Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception is the third game in the highly popular Uncharted series. It was developed by Naughty Dog and is exclusive to the PlayStation 3. The Uncharted games are an action, adventure, platforming and online competitive/coop shooter rolled into one amazing package. What makes the series great is Naughty Dog's ability to tell a story in a way that has never been done before, in a video game. The series has an incredible cast of characters and thanks to great voice acting and animation, the gamer immediately becomes attached to them. The drama of love, hate, friendship, laughter, suspense, fear and over the top action makes the series feel more like an Indiana Jones thrill ride than a video game.
When Uncharted 2 came out I called it the best looking console game I had ever seen. Since then there have been a number of games with superb graphics (Crysis 2, Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3, LA Noir) and Uncharted 3 will not surpass those games. Not to say that the graphics are terrible, it's just we have reached a point where games look so amazing, it's impossible to tell which is better. This is due to talented developers, like Naughty Dog, that have learned to max out the system capabilities of current generation hardware.
The story of Uncharted 3 takes place a few years after the last one with no immediate explanation as to what is going on. In the final scene of Uncharted 2 you are left with Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher moving on to happily ever after. It's isn't until a number of chapters in that you realize that there was no happily ever after. Also it may seem strangely familiar (*cough* Uncharted 2) but once again our heroes are investigating a secret trail left by Sir Francis Drake and a Lost City. The game reunites you with the beloved characters from the previous games and introduces a new likable hero, Charlie Cutter.
Uncharted 3 immediately starts off with our heroes getting themselves into trouble thanks to Nate and his crazy Sir Francis Drake obsession. What is unique about the intro chapters is that you don't even shoot a gun until a few hours in. Most of the early combat is done through a new melee system. The new hand to hand combat is fun but it could use just a bit more polish, especially right on the heels of a near perfect Batman Arkham City game.
I finished the campaign in a little over 11 hours. I really enjoyed the story, however it was not as gripping as Uncharted 2. Not to say that Uncharted 3's story is terrible, but I liked 2 better. This is a matter of opinion but I thoroughly enjoyed the Nate/Chloe/Elena love triangle and the Nathan/Elena relationship from Uncharted 2, it was one of the best story arcs in a video game. I'm not a story teller and perhaps you can only take the love angle so far, but it felt like there wasn't enough Elena Fisher in the game. The bigger focus is on the Sully/Nathan friendship. The game takes you back in time, though playable flashbacks, to the younger years of Nathan and Sully. It's a treat to see the early days of their friendship and doubly serves as a way to build the backstory of the new antagonists, Katherine Marlowe and Talbot.
The puzzles are handled much better this time around. A couple of the puzzles were tough but I was never stuck on any of them. Even if I had gotten stuck, after a short duration the game gives you small hints and will eventually display the solution for you. This is a great feature because I hate games that cause me to get stuck, it's frustrating and completely ruins a good game (*ahem* lever pushing JRPGs).
The platforming has been tweaked to be even more fluid and precise than the previous games. I finished most platforming attempts with ease and it was a lot fun figuring out Nathan's path on the fly. The last thing I want to be is frustrated, too much trial and error is tedious. Thankfully Naughty Dog has been able to perfect this system and controlling Drake is fast and fun. Just because it's fluid doesn't mean you should let your guard down because some of the sequences can get rough. If you die, there's no 2 minute loading screen, you quickly start off at the previous checkpoint. It's these small, important details that add up to a great game.
Online gameplay was first introduced in Uncharted 2. Many people thought the game didn't need it but trust me, it did. If it wasn't for the Uncharted 2 multiplayer, I never would have got started in the Uncharted series. The reason why most gamers hate the multiplayer add-on to single player games is because it usually stinks. Uncharted is the exception to the rule. Naughty Dog has proven that you can turn a primarily focused single player campaign into a multiplayer success. What makes it unique is the wall climbing and platforming abilities. It adds depth to the multiplayer that has never been done before.
In addition to standard Team Deathmatch and Objective type modes Uncharted 3 has some cool coop modes. In Coop Adventure you play specially designed coop levels with 2-3 players. These are quite fun and you may even recognize some of the enemies from previous games. They also have a new mode called Hunter Arena. In this mode the Heroes are trying to acquire treasure while the Villians, assisted by AI companions, are trying and stop them. It may seem unfair that heroes don't get AI companions, but they are better equipped than the Villains. Naughty Dog was detailed enough to include matchmaking and joining in progress. Yet another example of Naughty Dog's attention to detail.
Uncharted 3 is a game that needs to be played by all gamers, both casual and hardcore. The online modes are addictive and you can easily put 60+ hours into it. The new Hunter Arena and Coop Adventure modes are a blast to play with either friends or strangers. The single player campaign, online competitive, and online coop make a complete package that's worth every penny. If you ever needed a reason to buy a PlayStation 3, the Uncharted series is it, and if you already have one, get it.... NOW!
Review is a segment about my opinion on things. I like things, and you like things too. Before you run off and buy something, you should check out my review. Chances are if I like it, it’s probably awesome.