RELEASED: October 2011
AVAILABLE ON: PS3
DEVELOPER(S): Naughty Dog
PUBLISHER(S): Sony Computer Entertainment
The way I see it nowadays, receiving a perfect first sequel to an excellent game ain't so surprising, but the third game can go both ways. Of course, that's not the way game developers see it. They make the game all full of themselves, driven by the first sequel's success, striving to make everything about the third game even better, flashier and more epic. Stumbling is not a possibility in their omnipotent world. Naughty Dog was in quite a predicament when they announced Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, even if they didn't realize it. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves raised the bar to unbelievable heights, and while the most optimistic critics were at the game's side throughout its quick development, realists knew from pure experience that all the hype would turn against the game by at least some degree. Drake's Deception was released in October 2011, and the initial reviews of the highest profile bore no reservations at all; perfect tens floated around the net freely. Later reviews of the game were a little bit more reserved, and finally, even the most positive critics began to second-guess their own takes on the game. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is undoubtedly a great game with some huge cinematic climaxes that shame the hell out of its predecessors, but in my honest overall opinion, it's the weakest game in the ultra-strong franchise thus far.
Hardly the last crusade, look at the numbers
Drake, Sully and their trusted team are after Sir Francis Drake's best-kept secret, clues to which are chronicled in T.E. Lawrence's (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia) secret notebook - now in the possession of Drake and Sully's long-time arch nemesis, the devious Katherine Marlowe. In Drake's most dangerous and potentially deadly adventure yet, his and Sully's 20-year friendship is put to a true test.
|Ooh, yoo gonna geddit nao.|
|We don't rightly know why he does everything |
the hard way, but we still like it.
The story is indeed very good, the most solid stand-alone story in the series thus far - although calling it "stand-alone" is politically incorrect, since you'd have to play the first two games to understand Nate's occasionally uneasy relationships with his cohorts. The exchange between Nate (Nolan North) and Sully (Richard McGonagle) is just fantastic; I must honestly say it's the best voice acting I've ever heard. Chloe (Claudia Black) and Elena (Emily Rose) return to give Nate some feminine hell, and the newcomer Charlie Cutter (Graham McTavish, who played the lead villain Lazarevic in the last game) is a striking addition to the team. As if all of these guys weren't enough to create one great ensemble cast, we have perhaps the greatest female villain of all time in the snobby, grade A bitch Katherine Marlowe (Rosalind Ayres).
|Never felt this seasick due to a video game.|
Also, Greg Edmonson's score keeps getting better, and more and more memorable. I think I already said all there is to say about the voice acting, it's the one quality in this game worth a perfect 10. There's simply no sign of "acting" here, it feels like the actors are that completely devoted to their characters - even the new fish in the bowl. North's ad-libbing makes the dialogue sound even more spontaneous, real and altogether spot-on. I just can't praise the cast enough. A special mention and thanks go to Billy Unger, the 16-year old actor who does the voice of young Nathan Drake; this kid totally nails the spirit of his more mature counterpart.
|You guys belong together, think it's time to |
face it already?
Like the previous game, Uncharted 3 sees Drake take most of the challenges on together with a friend or a few of them. The A.I. of your companions, not to mention their aim, is better, and there are a few virtual co-op sequences - you no longer have to go clean up an area and get your buddy when the coast is clear. They're right behind you most of the time, and if they are unable to perform the stunts needed to make progress, you can help them out on the spot with an alternative solution, instead of searching for that alternative solution the usual "Drake way". That of course means climbing up a wall, then sideways, then falling down, climbing up again, swinging on a few thin poles and making it back to your friend from the other direction about 20 minutes later. Oh, but there'll be a lot of climbing, though - make no mistake about it. What was it Drake said in Uncharted 2? "I'm sick and tired of climbing shit!" Not apparently.
|Red Dead Redemption 2: Arabian Outlaws?|
Some call Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Naughty Dog's counterpart to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - which kind of rings true in the sense that Sully and Drake are much like father and son, and of course, this is the third game in the series. But, I'd say Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is more like Naughty Dog's counterpart to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - a great game just like the rest of 'em, no doubt, but one that is missing a decisive spark and perhaps even a little bit of that true spirit.
- Nathan Drake, Nathan Drake, Nathan Drake, and a tasty dose of Victor "God Damn!" Sullivan
- The audiovisuals of the franchise just keep getting better by several steps, as unbelievable as it is
- The best story and cast of characters in the series thus far
- Melee combat is fun
- The grenade trick is even more fun
- It's full of nasty predicaments and explosions...
- ...The thing is avid players of Uncharted 2 are difficult to truly surprise
- The game feels incomplete, all the way from the gameplay refinement to the otherwise stellar story; there are interesting plot threads that are left wide open
- LONG, purely cinematic sequences, that will drive everyone except for the blindest fan out of their minds
- Some exceptionally enfuriating combat scenes that feel endless to boot
- No in-game awards, very few unlockable items
< 8.7 >