Uncharted 2 Beta – first impressions

The original Uncharted was a cracking romp in the Indiana Jones style, with superb gunplay, a wise cracking hero and simple puzzles to solve. It didn’t include a multiplayer option, but this sequel does. But is it necessary or is it simply a tacked on extravagance?

It all started badly as I tried to start a game. I made my choice of game mode, from the old favourite Team Deathmatch, Objectives (This has two modes, in the first you need to capture points on the map and protect them. Then there’s also Plunder, a capture the flag style mode, but with a gold idol), Co-op Objectives (Which looks like levels taken from the single player game, which you need to complete with the help of your online friends) and Co-op Arena (Similar to Plunder, with you and 2 players looking to take treasure to a designated spot on the map, while enemies come at you from all sides). I chose a mode and then waited to join a game…and waited…and waited. It took a good 5 minutes or so to get other players connected, and this problem needs prompt attention before the games final retail release.

The graphics of Uncharted 2 instantly impress.

The graphics of Uncharted 2 instantly impress.

The good news is the gameplay is as solid as you’ll remember from the original. Your hero/villain rolls around and ducks behind scenery for cover effortlessly. Gun play is good fun and aiming is accurate and satisfying. There is a good choice of weapons lying around from sniper rifles and gatling guns to rocket launchers, which help spice things up, and thankfully grenade throwing is now controlled with the analogue stick, rather than the motion controls from the previous game. You level up COD style and you get two ‘booster’ slots, which you can use to increase your shooting accuracy, or your ammo clip.

Team Deathmatch speaks for itself. Plunder is a good alternative to Capture the Flag and has the two teams battling to retrieve the gold idol from the centre of the level, and return it to their base. You can throw the idol in front of you, or up onto a raised platform if things get a bit intense in the heat of the battle. Co-op levels have you and up to two others, playing through what looks like levels from the single player game. In this mode, mixed in with the usual gun play, are various obstacles to traverse, which have you joining up with the others to move large obstacles, or helping your companions up to unreachable areas and covering each other as hordes of enemies come at you from all sides, then there are large Bosses who come at you with  gatling guns and are harder to kill. It’s all highly entertaining and solidly executed.

There are a good selection of levels on offer in the Beta.

There are a good selection of levels on offer in the Beta.

With the Beta you get a good selection of levels, from the icy wastes of The Temple, to the run-down shanty town of The Village being particular highlights. There are lots of opportunities of cover and raised platforms to snipe from as well. The spawn points can be a bit dodgy at times though, with me spawning just in time to get blown to bits by a well placed grenade. Whether this is people who have spotted the spawn points or just bad luck I can’t say. Hopefully they’ll look into this and rectify it for the final release.

All in all the Uncharted 2 Beta is an entertaining addition to the single player, and will add extra value and play time to the game, but I have reservations on it’s long term appeal. It’s a solid enough multiplayer experience, but I just can’t see it being much more than a short term distraction until the arrival of Modern Warfare 2.

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Written by Kevin M

I've been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70's. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I've faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!

One comment

  1. I agree. The multiplayer is a nice addition but I don’t see people playing it for too long. Especially not with games like COD and MAG coming out in the coming months.

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