Sony has confirmed a multiplayer beta for Uncharted 3, with early access on 28th June if you buy InFamous 2 or subscribe to PSN Plus, becoming freely available on 5th July.
The date was revealed alongside a first look at the game's multiplayer component last week in Los Angeles. Speaking to Eurogamer, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells talked up how the "really strong" and "still thriving" community for Uncharted 2 had shaped the studio's approach this time.
"We really wanted to embrace the community, and listened to what they asked for," he said. "One of the unique features of Uncharted 2 multiplayer versus all the other online shooters out there is that we have a very rich and deep traversal move set. It's a very vertical experience, so we really wanted to leverage that and build environments that took advantage."
An extensive list of new features includes one new game mode (with more to be announced), Three Team Deathmatch, which pits three teams of two against each other. Meanwhile, the cinematic setpieces typical of the single-player adventure have been translated into multiplayer battles.
Social media integration is also on the menu, allowing Facebook friends to play each other even if they are not PSN contacts, and videos can be edited and uploaded to Facebook and YouTube.
Naughty Dog has taken steps to balance matches with Power Plays, which grant temporary bonuses to a side losing heavily – Elimination, for example, prevents the opposition from respawning. Overtime and Sudden Death will also kick-in when there is no clear winner.
Add to that customisable loadouts and characters, new boosters, kickbacks and treasure to acquire, split-screen and stereoscopic 3D support, and the promise of a full reveal of co-op missions further down the line.
For the full lowdown on Uncharted 3 multiplayer, check out our extensive hands-on impressions. A video report from last week's event, featuring interviews with Wells and game director Justin Richmond is on its way soon too.
Oh, and don't forget the nifty new trailer.