Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will be developer Naughty Dog’s third stab at their treasure-centric multiplayer mode, and that means we’ll probably see a ton of classic multiplayer maps make the jump from the original trilogy right into the latest Uncharted instalment.
This has happened before too, with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Naughty Dog released two DLC packs – Flashback Map Pack 1 and Flashback Map Pack 2 – which consisted of some fan-favourite multiplayer maps ripped straight from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. These maps retained the same layout, but added an atmospheric twist; the previously snowy Train Wreck was now a scorched desert, and the Flooded Ruins were now the Molten Ruins, for example.
So, looking ahead, there’s a lot to look forward to, but looking back is just as apt. The final Uncharted multiplayer mode is almost upon us, so to whet your appetite, here are IGCritic’s picks for the 7 best Uncharted multiplayer maps of all time.
Chateau (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)
The burning chateau was one of the first locations gamers got a taste of in Uncharted 3, across both single and multiplayer map modes. It’s a map with a slowly deteriorating environment, which means it rewards players that plan ahead and preempt the collapsing floors and burning walls.
Chateau was criticised by many for being a ‘one room’ only map, and these critics aren’t necessarily wrong. The bulk of the action is confined to a single room on the top floor of the building, and it’s precisely this that makes each match so fast-paced and fun. Bullets would fly, grenades would explode and players would pump over the course of a truly frantic 15-minute session. Because everything was centred around this one space, it meant that there was never a dull moment.
Island (Uncharted 4 Multiplayer Beta)
It’s the newest addition to the franchise, but is no less worthy. The Island multiplayer map debuted with the Uncharted 4 multiplayer beta last December, and instantly struck a chord with players due to its lush jungles and leafy passageways.
Clever use of the grappling hook can make it easy to target foes down on surfaces below, swinging through the sky to land the ultimate aerial sucker punch. Uncharted 4 also introduces other new elements to the series, including a computer-controlled sniper companion; this trigger-happy lone ranger can be placed at either end of a long stretch of map, picking off anyone unfortunate enough to enter its crosshairs. Luckily, the Island offers enough diverse gameplay and gorgeous visuals to make playing it over and over again during the beta feel refreshing every single time.
Village (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
Probably most memorable for the tank that plowed through the center of the map at the halfway point in a match, the Village is one of the ‘flattest’ multiplayer maps in Uncharted history. There aren’t many places to climb up and get the jump on your enemies, making each and every gunfight a much more level affair. Because of the simple layout of the arena, there are numerous choke points that can easily be controlled by skilled teams.
Representing one of the most memorable chapters in the single-player campaign, the Village looks beautiful, with the cold, muddy colour palette nicely contrasted by the red and blue paints used by the village inhabitants. Pro-tip: rush that M32-Hammer grenade launcher at the start of the match, and assert your dominance on all your rifle-wielding peasant enemies.
London Underground (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)
London Underground is one of the rare Uncharted multiplayer maps that isn’t set outside in an open area. Instead, the action is confined to the ruins of a subway station, complete with train tracks, tunnels and even the vehicles themselves.
It’s the combination of close quarters versus long range combat that makes this map truly special, though. Players can sneak through the tightly woven outskirts, or jump out into the middle for a long-distance sniper battle. There’s even a variation of this map that sees both teams spawn atop a moving train, which resulted in some hilarious video moments for some Twitch streamers.
Fort (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
Ask anyone who’s ever played a deathmatch at the Fort what they did as soon as they spawned, and you’ll get the same answer. Most savvy players will run to pick up the FAL – a long-range, scoped burst rifle – and proceed to take potshots at the enemy team, who spawned at the opposite end of the map and are doing exactly the same thing.
This opening sniper battle allows two or three team members to get some quick, easy kills, while the other players sneak down and around, hoarding power weapons and picking off any stragglers. The Fort was very well-known for its battles that took place both above and below ground, meaning that depending on preference, you could engage in close quarters or mid to long range gunfights.
Shotguns, pistols and RPGs would win out in the lower half of the map, where rifles, snipers and grenades would dominate the upper. It’s a very well-designed arena that can easily reward the more strategic of multiplayer teams in spades.
Train Wreck (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
‘Wreck’ may be in the name, but a wreck this map is not. At least not in terms of gameplay design, anyway. As the name implies, Train Wreck is centred around the blown-up ruins of a former locomotive, a vehicle that crashed and tumbled all the way down the snowy mountainside before coming to a rest at the edge of a cliff.
Like most Uncharted multiplayer maps, Train Wreck features a certain level of interactivity and environment-altering features. Halfway through the game, one of the train’s carriages will fall off the edge of the map into the abyss below, taking any players caught within its path down with it. Given that it’s set high in the mountains, the weather is rather snowy, and worsens as the game progresses; with visibility at an unbelievable low, enemy players could literally appear out of nowhere, which resulted in many a tense encounter.
Temple (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
Temple was the very first map that Uncharted multiplayer veterans got a taste of when the beta launched in summer 2009, and it’s remained the best ever since. The simple, symmetrical layout works wonder here, and always ensures that players know where to go to find the action. This map is a fine example of bottlenecking the gameplay, saving the quieter areas for safe spawns and containing shootouts to several prominent areas.
All in all, Temple just plain personifies the Uncharted series. It’s simple to learn, but complex enough to reward strategy. It promotes stealth, as well as the more gung-ho happy-go-lucky approach. There are a ton of places to take cover, and a ton of walls to climb to get the jump on your enemy. It’s the very best multiplayer map in the whole Uncharted series, and will be hard for Uncharted 4 to top when it releases this May.
So, that just about wraps things up! Just like Sully and his next moustache-grooming session, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is just around the corner. While you wait, check out our official Uncharted 4 countdown and get properly prepared by playing The Nathan Drake Collection.