Developer: Naughty Dawg
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release: November 1, 2011
Genre: 3rd person Action/Adventure
Multiplayer: Yes, online
A Treasure Hunter and his mentor walk into a bar. The bar tender jerks his head to the side. No, this isn’t the start of a joke. Nate & Sully are here to do business. Nate’s ring is up for sale, but for some reason Nathan & Sully just can’t seem to go anywhere without making people mad. I guess his boyish good looks and charm just isn’t meant for everyone.
The game starts off with Nathan & Sully going into a bar to negotiate the sale of a ring that is supposed to have belonged to the famous explorer Sir Frances Drake. However upon inspection of the money, Nathan discovers the money is counterfeit, and he takes back his ring, prompting the hired thugs to re-negotiate the ring’s sale price. After managing to escape out back, our adventuring duo is cornered, shot and the ring is taken by the buyer for a 5 finger discount.
You end up in the past as a young Nathan Drake on the streets of Columbia. Nathan is very interested in the ring that belongs in his family and spots Victor Sullivan with a key blank at the exhibit with Drake’s ring. You tail Sullivan to a keymaker and pick his pocket afterwards for the key. Nathan heads back to the museum to get the ring. Nathan wasn’t quite as slick as he thought he was and is chased by the henchman of the game’s main villain, Marlowe.
After a return to the present, you learn the guy who shot you was a friend and you follow the Ring’s thief to a garage. From there you embark on yet another peril filled adventure that stretches 20 years of Nathan’s life, filled with bad guys, friendly banter, and several more brushes with death, including the plane crash made famous by the trailers. This time you’re going to search for the lost city of Ubar, often called “The Atlantis of the desert.” Are you ready to learn the secrets of Nathan, Sully and Ubar?
Naughty Dawg is well known for their eye popping games, games like Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter and of course, Uncharted. Each installment of Uncharted is more visually impressive than the one before it, which is hard to do. Facial features have come a long way over the last few generations. You can see this progression even within the Uncharted series. Wet shirts, blood stains, rain, buildings, even the dust & pebbles that are kicked up as you run or slid down tiled roofs, everything is gorgeous and as close to realistic as possible with today’s consoles. There were a few moments while I was in the past as a young Nathan where there seemed to be a bit of a hazy aura surrounding Nathan, but it could have been something as simple as my TV.
The collector’s edition of the strategy guide for Uncharted 3 came with the game’s original soundtrack. This allowed me to experience the music from the various stages without any interference from the game itself. Every stage’s music is a work of art. During the fights and chases you can feel the adrenaline rush. The composers did a great job adding emotion to the game.
The Left analog stick moves Nathan, partial push in any direction makes Nathan walk, full extension makes him run. The Right analog stick controls the camera angle. You can vault over objects, climb surfaces, jump gaps between ledges or buildings, shimmy up pipes, climb fences and roll to evade. Movement at times does feel a bit stilted though.
Solo Campaign Gameplay
Combat is easy to master. Use the L1 button to aim; R1 button to shoot; R2 button to manually reload; and the triangle button to pick up ammo or guns. You can crouch behind walls or other objects to get out of harm’s way. You can run & gun (shoot while you run) or you can take careful aim using the L1. Use the left or right D-pad buttons to change weapons. You can equip a short gun and a long gun. Each weapon obviously has its advantage and disadvantages. As Nathan takes damage, red will splash the screen and the overall screen begins to go grey to show how close to death Nathan is. Avoiding damage will allow Nathan to heal ‘naturally’.
Much like its predecessor Uncharted 3 has an online multiplayer component. You can team up with friends or random strangers and engage in several different modes. Team Deathmatch, 3 Team Deathmatch, Free for all, Team Objective, Hardcore, Plunder, Co-Op Hunter, Co-Op Arena, and Co-Op Adventure.
The graphics and gameplay from the solo campaign carry over well. Finding matches is easy to do. There is more customization options than there was for Uncharted 2. Character skins, weapons, ability & boosters. There are plenty of skill medals to obtain and a progressive ranking system.
Whether you are looking for a great solo adventure, a fun filled co-op or multiplayer experience with friends (old or new), Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is on pulse racing, adrenaline filled adventure that is sure to put a smile on your face and leave you wanting more.
Presentation: 10/10 From start to finish, Drake’s Deception is a well polished gaming machine. Whether you are stunned by the graphics, moved by the story or music, spends hundreds of hours with your friends in the various multi-player modes, Uncharted 3 has a few minor flaws, but none that will detract from that excellent experience.
Graphics: 10/10 As stated previously, Drake’s Deception is a visually impressive game. Facial movements as they speak convey as much emotion as the voice actors themselves. Sweat, grit, blood and so forth will leave you feeling as much of a part of the game as possible.
Sound: 10/10 The cast of voice actors bring the game alive. Nolan North and Richard McGonagle reprise their roles as Nathan and Sully. Rosalind Ayers is the mysterious Marlowe and Claudia Black returns as the voice of Chloe Fraizer. The game’s soundtrack is once again composed by Greg Edmonson. Another great soundtrack.
Gameplay: 8/10 Overall, Uncharted 3’s gameplay is pretty standard. There is nothing truly impressive in the solo campaign as far as combat goes. It is easy to get into, easy to play and fun, but not impressive. The multi-player gameplay is fairly standard, but not very easy for new players to get into.
Overall Score: 9.5/10