Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception
Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception is the third game in the Uncharted series and acts as an ending point for this original trilogy of games. A lot was expected upon the announcement and release of this game and people were expecting a big jump from the fan favourite second game to this one and what they got was... something. It was something.
Now I actually love Uncharted 3 and overall believe it to be a better game than the second but I think it's a bit confused with itself in terms of its story. There's the normal Uncharted formula of treasure and bad guys and something sinister about said treasure but then you start adding in a 400-year-old cult, pirates, giant deadly spiders that are just sort of there and even a completely unexplained immortal character who some believe is literally a robot from the future and things start to get more than a little hinky. Don't get me wrong here I do enjoy the story and its more than easy to follow if you ignore a couple of glaring flaws that aren't explained and we even get to see all the main characters from the two previous games back (Nate, Sully, Elena, and Chloe) as well as new character Charlie Cutter who is meant to be a tough Londoner but we actually learn throughout the game that he is much more than that and in fact, he's as smart as Nate when it comes to treasure hunting. In terms of its characters and even its character development, this game is the best in the series so far in terms of the core three characters but more specifically explores Nate and Sully's relationship in detail and it really shows by the end with the trilogy coming full circle. For every flaw, this story has I can honestly say there are three great things so the positives do really outweigh the negatives here.
The gameplay of Uncharted 3 again takes what was great about the first two games and continues to build on it. The enemy variety is about the same as Uncharted 2 with a couple of variations here and there but you still have juggernauts, shotgunners, riot shielders, etc. Puzzles are back again and haven't really changed from the second game, if your journal doesn't give you all the answers it'll point you in the right direction, or in other words almost all puzzles aren't challenging and the game walks you through it all. Where the gameplay really shines is in the combat sections. Guns feel different this time around, you feel a weapons recoil as it bounces around the screen when firing full auto and the noise of your gunshots sounds a lot more like your firing a real weapon unlike the first two titles where this was a little lackluster. Jumping and climbing feel largely the same as the first two games but has been refined even further. The big over the top movie-style set pieces also make a return with a sinking ship, horseback convoy chase, and plane crash sequence which is one of the most epic in the entire franchise. The Gameplay overall ticks all the boxes for me. At its core, Uncharted 3 is still a very basic 3rd person shooter but it's finally reached a point where, in terms of gameplay, it does everything right.
I didn't talk about this much in the Uncharted 2 review however I have to say how beautiful this game is. From the London pub to the Chateau in France, the ship graveyard to The lost city of Ubar everything looks absolutely phenomenal and you can really tell that this time around they wanted to make every location look as realistic as possible and really makes you feel like you are an adventurer searching for lost treasure in these forgotten places and its something I don't think this game gets a lot of credit for and it truly deserves that recognition.
The issue I have with Uncharted 3 isn't the game itself but the potential it failed to live up to. The previous two titles had the story down but the lacked in terms of gameplay whereas this game flips the coin and has the gameplay but lacks with the confusing story and I don't just mean Talbot (the guys who're potentially an immortal robot) I also mean things like how did Nate find the lost city of Ubar in the middle of the Rub' al Khali desert just by aimlessly wandering around with no water or food and the fact that Nate was lucky enough not to drown after he escaped the sinking ship. Nothing in this game is explained too well, and the player is just expected to roll with it. I would like to say that the character interactions are great and how deep we get to see Sully and Nates relationship go is written really well and even how we see Nate realise what he really wants out of his life by the end of the game was a nice touch, it's just the overarching story of the whole game that leaves me a little baffled.
Again in this review, I didn't cover the multiplayer from the PS3 version or the continuous speed run mode in the PS4 remaster as although I have many, many memories of laughing till I cry from the multiplayer it is unfortunately shut down and I covered the continuous speed run mode in my Uncharted 1 review.
Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception could've been the greatness to the series small beginnings but I suppose we'll have to leave that to the next generation.