Do you remember when Naughty Dog released Uncharted 2 and blew everyone away? Well they did it again. While Uncharted 3 may not be as ground breaking as Among Thieves was, it is still one of the best games to be on the PS3. In a way this game kind of feel like Uncharted 2.5 but when has more amazing ever been a bad thing? Continuing the adventures of Nathan Drake and Sully, this time they are tangling with Katherine Marlowe and her right hand man Talbot. Marlowe is part of some kind of shadow organization and is after Drake’s ring which will help lead the way to the Iram of the Pillars. A secret lost city said to be somewhere in Arabia.
Uncharted 3 brings back the whole cast you love from the last two games and we even get some great new characters. While the scale of the enemy force in this game doesn’t seem as dangerous as Lazarvic was in the previous game but they still have a very menacing appeal with their ties to the unnamed organization they work for. Marlowe shows she will do whatever she has to to get what she wants and her partner Talbot is ruthless enough to perform any dirty deed she requests. One thing about the story of this game is that it feels like a more personal story for Drake. You get a lot of back story that tells how Nate and Sully first met and how they have ties to Marlowe. One thing I found a little strange was that the story was so similar to Among Thieves in the sense that by the time Elena enters the game we have the same situation that we had before where their relationship is already over. It felt a little lazy but they manage to tie it together very nicely at the end and if there is ever an Uncharted 4 hopefully they won’t do the same thing.
The Uncharted series returns with some of the qualities that made the previous game revolutionary. Naughty Dog outdid themselves again and they present the players with so many epic moments that feel like cutscenes yet you get to play through them. Whether it’s running through a sinking ship or flying out of the side of an airplane, you are in control of Drake through moments that should only be cinematics and it manages to look very impressive the whole time. Some of the best moments I have ever played in a video game came from Uncharted 3 as I couldn’t contain my excitement as I played through all of the massive set pieces the game threw at me. One thing this game has more than the others is that it has more puzzles. I never felt that the puzzle element was the best aspect of this series but these puzzles felt more interesting to the plot and were fairly unique if only slightly frustrating.
As well as having a story that is just as well told as the previous games Uncharted 3 has ramped up their multiplayer to new extremes. All of the modes from Among Thieves return along with a whole slew of new modes. For the competitive modes there is now a three team deathmatch and now in co-op you can play original campaign missions with two other players. The co-op campaign is definitely worth noting as all of the missions are accompanied by animated introductions and voice over. Overall this game has some of the most exciting co-op I have ever played.
There have been no real gameplay changes from the last game. Everything pretty much feels the same on the control end with maybe some minor refinements. One thing I felt was little different was the aiming felt a little more stiff this time around but it in no way hindered the experience, it was just something to get used to. The melee combat felt more refined as there were new types of enemies that needed different strategies and you often found yourself engaged with multiple enemies at once. The fighting is more dynamic as you could be fighting multiple people and switch between them fairly easy in a way that reminded me of a more realistic version of Batman. You could also use the environment to attack your foes, such as grabbing bottles off a bar and smashing them over your targets head or even hitting them with a fish in a market.
As mentioned before there are many times when playing the game that you feel like you are playing a movie. While it may seem crazy and hectic with what is happening on the screen it never feels clunky or confusing. Naughty Dog has thought of everything and they make sure that you are in complete control during these intense sequences and that they aren’t broken in any way. The traversal feels just as good as ever if not more refined. I never found myself having trouble jumping or climbing which is something that frustrated me a few times in the previous games.
Naughty Dog manages to do a lot with a little as they prove in the scenes where you are walking through the desert. All you are doing is just moving the control stick but they make it such an engaging experience that you can’t look away from what Drake is going through. However I would have to say my favorite part of the game is on the sinking ship. You are running from waves of water and climbing through an overturned ship which is incredibly and realistically disorientating. I was incredibly impressed with how real they made it seem to be on an overturned vessel and it made for an amazing gameplay experience.
Uncharted 3 is one of the most beautiful games I have ever seen on the Playstation 3. Among Thieves looked amazing but I really feel like the cleaned up this game and gave you a lot more impressive things to look at. The character animation looks improved from the last game and cutscenes are always a joy to watch. One thing the developers mentioned over and over until the games release was the graphics on the sand and compared it to how they did the snow in the previous game. The scenes in the desert are fantastic and walking through the sand manages to look realistic as you leave a trail of footprints everywhere you go. Drake will even get covered in sand as he walks.
One thing that always impressed me with Uncharted was how they actually made Drakes clothes look wet whenever he entered water and Uncharted 3 is no exception as they have an entire level that takes place on a sinking ship during a rain storm. Their water mechanics were really well done overall as they even have water in a pool reacting different to the water that makes up the ocean and it is extremely realistic looking. This game is the prime definition of it feels like you are watching a movie.
After I finished Drakes Deception I only wanted more! I went immediately back into the game on the hardest difficulty and played a lot of the multiplayer. I even went back to the first and second game. There is no one out there who shouldn’t have an amazing time playing this game. The campaign has a lot to offer and the multiplayer could last for quite a long time. The characters and story are incredibly engaging and I couldn’t put down my controller until I finished every second of the campaign. It is just about as long as the last game was and just as entertaining. Anyone who loves adventure games or games like Tomb Raider will get a lot of high quality entertainment from Uncharted 3. The voice work and scripting for the characters is top notch and witty and clever as ever. If you have a Playstation then Uncharted 3 definitely belongs in you collection.
Uncharted 3 is one of the best games I have played this year. This series is one of the main reasons I am glad to be a Playstation 3 owner as these games have always been of the highest quality. Now that this game is out and only one more announced Uncharted game planned for the future on the Vita I can only hope this is the last time we see Nathan Drake. If you haven’t played any of the Uncharted games yet I can’t recommend all of them enough, even if it is only to get to this amazing game. With amazing graphics and groundbreaking gameplay Uncharted 3 earns its place among its predecessors and should rank highly with anyone who sits down to play it.