Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception review (PS3)

yewles1 | 249d ago | User review
Reviewing: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
The Price for Expectation...
After the launch of 'Uncharted 2: Among Thieves', Naughty Dog started noticing they had more people in the company's employ than ever before, and realized that all could be put to good use, so the decision was made to split the team into two so that each side could work on their own game.

One team was working on 'Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception', and it was riding on the hype of 'Uncharted 2's success instead of standing on it's own...

This time, Nathan Drake is thwarting off an old foe from his youth named Katherine Marlowe, alongside her assistant, Talbot, and the pirate, Rameses, to uncover Sir Francis Drake's secret knowledge about the lost city of Ubar, A.K.A. Iram of the Pillars (A.K.A. The City of Brass, A.K.A. The Atlantis of the Sands). Aided once again by the usual suspects apart from Tenzin from 'Uncharted 2: Among Thieves', Drake recieves additional assistance to series newcomers, Charlie Cutter and Salim, the leader of his local tribe at the Rub' al Khali desert. Study up on your T.E. Lawrence, kids, it's about to get sandy.

This installment allows for a miniscule raise in difficulty compared to the last game with more aggressive enemies who are more willing to confront you head-on for some all-out brawling. The mellee combat, though being the biggest improvement, also turns out to be the biggest focus in fighting enemies. You're now able to throw opponents and grab them against walls and object and even use environmental weapons against them in some cases (one fight in France, I knocked out a guy so hard that his head rocked back at the rear door of an armored HUMMER-like SUV good enough to pop the door off, allowing me to see all the details in the vehicle, that was awesome). Platforming is also less hand-holding in this game, as you make more mistakes and need more precision in certain areas to get through (or in other cases, more erraticism). The shooting went through a mysterious phenomenon at the game's launch that caused fan reaction to demand the aiming to be more like 'Uncharted 2', and thus a patch allowed an alternate aim method to please fans. SPEAKING OF WHICH, the initial launch of'Uncharted 3 had plenty of glitches such as game-breakers and missing animations and per-object motion blur, this was all fixed and restored in the same patch. The REAL downer is the removal of unlockable in-game goodies such as skins and weapons, which is really missed in this game.

The graphics had some interesting improvements and experimentation, the lighting was upgraded using volumetric light shafts, and while Havok was still utilized for ragdolls, Naughty Dog turned to HOUDINI for procedural water physics in realtime and fractured geometry for destruction. Naughty Dog also began experimenting with a new ZLib technique of spooling animations directly from the disc in the retail version, to save processor resources, this would be the cause of the game's initial launch problems as the method wasn't perfected and caused communication with the HDD to stress out and cause severe fragmentation with older PS3 HDD's. This was also fixed in recent patches and by building the database of the HDD at the PS3's system recovery menu (it's also vastly improved in the digital version by relying solely on the HDD). Character models had nice improvements as well, especially as clothes were changed from country to country. And environments are their most beautiful here in the entire series, especially with certain areas bristling with people, it's surely splendid.

The story, while still great for the game that it is, was raising more questions than answers, Naughty Dog explained that the story process was mired by time constraints and an unfortunate circumstance involving Charlie Cutter actor Graham McTavish (whom also did Lazarević in 'Uncharted 2: Among Thieves'), who had obligations to Warner Bros. to do the 'Hobbit' trilogy and began to depart halfway through production. This forced the U3 team to change the entire second half of the story hastily as they also had to deal with the rest of the game development simultaneously.

Greg Edmonson's seemingly last hurrah on the 'Uncharted' series is a real blast perfectly worthy of his repertoire with the franchise. The Arabian tones could ideally be utilized in a 'Lawrence of Arabia' film reboot if ever granted, it's just majestic. Also, voice acting is is top notch as always, just like the first two 'Uncharted's.

The online is not so favorable here, as the competitive segments take too many pages from the 'Call of Duty' series to truly stand on it's own, despite the signature Uncharted gameplay. Co-op is harder than before and more elseworlds story scenarios, such as old foes returning from past games, keep interest at the possibilities of the 'Uncharted' universe. The cinema mode now includes the ability to record matches in-game and convert the clips to video so you can save to your HDD or upload directly to YouTube.

While some gamers may hate it for being more cinematic, they DO overlook the enhancements that HAVE been made, 'Uncharted 3:Drake's Deception IS the the best in the series to me, but still playable and tolerable to anyone else expecting a repeat of 'Uncharted 2's lightning-in-a-bottle. "YALLAH!!!"
Ups
Best visuals in the series.
Always stunning audio.
Fantastic melee combat.
Downs
Great yet hurt story.
Early glitches.
May require HDD maintenance to play smooth all the way through.
Score
9.8
Graphics Incredible graphics make it still one of best looking 7th Gen. console games ever.
10.0
Sound Infallible score and distinct aural sound for surround users make it all the more enjoyable.
9.3
Gameplay Lovable close-quarters combat takes more of a focus with added interactivity with the environment. Harder platforming and enemies discourage straight shooting (aside from the default aiming method that is). Glitches abounded at launch but have cleared up since.
9.4
Fun factor No more unlockable in-game goodies are missed, otherwise the adventure stands tall.
7.6
Online Despit fun co-op and uploading to YouTube, competive is too 'CoD' for a lot of peoples' tastes.
9.4
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
Pisque  +   249d ago
I thought that Uncharted 2 was a little bit better than Uncharted 3, because the second Uncharted gave a new twist to the Action genre, where the third failed at giving anything new to it, except that it was more spectacular graphically. So for me, Among Thieves stays on top.
Cam977  +   248d ago
Uncharted 2 pioneered, Uncharted 3 refined what was previously laid by its predecessor. I prefer U2 because it covers more locations (and the train still amazes me), but U3 is very good too! I like the shooting a lot.
lastdual  +   236d ago
U2 didn't just pioneer. It got the basics right, where U3 often slipped.

It had better pacing thanks to fewer drawn-out battles. U3 went back to U1's repetitive wave-after-wave mentality several times, as would often happen when you were detected in a stealth area.

When battles did erupt, they were more satisfying thanks to no bullet-sponge giant dudes (that could happily take gunshots to the face for some reason) and no shield carriers which weren't challenging, just tedious.

It also had better multiplayer and didn't suffer from the floaty aiming delay.

People sometimes talk as if U2 was better simply because it came first and made a bigger impact, but that's just not true. U2 was a more solid game all around. It's remembered by most gamers as better because it WAS better.
#1.1.1 (Edited 236d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(3) | Report
coolbeans  +   248d ago
To me, it was just the paring down of minor gripes I had with UC2 that made me enjoy 3 a bit more: greater focus on melee than the sub-par stealth, preferred the beginning and end gameplay setups more, etc. A shame the plot behind ship chapters in the middle were just there in complete service to the action. :/

@yewles

Would I be correct in predicting TLOU would be your next one? If so, congrats on beating me to it. I also planned on doing a reviewing spree of this-gen ND titles once PS3 situation was handled.
#1.2 (Edited 248d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
yewles1  +   248d ago
Thanks, it'll still take some time though, I gotta' stop crying at specific scenes in TLoU.
coolbeans  +   248d ago
Guess I have a lot to look forward to in TLOU. ^^
SchwoererBear  +   239d ago
completely agree, and U3 ditched the weapon and costume unlocks that made them more playable. Me playing U3 a second time wi be the same as b4 without the cheats to spice it up.
Wni0  +   248d ago
Uncharted 3 had some choppy framerate areas, where as 2 was silk smooth the entire game. But yes, Uncharted 3 is just as good and even more ambitious.
#2 (Edited 248d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Number-Nine  +   247d ago
UC3 is the worst in the series. Overall, I didn't think it was a good game and a big step backwards for the series.
SaffronCurse  +   247d ago
The Mp for UC3 is still very good! I still liked Uc2's barebones-style mp, especially the coop modes.
OmniSlashPT  +   246d ago
I always think of UC2 as a better game than UC3 but then I remember the desert scene, the plane, the cruise, the chateau, the chase...man, the game had flaws but it had some of the most memorable sequences of gaming for sure.
TheOneEyedHound   246d ago | Immature | show
SniperControl  +   245d ago
The best series this gen, hands down, hopefully ND can emulate this success on PS4.

Would love an U4(or whatever it is after Golden Abyss) announcement at GamesCon

Yewles1, you should review Golden Abyss as well, very similar to U2 in terms of gamplay.
yewles1  +   244d ago
I NEED to get a Vita first. I'll see if I might get one by year's end. Fingers crossed.
#7.1 (Edited 244d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
SniperControl  +   244d ago
One of the best purchases I have ever made, that was before I even knew about PS4 remote play feature.
gamingbeast718   245d ago | Spam
MAULxx  +   244d ago
Uncharted 3 was my favorite as well, then Uncharted 1. I had to force myself to finish 2 & I will never play it again. I was scared to start 3 after finishing 2 but thankfully I did because they went a different direction & it really blew me away. I don't say that about many games.
MidnytRain  +   244d ago
Lol, you have to be the first to say UC2 was the worst in the series.
NeoTribe   242d ago | Personal attack | show
MAULxx  +   244d ago
:) Yeah, most think 2 is the high point in the series. I think it is hands down the worst story wise & gameplay.

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Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Average Score 9.4 Reviews(422)
Release Dates
PS3 Release Dates
US 01 November 2011
AU 03 November 2011
EU 02 November 2011