Mark your calendars, folks; the Uncharted 3 beta is due July 5th, with early access available for Playstation Plus subscribers or early adopters inFamous 2, who can jump in on June 28th, a week early. Uncharted 2 enjoyed a successful beta in the run-up to its launch, ensuring a smooth, balanced experience upon release, and with Naughty Dog promising big things for the third outing, a beta to test the waters is vital.
Uncharted 3 is set to integrate Facebook and Twitter far more comprehensively than its predecessor, with fans able to communicate on and offline with each other, whilst in the game or logged in to their social networking site of choice. Youtube integration is promised, too, with Uncharted TV allowing you to mark, edit and upload clips from the game.
The multiplayer itself, whilst not drastically overhauled, is being beaten into perfect shape by Naughty Dog's coders. You can now customize your character, with clothing and accessories which can all be selected in different colours. Weapons can be modded now, too, with perk-esque traits to allow for faster reloading or increased ammunition. Naughty Dog want you to establish a real identity in Uncharted 3, and with such powerful tools I imagine that won't be a problem.
Furthermore, defeated foe drop treasure for you to loot and spend on items such as clothing or mods, with Naughty Dog also employing a system similar to Call of Duty's killstreaks where earning enough medals in one single game grants you access to a reward of sorts, like an RPG. New modes have been includes, with fans who clamored for Free-for-All matches rewarded, and a new Three Team Deathmatch pitting three teams of two against each other, riffing on the three-way disputes of the campaign.
If you're on the winning or losing side in a game, too, you might be the lucky - or unlucky - recipient of a random in-game inclusion, such as double-damage inflicted by the losing team. With the intention of keeping things competitive, winning teams who suddenly find maxed-out opposition will reap far greater rewards if they succeed.
Naughty Dog is also throwing the proverbial kitchen-sink at the game's maps, which the developer has ripped right from the campaign in the hope of translating the cinematic experience to the multiplayer side of things. The Chateau map, for example, which we've seen quite a few times now, is ablaze and poised to collapse, whereas the Airstrip map begins in the cargo hold of a plan about to take off.
All in all, Uncharted 3 is poised to take the gaming world by storm. Unlike quite a few big-budget blockbusters who shoehorn multiplayer functional in for the sake of an extra bullet-point on the box, Naughty Dog seem to be taking online very seriously, indeed. We'll have more for you when the beta drops in July. [Joystiq]