With Uncharted 3, there is not a lot that has to be said or done to make most people want to play it. If they've played the last game or two, they know what they love about the series, and it would be very easy for the developers at Naughty Dog to just do more of the same, and probably still win some more awards.
Luckily, based on both our closed-door presentation and two hands-on sessions with the game, that has proven to not be the case, especially when it comes to multiplayer.In competitive multiplayer, there isn't much that hasn't been tweaked. Everything is smoother, and the game moves notably quicker with a lot of people playing. In addition to Team Deathmatch, there are now 2v2v2 three Team Deathmatch and a free-for-all mode. You can also now login to two PSN accounts from one PS3 for most game modes, really opening up the 2 players from one house playing quite a bit. There are other big additions to character and weapon customization, though we didn't get to play with that much. Jumping into a competitive Team Deathmatch, the improvements are noticeable immediately. The faster pace, the better spawn points, and the way teamwork is rewarded from the start, and the two multiplayer maps we played, Airport Hanger and Airstrip are both inventive and rife with opportunities for some great "Holy S#!T" moments. Whether it's hopping from one vehicle to another in Airstrip while trying to shoot at an enemy doing the same, or simply a nice long sniper shot right as someone's climbing a ladder, watching them very realistically fall off to their death; the kills are satisfying and carry with them more realism and fluidity than in Uncharted 2. The other new multiplayer mode, Adventure, is where this game shined, though. Adventure is a 2 or 3 player co-operative mode that allows you and a couple of friends to play out "mini-missions" as described by a Sony representative. These missions take about half an hour each, and involve everything that makes Uncharted what it is. There is exploration, climbing, gunplay, and most importantly teamwork. You literally cannot complete the tasks in Adventure mode without using teamwork. It's a fun and inventive way of getting some co-op into the game without bogging down the main story. It also adds to Drake's character. As I was playing, I merely thought of it as "this is what Drake does when he's not on one of these big crazy adventures… he goes on small crazy adventures!" And it just makes sense. Adventure is a great new addition, with fully voiced, story driven mini-games for you to play with friends, and is sure to take up a lot of PS3 gamers' time this fall. If all this multiplayer action sounds fun to you, then there's good news. While Uncharted 3 comes out November 1, 2011, multiplayer is coming to you much sooner than that. The MP Beta hits in just a couple of weeks, on June 28, 2011. PlayStation Plus users and those who purchased inFAMOUS 2 will have early access. Then, in October, gamers can go to participating Subway sandwich shops and get a code for full access to the entire multiplayer component of Uncharted 3! Just watch out when you're climbing those ladders… I'll be watching. Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!