I was lucky enough to get some hands on time with the Uncharted 4 multiplayer Beta. As can be expected of an Uncharted multiplayer mode, we where running around as characters from the main game shooting, punching and blowing up our opponents.
Things have changed quite significantly though due to the addition of the new Mystic and Sidekick abilities available to the players, as well as the inclusion of the rope swinging mechanic that is found in the single player campaign.
The Mystic abilities add a decidedly Uncharted twist to the game. We had access to El Dorado, a mystic grenade that summons an ancient stone totem, which shoots wailing spirits that attack your opponents, the Sintamani Stone that acts like a reviving buff and the Djinn ability that lets you teleport around the map.
Sidekick abilities summon a sidekick that can aid you in battle in various ways. We had access to the following Sidekick abilities. The Sniper that acts like a potent turret (you can command the sniper to reposition themselves at any time), the Brute that pretty much follows you while wielding a mini-gun and lastly the Medic that runs after you and your team mates healing you when needed.
These significantly change up the tactics from those usually associated with cover based multiplayer shooters. A strategically placed Sniper could easily cut off a path the opponent could use to sneak up on you, while an El Dorado thrown in-between your opponents can cause havoc, making their cover useless.
When to use these abilities are crucial, as they cost in-game currency which is earned from kills and finding treasures located throughout the map. Most of the more powerful abilities usually come into play later in a match as they tend to be more expensive.
Another mechanic that mixes up the gameplay is the rope swinging mechanic. Each player has access to a grappling hook that can be used to grapple onto certain objects, allowing you to swing over large gaps and even your opponents. The objects you are able to grapple on are indicted with an icon; I did find it hard to see/notice these icons at times. This caused a few accidental deaths as I tried to grapple onto an object that I wasn’t able to only to plummet to my doom (to the delight of my opponents). It does get better once you learn the layout of a map and start to realize where grappling is possible. Not only does the grappling hook assist in movement, but when combining a punch with the momentum gained from swinging players can unleash a powerful attack on their opponents.
We were able to play two maps, a rainforest themed map and one reminiscent of a small European village. The maps seemed to encourage team work more than the previous Uncharted multiplayer, as we were able to move together without getting separated. Maps also include a lot of verticality, as there were many alternate paths that could be accessed by climbing or swinging onto objects, these enabled us to surprise our opponents on various occasions. This again promoted team work, as we had to be aware of our surroundings at all times.
Being very sceptical at first, I was really surprised at how much fun the Uncharted 4 multiplayer Beta was. The new abilities add opportunities for some interesting tactics, and also make the game feel more true to the mystical undertones that are found in the Uncharted series of games. From what I’ve played of the Beta it seems that the Uncharted 4 multiplayer mode might be a worthy addition to one of 2016’s most anticipated games.