Uncharted 3 at E3 2011

Hands-On Multiplayer and the New Melee System

June 10, 2011 by

Most would agree that Naughty Dog’s 2009 Game of the Year, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, was about as close to it gets to a game being flawless. Both singleplayer and multiplayer were unique experiences that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. But Naughty Dog is a perfectionist, and “almost” just doesn’t cut it; now two years later, they’re back with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and a totally revamped multiplayer that features tons of brand-new features and tweaks.

While I’ve been dying to play Uncharted 3, I didn’t spend too much time with it at E3 since the multiplayer beta is only a couple weeks away and I already had my hands full with so many other previews. What I did see with my limited time playing U3‘s multiplayer were a lot of little tweaks like new weapons, attachments on weapons, new gameplay modes, and weapon load-out options between spawns that made the game almost feel foreign to me.

The biggest and most notable improvement I saw was to the melee combat system in multiplayer. Like I said earlier, Among Thieves was “almost” flawless: one major complaint I always had was how U2‘s singleplayer and co-op featured a dynamic and fun melee system that allowed players to smoothly perform melee executions when in front of foes, but in multiplayer those animations were nowhere to be found and replaced with an awkward melee animation that would force you to stop in your tracks and swipe at the air, ruining the flow of the game.

It seems like Naughty Dog has listened to their fans and updated the melee system for U3; right away when trying to melee someone, I was able to baseball slide into them and take them out. I didn’t have enough time to check out other melee animations, but I’m sure all the entertaining moves from U2‘s singleplayer/co-op and more have been added to Uncharted 3‘s multi.

Although fixing the melee combat system for Uncharted 3 would make it perfect in my mind, there was one other problem that I noticed while playing and watching others play: the aiming system. Uncharted 2‘s aiming was spot-on and one of the reasons I loved it so much. When watching others demo the game and the video below, I commented that the people playing must suck because they’re horrible at aiming. Turns out it wasn’t just them. For some reason the aiming in U3 feels a bit sluggish and not as accurate as U2‘s. Even when jacking the sensitivity up to the max, I had trouble quickly aiming and keeping my targeting reticle on foes. Hopefully the controls are still being tweaked and the aiming will improve during the beta that starts on June 28th.