Can you quip and shoot from the back of a taxiing cargo plane at the same time?

While the core attraction of the Uncharted series has always been its single-player campaign full of intrigue and excitement, Uncharted 2 experimented with adding multiplayer action to the third-person shooter, a la Gears of War. It was obviously a side diversion at best, but it was entertaining enough to work well as precisely that and nothing more.

As you can see in the trailer above, multiplayer will be returning to Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and it seems to be a bit expanded this time around. As seen here, there’s more customization in character skins and weaponry than before – at least for the generic characters. I doubt I’d be able to give Nathan Drake a mohawk or mullet and dye it bright pink, but I’ll keep hope alive.

Naughty Dog’s Arne Meyer has posted an outline of some of the new multiplayer features over at PlayStation Blog, and it’s intriguing if nothing else. In it, he discusses two multiplayer maps, Chateau and Airstrip. The first is a straightforward affair (with ziplines!) but the second sounds rather unique. As you can see here, Airstrip involves a shootout between those in the back of a giant cargo plane taking off, and bad guys (good guys?) in jeeps chasing them down the runway.

It’s a classic set piece in every Indiana Jones-wannabe movie ever, and it looks like it could be a lot of fun to play, even if I have no idea how the people in jeeps would maneuver. Also, apparently after the plane takes off it turns into a regular gunfight in the hangar. Lame!

Naughty Dog also has a few new gameplay additions this time around. There are two new modes of Deathmatch – one Free-For-All, and one with three teams of 2-on-2-on-2. The game will also (finally) let players join matches in progress, a sorely needed feature that every other multiplayer game worth its salt already has.

Rather more interesting-sounding are Uncharted 3‘s “Buddy System,” – which will let two players share successes in a match, and will allow one downed player to respawn on his Buddy during lulls in the combat – and the “Power Plays.” A Power Play will allow a team in the lead a chance to maximize its rewards and cash for upgrades, but will also make it easier for the losing team to come from behind and take a victory. How will they do it? I haven’t the faintest idea.

Oh, and Nathan Drake (and friends) can finally sprint now. It’s about time.

Check out the whole feature from Naughty Dog over at PlayStation Blog.

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