Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

30 Dec

I’ve got to be up-front and say I’m a huge fan of most of the PS3-exclusive titles. The PS3 is my favourite console and the exclusive titles just serve to make a good thing even better. Uncharted is one of those titles that has enough of a draw to make people buy a console just for the game – a friend recently worked on the Facebook game for Uncharted 3 (Uncharted Experience – give it a go here) and said that he was so excited about the game’s release he was going to go out and buy a PS3 just to see what all the fuss was about.

The first installment of the Uncharted series made use of the six-axis for guiding Drake over those tricky balancing beams. There doesn’t seem to be much of that in the third game – there’s just good, old-fashioned storytelling, cinematic effects, action and a fairly attractive dude (don’t start with me – I’m fairly certain every guy who played Tomb Raider as a teenager wasn’t playing purely for the sheer ‘let’s make her jump off this cliff’ thrill) in the shape of Nathan ‘Nate’ Drake.

Nathan Drake
Plot-wise, Uncharted 3 explores the relationship between Nate and ‘Sully’ (his eternal companion and mentor) as they go on a quest to find Nate’s explorer ancestor’s lost fortune.  This quest takes us to various different locations – huge castles, burning buildings, jungles, underground tunnel systems…all the while, being followed by a rival group of treasure-hunters.

The gameplay is awesome (as you would expect from an Uncharted game) – it’s pretty varied and there are some pretty tricky puzzles to solve (I was especially stumped by the one where you need to place symbols on a grid in a particular location – I spent, what felt like, an eternity on that one).  While the climbing isn’t anything new in these types of games, it serves to mix up the pace a bit and it’s nicely done  – climbing up the side of the tower, using outlying features to stay out of line-of-fire and then shooting over them is quite satisfying.

I didn’t find the plot to be quite as enjoyable as the first game, but then this may have been something to do with my flatmate’s love of the first game (she actually encouraged me to hog the TV and play Uncharted just because she wanted to find out what was going to happen next).  It had some great moments though – some of the scenes are really tense and I did find myself quite gripped.  It’s the first game I’ve played in a while that has me feeling like I really want to complete it to know where the storyline is actually going – I really want to know if Drake finds that lost treasure.

I often find myself in these kinds of situations

The developers (Naughty Dog) have included an online multiplayer aspect of this title.  I can imagine it’s fairly well integrated – there are certainly some chapters in the game which would work incredibly well as multiplayer maps e.g. the castle in Syria or the abandoned shipyard and indeed, the gameplay at those points does have a kind of multiplayer feel to it.  However, given that I’m a) female b) quite rubbish at targeting on anything other than a keyboard and mouse (and even then…), there is no way in hell you are getting a review of that aspect.  Buy the game, go get shouted at by some foul-mouthed 12-year old sexist kids yourself if you like.

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8 Responses to “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception”

  1. g2-5c903a0b0325d4c6824cf149b6621a85 December 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Uncharted 3 is undoubtedly a great game, with top-notch production & graphics, gameplay, design, and voice-acting/story. However, I feel that it falls just short of the incredible standard that Uncharted 2 did a couple of years ago. I think mainly the issue for me is that it’s too short and left me wanting a little more. Uncharted 3 moved at a pace that was a little too fast for me and didn’t give me too many chances to “smell the roses”. I would have liked another locale or two and maybe another flashback to play as young Nate.

    I didn’t time it, but I’m pretty sure Uncharted 2’s campaign was at least two or three hours longer. I only played the demo of Uncharted 1, so I can’t give a comprehensive comparison, but as my first real experience to the series, part 2 really did it for me. This was the first game that made me feel I was watching a movie. Not just any movie, but a really good action-adventure movie with great characters and a story that made me want to research the “history” behind it! Everything was just so engrossing that the platforming/climbing parts of the game actually triggered my fear of heights!

    Uncharted 3 pretty much repeated the same formula, but enhanced it with a better combat system that looks and feels more natural, and actually uses the environment when possible (frying pan FTW!). In addition to being shorter, I felt the puzzles were a bit easier in part 3 as well. Don’t get me wrong, I still spent a lot of time scratching my head on a couple of them, but I didn’t have to resort to using a guide or the built-in hint system which I felt would be a cheat. I don’t know, maybe I’m just too experienced at this sort of thing after playing the Legend of Zelda games.

    One criticism I do have of both Uncharted 2 and 3 is the stealth levels. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can never clear one of these levels without being seen after picking off only a few enemies. I thought the entire aspect of having a stealth level was forcing the player to dispatch the enemy one-by-one without being spotted or otherwise you’d get slaughtered easily. Unlike MGS or the latest Batman games, if you get spotted on a stealth level, you can still power through with guns blazing. Sure, it’s harder but not impossible, and it kind of defeats the purpose of it being a stealth stage. Plus, getting through unseen is that much more satisfying!

    Admittedly, I have yet to hit the online multiplayer of Uncharted 3 (Batman: Arkham City still has me thoroughly engrossed!), so I can’t give a definitive review of the game. I know that movies series usually end when they reach their trilogy status, but I’m hoping that it doesn’t in this case. I do want to see more of these characters, and I know that Naughty Dog will deliver a top-notch game. But I feel that Uncharted 3 did not end in a completely satisfying and epic manner that would close out a series.

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    • phoenixx24 December 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

      Ah, see, I have the attention-span of a guppy – so shorter and sharper suits me better. (Also, I’ve still not got too far through Uncharted 2.)

      I’ll freely admit I’m also not a good in-game problem-solver. The line-up-the-statue-bits one was driving me insane. I’m really impatient – in lots of the puzzles I knew what I wanted to happen but it’s the faffing about trying to find the right position that gets me. I do think the puzzle aspects could have been improved by being a bit more difficult rather than the actual ‘fart about trying to get it in the right position’ part.

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      • Jason Wong December 31, 2011 at 9:29 am #

        I hope my rant wasn’t too lengthy for your attention-span then! 🙂

        Like

  2. Jason Wong December 30, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Ugh, I don’t know why it filled in that hash for my name… this is @jkwong111

    Like

    • phoenixx24 December 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

      It’s a Gravatar thing – you’ve not filled in your profile name so it defaults to…gobledegook! 🙂

      (If you change it, it should update automagically)

      Like

      • Jason Wong December 31, 2011 at 9:32 am #

        What’s weird is that I did sign up before… that’s why it put in my avatar automatically when I entered my email address. I’m not sure what’s up with my login information though…

        Like

      • phoenixx24 December 31, 2011 at 11:56 am #

        It should just be that you’ve not filled in the ‘display name’ part of your profile on the Gravatar website (it doesn’t use your login name)

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  3. phxhawke (@phxhawke) December 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    ok, awesome review! And yes, the Uncharted games always give me a sense of satisfaction when I beat them. 🙂

    Like

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