Upon starting up Uncharted 3’s campaign we were expecting a scenario with lots of shooting platforming and running. What we got was a Nathan and Sully walking into a British pub, trying to strike a deal with some lunatic with an obsession for jewelry. Which, of course, led to a disagreement, and then to a bar brawl. From this point on you are thrust into tight fisticuffs scenarios that will help newcomers and veterans alike understand the fighting controls of Uncharted 3.
|Title||Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Release||November 1, 2011|
|Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.|
After exiting the bar a series of cutscenes take place allowing you to relive moments of Nathan Drakes childhood on the streets of Cartagena, Colombia. From here on, the game focuses on young Drake. While exploring the museum, where his ancestors had allegedly left him valuable artifacts in the way you’d expect from an Indiana Jones film, he founds the location of the “Atlantis of the Sands” the Lost City of Ubar.
All seems way to familiar like it was the story of Uncharted 2. Nathan Drake passes out after the first level and through flashback sequences, we are shown just who these bad guys are and how Drake came to meet them. The second level consists of a museum heist. We guess, Naughty Dog thought that Uncharted 2’s campaign was so perfect that they needed to rip it off, only take away the joy and originality that the last game has.
The characters outside of Drake and Sully don’t feel as likable or enticing as they did in the last game. It’s like the developers just went out on a whim and said: “Okay, you know, those characters that you liked so much from the previous game, well here they are completely void of enthusiasm”.
There was one likable character at the beginning whose sole purpose seems to provide comic relief. He was introduced to the series at the last minute and his connections to Drake and his crew are unmentioned. They make a long-running gag out of him being claustrophobic which leads to funny moments. Though, he and Chloe Frazer disappear about a third of a way into the game.
Also to newcomers of the franchise we strongly recommend playing either one of the earlier games first. Uncharted 3 is undoubtedly the hardest game in the Trilogy and it feels like you need to play the first two games to understand the characters and many references they make throughout the game.
Not only that, but some of the characters in this game just don’t seem they act the way you’d expect them to. Well, why not if anyone played any of the first two games then they would know, Drake and Elena have killed more people than malaria. And just a few hours before this scene, Elena was completely fine with killing people with illegally bought shotguns.
She even prompted Drake and Sully to buy them:”You should talk to that rug merchant.”, “We need guns weapons.” So why the sudden change of heart? Did she magically grow conscious? Elana in Uncharted 3 game must have split personality issues because she constantly says one thing, then does another. When Drake tells her not to follow him over a fence, five minutes later I’m trying to hop aboard an airplane and she appears out of nowhere with a hummer to help me get onto it.
What made the campaign feel hamhanded wasn’t how repetitious it was of Drakes previous endeavor. How Uncharted 3 failed to deliver the great life like personalities the characters had previously shown? How it tried to top it at some points with gigantic set pieces that felt poorly placed. And to be honest, we actually thought the game would benefit from not having them.
Naughty Dog knows undoubtedly, their biggest accomplishment in Uncharted 2 was the train sequence. The Trains’ physics affected the combat variety. Drake was pushed along a one way moving path within narrow corridors and needed to use the train’s movement to his advantage.
In Uncharted 3 very reminiscent of Indiana Jones 3 – The Last Crusade, Drake is kidnapped and held hostage by pirates as they threaten him for information. Forcing him to undergo a strenuous routine that leads him to a gigantic cruiser mile out at sea. The ships movement offers a wide variety of gunplay in that it’s both exciting and challenging. One moment you could be shooting at hordes of bad guys from behind cover. The next thing you know, the waves cause the ship to tilt in a direction that forces you to find a different cover spot as cargo crates move back and forth keeping the action fresh and keeping you on your toes.
It’s a great technical achievement definitely capable of rivaling the last games train sequence. It’s just a shame that whole scenario couldn’t have possibly made any less sense if it tried. While the story and gameplay in previous Uncharted games went together hand and hand, here it just seems they could push you around wherever they felt like.
Sad to say, the story is the games weakest element. While the previous two Uncharted games may have felt like Indiana Jones, they provided a fresh take on Lucas’s beloved franchise by creating their own mythos. Here, in Uncharted 3, it seems as if the entire game’s story is forged out of Uncharted 2’s campaign and Indiana Jones 3.
There’s the section where Drake is being held hostage by pirates we mentioned earlier.There’s the scene in Drakes childhood where he reminisces about not having a father to be there for him. And there’s a scene where you recover half a stone slab from the coffin of a dead knight and trace over it to complete the other half of the slab you don’t have.
Towards the very end, you manage to escape from a collapsing temple on horseback just seconds before an earthquake totals it as you ride off into the setting sun. Then, there’s the section where you have to take a leap of faith, which is a famous deed seen in one of the Assassin’s Creed series, across a lions head onto an invisible bridge. The same bridge where you meet a magic knight who’s been guarding the holy grail for over 600 years.
Those last two things didn’t happen but they might as well have. If they had, we wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised. We guess Gameinformer wasn’t joking on there April issue for Game Infarcer (an April fools joke similar to Gamepro’s Lame Pro) when they named the cover “Uncharted 3 and the Raiders of the Lucas Film vault”. Still, the games’ campaign does end on a high note.
Without giving away to much Sully tells Drake that he always wanted a son and that his own father wasn’t very good to him. After that, they all fly off in Sully’s new plane in search of their next life-threatening adventure.
That’s the story how fairs the game in terms of combat, platforming, and puzzle solving. The biggest complaint many people had with Uncharted games in the past was that the answers were always in your notebook. Basically, all the game was testing was whether or not you could see.
Here, the puzzles actually require you to think whatever the case may be. It’s a lot more challenging and much more rewarding. Once you’ve finally completed the puzzles, the game doesn’t hold your hand all the time and direct you.
The platforming has received much more polish and Naughty Dog has taken to heart the complaints they’ve received about it being too difficult to differentiate between what you can grab onto and what’s just part of the background. We never had a problem telling where we could and couldn’t jump.
The cover mechanics have also been improved. It’s now much easier to move from cover to cover without so much hassle. Drake no longer requires you rapidly press the „O“ Button to get out of cover. Because of this getting behind, the cover feels more natural. The only blemish in terms of gameplay would have to be with the aiming mechanics.
In both Uncharted 1 and 2, we could switch gun aiming from left to right with the simple press of the left analog stick. Here, that ability has been removed completely. Also when hanging on a ledge and trying to aim it takes Drake about 2.5 to 3 seconds to take his gun out. Why would they do this especially since in previous games he did it instantly? Regardless of these trifles, the gameplay is rock solid as ever and Naughty Dog spared no expense perfectly transitioning it to the multiplayer.
The multiplayer is phenomenal. You have over a dozen modes to chose from each of them requiring a certain level of skill. Team deathmatch is as you’d expect where co-op survival and co-op campaign are hard as diamonds. All the faults from the single-player experience are easy to overlook here.
Since everyone has the same disability we mentioned in the campaign, it evens itself out. The maps are robust and colorful and will give players a reason to keep on their toes constantly. Instead of killstreaks like in Call Of Duty game, you are given medals. You get medals for doing pretty much anything whether it is killing a certain amount of players, or just surviving for long amounts of time.
Once you’ve collected enough medals a kickback becomes available. Depending on how high your rank is, which you increase by scoring points, more kickbacks become unlocked. A kickback could be anything from spawning an RPG out of thin air to giving you the ability to run twice as fast for a limited amount of time to turning into an infestation of scarab beetles to eat your enemies alive.
The best part of all of this is, you get to keep your medals even after you die. Means, if you wanted to spawn an RPG, which takes 7 medals and somebody killed you with six, you wouldn’t have to worry about it. And just to make sure that new players get a chance to raise their status, as well Naughty Dog included bare bones, gameplay mode takes away all medal kickbacks and guns that can only be unlocked at higher levels. Giving everyone only the basics of equipment so even novice players have a chance to beat higher ranking professionals.
This is undoubtedly one of the best multiplayer games on any console. Only, nitpick with the kickbacks would be, those weapon kickbacks take the place of whatever gun is in your primary weapons holster.
In games like Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, you are given two weapons to hold plus a perk which you can use without taking up one of your two weapon slots. Here, the medal kickbacks take up the space of one of your guns.
Why couldn’t it have been separated from the other two guns and used as a third weapon? It’s all because of two weapon limit.We hope someday developers will stop sacrificing fun for realism. But even still Uncharted 3’s abundance of multiplayer offerings make it worth every penny of the purchase price. And as far as the game’s visuals go since when has the Naughty Dog ever settled for anything less than the best.
Uncharted 3 is the best looking game on any system. The topology from in the game is incredibly realistic. Accompanied by the way Drake interacts with his environments, it makes the game one of the most jaw-dropping spectacles to ever be accomplished in games. It runs at 60 FPS too. We never had a problem with the game slowing down. If you own a PlayStation 3 then you must buy this game. Tip is to only do so if you have access online play because that is the true beauty of the Uncharted 3 game is.