Drake is back in his most crazy, yet awesome adventure yet. Naughty Dog have once again raised the bar once again with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, making Uncharted 2 look like child’s play. How do Naughty Dog always manage to continuing out do themselves? Is drakes Deception another game of the year or has this one deceived us?
Uncharted 3 carries on a few months after the exhilarating events of Uncharted 2: Amongst Thieves. The same characters that we fell in love with are back along with the odd one or two new ones. Nathan Drake and his seasoned mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan, Chloe and Elena take us on a world tour with mind bending twists and a true treasure hunter story. The story may seem similar to it’s predecessors, go on a hunt for some lost ancient city and find it before the bad guys do, battling along the way and travelling the to exotic locations as you dive deeper into the story. But what makes Uncharted 3 stand out clear from the pack is it’s unpredictability.
The story and gameplay will have you on the edge of your seat with a huge smile plastered on face from the very beginning as you start in a bar room brawl which opens the game and introduces you to its new melee system all the way through to the credits. The journey is quite unforgeable as there are many chapters they you will want to head back to play through. Naughty Dog certainly know how to tell a story and with a mid-game conversation between villainess Katherine Marlowe and Drake that literally redefines a pillar of this franchise, makes you love uncharted 3 even more.
This is an Uncharted game after all and it still revolves revolves around our hero climbing walls and shooting bad guys, but these have been refined even more since Uncharted 2. The new melee combat system as mentioned before has had an upgrade and makes it a lot more fun and even useful in certain parts. Though the melee system still only uses two buttons as before its the way that you can now interact with the environment, and take on multiple guys at once which makes it fun. You can now grab and throw guys, counter attack, knock the gun out of their hands into yours and use what ever is around you to finish them off. One battle was in a fish market and get the guy close enough and you will see drake pick up a fish and slap him with it, or bottle as in the bar, even the wall or counter is useful.
The gun play is now more accurate and more precise yet more realistic as well, with very real recoil. The fire fights are more intense this time round with very aggressive AI. You will find them talking to each other, flanking you and even sneaking up behind you. Take cover for to long and they try flush you out with grenades but with the new ability to throw grenades back at enemies you can take cover for that little bit longer. One of the most memorable battles / stages from the second game was the train battle. In Uncharted 3 it will be the battle on top of the cruise ship during a storm. The battlefield itself is literally moving and changing all the time, simply jar dropping.
Updates to the way Nathan Drake interacts with the world around him makes you connect with this game and its characters even more. Run through a tight section and you will see Nathan touch the wall as though he is really aware of it, although at some points it did get a little “funny” as he would perform this action way before to wall or some time repeating it a once pasted the section. When in the small spaces if you try to perform a roll you may be randomly snapped to a wall for cover, this can get a little irritating, especially during a gun battle, but it’s such a small glitch I would hardly call it game breaking. There are 101 very well hidden treasures for you to go hunting for as with the previous games and I encourage this as you will get to see so much more of the world and environment. The detail in these is simply insane.
Running through the various levels and taking cover doesn’t get old ever and this is due to the way at how excellently Naughty Dog have managed to merge the gameplay with the story. The pacing is near perfect and the way things change along with the story due to the ground breaking and cutting edge graphics is a reference at the excellent cinematography and just how much work Naughty Dog pour into their games.
Naughty Dog are fantastic story tellers and the way that they make you connect with the characters is outstanding. In this way you are then drawn even deeper into the game making for that experience that all us gamers want from games. This game is mainly about the journey that Nathan takes which in turn takes you on, there is a heart-wrenching section where Drake is by himself and completely lost. He’s desperate, and you’re right there with him, pushing him through the journey at hand. You know the Uncharted cast, you will continue to love the banter between Drake and Sully, the love affair between Elena and Drake or the one-liners Drake shouts to himself as the game goes on. Making you the gamer apart of this journey as well and this is what the Uncharted series (I think) strives for. You and your character are one and will share the same experiences, even the characters’ worst fears.
When the tale finishes, you can look forward to multiplayer. Uncharted 2 introduced competitive and cooperative modes for the series, and Uncharted 3 improves on them to make something even more special. The standard modes returns, team deathmatch, capture the flag, plunder etc. but Naughty Dog have added in bonuses known as Boosters and Kickbacks to round out the experience. These are upgradable bonuses that you equip to your characters load out and makes the multiplayer experience a little more personal.
This must be the most rewarding multiplayer experience I’ve had from any game in a long time. Everything you do in multiplayer earns you a reward, team kills, weapons kills, assists etc. in the form of XP, medals and cash, which you can then use to purchase new perks and weapon attachments. Boosters augment through your entire session, one reduces respawn time, one lets you climb faster for example. Kickbacks allows you an instant advantage that you can set per loadout and is only active for a short period of time, which you earn and can activate after you get a sort of killstreak, or earn enough medals. These kickbacks can instantly spawn an RPG, make you move faster or double your cash earned for a short period of time.
Uncharted 3′s multiplayer feels fresh every time you play. And remember that what ever you can do in the single player campaign you can do in multiplayer. This goes true for the new vertical battle system and can mix up a multiplayer match and lead to different attack plans. New Power Plays give teams getting blown out a leg-up like double damage so that everyone feels like they have a shot at competing and that you are not getting trampled over. The survival mode is back where three of you can see how long you can survive the various onslaught of waves of enemies but the new three team deathmatch (2v2v2) is awesome. another rarity but very useful option is that you can play split-screen with two different PSN profiles. A first for the PS3 I think.
Since the first game of the series Uncharted has been a graphical marvel for the PS3 and console games and always pushing the limits of the system. Uncharted 3 is no exception, I labelled Uncharted 2 as the best looking console game when released and I am now passing the crown to Uncharted 3. This game is simply spectacular looking. Brilliant long draw distances, amazing detail in all the levels. The new desert levels are amazing and the sand looks great, see how the sand clings to Drake’s hair and clothes, other effects like fire creeping up walls, sunlight filtering through tattered roofs and your eyes will water from the beauty. Voice acting is again delivered as first class and simply outstanding. You will believe everything from all the characters and the chemistry is better than what a chemist can produce. Throw in some well written orchestral score and you have the near perfect game presentation.
Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception will take you on a fantastic journey with some of the best action gameplay, brilliant story telling and voice acting you will yet come across, not to mention the best graphics on a console. Add in a very rewarding multiplayer experience and the game will keep you coming back for more and more. If you have a PS3 you should have this game.