huntad's Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PlayStation 3) review

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  • huntad wrote this review on .
  • 0 out of 2 Giant Bomb users found it helpful.
  • huntad has written a total of 4 reviews. The last one was for Alan Wake

If you liked Uncharted 2 ...

Then you might like this one or you might now. Liking Uncharted 3 really isn't a problem, because there is a lot of content in a single package that you're bound to like at least a part of it.

Interacting with this guy is one of the best things about this game.

First and foremost, Uncharted 3's single player campaign is the first menu item and probably the most anticipated part of the game. It begins with Nathan Drake trying to obtain the second half of a piece of a puzzle. It's eventually explained through flashback sequences that he has been searching for this piece for several years. This had me questioning the events of the first two games, but I largely dismissed that notion and continued onward. What I found was a strikingly, but also expected, similar game compared to Uncharted 2. There are several set-piece moments to the point of almost becoming nauseating, believable and brilliant character interactions, and settings that look breathtaking one after the other. These moments are sometimes separated by some cool puzzles, but there aren't enough of them this time around. It's easy to say that this game looks amazing. It is one of the best looking games I have ever played thus far, and it deserves any compliments thrown at it because of it.

However, Uncharted 3 is not all set-pieces and clever lines. Sooner or later, the game will have you shooting at A.I. opponents, and that is, sadly, where the experience does not hold up completely. First, the way the recoil affects the player reticule makes for unbearable accuracy at times. Having a gun that sporadically jumps around at random makes Drake feel more like an amateur than a fair challenge. Second, the enemies seem to pile in some of the areas making them feel more like challenge rooms than exciting firefights in amazing-looking environments. And lastly, the game's difficulty shoots through the roof at times which makes some parts extremely frustrating. The armored enemies are no more than bullet sponges and are not fun to fight at all. They, and each point I just mentioned, all feel like weak attempts at making the game more challenging which cause them to feel cheap. I was tempted to put the game on an easier setting, but instead trudged along dying multiple cheap deaths on the normal difficulty setting.

Environments like this look nothing short of stunning.

This time around the singleplayer is completely separate from the multiplayer modes. You won't be earning currency for completing various challenges or for collecting treasures (there are still a lot to collect) like in Uncharted 2, but the worst offender is the absence of cheats to unlock that vary the singleplayer experience after you complete it. Beating the second game was a lot of fun, and the cheats made it very re-playable Unfortunately, there is almost nothing here to pull you in for the adventure for a second time, but I suppose that's where the multiplayer would come in to play.The multiplayer is separated, but not completely, into the cooperative modes and the competitive modes. The cooperative experience is great and the star of the show is definitely the coop adventure mode. This mode takes Nathan Drake and two allies on adventures that allow for a lot more variety than any of the other modes. It's a lot of fun, but it sadly only has about 4-6 missions and they are not as fun to replay them a second time. That is to say, they are not much fun to replay as the cooperative arena mode. This is a standard horde mode, but paired with the traversal and enemy types can lead to some enjoyable and extremely challenging moments.

If you'd rather shoot real people, the competitive modes have not had many additions, but are still tense and exciting as they were in Uncharted 2. There are around a dozen maps that have almost all been taken from the campaign, and some of them even have moments taken from the campaign - like buildings that catch on fire, and shooting from a moving plane. The only thing that might make this more frustrating is the recoil that was added to the game. It might just take some getting used to, but I found the recoil to be pretty random and unsatisfying in the time I spent with it. A fun new feature is the ability to collect treasures to complete treasure sets which open up new items to use.

Regardless of everything that Uncharted 2 did, Uncharted 3 just feels like a game that is trying to one-up something else. There are a lot of crazy sequences that, when looked at after finishing the last one, feel somewhat exhausting. Nathan Drake is definitely still a human being, but if he ends up escaping certain death much more, it wouldn't be far off to call him somewhat of a superhero. If you liked or loved Uncharted 2, then you'll definitely like some things about Uncharted 3. However, regardless if you have or you haven't, there is a 'been there, done that' feel to a lot of it that makes it a bit less impressive than its predecessor.

6 Comments
Posted by Little_Socrates

A decent analysis of the gameplay, but there's a lot more to Uncharted than that. Give it a fair shake, huh? There's plenty to be critical of and to praise in terms of aesthetics and story, too.

Also, I find it a serious turnoff to read a review that has its title segue directly into the review.

Posted by huntad

@Little_Socrates: What I posted is how I felt while playing the game. I'm not writing reviews in an attempt to give the game a fair shake. I'm writing them to state the exact experience I was having with the game, and the way it comes off is always reflective of my experience and I don't really intend to change that. If I was praising the game while playing it, I would have definitely put it in the review. Sadly, a lot of the praise that I would have given it was offset by the negative aspects that I listed. As far as your criticisms on my writing style, the title is the least of my concerns. So, sorry you were put off? I do appreciate you criticizing my review in a non-aggressive manner, though.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@huntad: Actually, I agree with everything you've said in terms of quality, but unless you skipped all the cutscenes, I can't imagine this is all you took in. Even if you hated the cutscenes, I'd rather know what you thought about them in a review. I mean, without already knowing how gorgeous Uncharted 3 is and how cinematic the game is supposed to be, your review reads like a 2 out of 5. I know that stuff was domineering (check out my own review for some focusing on a different part of the issues with Uncharted 3) but, obviously based on your score, you think there's some value to the experience that doesn't shine through in the text.

Posted by huntad

@Little_Socrates: So you're issue is with the score now? I really don't want to continue this conversation if this is going to be about the score compared to the text. I'm sorry if you really wanted to, but I just don't want to get into that. I mentioned the strengths of the graphics, overall presentation, character interactions (which were in cutscenes), the coop, and the multiplayer. I don't know what else you want. I'm sure your review is great, but my review and its score still stand.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@huntad: Again, I don't mean to say it doesn't. Please don't take me as trying to be hostile; I'm trying to give some constructive criticism. I think your score is totally fine. I'm just saying that I think you like this game more than comes across in the review text, partly based on the higher score you gave the game. I also don't mean to be pimping my own review, I'm just mentioning it so you can see that there were things I didn't like myself.

My "issue," if you could call it that, is that I feel like the experience of Uncharted for you was more than the gameplay, and so much of the review is spent on the gameplay that it's easy to completely gloss over the compliments you do give the game. You do nicely split the description of the co-op and competitive in the review, though.

...actually, I'm witnessing myself not following my advice appropriately. I should've made it clear how much I did find solid about this review before I made criticisms, as it can come across as mildly hostile or superficial.

Posted by huntad

@Little_Socrates: Ahh, I think I understand what you're saying. Like I said just now, the presentation, coop, and competitive multiplayer are great, and I mentioned them in the review. It's definitely an Uncharted game, but I focused on the problems with the gameplay, because it is what I believe games are all about.

Sure, the cutscenes are great, the graphics are stunning, and the characters are cool, but at the end of the day my biggest concern is how fun the game is to play. That is to say, I did not have a great time playing it. The other parts I mentioned definitely caused me to raise the score, because the presence of other players makes the game more fun, and the cutscenes are really the only thing that kept me wanting to play through the story. Unfortunately, I feel that a large part of the Uncharted experience is the campaign and I didn't have fun playing it. If the campaign was the only part of the game and it was priced accordingly then it sure would be about a 3/5. Fortunately, the multiplayer is playable and there is fun to be had, so I bumped it up.

Other reviews for Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PlayStation 3)

    A mixed bag 0

    Let me say straight away that Uncharted 2 is my favourite game of all time so Uncharted 3 had a lot to live up to. Reading other reviews of the game, with a general consensus of "more of the same", I was hugely looking forward to this. After just completing it however I have to say that it most certainly isn't Uncharted 2.2, it's more like Uncharted 1.7.Let me start with the good : when Uncharted 3 gets it right nothing else can touch it. The standout moment for me is the cargo plane sequence wh...

    5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

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