Saturday, October 10, 2009

Uncharted 2 Online: Not that bad

Just played a few maps of Uncharted 2 online, and I have to say, I'm impressed by how Naughty Dog pulled this out of their ass, being their first online multiplayer venue (Jak X Racing being their first multiplayer game).

I played Ice Caves (or whatever it's called, the place with snow; I really don't take notes when playing games) twice in a row, and the map was fairly big, but not big enough to host 5v5 matches, which is what I played. Maybe the Plaza (which I dicked around in for a bit, fiddling with control settings and relearning Uncharted's button mapping), but not Ice Caves.

Starting off, while waiting in the lobby, you are presented with one of two choices of maps to play. Similar to Halo's Veto system, however, instead of being presented with one map, and if enough people veto, you get a second, non-vetoable map. Here, you can choose between the two, and whichever gets the most votes wins. Afterwards, you'll get a short countdown and a loading screen appears to load the map. I would think they would merge this with the countdown sequence or something better than a loading screen which can take roughly 15-20 seconds. Compared to Halo 3's loading, once that timer ends, it's about a 2-4 second latency before the match is up and loading.

In the map, you are presented with a variety of weapons. Those I noticed were the Desert Eagle, AK-47, grenade launcher, Moss 12 shotgun, grenades and another rifle who's name looks like 'FAIL' at a glance, and unfortunately, that's all I got ([UPDATE] I was playing it again, and made sure to see what the name is. It's called the "FAL" gun, fires in a 3-round burst. Go figure). You and your teammates scramble to find their own weapons and enemies to kill.

What I didn't know was Naughty Dog remapped the grenades away from the D-Pad to L2. However, to throw a grenade, you need to aim using L1, then use L2. Here is another issue I have with devs forcing you to use both buttons on the same shoulder in tandem to do something. Killzone 2 was the biggest violator with this (that's another post, possibly another day), and I had hoped Naughty Dog wouldn't mess around with the controls. I didn't notice a control map setting, however, I was more concerned making sure my Y-axis aiming was inverted, which it's not by default.

The level up system reminds me of Call of Duty, but I can't say too much of a reference as I got 3 matches in with World at War and stopped; I felt like a fish out of water and it just wasn't my slice of cake. You earn experience based on kills and other fancy tasks, such as assisting a kill or going fisticuffs with another player (which I assume is kill a player by melee after they've melee'd you). Well, it's not so much as experience, but more of money. Earning more money gets you closer to another level up. The first match I played, I had to quit because my controls weren't responding properly (yes, I just blamed the controller). I earned $250 in that match, and started another one up. Here, I earned over $3,000 and I'm 1/4 of the meter away from hitting level 3. The money can be spent towards power-ups for your weapons and boosters (think of WaW's Perks). I'm sure there's two different money counters: One for money you can spend, and one for how much you've earned in total. It'd be pretty shitty to go down a level simply because you spent some money.

Overall, I had a good time, and I'll be playing this weekend (tomorrow and Monday for that FHE contest). If Naughty Dog doesn't reset stats, I'll continue playing the multiplayer when the game hits this Tuesday. Hopefully BrĂ¼tal Legend won't take too much time away.

That reminds me...which one will I playing first?