Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Reviewed by Brandy Shaul
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2011-11-17 PS3 Action/Adventure T (Teen) Naughty Dog / SCEA

Having loved Uncharted 2, I thought "What could Naughty Dog possibly improve on with a third game?" Well, they could improve by giving us even more of what made Uncharted 2 great: more bold cinematic gameplay, even better character interaction, and the chilling thrill of adventure that the series is famous for. Unfortunately, this does come with a few downsides in the gunplay and fun factor.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception continues the adventures of Nathan Drake, the world traveler that can't seem to resist a good treasure. This time around, we are given the opportunity to learn more about Drake and Sully's past, giving more meaning to their connection. Essentially, they've been friends for a long, long time, so the chances of them going their separate ways are slim to none.

Unfortunately for both of them, the past has also come back to haunt them as a long, lost enemy has returned for revenge, and is also going after the same treasure as Drake and Sully. Chloe and Elena are also back, along with the newcomer Charlie. Charlie is one of the more interesting characters introduced in the series, and he's as quick-witted and funny as the rest. The story is well constructed, and has its extreme twists and turns while always remaining the centerpiece of the game.

Being the central focus of the game, Uncharted 3's story is incorporated in both pre-rendered cutscenes and the cinematic gameplay the series is known for. There just aren't many games that have you playing while the story, or an airborne airplane unfolds before your eyes. Each of these cinematic gameplay segments is well-constructed and chilling to the bone. At many moments while playing, I thought for sure I was playing through what would surely be Nathan Drake's last adventure. Even though this has been a recurring (and therefore predictable) element of the last two games, playing out these sequences never gets old.

Uncharted is also known for its platforming, and Uncharted 3 is no different, requiring you to jump and grab platforms, ledges etc. While the platforming still works well enough and breaks up the shooting segments, it does get a bit tiring and usually just ends up with me thirsting for more action segments after a while.

Speaking of shooting segments, the gunplay in Uncharted 3 is decidedly different than the other two games, in that the control and sensitivity have been altered. I don't know if this change was to make the game more cinematic than before but it can definitely be frustrating when you've become used to how Uncharted 2 played. Besides, nothing really seemed wrong with the way it played before, so this change seems completely unnecessary.

Platforming is not the only drawback however, as enemies in the shooting segments are entirely unrelenting on Normal difficulty. While it is one thing to have plenty of enemies attacking at once, the game borders on being unfair and unruly at more than a few points. I don't have a problem with games being difficult but they should be fair, and having around ten enemies firing automatic weapons at you, coupled with a grenade at your feet just seems unfair when cover is not a plentiful commodity.

Even though Uncharted 3 has a few downsides, the reward of finishing the game is definitely worth your time and occasional frustration. Having an engaging narrative can go a long way in some games, and Naughty Dog nailed it with Uncharted 3. For every moment filled with anger, there are at least three that make up for it.