Though we still have to live without true campaign co-op in this series, the co-op offerings this time around are a little more robust. First, there’s Co-Op Adventure, which contains a five-level, loosely-plotted campaign that reuses assets from all three games in the series.
Though the co-op is really enjoyable, I don’t necessarily feel like the whole experience of the single-player campaign is captured. The traversal and puzzle-solving aspects are almost completely absent, and combined with the barebones plot, you’re only left with the combat. Luckily, the combat is entertaining enough to keep players engaged. While most of the enemies are the bog standard grunts from the campaign, there are special enemies who can grab and hold players, or minibosses who can lob clusters of grenades around, keeping players on their toes.
Though it was fun, I was really hoping that Adventure would bring more of the Uncharted experience to the table. I really feel like the puzzles would be fun to solve with friends (and after the single-player campaign, I really wanted to see more of them), and setting up daredevil leaps over crumbling terrain could be just as exciting as rolling through combat arenas. Revisiting a few locations from earlier games in the series was a nice touch, although I would probably prefer to see something fresher.
Co-Op Arena mode makes a return from Uncharted 2, though rather than being three separate modes (Siege, Gold Rush and Survival), all of these variants are rolled into one. As rounds pass, players will be tasked with capturing control points (Siege), carrying relic to a treasure chest across the map (Gold Rush) and simply fending off waves of enemies (Survival). Arena is solid fun, and there is a bit more of variety in the map selection than before.
New to Uncharted 3 co-op is the addition of weapon mods, boosters and medal kickbacks. Money and experience earned in the multiplayer modes allows you to unlock these abilities, which can have fairly drastic effects on how you play. Some abilities allow you to move faster while carrying an object, which is great if you’re playing a Gold Rush round or happen to be doing the Syria mission in Adventure. Others allow for faster respawn times, or the ability to carry more grenades.
Across all of the multiplayer modes, you can find treasures in the levels, which are dropped semi-randomly by bosses or may appear if you complete certain objective in the competitive and co-op modes. Collecting sets of items allows you to unlock weapons for your multiplayer loadouts, and adds to the longevity of these modes.