a surprising (although not entirely unexpected) reveal: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has multiplayer. Not just any multiplayer, mind you, but three-player (!) co-op, plus five-on-five Deathmatch and a mode called "Plunder."
The good news? It rocks. Randy took a long look at the co-op mode, but you couldn't pry me away from Deathmatch/Plunder with a crowbar. Read on to get the full rundown, including the weapons you'll be using, what Naughty Dog copied from Call of Duty 4, and why Plunder is much better than traditional Capture the Flag.
Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells was a bit cagey about multiplayer when we interviewed him back in February, telling us, "As far as other online elements, we will see what the future holds." As it turns out, both he and the dev team were biting their tongues and keeping a big secret from all of us. It wasn't a big stretch to imagine that they were working on adding multiplayer to Uncharted, especially given the success of the original, but they really dropped jaws in the room when they showed us a multiplayer teaser video. They just didn't tell us about its frightening, addictive properties.
First off was Deathmatch, which is set up in a five-on-five fashion with Heroes battling Villains. You have access to different skins of the classic "heroes" from the game like Drake, Sully, Chloe, and so on, and the Villains side gets nasty hooded and masked baddies. You can choose your favorite default skins a la Gears of War, and you can look at a rundown of weapons, including pistols, sniper rifles, assault rifles, a grenade launcher and a massive chaingun. Grenades too, just in case you're wondering if you'll be able to sit back and hurl death from afar.
You're as vulnerable as a naked mole rat while you're clambering up the side of a building or hauling your butt up a ladder.
There's a running score at the top of the screen (we were playing to 25 ... not sure if that's standard), along with plenty of deathmatch staples like melee attacks (sneak up and melee an enemy from behind and it's an instant kill), plenty of weapons scattered around the map, friendly fire and multiple spawn points. They've also taken a page out of the Call of Duty 4 book and added Boosts to the game, which are exactly like Perks. You have two Boost slots, and you can fill them with things like the ability to carry extra ammo, to "sense" enemies through walls, to have better hip-fire accuracy and so on. It's unclear if you'll unlock perks as you go -- and there are certainly plenty to choose from. Sadly, we didn't spot anything like Last Stand or Martyrdom.
When you're carrying the plundered treasure, you're slowed down tremendously (it's a chunky statue made out of solid gold!). If you're in dire straits and about to get taken down by the other team, you can hurl the treasure away from you, either in order to get it closer to your base, or to toss it up on a roof out of the enemy team's immediate grasp. It's easy to imagine teams daisy-chaining treasure throws in future matches, but our team just wasn't coordinated enough to get that going -- plus, we were mostly overcome with a desire to shoot everything in sight. Each team plays to three captures, and there's a nice little animation of your character tucking the treasure away in a chest if you successfully get it back to base.
Do not let the enemy team pick up the chaingun. Ever.
For now, we'll leave you with this important Deathmatch nugget: do not let the enemy team pick up the chaingun. Ever. The RPG only has two shots, but that chaingun has about a billion bullets packed into it, and if they get it you're going to feel like your character is dead-set on absorbing every one of them. In the face.