Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception User Review
While Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception at times eclipses Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' in terms of the sublime action sequences, it lacks the pacing, the structure of Uncharted 2 and it's story is not strong, nor are its characters. The multiplayer on the other hand more than delivers by expanding upon what made Uncharted 2 so great. While the levels are not as well made and I don't like load outs, there's no denying Uncharted 3 is one of the best multiplayer games around. It's its own thing and isn't a COD clone at all.
Drake's Deception takes Drake, Sully, Chloe and Elena on another globe trotting adventure, this time to find the Atlantis of the Sands. A city of "immeasurable wealth", which attracts Drake and Sully to the fray. This also involves Sir Francis Drake and his journey to try and find the Iram of the Pillars (another name for the Atlantis of the Sands), and why he could never find it.
The key to finding it is within Drake's ring he always wears, and new villain Katherine Marlowe and her shady group of rag taggers pursue Drake for the ring to find the key to the city.
There is a huge emphasis on Sully and Nate's relationship here, and from the beginning of the game, you are immediately connected to them. Director Amy Hennig does a great job of making you care even more about the characters throughout the adventure.
But unfortunately Uncharted 3, especially in the first half suffers from what made Uncharted 2 practically perfect. Pacing and structure. After the spell binding and amazing first three chapters, the game becomes, dare I say dull for a stretch.
Puzzles are back and are the best designed puzzles of the series, however, they're stacked on top of each other and happen way to frequently in the first half of the game to the point where it really slows the game down.
Platforming doesn't have as much of an emphasis here. There are some great platforming moments sprinkled throughout, but there's only one stretch (the flashback) where it's utilized in new and amazing ways.
The combat is more refined, but largely play out like Uncharted 2 and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune did, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Naughty Dog expands it however forcing you at times to climb up a huge wall while shooting enemies that are above which was a very nice design decision.
These three aspects were paced perfectly in Uncharted 2, by either combining them together or really putting them in an order where everything felt fresh, that kept everything going and made it a lot of fun. But it felt like from chapters 5-11, Naughty Dog struggled to find a good pace for everything. It wasn't like it sucked or anything, it was still fun, but it just wasn't as well done as U2. Chapters 12-22 are some of the best moments in the series. From being alone trying to fight you way through a bunch of pirates at sea, to the plane sequence, it's absolutely brilliant.
Naughty Dog makes the combat incredible, and the platforming is fun as well here to create what made Uncharted 2 so darn good.
Melee is excellent, and has been vastly improved. The ability for Drake to pick up things to smack people with in the environment is first rate. Naughty Dog has also added chase sections that are like playing/watching visual poetry that are just unbelievable.
Another moment here is the added desert gameplay. While a good idea, felt really disjointed. The struggle wasn't paced well, every time I'd get into Drake's struggle, we'd move forward in time to new moment. The microwave scene from MGS4 is the only thing I can really compare it with, and it simply doesn't weigh on you as much emotionally.
From a story stand point, you get a set up we've seen before. But Amy Hennig utilizes her characters effectively (for the most part), but does a stumble a bit along the way. A place where once again, Uncharted 2 did not.
Chloe who I love felt very forced here and didn't really serve a purpose. Cutter, a new character to the series was a waste of time as well and nothing happened that really made you feel for him, because not enough time is spent to develop his character.
That origin story I mentioned before however is my favorite part of the game. That made a similar scene from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade look amateur.
However, the ending of the game is unsatisfactory as is the horse caravan chase. Both of them felt like weak regurgitations of the ending of Uncharted 2 (plus Sully here) and the caravan scene from Uncharted 2, just not done as well or as exciting.
However there are some excellent cutscenes as well that spanned from making my skin crawl, to palpable emotion, to making my damn heart break, to leaving me speechless because of the power of the moment. Hennig at times runs with Kojima and David Cage and further establishes herself as one of the industries best game directors even if she doesn't fire quite a perfect bullet as she did in Uncharted 2, there are moments in the presentation that dwarf U2, but overall, it's hard to make lightning strike twice.
The multiplayer is one of the finest multiplayer components ever released. While I don't like load outs in U2 and prefer U2's level design over U3's, there's no denying that Naughty Dog makes the best multiplayer experience out there. Over 7 full 24 hour days I put into U2 and I'm going to triple that with U3. Great level design, smart kick back system which revolutionizes the killtreaks concept.
The level design is exquisite (although not as good as U2) and there isn't as wide a variety of levels. Still, it's just a ton of fun and adds a lot of modes and ND really pushed the envelope here to make a massive, rewarding and balls fun multiplayer mode that I play everyday.
So overall, Uncharted 3 is a great game. It struggles a bit in parts to live up to Uncharted 2 in the single player with its pacing, structure, some weak story moments, but with the bad things comes an overwhelming amount of great things.
And the multiplayer is unbelievable. I don't think anything else needs to be said about it.
So if you dug Uncharted before, you'll find a lot to dig here. Just don't expect the same level of awesome you got before.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.