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DID YOU READ

Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta Unveils Co-op Campaign

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A few weeks back, Sony opened up the multiplayer beta for this fall’s hotly-antcipated “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.” For the last fortnigh or so, PS3 owners have had a chance to test drive two initial maps and a variety of modes for Nathan Drake’s third globe-trotting adventure.

IFC’s Matt Singer and I teamed up last week to try out the beta and both came away very pleased with the preview. Multiplayer plays much like the single-player portion, with cover and tactical traversal being key to any kind of success. Anyone taking a run-and-gun approach in the wide-open areas of, say, the Chateau map will just be doing the die-and-respawn tango, even if you have a buddy trying to provide cover fire. After some frantic Team Deathmatch to get warmed up, Matt and I moved on to Team Hunter one of the new “Uncharted 3” multiplayer modes. If you play as the game’s heroes, the goal of the mode is to place treasure on certain areas of the map. Meanwhile, those playing as the villains Heroes get the benefit of both pistols and long-range weapons while villains get only pistols. That inequity’s balanced out by the extra AI bots who’ll also be working to stop the heroes from achieving their objectives. After playing either side for a few hours, it seemed like, at this point, things in Hunter are weighted more towards the heroes. Villains may have the advantage of numbers but being able to shoot from a distance felt more powerful. The maps all show much promise. The Chateau map comes packed with hidey-holes and parallel pathways, along with turrets which serve as both bait and super weapon.

The fundamentals of the multiplayer experience will be familiar to anyone who’s played online shooters in the last five years or so. You’ll get attacked by waves of thugs across a huge environment, but “Uncharted 3” adds some differentiated classes of enemies that will require co-op co-ordination. The Choker, for example, can only be punched from behind and, if he grabs one of your buddies, you’ll need to attack him before your partner suffocates. If you revive a partner, you also will get full health back, too. Taunts are another new feature that let you brag over the body of someone you’ve taken out. Aside from looking hilarious and pissing off the other guys, they’ll give you an extra added chunk of XP. Buddy Taunts, like high-fiving over a fallen foe, benefit both players the same way. You’ll also be able to respawn on a buddy’s position, a great little tweak that keeps the flow of the game moving. One new feature being added to “Uncharted” multiplayer are the power-ups called Kickbacks. Kickbacks buff individual elements of the game experience for a limited time, so the Militia Man gives you unlimited ammo and Power Hunter reveals the location of the deadliest weapons on the map.

Developer Naughty Dog’s added additional modes and maps as the demo’s rolled on. The latest of those–also the last to debut before the demo ends this Thursday–is the combo of Yemen and various Co-op modes. I played a bit of Co-op Adventure and experienced firsthand some of the new mechanics that the mode’s going to offer. Players inhabit with series hero Nathan Drake, mentor/sidekick Victor “Sully” Sullivan or girlfriend Elena Fisher, starting off in a submerged part of a castle-like structure. The first part of the mission involves hunting down idols in corners of the environment and planting on them specific pedestals, in classic Indiana Jones-style. Of course, you’re being shot at by hordes of bad guys as this happens and the best strategy tends to involve two partners providing cover fire for the person lugging the treasure around. Once specific tasks like that are achieved, everyone needs to gather at glowing red group checkpoints to move the mission forward. The other part of the Co-op Adventure mode shows off the vertical combat system which blends the climbing “Uncharted” games are known for with cover-based gunplay. As you ascend the outside of a parapet, thugs rain down gunfire on you and your pals. Picking the right timing to move and when to fire back made for extremely tense and satisfying moments.

“Uncharted 3” might deliver the most beautiful environments of any upcoming shooter. The jungles looks just as vibrant and lush as they do in the single-player campaign and the Yemen map feels like a real marketplace recreated from the other side of the world. Overall, the most impressive thing about “Uncharted” multiplayer is how it still manages to channel the Hollywood blockbuster energy of single-player but spreads it around so that everyone feels heroic. The quiet tension of the hunt combines with first-class derring-do and clever humor to make for a strong offering. If the beta’s any indication of the final product, “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” will be a great multiplayer destination for PS3 owners when it hits in November.

If you played the “Uncharted 3” multiplayer beta, what do you love or hate about it? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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