It would be unfair to call Uncharted 4’s multiplayer an afterthought, but there’s no doubt that it will be in the shadow of the single player campaign mode. Still, despite that inevitability, Uncharted 4’s multiplayer is as solid as it’s always been.
Personally, I haven’t dabbled with Uncharted’s competitive modes since Uncharted 2. However, not much has changed, which is good or bad news depending on your take. Muscle memory kicked in right away and I was off and running shortly after the demo began.
At PAX East 2016, the mode on display was Plunder. A neutral CTF variant where teams must secure an idol placed somewhere in the middle of the map. The idol carrier moves very slowly, so team work is crucial if you want to successfully escort whoever is carrying it. The idol can’t be “idle” for too long, or else it respawns. There were a couple of bugs where multiple idols would spawn, and render them un-capturable, but one would expect those bugs to be ironed out before launch given Naughty Dog’s track record.
It plays very familiar to previous entries, but there are some new features that should make fans of the mode happy. First, it feels as fluid and pretty as ever now that it runs at a slick 60 FPS pace.
Players can now also purchase weapons and abilities on the fly during a match depending on their load out using cash earned from scoring. During my demo, I went on a nice run killing a few enemies and then capturing the idol which racked me up some money. By pressing the Dual Shock 4’s touchpad, I was able to bring up a menu that let me purchase some new weapons and abilities called Mysticals. My assault class featured a Rocket Launcher that I could equip on the fly once I had enough cash. It’s not a kill streak per se, but it something new that rewards good play. Although I didn’t get the chance to see it for myself, Uncharted 4 will also feature AI sidekicks that can help you in battle.
Besides that, there’s nothing that stood out as far as new and exciting features are concerned. It’s essentially the same classic Uncharted gameplay transported to competitive arena as it has existed in the previous games with some small tweaks and additions. It’s the same team third-person shooter gameplay infused with the ability to climb, jump, and utilize the terrain in a way that you don’t see as much in the competition. There’s even a grappling hook now that you can use to zip around areas of the map, and get a jump on unsuspecting players.
At the end of the day if you wanted Uncharted’s multiplayer to remain mostly intact from the previous games with tweaks here and there, it looks like you will happy with what Uncharted 4 is bringing to the table. That’s perfectly fine considering Uncharted’s multiplayer has been solid since its debut in UC2 and really doesn’t need any dramatic changes.
If you’re one of the many people who play Uncharted just for the single player, based on what we’ve seen so far, it is definitely worth a look if you’ve yet to ever give it a shot. If you’re a fan of the game’s combat, and aren’t too burned out by the end of the campaign, you should find plenty of extra hours to kill in multiplayer before packing the disc away back into your collection.