|Written by Oliver|
A Gamingheap Review...
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
I first tried out the Uncharted series last year when one of my mates recommended it to me. I have never played the first one, but completed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and loved it! Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception is an almost perfect third-person-shooter & action and adventure crossover. It would seem each installment in the series is just getting better and better! I actually completed my first play-through on Hard difficulty earlier on today and also had a crack at 'Crushing' difficulty, though I'll get onto that later. I bought this game for £20 if I remember correctly and it was definitely worth it...
Ever since the first game, the series has always looked great and the 3rd edition to the popular franchise makes no exception to that rule. Over the course of the game, you'll witness Nathan Drake in blockbuster movie like action scenes including falling out of a plane, running on the rooftops of collapsing buildings and trying to flee from a sinking cruise-liner. The combination of Uncharted 3's amazing action scenes, lovely landscapes and clean, crisp cut-scenes makes me think that it is among the most pinnacle selection of video-games in graphical presentation terms. Throughout my first play-through of the game (which took me about 10 hours), I witnessed no texture bugs or any other kind of common graphical glitch. Everything did indeed look perfect!
One thing I adore about this game is the realism. When your making Drake walk near a wall or through a narrow space he'll touch the walls as he goes or if you're in the hot, arid desert he'll bat away flies that are hovering near him. There are so many of these little touches that you really feel alive and engrossed when playing. There's never a dull moment in Uncharted 3 either, the action scenes look great whether it be watching the plane Drake is hanging perilously from tear apart with metal flying through the air or the weak wooden floor below collapsing as he jumps down onto it, wooden planks flying in all directions. This game really does look perfect!
You play as Nathan Drake, the main character throughout the entire series so far. In Uncharted 3, you are told more about how Drake grew up on the streets of Columbia and how he came to meet Victor Sullivan. The story basically tells the story of Nate and Sully travelling to Arabia to find the lost city of Ubar, the 'Atlantis of the Sands' said to contain immeasurable wealth. I won't say anymore, lest I spoil the plot!
What I can say is that the story is very well though out and unlike the previous games where you can easily see what's coming, this one sees you surprised at the events that occur and always left wondering what is round the next corner, literally! In this edition to the series you really see the strong friendship between Sully and Nate as they are put in some dire situations, but always looking out for each other till the very end. Admittedly, the story does get weaker nearer the end with some random, miraculous events happening but overall I was content when the credits began to roll and highly satisfied with the 10 hours I put towards the singleplayer campaign.
Like the previous installments, in Uncharted 3 you'll spend the majority of your time climbing and leaping up perilous objects and gunning down enemies with a vast assortment of firepower - as well as Nate's savage martial-arts skills. The first level relies solely on melee combat, which is the best it has ever been in the series. You will find yourself getting into fisticuffs with a lot of enemies throughout the game - dodging attacks with triangle and counterattacking with square. There are a lot of different moves too and this variation makes it look more realistic as opposed to seeing the same animation every time you engage in hand-to-hand. The gun-play is great fun and you will find yourself ducking behind cover often, popping out to score that head-shot or provide some covering fire whilst Sully tries to make his way over to Drake. Enemies vary from weak, pistol wielding thugs, to body-armoured shot-gunners, to massive brutes that can kill Nathan in a few swings of their fists. This variation will keep you hurrying over to pickup suitable weapons or changing your battle plans quickly.
The free-running hasn't changed much, but how can it when it is already so good? It plays a big role in the game adding more thrills to action scenes and different tactics to gunfights. It rivals even Assassin's Creeds free-running however it isn't as fluent and can be clunky at times. This is easily overlooked when you see the boat Nate just jumped from explode!
Puzzles play a smaller role too with a few popping up throughout the story. None of them are very challenging at all but they are a nice touch to the exploration feel of the game and opening out Drake's notebook is always exciting. Adding to the exploration feel you'll frequently find yourself straying from the beaten path to search for the 100 treasures that lay hidden throughout the game's 22 chapters of gameplay. I found about 35 on my first play-through so finding them all will definitely keep me going for a while yet!
No problems here either! The voice-acting is great with the likes of Nolan North playing Nathan Drake and Richard McGonagle playing Victory Sullivan. There's a lot of humour in what they say which adds a nice touch to some blander parts of the story. Hectic parts of the game are supported by the sound quality - for example there's a scene where a chateau collapses and the noise is extraordinary! The music is great as well and suits the different atmosphere's throughout the game perfectly.
This game should really be a film, it has amazing, thrilling action-scenes and blockbuster movie qualities to it. It looks amazing and the story will keep you on your toes wondering what's going to happen next, however the last half of the story isn't as good. The gameplay is highly addictive with fantastic gun-play and melee combat along with its fair share of exciting free-running and perplexing puzzles. This is a proper video-game - it has everything you could want and more, definitely one of the best game's I've played this year - even though it was released last year!
+ Great Visuals
+ Story starts off great
+ Combat is really fun & addictive
+ Best Uncharted game yet
- The last half of the story isn't as good
My Rating: 9.0/10