I'm not much of an online gamer.
I don't play World of Warcraft, I don't play Halo online, I don't even play Mario Kart online as much. Combine the lack of skill I possess compared to the world, and online multiplayer becomes a tired reminder of how bad I suck.
And the field of games that use it don't offer much variety. Most of the time, it's just "deathmatch" or "capture the flag." And it's either you let yourself or the entire team down as you die time and time again.
But with Uncharted 2, I feel a little different - I feel a little more useful.
First off, there's the additional co-op modes, either campaign or arena. It's called a "friends" list for a reason. This way, I don't have to sever ties with my online buddies and, instead, play a co-op game where I help out my fellow comrades. Besides, this just unleashes a hoard of baddies wave after wave, making teamwork all the more satisfying.
Also, the gameplay mechanics are very well tuned, probably because not much has been changed since the first game. Guns aren't absolutely punishing, and your character is quite agile enough to dodge most dire situations...all with the fluidity and grace one has come to expect in an Uncharted game.
The leveling up system is also very pleasant, allowing you to improve your online stats and character the more you play. It not only makes playing online more rewarding, but it also feels like a brand new game in addition to the normal single-player game.
What really cinches it for me was the Cinema mode. After a deathmatch game I played, the entire game was saved to my PS3. Now I can view the entire match, change from player to player, and observe everyone's actions and reactions throughout the game! And, as an aesthetic touch, you can also adjust cameras and lighting, and change the environment settings for dramatic flare, as well as pause the action to take snapshots of particular victories.
Now, when I finally get better playing online, I can show my friends my greatest matches, or show them pictures of my glorious takedowns!
Expect me to be playing this game online much much more when Uncharted 2 ships officially October 13th!