We’ve already seen Naughty Dog blow the world away with the Uncharted Drake’s Fortune and how they made lightning strike twice with its sequel Uncharted 2 Among Thieves, but can this prestigious developer go for the hat trick and create a successful third entry in the franchise with Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception? Or will it fall prey to not living up to the originals, as many sequels tend to do? Rest assured that Uncharted 3 not only lives up to the Uncharted name but lets the series go out on the PlayStation 3 on a high note.
Uncharted 3 treads familiar ground as the previous two games in that the story combines realistic elements with the supernatural. However, Uncharted 3 steers off-course in a major way as it provides a look into Nathan Drake’s past. While past Uncharted games have always tangentially been about Drake, this is the first game to dive head on into who he was before the beginning of the franchise. Without spoiling the plot, you’ll learn about Drake’s childhood, how he came to meet Sully and how he got started on the road to treasure hunting. The plot comes full circle as Drake’s past collides with his future as everything you know about Uncharted will change after this game.
As you would expect, all the original voice actors return to reprise their roles and once again give amazing performances. While Nolan North has starred in many games at this point, Nathan Drake will go down in his career as one of his defining roles. Every surviving character in the Uncharted franchise will make an appearance in Uncharted 3, giving a sense of closure to the trilogy.
The set-pieces make a return as well, topping not only what was seen in Uncharted 2 but any game released to date. Drake will find himself navigating a burning building, fighting atop a crashing airplane and attempting to escape a sinking cruise ship. These moments define the game and will have you talking about them for years to come. As much as the previous Uncharted games were graphical powerhouses, Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception shows the true power of the PlayStation 3 and looks absolutely gorgeous with a riveting soundtrack to match. With this game, Naughty Dog has truly created a summer blockbuster in video game form.
Uncharted 3 doesn’t really change much gameplay wise from the previous games; after all, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, as the old adage goes. What Naughty Dog has done is refined all elements on the game based on player feedback, so stealth segments are more forgiving, a hint system is available to help with puzzles and Drake has even more acrobatic moves at his disposal, both in combat and out. The melee system has also been improved, providing for additional melee options during combat. If you enjoyed the combat in the Uncharted franchise before you will love the changes made here.
Like previous games in the series, Uncharted 3’s single player mode features a wealth of collectibles and unlock-able difficulty modes, providing a dose of replay-ability for those who want to experience the 10-hour story again. However, much like Uncharted 2 Among Thieves, the game’s real replay-ability comes from the return of the multiplayer mode.
At its core, multiplayer remains the same once again: online co-operative and competitive multiplayer rule the day here. While the co-operative mode is similar to how it was in Uncharted 2, competitive multiplayer has seen a few new changes. While the leveling system and large variety of unlock-able items remain, the new additions help push Uncharted 3’s multiplayer into a league of its own. While the game sees the standard new influx of maps, characters and modes, it’s the inclusion of the Power Play mechanic that makes the multiplayer stand out. A Power Play occurs for the losing team, giving them an opportunity to get more kills or points than normal and to close the gap with the opposing team, ensuring that all competitive multiplayer games remain competitive at all times. With this new mechanic, it’s easy to quickly turn a losing match into a winning one.
Uncharted 3 is the culmination of everything Naughty Dog learned this generation and is a fantastic end to Nathan Drake’s stay on the PlayStation 3. Much like the previous games, it is a must-play experience for any PS3 gamer.
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Release Platform: PlayStation 3