Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

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9.5 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Nonstop fun, great story, lasting appeal, high production value

That darn aiming issue!

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception has some big shoes to fill. Its predecessor took us on an unbelievable adventure that is not easily forgotten. With amazing graphics, writing and gameplay, Uncharted 2 found a place in both critics’ and gamers’ hearts.  This has created very high expectations for Naughty Dog to create a game that is just as amazing and compelling. With all this pressure, was Naughty Dog able to recreate this unforgettable adventure?

What Quenched My Thirst

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception puts a lot of focus on character development and story. The game plays mostly on the relationship between Sully and Drake by providing some great back story telling how they came to know each other. Their relationship is a big part of the story and ties into the main villain, Marlowe. She may not be the most proactive villain we have faced in the Uncharted universe, but do not underestimate her because she is ruthless. The story revolves around a cat and mouse game between Marlowe and Drake, which mostly involves Drake doing all the work much like the last game. This becomes and integral part of the story because it starts to make Drake’s friends question his intent, and how far he is willing to go. This conflict becomes the driving force for the drama, and shows a new side to the characters we have come to love.

This time around Naught Dog has taken these characters out of the snow covered mountains and dense forest, and placed them in the barren desert. Like Uncharted 2, you will travel to different places around the world, but the game is mostly set in the desert.

Naughty Dog put a lot of time into making the physics of the desert in order for it to look as real as possible, and it paid off. When walking through the sand, it really looks and reacts the way it should. Drake slips, slides and struggles through the sand as it moves under his feet. The same can be said for the sand storms, and water as it engulfs you at different times during the game.

Graphically, the game is amazing. With vibrant colors, improved character details and huge set pieces, the game never ceases to amaze me. Some of the set pieces will blow your mind. The technical abilities of Naughty Dog really shines throughout the game, especially during the cruise ship level.

Naughty Dog has made some great improvements to the sound design of the game. The weapons and explosions have a more realistic and POW filled sound that was absent in Uncharted 2. Each weapon has a clear, distinct sound so that you can tell the difference between them this time.

Uncharted is a franchise based around a mixture of action, platforming and puzzle solving, and Uncharted 3 does all of these things to perfection. There are many varying puzzles that will make you sit back and think. The platforming all-around is great, and the action is wonderful. They put a larger emphasis on hand-to-hand combat and it offers some great moments throughout the game. Naughty Dog has worked hard to make this game an all-around fun experience.

Uncharted 2 introduced a multiplayer element to the franchise that was fun, but was very bare bones. With the popularity of multiplayer, Naughty Dog spent a lot more time improving the experience, not just by improving the gameplay, but by also adding many new features such as kickbacks and weapon add-ons. It may not be as long lasting as some multiplayer games, but it should not be overlooked.

What Left A Bitter Taste

Though the game has all-around great mechanics, there are some issues with the aiming. It just feels off. It is hard to explain, but it does not seem to be that accurate. It gets frustrating when you are in a big fight and you can’t take the enemies out quickly because the aiming is a little off.

Another problem is some of the platforming elements. You will be trying to jump to a certain ledge and will either just sit there and do nothing or jump in the wrong direction. There is also some moments when you are not sure what to do or where to go, and that is frustrating.

The game is also lacking something. There are not as many big battles like you experienced in Uncharted 2. Those tank and helicopter battles from Uncharted 2 are not present in Uncharted 3 and they are missed. It does not feel as epic fighting off waves of smaller enemies.

While playing, I just could not get past the feeling of something missing. It bothers me because I can’t point it out directly. It may just be the lack of huge battles or the feeling of doing most of it before, but there is just something missing.

Overall

Though there are some problems, It did not kill the fun I was having with the game. It is a solid game with a very memorable single player that had me on the edge of my seat, and a multiplayer that will keep you engaged for hours. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is the full package. It is what gaming is all about and if you pass on this game, you will be missing out on something special.

9.5/10

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Author: Joshua Tompkins View all posts by

3 Comments on "Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception"

  1. nick November 12, 2011 at 4:13 am -

    the lack of boss battles and smaller rarer set pieces has really hurt the game!
    its added everything i wanted over its predecessor, a better story, better character development, more engaging combat, better melee system.
    but its lost what made uncharted 2 so special.
    that felt like a movie, it was so well produced, the pacing was perfect, and there were so many edge of your seat moments i needed a new lounge!
    2 was all about action not gameplay, where 3 is the complete opposite.
    thats one habit ND really need to get out of, they said it themselves every title they make they try to take a different direction with it, almost make it feel like a new different franchise.
    but does that not just take away from the point of a sequel?
    allot of the platforming puzzles were lost too.
    like the level where you first meet elana and you have to line up the arms on the massive elephant statue.
    or the one directly after it where you were leaping across a massive room with massive drops to line up the massive dagger.
    3 had barely any of those, most of the puzzles you were firmly on the ground moving things around, or walking in a specific path.
    it just lacks the grand scale of uncharted 2!
    50 bucks says its mostly because of the development time.
    another thing that proves that in my mind is the overall polish of the game.
    ive played uncharted 2 god knows how many times and never once have i experienced a single bug!
    3 though, i experienced at least 10 in my first play through!
    the smaller scale, the less set pieces, the no boss battles, the lack of polish, all make this game feel seriously rushed!
    i really hope ND take a break till the ps4 comes out, that way their next game feels like uncharted 2.
    perfectly balanced, and if anything overcooked.
    nothing worse then getting such a great game, but it feeling unfinished!
    so many games are suffering from that lately, especially GT5!
    how a game can be in development for 6 freaking years and feel unfinished is beyond me but it does!
    or even infamous 2, even the developers told me when i went to the launch event that they had been rushing to finish it.
    when i asked them why there was no EU date set they told me because the game still had not been submitted to SCEE for approval, and mind you this was 3 weeks away from release!
    yea, they were running a little behind schedule to say the least!
    $ony needs to stop rushing their studios and releasing 10 big exclusives a year.
    they would be MUCH better off letting those studios spend a year extra time and release a much better more polished game.
    id rather 5 perfect exclusives a year over 10 great exclusives per year!

  2. Ernice Gilbert November 12, 2011 at 5:57 am -

    Yeah, these games are always rushed. Development cycles are so short. Big bosses are always breathing down devs throats.

  3. nick November 12, 2011 at 11:33 am -

    i cant understand why ND removed the boss battles though.
    i remember reading a interview with arne myer the lead writer a few days before uncharted 3 and in one of the questions she was asked her opinion on uncharted 2s bosses and she simply said there will be no “annoying” boss battles with uncharted 3.
    uncharted 2s boss battles were “annoying”?
    i dunno about anyone else, but i had a blast with them!
    especially the chopper and tank battles, they were the best parts of the game!
    the final boss was kinda cheap, but i certainly would not call it annoying.
    thats one thing i missed most with uncharted 3, it really needed boss battles.
    the pacing was no where near as good in 3 and i think the lack of boss battles really contributed to that.
    funny how things always look better in hindsight ay?
    before uncharted 3 i did not like 2 that much, but now after seeing how far the series has fallen 2 is looking pretty darn good!

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