In order to bring you a timely review for arguably the biggest game of the year, we didn’t get a chance to properly play Uncharted 4’s multiplayer. Never fear, because I have spent a couple of days with it and I can safely say that it’s a blast.
It may come as a surprise to some people but Uncharted 2 and 3 both had multiplayer components attached to their fantastic solo campaigns. Despite going largely unnoticed, I did put some time into 3 and it was surprisingly good. Since that time Naughty Dog managed to refine their multiplayer skills with the HUGELY underrated Last of Us Factions mode.
Like the story mode in U4, ND have been heavily influenced by their zombie shooter and over time one can sense how U4’s multiplayer mode may also gather a cult following.
The basics of any multiplayer shooter are present with team deathmatches and variations of capture the flag and domination but it’s in the niche realm of Uncharted where things get interesting. You can customise your loadouts as usual and with a good chunk of mods such as reload times and clip capacity which is something I didn’t actually expect. The options for weapons and gear are a lot more robust than ND have led us to believe. The best part however is how you fill up your loadout. You have a limited number of loadout points so it can be a bit tricky but there are a range of options to make sure you have the best game you can.
There are four different types of add-ons to equip: Mysticals, sidekicks, gear and heavy weapons. Mysticals can acts as UAV’s, slow down enemies, heal teammates in an instant or grant you a brief period of invincibility and lightning speed. My favourite is the El Dorado which is a massive totem that sporadically fires out damaging orbs. These are a fantastic way to adopt killstreak perks while still tying in with the theme of the game.
Sidekicks are characters that you can call in to assist you in you battle. The Brute is a bitch to deal with but when he’s on your team, you’ll be thankful for it when he is laying down suppressing fire with a mini-gun. The medic runs around healing and supplying ammo while the sniper is able to be repositioned.
The hunter is the final one. He darts around the map putting players in choke holds that opens up players for a easy down. I loved how much it added to the playing field, making the limited player count seem so much more congested.
The last two are gear and weapon based with options to assign grenades, C4, mines, etc. And heavy weapons such as grenade launchers and heavy MG’s can be purchased. Most of these can be modded too, adding things like damage output and healing speeds to your sidekicks and mysticals.
There are eight maps to play on at the moment, drawing designs from locations in the game. They’re medium sized which is perfect given the 5v5 skirmishes so with a full game, you’ll never go long without finding an enemy. What makes them great is that they extend vertically too with climbing and swinging points just like the main game.
There are a few of context based maneuvers you can pull off. Ripping opponents over ledges, booting them off them and drop punching them after a swing. It all adds to the diversity in gameplay and as you rack up a couple of games, you start to notice just how many ways there are to dispatch players.
There are a tonne of aesthetic items to collect too. Completing challenges and doing trials earns you relic points which can be used to open chests. Chests contain everything from mods, characters, weapons and character skins and a plethora of vanity items like hats and facewear.
When I first started playing – mere days after launch, there were connectivity issues, which stopped play every 5-10 seconds. Following a patch and some fixes, U4’s multiplayer is sound and I haven’t seen that dreaded connection error icon once. It all runs smooth now, population of lobbies is quick and there is no lag considering it runs at a lovely looking 60fps.
Uncharted 4’s multiplayer is just damn good fun. I feel as though people will scoff at it in this war-shooter dominated environment but there is a level of enjoyment to be had here that is incomparable. Naughty Dog have honed Uncharted’s adventure and rollicking, adrenaline fueled gameplay and transitioned it wonderfully into multiplayer. No, there are no crashing planes or jeep chases but swinging around rooftops firing an AK-47 as a rocket whizzes past you is a great feeling. It’s frenetic, fast paced and and it all looks stunning.
Just a side note here. Below is the “Road Map” that Naughty Dog has released detailing their future updates for Uncharted 4 Multiplayer. It’s all free and if the DLC for The Last of Us is anything to go on, we’re in for a real treat.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is available on PlayStation 4 now.