Published on November 15th, 2011 | by Gabriel0
Review: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Summary: Gabriel takes a look at Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, is it any good? read the review to find out!
After the masterpiece that was Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, it was hard to imagine that Naughty Dog, talented as they are, would be able to surpass it with the third game in the series. But as I played through Drake’s Deception, all those doubts faded from my mind and all that was left was a smile upon my face. Well done, Naughty Dog.
Although at first glance it may seem like the same story as it’s predecessors, Uncharted 3 strays away from the expected betrayals and love triangles and focuses mostly on our favorite duo: Nathan Drake and Victor “Goddamn” Sullivan, as they travel to different locales in search of answers regarding Francis Drake’s ring and his travels on behalf of the Queen. Also searching for answers are Talbot and Katherine Marlowe, people who claim to be the rightful owners of whatever it was Francis hid all those years ago, and will stop at nothing to get to it. This set-up provides a much deeper narrative than previous Uncharted titles. Instead of pirates or evil warlords, you get a cunning, malevolent villainess who’s intentions aren’t clear from the start. It makes for a more believable villain. This story also gives us more backstory than the two previous games put together, giving us more of an insight into why these characters we have como to love throughout the years risk their lives again and again for myths and tales of buried treasure. And believe me, it goes deeper than “just doing it because treasure=money”. Couple the great story with the amazing voice acting and animation, and you have a tale that you’ll remember long after you’re finished with it.
Now, it would be a lie to tell you that this is an entirely new and different game from Uncharted 2. In general, it’s not. You still climb and shoot your way through the different stages but everything has been given an added layer of depth and polish this time around, making it loads of fun. Nate’s range of animations have been greatly expanded, making him react even more realistically with the environment (like brushing his hands against the wall if he gets close enough). You can now throw back grenades that enemies throw at you, something fairly common in FPS but not in third-person games. And believe it or not, the graphics have been greatly improved yet again, a great feat considering how good Uncharted 2 looked. But by far the biggest refinement gameplay-wise is the melee combat, which is now much more useful, unlike past games. Bearing a few similarities to Arkham City‘s combat, you have a button for punching, countering and grabbing. You can move from enemy to enemy while in a brawl, although it’s not as smooth as the Caped Crusader’s game. Still, it works really well and all the fighting is contextual, meaning Drake will fight differently depending on his surroundings. If an enemy is at the bottom of the stairs and you’re at the top, Drake will kick them in the head for a one-hit kill. If you’re fighting near walls or tables, Drake will take the enemy’s head and smash it against it. He’ll use fish, stools and broken bottles to fight back.
The game is a tightly paced, scripted adventure through various firefights and a handful of puzzles to solve. This time around, Naughty Dog created the most original brainteasers to ever grace the franchise, making them challenging enough that they wouldn’t be obvious at first glance but not so hard that you’d throw a controller against the wall in frustration. And what would an Uncharted game be without set-pieces. Naughty Dog took what it learned from Uncharted 2 and kicked it up a notch, creating some of the most insane and visually spectacular set-pieces to ever feature in a game and even films. The only downside is that most of these, we had already seen in trailers and previews, diminishing their “wow” factor a little but in no way diminishing the amount of fun.
When you’re done with the incredible campaign, you can dive into either multiplayer or co-op. Co-op features the now standard wave based mode, where enemies come in increasingly difficult waves to try and annihilate you. You also get 6 missions to play with up to three players. They’re all knit together with a small narrative that incorporates characters and settings from the previous games. It’s really fun to see previous villains return and take them down with 2 friends, if only also slightly annoying because of the over abundance of armor-wearing enemies, with take up an insane amount of bullets to take down. You also get the multiplayer, which at its base is similar to the one offered in Uncharted 2, although this one has been greatly expanded upon. Standard modes like Team Deathmatch and Plunder return, and new ones like Three team Deathmatch are added, but this time they’re complemented by the inclusion of Boosters and Kickbacks. Boosters work like perks in CoD, augmenting your player in various ways (climb faster, less recoil). Kickbacks work with the medal system embedded in the game. Every time you go on a killstreak, kill someone from the back, kill him while he climbs, you get medals (which can also be found in random treasure chests that spawn on the map). These medals count towards your Kickback, a one time perk like transforming into a bunch of creepy crawlers or spawning a rocket launcher. Also new are power plays, a slight advantage given to the losing team to give them a chance to fight back. Mix all this with robust character and weapon customization and leveling up and you’ve got a great online component in your hands.
While Uncharted 3 will feel familiar to people who played the previous outing, this is in no way a bad thing. Uncharted 3 still holds the crown in over the top, cinematic action with a story featuring incredibly relatable characters. It’s a great ride from start to finish, so you should do yourself a favor and not miss it. It might even be the best PS3 game to date.