Uncharted 4 Beta Preview
So yes I know, its been a week since my last post. Sorry guys, you know life happens and stuff, won’t happen again. So I got to have a session with the Multiplayer Beta for Uncharted 4, here’s the play by play.
Man oh man was I excited about this one…It’s been delayed, and for good reason too, naughty dogs needs those extra few days to polish this game to an absolute gem. And a gem it will be, we not even talking about the single player, the multiplayer was absolutely amazing. Just crazy fun really, though with some set backs…obviously! What?? its a Beta, you telling me you weren’t expecting set backs? Ye gullible few…
So the good stuff first, and I’m going to start with the thing that everybody sees when they hop in the first time, the visuals…or should I say THE VISUALS. Oh yes folks, this beast is sexy and knows it. The detail is unfathomable, really just little things that make you wonder why they put it in the game in the first place. like little squirrels running around and dodging you when you come by in the beautiful Madagascar map. the lighting is dynamic, even reflecting on the patches of water on the ground. The foliage is interactive, not just the static stuff we’ve been seeing everywhere else…no sir, tons of props like vases that get knocked over when you vault over cover, or shot to bits in gunfire…it’s something to behold when you actually seeing it in action. Yes the game might not be running at 60FPS but you won’t care…it feels great and looks astonishing. But what really had my eyes wide open, was seeing the facial animation when Nathan is pulling off taunts…It blew my mind away, imagine what its going to be like in the single player.
Lets just move away from the eye candy a bit and get to the meat of this experience. The Beta only had Team Death match on 3 maps and had a handful of a selection of characters between Heroes and Villains. Heroes are made up of the Uncharted regulars like the title protagonist Nathan Drake, Sully, the token girl , and his new comer brother Sam and some random English bloke. Villains are made up of some Genaro military type dudes what sounds like local merc. Once your character is selected you head straight into the action after seeing who’s on your team and the opposing team on wicked looking mocap work of the battling teams doing their poses.
The gameplay itself is pretty straight forward third person with cover mechanics shooter affair, with some added fluff of cause. Your characters are pretty agile, able to vault over cover quickly, effortlessly, climb up to higher ground and with the newly added feature to the series, that allows you to grapple and swing across. Very nifty, you can even jump down and take out guys below, or shoot mid air while swinging, at some poor sod down below.
Gunplay is fun, punchy sounding weapons with real weight to them when they are fired. Though the hit detection was a bit off at times, my guess is that was network related rather than bad programming. You get a choice of a primary weapon, think rifle, shotgun and you in the right place. And a side arm, but that’s not all, you get four slots for a heavy weapon, one Mystical power, one gear item (grenade, med item and the like) and a budding sidekick which can be accessed at anytime with in-game currency you earn for kills, downs, assists so forth. The side kick feature is pretty sweet though. You have 4 variants, one is your heavy support guy, slow but heavily armoured and pakcing a whooping punch with a minigun. Very hard to take down and good for laying down covering fire. Then we have a sniper, who you place in a position and he takes pot shots at any enemy combatant who goes by his line of site. Then you have your medic. Really, name speaks for itself…you want me to elaborate? Fine fine, he runs around the battlefield healing you and your team mates and carries a pistol for protection. Done. and last is the hunter, this guy is super agile and goes around grabbing enemy fighters in a choke hold for you to finish off.
The heavy weapons are your usual fair of grenade launchers, heavy rifles and auto shotguns, nothing particularly new or refreshing but comes in handy to clear our an enemy that just won’t go down. Your gear items as mentioned above are of the droppable kind like throwing a C4 and remotely detonating it. Your standard fair grenade, a mine that can take down a whole team if well placed in the middle of a rush from the enemy. A med item you throw to your buddies to revive them. Now this next one is pretty unique and interesting. You get access to a mystical power such that you activate for a short time and gives you abilities or gives an edge to your team. Wrath of El Derado gets thrown like a grenade but then, this weird totem like idol pops up from the ground and starts firing angry spirits at the enemy. Or how about a staff that when activated, creates a wave that temporarily gives away the enemy position on your radar. Then you have the totem that acts like a medi pack I mentioned earlier, instead of shooting angry spirits, shoots out healing ones. And the final one gives you temporary invisibility and a spriting like ability.Quite a varied suite of abilities though and mid battle, can be that make it or break it moment against an onslaught of your foes.
But wait there’s more…no really, you know that in-game currency I told you about. It comes in handy in a manner of ways. First off at the end of a match, your accumulated cash acts as XP to take you to your next Level. The higher the Level, the more gear you get access to, but we’ll get to that in a moment. There’s two other kinds of currency, yes think micro transactions…Bad form Naughty Dog, you naughty..erh…dog (you knew that would be thrown in here at some point), but there’s a plus side, the one currency is used to purchase aesthetic props and accessories like hats and new outfits for the characters. Nothing that will give an unfair advantage over your opponents. The second currency is used to open up random chests which gives you weapons and accessories that’s randomly generated. The up side is all these can be earned through grinding, which sucks, yes but still better than a pay to win formula used by other games out there. You could also purchase the taunts that I told you about, my personal favourite is one where Drake (or who ever character you’re playing with), whips out a phone over the corpse of your recently slain for and takes a selfie, all the while the recently deceased is watch a cam of you do that, fun times.
Now being a Beta, there were some…how should I put this, anomalies. For starters it was extremely hard to get a match for some reason, you spent a ludicrous amount of time waiting for your server to fill up with players, possibly because they had limited servers for the beta and didn’t expect a million people to try out this game, really guys? Also I ran into a bug where I was stuck on the inside of a wall while trying to shimmy across, and I could drop down to kill myself and respawn…or do anything for that matter, except kill the game and start a new match…after waiting for 15 minutes to find a match. But no, that not the worst that happened. The game had serious connection issues, constantly getting stuck mid match only to get shot to smithereens by that opportunist butt hole who sees you standing still having connection issues. And other times, you just get kicked to the home screen where you have to start your 15 minute search for a new match.
All the cracks in its armour aside, when the game worked, my goodness did it sing like an angel. Absolutely sublime to behold and enjoy. Sure Naughty Dog will fix all these issues, they have to, now that they have the few extra weeks of time, there’s no doubt they will put it to good use. I truly enjoyed my time with Drake and the gang, I cannot wait for this thing to hit the store shelves (quick note about that…the game is actually cheaper if you buy it on PSN store…if data costs aren’t a thing for you of cause).
For more gaming titbits, keep your eyes fixed to SkyGamers!