Uncharted 4 Multiplayer Beta Impressions

At Playstation Experience, players got the chance to try out the Uncharted 4: Among Thieves Multiplayer Beta, otherwise available only to owners of Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection. The Uncharted 4 Multiplayer Beta opens with a brief single-player tutorial that teaches you how to play it. For a few brief moments, it almost feels like you're playing a single player Uncharted game. That's almost the real value of the multiplayer beta, which is fine on its merits, but really it's more that you're getting a sneak peek at what it will be like playing the main campaign of Uncharted 4.

The beta, as one would expect from Naughty Dog's first game developed exclusively for PS4, is characteristically lush and beautiful. Star Wars: Battlefront may be the most beautiful game available on PS4 and PC, but Uncharted 4 is set to give it a run for its money with its stylized environments, whether you're in Madagascar City with its bight primary colors or the lush jungle island setting.

As a game, the Uncharted 4 Multiplayer Beta isn't bad. When I was playing it, only team deathmatch mode available. It has a series of different premade loadouts that function as different classes, with weapons, support items, magical abilities, and in some loadouts support characters, which can be purchased for money in-game. The magical abilities, or "Mysticals," have varying effects from area-of-effect attacks, to marking enemy players on the map, to giving the player super-speed. Money also levels up the player, allowing them to buy different elements to fill out a custom loadout.

Matches are largely about leaping up walls, dashing to cover, and then firing against opposing team members, who are in the process of either leaping up walls or dashing to cover. You can mitigate factors by tossing a grenade, setting off a placed charge near cover, or using one of the support sidekick characters; my favorite is the Hunter, who runs ahead of you and begins choking someone out, priming them for a melee takedown. Overall, the multiplayer sits in a polite space between adequate and good.

What it does best is give you a taste of what Uncharted 4 plays like. The initial "Assault" loadout is classic-Uncharted AK47 and grenades with an aggressive Mystical and machine pistol. For the most part, it plays as a very smooth and clean experience of classic Uncharted gameplay, with exemplary targeting control, speed of movement, mantling, and traversal. The new grappling hook is the biggest addition.

The grappling hook allows you to swing across chasms, or from one high platform to another, enhancing the vertical possibilities for play. This can be deployed wherever there is an attach point (like a tree branch or a hanging beam) and can be done in midair, making for the occasional leap-of-faith that ends with an exhilarating swing. However, if you attach just as you're about to hit the ground, your character hilariously will run along the ground while clinging to the grappling hook attached above them as if holding a flag. By and large though, it's a fantastic feature that just adds to the experience.

As an online experience I've enjoyed Uncharted 4's multiplayer beta, with its limitations, but it didn't exactly blow me away. That said, as a demo for how Nate Drake is going to be ridiculously badass, I am so excited. You can just see how the gameplay elements, plus a refined stealth mechanic, are just going to be phenomenal in the finished game. The art assets, as beautiful as they are in multiplayer, also give you the barest glimpse of how the game will look when it's less modular and more meticulously detailed, level by level. Uncharted 4: Among Thieves sure looks like it's going to be great, and for those in the Beta, they get just a tiny little taste of that.