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Monday, October 26, 2009

Couple Notes on Uncharted 2 Multiplayer

I made a massive push on the Uncharted 2 single player experience, but don't really have my head around a full post for it yet. I did, however, want to expand my earlier review from the multiplayer demo.

The full version of the game has more maps and many more gametypes, including some fairly successful objective based ones. The mandatory Capture The Flag variant has players hauling around a large idol, which adds the not nearly used enough mechanic of hobbling the flag carrier, and also adds some of the fun of Epic's Bombing Run - namely tossing stuff around.

There are also a variety of domination/territory based games - which work remarkably well considering they are designed around the same maps as deathmatch (same, actually, goes for CTF).

The short summary is that Uncharted 2 adds an amazing online experience for the PlayStation 3. Highly recommend it.

Sadly, though, I still have to complain about the matchmaking. My assumption is that some players are teamed up at the beginning of the night, which makes breaking players up evenly difficult - but the problem remains the same. Numerous times the session will have all the high level players on one side, which often causes the highest level player on the losing side (and it always seems to be the highest level player) leaving early - which just cripples the losing team completely. Some of this gets pretty brutal.

The gameplay is good enough where it can be fun even if you're losing, which is an indication of a great game ... but when I can pretty accurately predict the outcome of a game just by the team makeup before the game starts, it sucks some of the fun out of an otherwise excellent experience.

Update: Last night I played a couple of hours and only had one match which was somewhat unbalanced, but not the wild sort I've seen repeatedly nights before. Don't know if this is just random behavior swinging to the other side or if there was a server-side fix. I'll keep an eye out.

Update to the update: Last night was bad - lots of very mismatched games. At one point, I just started leaving as the game started. Oddly, this is what finally caught Naughty Dog's eye, that I was jumping games. Which, don't get me wrong - not proud of ... but I can restart a game much faster than finishing it, and maybe the next one won't be such a one way battle.

Some digging seems to indicate that yeah, specific teams are the cause (that's in response to this, and I have lots of similar pics). This is age old problem of online play - boiling down to clan players getting repeatedly paired against casual players.

I'll probably roll this into a longer post, or the more complete Uncharted discussion. It's a huge detriment, though, and may just push me to coop way more- which I think is a shame (not that coop sucks, just that I'd be avoiding my preference. I just like fighting human intelligence...)

Update to the update to the update (guess I should just start numbering these). Naughty Dog is releasing a patch this weekend. It will "deter players from leaving voluntarily" and adjust goals for teams with fewer players. I'll try it out this weekend, but it seems like the wrong solution to the wrong problem to me. Address why people are leaving voluntarily first, simply deterring them seems pointless. I'll leave if I want to leave.

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