Soon you'll be able to high five your PlayStation Network and Facebook buddies while standing over the corpse of Nathan Drake - and you'll be rewarded for doing so in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception's all-new online multiplayer component.
PlayStation 3 owners will be able to get their hands on the game's multiplayer as early as June. Uncharted 3 doesn't ship until November, but a multiplayer beta for the game will go wide on July 5, with early access to that beta hitting a week earlier on June 28. PlayStation Plus subscribers and Infamous 2 owners will allowed that early access.
Now, high-fiving your teammate in Uncharted 3 may not be the most innovative or impressive of the game's features, but it was one I was happy to pull off while standing above a pile of pirate corpses. (Especially after being "left hanging" a few minutes earlier by my matchmade buddy.)
Here are the more impressive and exciting features of Uncharted 3's multiplayer, starting with the benefits of friends.
Uncharted 3 introduces the Buddy System, which does more than just let players high five each other. When paired with a buddy in, say, the game's new Three Team Deathmatch mode, a six player, 2 vs 2 vs 2 contest, players can earn extra cash by performing certain actions during matches. They can be as subtle as high-fiving for a few extra bucks or more complicated, but all carry a risk-reward consideration.
The Buddy System also adds special Buddy Boosters, unique player perks that help players work in tandem to earn extra cash, ammo, grenades, medals and more.
Speaking of Boosters, the perks of Uncharted 3, players can now purchase Paid Boosters by using their in-game cash to buy skills that aren't available simply through unlocks. While the list of Boosters is long and varied, with the ability to level them up through player progression, there's one Booster that won't make a return.
Yes, Situational Awareness, the bane of many Uncharted 2 players, will not be returning for Uncharted 3.
What else is new in Uncharted 3 multiplayer?
Power Plays - an event that gives the leading team an opportunity to earn more cash and the losing team an opportunity to score more kills.
Medal Kickbacks - Medals picked up from treasure chests can be spent to buy temporary boosters. They're one-time uses and include special abilities like a rocket launcher, a smoke bomb that teleports players out of sight and Carpet Bomb, an option to toss three grenades at once.
Massive Customisation - Players can fully customise their characters, outfitting both heroes (Drake, Sully) and villains with "hundreds of unique parts", including hats, shirts, sunglasses, pants, shoes and more. Want Nathan Drake to wear a purple thermal shirt and gold jeans? No problem.