Developer: Naughty Dog Software
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
In a season where sequels and three-quels (I’m making a new word up) has taken firm hold of the video game world, Naughty Dog has added another chapter to its Uncharted series with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The Uncharted series is known for a formula of bundling up puzzle solving, shooting, and exploring into one grand adventure, almost as a homage to action/adventure movies. So does Uncharted 3 live up to the hype, or does it live in the shadows of its predecessors? I present the review.
The one ring to rule them all
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception follows the tried and true formula of Uncharted 1 & 2: one part puzzle solving, one part exploration, one part gun fight, add in a grand adventure, throw in Nathan Drake and Victor “Sully” Sullivan, shake, and serve. It’s a not a bad formula to follow, considering Hollywood might be trying this out.
The story isn’t so much a sequel, but rather another chapter in the Uncharted series. Uncharted 3 revolves around Nathan Drake’s ring and a decoder. When the ring and decoder are combined together, they decipher a secret language that leads Drake, Sully, and a few other cohorts around the world to find an ancient Arabian city dubbed “The Atlantis of the sands”. Trouble lurks at every turn, and it is seamlessly added to story, which makes for some tense moments. There are times when you don’t realize a cutscene is over, and other times when you frantically mash buttons, thinking that it actually is over.
Along with the grand adventure and treasure hunting, Uncharted 3 delves into the personal relationship between Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan. This includes a chapter in which you play as a very young Drake, and form what is the beginning of the relationship between the duo. Uncharted 3 doesn’t give much more of a back-story when it comes to the other games though, as the player is at least expected to know the cast by now.
I had everything under control until they blew up the boat
The voice acting in Uncharted 3 is nothing short of stellar. Drake has his usual smart comments, and Sully offers up his own distinguished voice, while showing that he and Drake are cut from the same cloth. Even Marlowe has a sense of evil behind her… even if she looks eerily like Helen Miren. Along with the beautiful score, which adds an epic sense to the adventure and tension in the action moments, the sounds of gunfire and explosions that abound in this game really give off a sense of combining narrative, adventure, and gun slinging.
Jump and count to 5, pull the cord
When it comes down to actual gameplay, Uncharted 3 shines. Guns in the game work with a sense of realism. Several of the guns give a fair amount of kickback, so adjusting for aiming is key. Melee combat works very well for a gun heavy game. In fact, the only problem is that the counter prompt comes up when it is time to counter, which seems as if the game is holding your hand through combat. It’s understandable through the first couple chapters in the game; however, once you’re used to combat, the player should recognize when to counter.
There are jungles in France?
One of the other reasons the Uncharted series is critically acclaimed is because of the environments, and Uncharted 3 keeps the tradition going. From lush jungles with a dilapidated chateau that has been taken over by Mother Nature, to the lost Arabian city, to the open sea full of broken ships, Uncharted 3 looks beautiful. Just looking at the set pieces in the game give a great sense of place. Watching some of them get destroyed is just plain fun, and so is running away from that imminent danger.
Sully, you got another cigar?
Though this was my first time playing an Uncharted game, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is a great addition to the series and a great introduction to those who haven’t played any of the games. Uncharted is known for paying homage to Hollywood’s grand adventure movies; Uncharted 3 takes this homage and turns it up to 11. It almost is like those adventure movies, only it gets you more involved, thanks to the interaction you get playing it as a video game. There aren’t many flaws to the game aside from minor gripes. Multiplayer adds more fun to the game, even if it does feel a little tacked on. I say it feels tacked on because Uncharted 3 is such a great single player experience that it doesn’t really need the multiplayer elements.
With all that said, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is a fun game with a grand adventure, and a great narrative that really delves deep into each character’s mentality. Drake seems like it is all about pressing on just for the treasure. We learn the reason why Drake and Sully are so close, and why Sully will go to the ends of the Earth for, not just the kid he mentored, but the man that is his friend. In short, buy this game if you love the series. Buy this game if you haven’t played a game in the Uncharted series, because it gives you a sense of what the series truly offer. Basically, just buy this game.
Final Verdict: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception gets 9 Victor Sullivan mustaches out of 10
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This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception by Sony