Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – Review
Developer: Naughty Dog
Release Date: November 3 2011
The Short: Nathan Drake is back for another cinematic adventure with a great single player campaign with unforgettable characters and a fun multiplayer experience
Nathan Drake is back for another cinematic adventure in his third instalment, Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception. If you’ve played the previous instalments then you know what to expect from this game, great story and gameplay, thrown together with an improved multiplayer and co-op.
The Story this time round see’s Nathan Drake on another adventure looking for the Atlantis of the sands, a lost city of unimaginable wealth hidden within the desert, but he’s not the only one looking for the city. The campaign has a more father and son feels this time round as you will spending a majority of the time parred with Victor “Sully” Sullivan as you go along a string of noteworthy set pieces, such as getting sucked out of a falling cargo plane, escaping from a burning house or discovering secrets from Drakes past. Voice acting and character performance is once again outstanding with notable remarks towards the heartfelt performance of the relationship between Drake and his mentor Sully.
All these great performances would have gone to waste if not for the amazing visuals. You won’t find the substantial leap in visuals that Uncharted to Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was but it’s still one of the most visually impressive looking console games out there. The attention to detail is what really draws you in, the way sand grips to the strands in drake’s hair, to the way fire realistically flickers and bounces from walls in a burning house.
Gameplay hasn’t changed dramatically from the last; you will be hiding in cover, climbing and shooting bad guys down with an array of new and old weapons. Hand-to-hand combat has been greatly improved with more emphasis on countering your enemy’s attacks, you have to hit triangle to dodge attacks and tap circle to get out of the enemy grasp, at the end of a successful takedown you will be complemented with a slow-mo of you finishing your opponent. Stealth has also had an overall it’s much easier to pull off stealth takedown this time round unlike in previous instalments. My only gripe with the singleplayer would that the enemy A.I could be greatly improved; the A.I at times will come out of cover at times for no reason or will just stand around forgetting you’re even there, but this doesn’t mean that for most of you
adventure they won’t test you. Puzzles also make a pleasant return to help take a break from all the shooting, puzzles aren’t too hard or too easy that it feels tedious and you will be given clues from Drake’s journal to help guide you through them.
Uncharted’s offering of multiplayer has been dramatically revamped. There have been A LOT of new features added into the multiplayer this time around.
There are 3 main new features. The first is the buddy system; this allows you to spawn on your buddy, and high-five each other for extra cash. The second is that there are treasures to collect on multiplayer maps, treasure chests will randomly spawn on the map, if you collect these you get 3 medals towards your medal kickback. Also when you kill an enemy some will randomly drop a treasure which you can pick up, collect a certain amount of these and you complete a treasure set, which unlocks items for your character. The third is Power Plays, in team-death match, if your team is losing, for a limited amount of time your team will get a boost to try and get you back in the game, while the other team earns more cash to buy mods, boosters, etc.
Uncharted 2 had a little customisation with two booster selections, (which enhance certain aspects of your character, like faster climbing, extra mods, etc.) but this time around they have expanded on that immensely. You can still select two boosters, but they now level up three times the more you use them. As well as having boosters you can also choose a medal kickback. You achieve medals by killing enemies in certain ways, once you have achieved the required amount of medals you can activate your kickback. Medal Kickbacks can range from spawning a RPG in your hands to vanishing into a puff of smoke and teleporting to another area of the map. The other biggest feature is Mods. Basically you can chose one mod for your primary and secondary guns, these range from a bigger clip, faster rate of fire, faster reload, etc.
Besides choosing custom loadouts, you can also customise your characters looks, voice, taunt and emblem. The character customisation is pretty good, but the emblem options are basic, coming first in a game means it is displayed all throughout the map.
There are 11 maps, but disappointingly 4 of them are from Uncharted 2, for some reason. For team-death match each map has a unique cinematic feature to them. For example on Underground London, you will be fighting on a moving train before moving onto the main level. Besides team-death match there is also three-team death match, which pits 3 teams of two against each other, Team objective, Plunder, which is like Capture the flag, Free-for-all, and a Hardcore mode for those of you who don’t like the idea of Mods, Medal kickbacks and boosters.
The worst thing plaguing the multiplayer at the moment, is that the punch will lunge at you from absurd distances sometimes, which is quite annoying.
Now for the 3 player co-op. The game still has the co-op adventure maps, including five, which are bite sized levels that have their own story separate from the single-player. There is also co-op arena, which is basically a horde mode, which I feel is a downgrade from Uncharted 2’s as it cycle’s through the co-op modes, not allowing you to play just survival, or just siege, etc. There also isn’t a score multiplier in this anymore which was a shame. The other co-op mode is called hunter, which is basically co-op arena except there are also 2 real human players on the AI team versing 2 of you. I have mixed opinions on this mode.
In the end what you get for your money is a great single player campaign with unforgettable characters and a fun multiplayer experience. Even though at times it can feel like you’ve have been there and done that, this is one game that is not to be missed.