Review: Uncharted 3 – Drake’s Deception

Uncharted has had two great games in the series so far, so there were high expectations for the third installment.  Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception has a lot of hype to live up to and overall it has done just that in this newest installment.

Uncharted 3 starts with Drake and Sully going to a meeting in a bar to sell Nate’s Sir Francis Drake ring that he always wears as a necklace.  This meeting of course ends up going all wrong and introducing our protagonist to a woman named Marlowe.  The story then offers us a flashback to show us how Sully and Drake met 20 years ago.  This back story feeds nicely into the present day where we started and we quickly find out that Marlowe is searching for something Sir Frances Drake found but then covered up.

"You hit me in the ear... who does that?"

The story itself flows very well and really draws you in.  Finding out more about Nate and Sully’s past is great and just watching them together makes you see how close they are.  As usual the treasure they are going after turns out to be something evil and our heroes will need to stop the villains from obtaining it.  This story folds out throughout the game and in great detail.  Some may not enjoy certain sequences where you are basically just walking from point to point to watch the story unfold but it kept you more immersed in the story, rather than having you just watch.  Uncharted 3’s ending is a bit disappointing however.  It does not have quite the impact or climactic showdown one would hope for after all the buildup.  It does resolve things but it could have been done much better.

As for graphics the game is quite stunning.  The scenery is quite amazing and the character models are very detailed.  In the desert scenes the sand looks quite astounding and Naughty Dog was even touting this fact.  There is even a sand storm at one point that is very well done and makes for a fun challenge when trying to pick off your enemies.  For settings though the shipyard and ship were favorites.  The water looks great, the platforms and ships you are on rock realistically and make it hard to shoot.  Being able to swim from platform to platform to do stealth skills is a great addition as well.  Additionally, the airplane scene was beautiful and harrying as well.

Now the detailed character models look great but there are still issues there.  Sometimes their detail makes their color palate just doesn’t blend well with their surroundings.  This is more prevalent with Elena for some reason.  At times her face looks just too smooth and plastic like.  Uncharted 3 also sports a 3D mode, and having explored it for the first few hours of the game, it was very impressive.  It added to the game and story without seeming like a gimmick.  If you have the chance, try out the 3D mode.

Audio in the game is also outstanding.  The sound of the gunshots, fire crackling, the sea slapping against ships and of the sand being blow around you all seem very realistic.  As always the voice acting is outstanding as well.  Nolan North and Richard McGonagle really bring Nate and Sully alive.  Their conversations seem so natural which only adds to the feel of the tight bond and friendship the two characters share.

The controls for this game are the same as the previous Uncharted games with just a few additions.  This time however once you enter melee combat you can now perform a counter move and button to struggle free from grapples.  These new additions work well but unfortunately get a bit over used at times.  The game also has an emphasis on Drake taking on a larger opponent just a few too many times.  This was likely done to show off this new melee system but it becomes too much of a Quick Time Event thing and breaks from the flow of the game a too much.  The other big complaint about the controls is how the O button works during shooting segments.  The fact that it is both dodge and cover can make Drake do things you don’t want.  If someone gets close and you want to dodge away Drake is just as likely to take cover right there against the wall and be a sitting duck for your enemy as he is to tumble away to safety.  It can be rather frustrating at times. Of course there are still the climbing sections in Uncharted; these are unchanged from previous games.  At times it can be difficult to get Drake to look the proper direction to jump to a new ledge but never overly frustrating.  Drake does seem to have an incredibly strong grip though since he does fall and grab ledges quite often.

Uncharted 3 also has an online multiplayer component.  I have not played much of the competitive but I can attest to the fact that the coop portions of the online game are loads of fun.  Both the arena game and the story mode game are loads of fun.

In the end Uncharted really is a more polished version of the previous game with an engrossing story.  The game is very entertaining and is even worthy of multiple playthroughs.  The multiplayer adds content and duration to the game and with both competitive and coop scenarios everyone should find something they like.  Overall I highly recommend going on yet another adventure with our good friend Nathan Drake.

Final Rating: 9/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: Playstation 3
Time to completion: Main campaign: ~10 hours, longer to get all treasures, online multiplayer greatly extends the life of the game
Trophies Earned:  26/55
Price Bought at: $60
Current Price: $53.99 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: I feel the quality of this game justifies purchasing it at $55 or less
Why you should buy it: You enjoyed the previous games or want to play a game with great narrative and characters
Why you shouldn’t buy it: You don’t like movies like Indian Jones or games like the Tomb Raider series.

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