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Naughty Dog has released a barrage of information about Uncharted 3's competitive multiplayer today. They also announced when the beta will begin.
UC3 will add several new online modes. One Is Three Team Deathmatch pits three teams of two players apiece against each other. Free For All, meanwhile, is...okay, you know what "free for all" means. Naughty Dog will announce additional modes as the game's release approaches.
The developers are looking to do more than just add new modes and maps, though. They're also trying to make the multiplayer experience much smoother. Competitive multiplayer will now support late joining to ensure that matches won't become imbalanced if someone decided to leave early. The new Buddy system will pair each player up with a partner that they can share rewards with and spawn on. Also, speaking of buddies: UC3 will support online split-screen so you and a friend can jump into multiplayer together from the same console.
UC3 also features much deeper multiplayer customization than its predecessor. Some of this is cosmetic; you can edit your character's clothing and accessories and design a custom emblem. However, in some cases your customization will affect gameplay as well. For example, you can modify your weapons with new scopes or clips to give yourself an edge in combat.
The Booster system returns as well, enhancing a select set of your abilities. Naughty Dog has beefed up the existing collection of Boosters and added Paid Boosters, which are one-time bonuses you buy with cash earned in multiplayer. You can also select a Kickback, which is sort of like a kill-streak reward from a Call of Duty game. Basically, it's a temporary advantage you'll gain by racking up specific Medals in a match.
Naughty Dog is even changing the way you unlock customization options. It's not just a matter of grinding cash and earning levels. You can pick up new items by finding treasure chests during matches. Many unlockables will also be earned through Missions, which provide you with personal long-term and short-term goals. Some of these Missions can take a match; some can take days.
The multiplayer beta for UC3 will begin worldwide on June 28th. You can get early access by being a PlayStation Plus subscriber or purchasing new copies of inFamous 2.
Oh, and in case you're wondering: yes, UC3 will still have co-op. Naughty Dog's keeping it under wraps for now, though.