Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by SubliminalSegue, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. SubliminalSegue

    SubliminalSegue GBAtemp Fan

    Oct 12, 2010
    United States
    Released: November 1, 2011​
    Rated: T for Teen​

    It was a whole week since I replayed Uncharted 2, and just to see if Naughty Dog really could improve on such a perfect game, I booted up Nathan Drake's newest adventure, and started off on what would be his seemingly biggest one yet. I hoped.

    The game's pacing is second to none, more games could frankly take notes from Naughty Dog; this is how you write games. It's brilliant, like a movie, but at the same time gives you that interactivity that you don't get in a lot of AAA titles. A must play series for anyone with a PS3--and soon a Vita. Anyway, the game takes place 2 years after Drake saved the world from the blight of the second game, and he's still the wise-cracking, quick-witted journeyman we all have come to know and love. He is again joined by Victor Sullivan and Chloe Frazer, but this time is joined by the Jason Statham-looking Charlie Cutter, who, petrified by small spaces, brings another comic relief side to a cast that already shined beautifully.

    For those who played the first disappointing-in-contrast-to-Uncharted 2, you'll know that Nathan Drake has a weird obsession with Sir Francis Drake, claiming to be an heir and even carries around his ring and motto. Uncharted 3 delves into how he obtained it as a child, and also how he came to meet his good friend, and life long mentor Sully. We are then joined by the antagonists of the game, Katherine Marlowe and a man named Talbot, who by the end of the game, really becomes a thorn even in the player's side. While Drake follows his idol's path all the way to a six month hangover in the middle-east, he will discover the fabled Iram of the Pillars, the so-called "Atlantis of the Sands", and even more about Francis Drake's past, as well as his own.
    Marlowe may look like Helen Mirren, but she's just an
    insidious woman who wants Drake's Ring.

    Now, what sets this game apart from the 2nd, is that they made a few things a little more smooth and refined, such as improving hand-to-hand combat and implementing a cover-awareness system, which means that Drake will instinctively touch walls that he is close to and makes grabbing ledges a little more streamlined. This is also a bad thing, as the animations of such will look like Drake is stroking out on a wall. Gunplay has also been improved, more or less, but the problem with it is that it kinda slows the pacing of the game, and you will get into fights very frequently in this game, sometimes when you least expect them, and most of the time when you could use a reprieve.

    That's the main issue I have with U3. Naughty Dog decided to overdo themselves and make sure there was more action in this game then the first two combined. While this may not seem like a bad thing, it certainly shows that a lot of the big memorable action sequences are rudely forced and over-the-top. The charm and unpredictability of the 2nd returns but it always feels like something we've done before. Drake is no stranger to danger, but we're constantly reminded that this is nothing new, it's a constant trip of deja vu. Again, not a bad thing, don't fix what isn't broken, but it'd been nice to see something to try and set it apart from Uncharted 2, not mimic it at every turn.

    The strong suit of the game is still the writing. Characters support each other, and it really feels real. Conversations are engaging and even when you're alone and trying to climb a crumbling building, Drake is always a font of constant hilarity. This is a very personal game, and without spoilers, there is a part in the game that could've sufficed in a cutscene, but Naughty Dog decided to put you in the shoes of Drake, even in his darkest moment. The way that the game is presented, overshadows what we see in games nowadays. This felt real, I felt the struggle a lot, and you become closer to the characters, almost like they become real people. This is a key to story telling. If I can't relate, or even feel what the character is going through, they are one-dimensional, and therefor not worth caring about.
    Settings include castles, the desert and even in a ship graveyard out in the ocean.

    Another nice thing is the production on sound and visuals. Greg Edmonson has done amazing things for the composing of the series, and sound direction is brilliant. The art direction is above par too, and I found myself checking out the vistas once again. I was drawn into the world around me, and it didn't feel like a backdrop. It was an unbelievable trip around the world, and the research shows. Character models are tweaked a little and the characters look better than ever, but Chloe and Elena show the most improvement.

    While I continue to sing the praise of the game, it didn't come without it's flaws. I personally had some rough patches in the game, and playing on normal, I came across some interesting AI. While the game's combat system has been tweaked, I found myself in some hairy situations on more than one occasion. The game seems to throw you against hordes of smart AI, and sometimes, at least for me, it led to frustrating restarting checkpoints because of deadly accuracy and balancing issues. Some people won't find it so hard, but new-comers might welcome the new difficulty curve. The game is smart, and it watches how you play.

    News that the game was rushed shows at the end when the game's main focus of the desert setting are only showcased in the game's closing chapters. While these are by far the most powerful moments, it builds up into a climax that sort of seems to fizzle out by a quick and un-inventive final boss. Puzzles are far and few between and although this seems to be the biggest adventure yet, the game never really lives up to it's expectations. I never really felt like I was finding something important. I felt like Drake got off easy and found his destination almost too simply. While I may be hard to please, at times I flowed through the game's easy puzzles without ever feeling the sense of urgency that the game had me believe. Call me old fashioned, but walking through a desert for three days and then fighting an army seems a little too convenient. Drake must be a super-hero. My final complaint is that they took out the bonuses, leaving almost no incentive to complete the game all the way. I loved buying guns and skins in the 2nd, and only leaving concepts and videos aren't a total loss, but a little personally upsetting.
    Glimpses into Drake's past are great, if only very brief

    Having rented it, I was unable to play MP, but playing the beta has shown that it has taken a turn for the better. It's much easier to play this time around, and a hell of a lot more rewarding. Worth at least buying the pass. The co-op is also worth a look as it features an alternate time-line and some awesome bonuses to come with it.

    FINAL JUDGEMENT: This is the last game I'm actually scoring. Too many times I've had people criticize the 100% scoring system, although I felt it was infallible. That being said, I'm calling this a borderline RENT/BUY. While I beat it on normal in just under 8 hours, the game has a decent replay value to find all treasures and at the very least, a robust online side that will keep you interested for months to come. Or at least till DLC comes out. I say rent, because with a short campaign, the only reason I'd see for actually spending 60 dollars on a game that can be beaten in a day is the online. It reminds me of SOCOM's latest outing, and you and your friends can continue the vast customizable features for a long time. Buy this is you want a rewarding online experience with a great story. For those interested in story only, a rent will be good enough. This is a game I feel needs to played once at least, and to see how it all turns out.

    Final Score:
    90/100 (%)
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