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Uncharted 3 review

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is simply the best PS3-exclusive on the market and one of the finest adventure games ever made.

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No other game has halted productivity at the office quite like Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Upon learning the game was idling on a debug PS3 in our demo room, a handful of employees jumped out of their seat to watch the game in action. There's a reason for that. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception combines the best single-player campaign in the series, with refined competitive multiplayer, and a story-driven co-op mode that ties up some loose ends from the second game in the franchise. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is simply the best PS3-exclusive on the market and one of the finest adventure games ever made. It becomes obvious within the first three chapters of Uncharted 3 that we really don't know much about our heroes, save for their names and proclivity for quick wit. Uncharted 3 is a story about a hidden city buried deep within the sands of the Rub' al Khali, but it also focuses on the story of Nathan Drake. For so long we've understood the decedent of Sir Francis Drake to be driven by the secrets of his family, but questions about his beginnings were left unanswered: until now. Uncharted 3 delves deep into the history of Nathan Drake and his relationship with his friends and family. Writer Amy Hennig delivers once again with another exciting script, wonderfully executed by Nolan North and the entire cast. Characters aren't key to the success of the Uncharted series, but they are certainly what brings fans back to the series. Very few games can have me laughing out loud in one moment and on pins and needles waiting to see what will happen next minutes later; Uncharted 3 has that ability. The story of Uncharted 3 takes players across beautiful vistas as Nathan Drake, Victor Sullivan, and a few more familiar faces venture off in search of a hidden city that Sir Francis Drake and T.E. Lawrence were once on the hunt to find. On their tail is the vicious Katherine Marlowe who believes the discovery is rightfully hers, for reasons too "spoilery" to mention.

Drake's Deception will take Nathan all around the world...

Uncharted 3 ramps up the action by throwing harder battles into the mix. On Normal difficulty there were a few spots where I had a tough time navigating the waves of varying enemy types. The game does a good job of balancing adversaries, throwing larger and more difficult baddies in my way to keep me moving. In larger battles, staying behind a specific piece of cover rarely worked. Naughty Dog's mage-like development team has been able to extract every bit of power available to them and present a world that doesn't only look astounding in a graphical sense, but beautiful artistically. Controls felt as precise as Uncharted 2; but, gunplay felt slightly more impactful. I can't tell if it was the difficulty setting (as I would typically play the game on harder settings, personally) or if the shooting was refined, but there were no complaints about its responsiveness and feedback. It's difficult to pinpoint highlights of the game without either gushing all over it or spoiling its sequences. Some of the best moments have been shown off in trailers, including an entire chapter that takes place on a plane that is slowly crumbling around you. Sequences you'd expect to be reserved for cutscenes are instead here in playable form, like when Drake soars through the air after being sucked out of a cargo aircraft at a few thousand feet in the air. When I played the sequence I was all smiles, eager to go back and do it again because it was so exciting to watch. When I showed it to the people in the office, the crowded room was stunned silent.

...and to some places already Charted

Co-op gameplay allowed three players to play a five-chapter story as a handful of characters in the Uncharted universe. The story in the co-op is an extension of the main game's adventure, but I recommend you play the single-player first, because it reuses locations and it might spoil some surprises. Co-op also ties up some loose ends from Uncharted 2, bringing back key characters to have Drake and Co. face off against. I won't spend any time discussing competitive multiplayer because it's available for you to play right now via a promotion between Sony and Subway. I will say, however, that I'm constantly surprised at how much I enjoy playing multiplayer in Uncharted--especially since its development worried me initially when Naughty Dog announced they were adding it to Uncharted 2. I really enjoy it, and except for some silly Perk-like "Kickbacks," it's something I really enjoyed spending time with. As much as I'd like to detail every moment the game wowed me, I wouldn't dare ruin any surprises for fans of the series. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is an amalgamation of great ideas crafted and refined by developer Naughty Dog. It may be one of the best new franchises given to gamers this generation: with a combination of great gameplay, fantastic characters, and exciting stories, but that's a question PlayStation 3 owners will have to answer for themselves. After eight and a half hours of the game's single-player, and hours with the co-op and competitive multiplayer, there is little question in my mind: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is a fantastic experience and a game you simply must play.
[The Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception review is based on a final debug version of the game provided by Sony Computer Entertainment. Co-op was played in two online sessions with other journalists and developers from Naughty Dog. Competitive multiplayer is available now via a Subway promotion.]

From The Chatty

  • reply
    October 24, 2011 9:30 AM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Uncharted 3 review.

    Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is simply the best PS3-exclusive on the market and one of the finest adventure games ever made.

    • reply
      October 24, 2011 10:10 AM

      So you're saying I have a week to finish Arkham City?

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        October 24, 2011 11:18 AM

        I'm upgrading my Gamefly plan to 3 games a month for this....lol.

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      October 24, 2011 10:14 AM

      Since when was Uncharted an adventure game?

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        October 24, 2011 10:20 AM

        Since the game..dealt with Drake going..on....adventures? :/

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          October 24, 2011 10:26 AM

          Does that mean Fallout 3 is a FPS since you shoot things?

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            October 24, 2011 10:29 AM

            But... Fallout 3 is an FPS

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              October 24, 2011 9:54 PM

              So you think Fallout 3 and Quake are in the same genre ?

              • reply
                October 24, 2011 11:27 PM

                Yes, Fallout 3 and Quake share a genre. This is a stupid question inside a stupid discussion.

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            October 24, 2011 12:04 PM

            You shoot things in First person... So yes?

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              October 24, 2011 12:06 PM

              Bah. Next you'll be saying Final Fantasy 6 is a JRPG.

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            October 24, 2011 7:04 PM

            Does that mean Starcraft is an RTS since you perform strategy in real time?

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              October 25, 2011 12:58 AM

              Don't be silly. Starcraft is a sci-fi space simulator.

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        October 24, 2011 10:21 AM

        Since it's 2011 and the genre has evolved.

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          October 24, 2011 10:29 AM

          Yeah it's evolved into games like LA Noire where there's still a minimal amount of shooting guys and a majority of the game is spent investigating crimes and looking for clues.

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            October 24, 2011 10:30 AM

            "Adventure" games has also been used for a very long time to refer to games like Zelda.

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              October 24, 2011 11:24 AM

              Meh, you're right. I guess there's really two definitions of adventure game depending on if it's a console or pc game. I still think it's more of an action game but whatever.

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                October 24, 2011 11:32 AM

                Console or PC doesn't really matter, Telltale's games are on the console for instance. Adventure is far too broad of a category though. While a game like Uncharted is usually labelled as an action-adventure, real adventure games are usually described as "classic" or "old school" or "point & click" adventure games these days to differentiate them.

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            October 24, 2011 10:32 AM

            Most people referred to these types of games as action adventure.

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        October 24, 2011 10:36 AM

        Action adventure then.

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        October 24, 2011 11:11 AM

        its pretty much the definition of an adventure, so that makes it an adventure game. sperg less.

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          October 24, 2011 11:26 AM

          WTF? How's it sperging? It has very little in common with what a lot of people consider an adventure game. Unless an adventure game means someone goes on an adventure, which is like 90% of games. I'm not saying the game sucks people, chill.

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            October 24, 2011 1:03 PM

            It's like complaining that a movie is called a drama when there's a bunch of action in it... or a horror movie with some comedy thrown in. What difference does it make what genre it falls under?

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              October 25, 2011 2:50 AM

              BUT I MUST PIGEIONHOLE ALL THINGS AND YOU MUST AGREE THAT I PUT THEM ALL IN THE RIGHT HOLES

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        October 24, 2011 7:25 PM

        A couple years ago. They created a new category for GOTY awards so more AAA games could get coverage.

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      October 24, 2011 10:32 AM

      Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm DAMN YOU 2011

      Any good deals going on for Uncharted 3 right now?

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        October 24, 2011 7:41 PM

        I'll probably get it from redbox. My backlog is to long to justify buying a new game.

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      October 24, 2011 10:36 AM

      I will play Uncharted 3 for the story but I'm not a fan of the gameplay and I hope they fix the final boss fight.

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        October 24, 2011 10:48 AM

        I'm the opposite. Really boring story but the gameplay is fun.

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          October 24, 2011 11:43 AM

          yup, this. i love the one liners too when drake kills people. if they weren't video games, drake would be the worst psychopathic killer in history.

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      October 24, 2011 11:29 AM

      So many games all at once, ugh.

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      October 24, 2011 7:25 PM

      You guys seen the subway commercial for this?

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      October 24, 2011 7:29 PM

      I realize this is exclusive now but do any of you think we'll see this game on another platform in a few years? Like PC or Microsoft's next console.