Rating – 9/10
The first thing worth mentioning is the sheer variety of things to see and do in Uncharted 4’s Multiplayer. There’s a number of game modes, and an entire section designed to not only improve a player’s skill level but also provide a challenging but rewarding system of dishing out boost points that can then be used for one shot advantages or for greater currency drops from fallen enemies. This mode is simply called Trials and consists of many sections, which include learning how to efficiently heal team mates, use grenades, use mystical powers and sidekicks to deal out greater damage to a larger number of targets, and each section comes in 3 difficulty levels, with each difficulty offering a greater reward for completing. I’ll get into the customisation in a moment because it deserves it’s own paragraph, and there is a clever little set up that treats each player with great care.
Upon entering the Multiplayer section of the game, you are inducted with a short and sweet tutorial, here you will learn the fundamental elements to finding success in the thick of battle. Picking up treasures will reward you with money that then contributes to your funds that can be spent within the match on huge game changing boosters and depending on your load out, deadly weapons that will down an enemy in one fatal hit. The covering mechanic is proven to be essential, and enemies will drop parting gifts upon death, small $25 pickups that in the long run often make all the difference in the latter stages of matches.
With these elements now learnt, the online menu is open to explore. Now you won’t be able to partake in any of the game modes until you’ve played 3 games with other new players. This is what I mean about the game taking care of its players. There are 3 team death matches that you must complete before diving into the really heavy matches, you’ll play in one of two teams, made up of six players each, and every player is playing their first few games so the matchmaking is very fair and each player will be of the same skill level, making for an open and fun experience builder.
After those 3 games are over, it’s time to go out on your own and experience the full challenge of the online modes. The modes are, Warm Up, the previously mentioned team deathmatch mode with other new players, Team Deathmatch, this version throws you in with players of all different skill levels, Command, which is a map domination game, where teams must take control of the most sections of a map, and captain kills are worth double points, Plunder, which is a capture to flag mode but instead of a flag, you are battling for possession of an idol, and then there is Ranked Team Deathmatch, the epitome of competitive gameplay in Uncharted 4. There are 8 maps in which to play these matches to, all unique and varied in their layout.
There are also challenges that require you to complete a certain number of actions to unlock credits, and to reveal new challenges, you’ll find that as you play more games and complete more challenges, the rewards become even more compelling and worth the effort. These are separated from Trials, and only require a single completion before being replaced. Each reward from a challenge will be “Relics” the currency used to purchase chests that contain one use boosts. The other currency, used for purchasing customisation items and weapon skins, are Uncharted Points, only obtainable through micro transactions, or occasionally picking them up for free per Naughty Dog’s consent. It’s also worth mentioning that Relics are also good for use on random drops, now these random drops will gift you with a random customisation item or taunt, it all comes down to luck of the draw really.
Teams are separated by the good guys and the bad guys, unlike in Last of Us, which had its Hunters and Fireflies in colour coordinated teams, and which would assign you a random character model with each game, here you can choose which character you want to be on each side of the spectrum and you’ll be them every time you enter a game, until you wish to change it. Not every character is available from the beginning though, as you’ll have to earn Relics or Uncharted Points in order to unlock the likes of Chloe, Talbot, Marlowe, Eddy Raja and so on.
If you’ve played The Last of Us, then you’ll recognise the load out set ups straight away, there are a number of load outs available from the offset, each offering a different approach to the game, you’ll see players that prefer to pick off enemies from afar, you’ll see tactical players who play a smoother and safer game, dropping enemies when they least expect it, you’ll see the methodical players who stalk enemies and attack them in numbers and you’ll get your classic run and gunners, who go in all guns blazing and hope to hit as many targets as possible, basically there’s something here to satisfy every player.
The customisation options are immense. There’s so much to take in, and so much personality to dish out. There’s really that many options that you’ll likely be hard pressed to find two characters that look exactly the same. Weapon skins are varied and impressive, there are a few animated ones in particular that will be popular I imagine. Unfortunately you will have to work for these though as ranking up and purchasing is the bulk of unlocking them. Each character has a handsome amount of costumes for each character, and that’s without considering costume pieces, such as hats, glasses, face masks and other accessories, and the hilarious taunts which include full dances and prop taunts. The level of humour that has gone into these unlockable gems is really worth applause. It’s bizarre seeing hardened characters like Lazarevic doing fun dances, and it all makes for a great time, so props to Naughty Dog for going all in with this.
These are all of the elements to the multiplayer appeal, but how is the gameplay? Well it’s obviously a mirror image of the games single player, but with other players trying to kill you all the time. So far, from my experiences at least, players are all helpful and there is a real team spirit within. Players will often work together to eliminate enemies and melee is as always, a satisfying option, but risky unless done quickly, so it’s best to survey the area before delivering a killer blow. Weapon load outs feel fairly balanced and even then, you’ll be able to create your own with an assigned number of load out points. Some of the mystical boosters are overpowered but here it’s acceptable as they are supposed to be ungodly supernatural occurrences, and so do require an added layer of devastation. The maps are fun and varied, there’s ample opportunity to free run across the map and do a number of awesome things but there’s a constant need for concentration as enemies could literally be lurking anywhere at any time.
If I were to speak of any negatives, then I would probably mention that some games take a while to begin, and games will close completely on the rare occasion, now this is still early days and the game is due a patch to fix any glaring issues, so it’s forgiven for now at least.
Overall, the online is going to be a mainstay for this game, it’s proven itself to be an amazingly fun time and every game is something new, there’s so many styles of play to experiment with and an encouragement for team play, it’s well worth its place and if Last of Us’ Multiplayer popularity is anything to go by, then this is going to be around for a long time, and I’ll be there to.
Image – Naughty Dog