Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Review

Written by Micah Messer
 
It’s quite difficult to accurately describe in words how good this game actually is, but I’ll do my very best. BUY THIS GAME!
Playstation game developer Naughty Dog has dug itself into quite the hole with their critically and commercially successful Uncharted series. Uncharted and Playstation 3 pretty much go hand and hand; If you buy a PS3, you’re gonna get Uncharted. The game’s sequel, Uncharted 2, has also received dozens and dozens of perfect scores and game of the year awards. Because of this, everybody’s expectations (including my own) for the next installment in the series were through the roof. I’m very happy to say that Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception delivers in almost every way possible. It’s an absolutely fantastic experience that simply must be played by anyone who owns a PS3. It’s really no surprise though. Naughty Dog’s developers are some of the most talented in the business.

The graphics of Uncharted 3 are absolutely mind-blowing. It’s by far the best looking game on the console to date. Naughty Dog should be commemorated for the amount of detail shoved into this game. Nathan Drake, (the game’s protagonist) reacts exactly how you would expect a human to react in any given situation. His animations are absolutely top-notch. If you walk around a corner, he puts his hand on the wall and drags it across. If you come near fire, he will shield is face from the light. The game exudes polish. While the story might not be as tight as the yarn spun in Uncharted 2, the locations that it takes you to are much more impressive; Yemen, London, Syria, and France to name a few.

Well, guess I better start walking…

 

The characters in Uncharted 3 are fantastic. Nathan Drake is a modern day Indiana Jones. His witty one-liners are hilarious, and the banter between him and his fellow treasure hunters is as brilliant as ever. Each character has their own charm to them. Whether it’s Drake’s best friend and mentor, Victor Sullivan, or the menacing villainess, Katherine Marlowe, each character is interesting and believable in their context.

As I said before, the Story in Uncharted 3 isn’t as tight as it’s predecessor, but it’s still very good. It revolves around a 20 year-old grudge match between the dynamic duo of Drake and Sully, against an angry old british women named Katherine Marlowe. Both sides are searching for The Lost City of Ubar, or “The Atlantis of the Sands.” An event took place 20 years ago in Drake’s past that resulted in a stale-mate between the two parties – until now. For the most part the story is very solid. It takes you to amazing locations, introduces interesting characters and it’s entertaining from start to finish. Although, I couldn’t help but feel a little deja-vu, racing against an angry villain searching for a long lost city, again. Still, it’s a true adventure tale.

Damn Drake, you crazy!

 

The gameplay that the Uncharted series is well known for is a combination of third-person action, platforming and cover-based shooting. Naughty Dog does a fantastic job of blending all of these elements together; with the result being incredibly fun, polished and exciting gameplay. Level design is always very 3-dimensional, allowing you to climb almost anything and use it as vertical cover. Melee combat is also greatly improved and intensely satisfying. Animations are smooth, cinematic, and you feel like a total bad ass after taking out 6 guys in a fist fight.

The amount of crazy shit that happens throughout Uncharted 3’s campaign is intense. It’s hard to describe the scale of some of the action sequences in this game, but just know that it is some of the coolest shit you will ever do in a video game and you will be blown away. It may seem a little ridiculous to have this much intense action in one game, however, Naughty Dog manages to masterfully pace out the action evenly. It never feels like too much. It only feels exciting.

“How bout I drive my foot into this thing called your ass!” -Red Foreman

 

Everything I’ve said so far has been about Uncharted 3’s campaign. Sounds great right? Well there’s more to this game – a lot more. Uncharted 3 has a pretty extensive online multiplayer component. There are 6 competitive modes ranging from your standard team deathmatch to some pretty fun objective-based play. There’s also Three Team Deathmatch, which is a 2v2v2 mode that can be great fun with a friend, but all of the modes are entertaining in their own right.

One of the best additions to Uncharted multiplayer is the customization. You can spend the cash that you earn in matches on stuff like gun mods to increase your rate of fire or reload speed.. You can also purchase “medal kickbacks”, which are special abilities that you can activate in-game once you’ve acquired enough medals. You can earn medals by doing just about anything in a match. Of course, pulling off special kills will grant you medals faster, but some small ones are awarded for things as simple as running a big distance or taking cover a certain number of times in one match. An example of a kickback would be instantly spawning an RPG in your hands once you’ve acquired 14 medals over the course of one game.

 

Here’s a video of the Uncharted 3 competitive multiplayer in action.


Boosters also make a return, only this time they have a little more piz-zazz. Boosters from Uncharted 2 acted as perks that enhance your game performance in ways such as reducing your respawn timer, running faster, or making you quieter so enemies can’t hear you sneaking up for an assassination. Boosters from Uncharted 3 actually level up and become more potent as you use them, so you’re encouraged to pick two that you like and try and get them as high as possible.

Co-op is really the star of the show for Multiplayer. In addition to the 6 competitive modes, there are also 3 Co-op modes. There’s Co-op Arena, which is your basic Horde mode that throws waves of enemies against you and 2 other people. There’s Co-op Hunter Arena, which is an interesting mixture of both Co-op and competitive play, and there’s Co-op Adventure which puts you and 2 friends in story based co-op levels. These adventure levels strongly reminded me of something similar to a campaign in Left 4 Dead 2. They’re a lot of fun, very difficult and pretty lengthy. A level on hard mode will take you about 40 minutes to complete (if you manage to finish it), and if I remember correctly, there are about 5 of them. So while Uncharted 3’s single player campaign is only about 8-9 hours long, there’s plenty of other stuff you keep you occupied

                          Some of the multiplayer maps are pretty impressive.

 

Overall Score: 98

 Uncharted 3 is an absolutely beautiful experience. It’s got excellent characters, a compelling story, super polished gameplay, breath-taking visuals, and amazing set pieces. This game gets so many things right that it’s hard to say anything bad about it at all. The single player campaign alone is more than enough reason to purchase, but the awesome multiplayer portion makes this a no brainer. BUY THIS GAME!

 

Genre Score (Action-Adventure): 98

One of the most cinematic, exciting and polished action adventure experiences you can find. It’s a globetrotting adventure that is insanely entertaining from start to finish. While I have a few tiny gripes with the story, it still doesn’t get much better than this within the genre.

All images taken from NaughtyDog.com

 

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One response to “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Review

  1. Karl Weller May 23, 2012 at 3:07 am

    The Uncharted series is one of the few that genuinely make me gasp. Nathan Drake as well as the supporting cast are just so integral to it’s success, not to mention the gripping combat, elaborate and complex set pieaces, as well as a deeply immersive story all culminate to create one the greatest games I’ve ever played. (Sorry, I’m gushing now) Also being able to run around in multiplayer air humping, is reason enough to own Uncharted 3. Great review!

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