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Lay Siege Upon Thine Enemies

It’s nothing new that Naughty Dog is continually trying to thwart all efforts to trade in Uncharted 2, but do you ever get the feeling they’re trying too hard? Yeah me neither. 2 maps, 6 skins, 11 trophies, and the brand new siege mode, all for $5.99. Did I mention the double cash weekend going on right now?

Naughty Dog never ceases to amaze with their DLC, and it’s no different this time around. Siege mode is a welcome addition to the hectic Uncharted 2 multiplayer realm. The few rounds of it I’ve played so far really emphasize what it feels like to be playing in the main game. Moving around looking for cover, scrounging for ammo, and making the best of your surroundings because you can’t move on without getting some kills. I will admit that it is just a glorified survival mode with king of the hill thrown in, but it’s also so much more.

All living teammates must be in the circle that needs to be defended for the bar to fill. Not to mention no points are awarded for any kills made when even one team member is outside the circle. Don’t think for a second that doesn’t get frustrating; my first round of siege mode was on one of the new maps, and one of my teammates took it upon himself to explore the entirety of the map while me and the other guy tried to hold down the capture point. Once you and your team gain a rhythm however, it becomes a lot easier to hold down the fort.

The main difference here is, it’s a mobile fort. Every round the game changes the location that needs to be held for completion. This makes the mode a lot harder than survival, where a team can just hole up in the best equipped building. Not to mention the enemies seen are slightly different, as the armored soldiers appear in much earlier rounds. Alongside this great mode comes two new maps that really blew me out of the water.

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Museum feels a lot like many of the other maps in Uncharted 2, which is a good thing: plenty of buildings to climb and ground to cover. The water effects on the fountain in the middle of the map are a little lax, but I suppose every water effect looks bad when compared to the torrents of rain that fall in the Flooded Ruins map, which was released in the last DLC bundle. The actual museum is reminiscent of the main game, as strewn about the shelves are many of the treasures obtainable throughout the story.

Highrise is where the bundle really surprised me. It feels completely different from the other maps so far, on a good way. There’s a collection of blown out buildings, all connected by makeshift bridges. The map is very vertical, but allows for many styles of play. You could take your sniper rifle to the highest tower and take your enemies out one by one. Or, you can grab your shotgun and patrol the hallways, safe from sniper fire. Either way, there’s always danger waiting around the next corner. During co-op you have to be very careful about sticking together as it is very easy to lose the location of your partners. Oh, and keep your ears open, if you hear raid alarms going off, you’re going to want to get inside. A helicopter comes by and fires a barrage of missiles at the buildings. Unlike the chopper on the Plaza map, these rockets can and will kill you.

The skins, I’m sad to say, are mediocre at best. Two reskins of Skelzor (though the glowing green one is sort of cool), the two skins from the preorder bonus, Drake in his wetsuit from the first scene of the first Uncharted, and the undead explorer from the main game, the same skin that was playable during the Halloween weekend event. None of the new skins have a wet look either, not even WETsuit Drake. I would have been happier if he just always looked like he just leapt into a puddle, but oh well.

The 11 new trophies will surely keep players coming back for more as well. All in all, it’s a pretty packed bundle of presents for Uncharted 2 fans. I recommend it to anyone that enjoys the multiplayer of 2009’s game of the year. Now I’m just left wondering if they’ll ever let us play outside of custom on “The Stage”. I know it’s just a level that is supposed to show off the various gameplay mechanics, but if they made the weapons spawn on both sides, and balanced out the cover a little, it’d be one heck of a battle scene.

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