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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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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