The Uncharted 3 beta came out yesterday and if you cared at all about getting into it, you saved your free Playstation Plus that everyone got after the outage in order to download it. It’s kind of weird all the talk of giving out beta codes when everyone had the capacity to get in on this beta.

The first couple hours it was very rough because of the thousands and thousands of people I’m sure who were trying to connect. Meanwhile, Naughty Dog was tweeting their progress updates as they scrambled to fix problems. Finally I got some games in and despite several crashes of my PS3 it started stabilizing until there were very few problems and just about no crashing.

I’ve only very rarely played the beta version of upcoming games, but I’m surprised (yet completely not surprised) at some of the really knee-jerk comments some people have been making about the poor performance of the beta. It’s a beta. The game comes out in November and it’s not even July right now. Naughty Dog already has a fantastic track record with the other Uncharted games and some people seem to be ready to assume the worst. Well, they’ll put their foot in their mouth when it comes out in November and plays smooth as butter. If they release it and it’s still buggy as all heck then certainly, feel free to criticize, but not five months out.

Technical issues aside I’m really enjoying the changes they made to the game. Even in its stripped down version, the reward system of boosters, treasure and character accessories give a lot of incentive to play the game past just earning money to get boosters and character skins. The “Power Plays” that are meant to try to balance the score are very interesting and fun additions.

The maps are fun, the graphics looks great and the gun sound effects I’m really liking as they’re more understated than the rat-tat-tat of UC2. There are a ton of small things too like the targeting reticles are nicer, and the aiming dot that shows up while running around helps you aim before you go to over-the-shoulder mode.

Like I said, already in the space of a long evening the game seemed to have gotten more smooth and stable. So five months should yield plenty of refinements that’ll make it an awesome game when it finally comes out. The beta goes on for two weeks and then I believe the multiplayer is going to be back in October before the game comes out. Super excited!

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