Nathan Drake, the wise-cracking treasure hunter, returns for a third time in Naughty Dog’s newest title, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. For readers who don’t know, Uncharted 2 won Game of the Year 2009 from various sites such as IGN, Kotaku, Giant Bomb, Joystiq, Eurogamer and many more. Has Naughty Dog pulled it off yet again?
Past Uncharted games are known for the manipulation on factual history, such as Sir Francis Drake’s, and Marco Polo’s adventures. Drake’s Deception is no different. With the knowledge gained from T.E Lawrence’s travels, Nathan Drake goes back to his roots with the speculation of Sir Francis Drake’s voyage. With the help of Victor “Sully” Sullivan, Nathan and Sully use the fabled ring of Francis Drake to unlock the mysteries of what really happened. It leaves the duo searching for the “Atlantis of the Sands” hidden away in the Rub’ al Khali desert.
Drake’s Deception is a third-person shooter, action adventure platformer. Isn’t that a mouthful? In short, you jump off of things while shooting bad guys in the third person perspective. The game features puzzles (more so than the previous titles) which have to be solved to continue on. Without some brain power, players may spend some time wandering around aimlessly wondering where to turn something or shove a pole in the ground.
When it comes to the Uncharted series, there are variety difficulty settings. Ranging from Easy to Crushing (Uncharted’s Insane Mode). The difficulty of the game spikes a great amount during mid-game. There’s just this sudden happening, like you just jumped out of a plane and completely forgot about a parachute. Enduring hard mode gave me a run for my money, a thrill of the hunt, a brutal excitement.
An interval that affected the difficulty of the game was the aiming mechanics of the weapons. Realism has been added to them. The tweaks from Uncharted 2’s mechanics to create these resulted in things like every single bullet being fired from the barrel 100 percent of the time, and increasing sensitivity overall. Players accustomed to the previous games mechanics may find the ones in this game a bit frustrating. With the changed mechanics, the games difficulty sky rockets, making it harder than the previous two titles.
Some of the jumping from or to things can be a little wonky. It’s like I finally get the analog stick in the correct area to get him to extend his hand, and he starts thinking about dying babies or something and hesitates and brings it back in. Then I have to spend the next 25 seconds trying to get him to stick it out again. Nothing major, but it happened a few times.
The length of Drake’s Deception is fairly decent. It’s pretty much the same as the previous installments. Single player works just like the previous titles, you run through the chapters completing the story, with the option to search for hidden treasures. In the previous games, collecting treasures and completing specific tasks like 100 headshots, or 30 kills with an AK-47 will bag you some cash, which in turn could be used to purchase goodies. Goodies like costumes, gallery art, filters, tweaks (such as infinite ammo and one shot kill) and weapons. Most required the game to be beaten to purchase. Drake’s Deception does not have any feature like these. Players can suck their discs dry with Single Player for about 12-15 hours, until they get addicted to multiplayer.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves multiplayer became a big success, so why not include it in their next game more refined and polished? Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception features competitive and cooperative modes of play. It boasts modes such as Team Deathmatch, Free for All, Team Objective, Three Team Deathmatch, Plunder and Hardcore. On the Co-op side there’s Arena, Hunter Arena and Adventure.
The competitive side of multiplayer is your average, player versus player kind of ordeal. There are teams of heroes fighting teams of villains. Are you destined to be the Rambo of your team? Throughout the matches the losing team will obtain power plays which may increase their damage by double, so that they can attempt to catch up, or all of the opponents are visible so that they are easier to find. Scattered across the maps are treasure chest which will occasionally have treasure in it, which will bag you medals and cash. Gaining medals helps gain XP to level up and unlock weapons and such.
The cooperative side features horde mode types of gameplay which a team of three will begin fighting waves of AI enemies, or both AI and human players. Then completing specific objectives and enduring the beatings until time is ran out. Thus the team is victorious. Cooperative Adventure features a 2-3 player co-op missions which will keep players busy, even after they have completed the main game.
With the various modes, there’s tons of unlockables, like the costumes and characters you could get in single player from the previous titles. There’s a leveling system which unlocks weapons and perks as you advance. There’s one catch to the multiplayer. It requires the Online Pass. You cannot access it at all without entering in the code, which is conveniently placed on the back of the instruction manual, which is out of plain sight for those who just dig right in and get the disc rather than paying attention to the manual. If by any means you do not have an online pass, you can purchase one for $9.99 USD. Although if you have a new copy of the game, a code will be tucked inside the case.
Some of the littlest details caught my eyes and amazed me. Like a young Nathan constantly looking back with paranoia while pursuing someone, getting close to a wall and Nathan puts his hand up, the emotion in the characters’ eyes during dramatic scenes. The graphics in the game are some of the best I’ve seen, with details like water soaking Nathan’s clothes and a sandstorm whipping sand around.
The sounds and music of the game are absolutely astonishing. They fit so well. Like a rock falling a long distance or music to fit an abandoned desert village. The soundtrack to the game is actually available on Playstation Network for $9.99. The previous two games soundtracks are $5.99 USD. On November 15, 2011, a physical copy can be purchased from Best Buy, Barnes and Noble and Fry’s Electronics.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception has been a crazy and enjoyable experience. Looking through the little messes and tiny annoyances is the heart of a big hit. While the random difficulty spike and the aiming might get some players down, Naughty Dog has done it yet again to deliver an astounding game. I can’t wait to see what ideas they bring to the table for future titles.
out of 10
- Fantastic Story
- Great visuals and music
- Random difficulty spike
- Aiming issues