I'll Be Go To Hell!
Uncharted 2 Among Thieves went down as one of the greatest games of all time, and certainly PS3′s greatest game. It was a huge step up from 2007′s Drakes Fortune. So, expectations were through the roof with the threequel, but have Naughty Dog delivered the goods?
I say this about lots of games, but this is one of the best looking games on console. If you thought Among Thieves graphics were great, this is better in every respect. Naughty Dog continue their attention to detail, there are areas in the game that don’t even matter, but they are there, they’ve been created. It’s not needed, but it makes it feel more real. Of course this would all be pointless if the graphics didn’t show it off well enough. Well, it’s quite the opposite of that. Although some dark areas don’t show off the visuals amazingly, head over to chapter 19, and marvel at the desert. It. Is. Beutiful. You have never seen a desert as vast as this, not even in Red Dead Redemption. As Drake moves through the sand, you can see the trail of footprints he’s left behind, oh my gosh t’s just phenomenal.
When playing the all new split-screen mode, the visuals do seem do drop a bit and texture pop in becomes noticeable. Sure it doesn’t look as good as in single-player but it’s still a helluva lot better than most games. What makes up for the split-screen, is the on-line multi-player. Wow, just wow. The visuals in this mode are arguable better than single-player. Whenever a match is coming to an end (for example, five kills remaining), these maps become so dynamic. In the desert sand will be blowing all over the place and you won’t be able to see your enemies, the chateau starts burning down when you come towards the end of the match, it is so dynamic and is something that no other on-line games can even come close too.
This is one of the best looking games on console, in both single and multi player. You have to see it to believe it. Oh, and our Nate still looks bad-ass too (although it’s worth mentioning the Chloe seems to be lacking some detail.)
As you’d expect from an Uncharted game, the voice acting is top-notch. You can tell that these actors really gel together, they make th in-game characters seem so believable. Nolan North does a great job as ever, whilst bringing a sense of humour to the gam that many others lack. This is some of the best voice acting and is just as good as UC2.
There is also a lot of music which often kicks in when the big set pieces start happening. It creates an exciting and tense atmosphere. Imagine that set-piece without the music, it would be dull at most. Oh and when you load up the main menu and the new theme tune kicks in, thats something wonderful, you just have to sing along.
Not a whole lot has changed in the way of gameplay since number two, but then, why should it? We all know that the Uncharted 2 gameplay was fluent as a flute (aww yeah, that’s a cool phrase) so I’m glad they didn’t try to make it all-new, it could’ve ruined it. It does still have it’s small problems that should have been fixed, sometimes trying to direct Drake somewhere can be a problem, you want to go left, he wants to go right. This problem was in Uncharted 2 so you feel it should’ve been fixed, nonetheless, this really is a small problem, and barely affects the quality of the game.
Some of you may have been disappointed in Uncharted 2 as there was no real variety in the way you play, you wer prety much always controlling Nate on his own. Well this time round, Naughty Dog have created all new ways of playing. Theres one point where Nate is literally flying through the air, your controlling him, that would’ve been a cut-scene in any other game. There is also the addition of horses which unfortunately can only be used in a small portion of single-player, but they control well. There no Red Dead Redemption, but this game wasn’t made specifically for horses, Red Dead partly was.
Another thing that hasn’t changed much is the gunplay, if you played UC2 (if you didn’t, bury yourself) then you wll feel right at home withe shooting. It is exactly the same, bar a slightly new crosshair. This is no bad things as the shooting still feels great and responsive.
There is a new combat system however which you feel perhaps wasn’t needed. The punching and kicking in UC2 was fine, now it seems a bit more tactical and requires a bit more thinking. People have compared it to Arkham City, but I think it requires more timing than that, it doesn’t let you off if you were a bit late on that counter attack, you’ve got to hit triangle at the right time. What’s cool though, is that Nate can now pick up objects from the environment to use against his foes such as bottles or saucepan. There’s even a trophy for killing someone with a fish! Overall, this new system feels ‘button mashy’. It’s harder than UC2, but perhaps that’s a good thing.
In the story you do only play as Drake but you also get to play as him as a kid. They’ve even got new animations for this, and of course, a new voice actor. In split-screen one of you will play as Sully, although he doesn’t play any differently. On-line you can be anyone you want, (when you unlock them) but again, they don’t offer a different playing style. There is also the new option to sprint, but it’s only available in on-line, it would probably be a disaster in the linear levels of the single-player. Just click the left stick and your away! See, even Sully’s still got it in him.
Well, there is so much more to do in UC3 than UC2. The story does ‘only’ have 22 chapters, 4 less than last time, but it’s about the same length, maybe a little shorter at about 7 and a half hours long, but you won’t care because it’s full of great set-pieces. Well, I say full. Really only the second half is full. The game gets off to quite a slow start and seems to throw puzzles at you almost every chapter, although cool and creative, the ‘hints’ often don’t help you enough and can leave you thinking for a while. If you stick around on the puzzle for too long, it’ll come up with an option to ‘solve puzzle solution’. I tried not to do this throughout the whole game, but on the last puzzle, I was stumped. It doesn’t skip the puzzle, it doesn’t complete it for you, it just gives you a better hint. Of course you’ll only be stuck the first time round, complete the game a second time, and it will probably take less than 7 hours.
I haven’t really spoke about the story yet have I. Well, Elena, Sully and Chloe are all back alongside Drakes although Chloe only makes a short appearance. This is alongside the new characters, all British. Cutter (Charlie), Katherine Marlowe, and the guy who sucks up to her at all times, Talbot. The story is always unpredictable and some of these folk can have ever changing personalies. First you hate em, then you love em. It really is an unpredictable story that takes so many twists and turns as opposed to it’s predecessorts, rather predictable storyline.
Now that’s the single player out of the way, onto the other modes. So, Co-op, which I’m playing in split-screen but you can do it on-line. There are 5 levels in total, you will recognies the first, Borneo, from UC2. Don’t go into these expecting a walk in the park, even on easy difficulty, with two people, this is tough. You get guys with shotguns and heavy armor coming out you from every corner. Luckily there are checkpoints but these can sometimes feel too far apart. It doesn’t really have a story, sure there are cut-scenes but these mainly consist of Nate saying things like “come on” or, “we’ve gotta go that way”. They haven’t slapped the co-op mode on exactly, I mean, it is full of just shooting and shooting, but they did have to do all new voice acting for it so, y’know. But please don’t do this mode on hard, for your own lifes sake.
And the final mode is on-line multi-player. But this is not your average on-line multi-player, oh no, this is Naughty Dog’s way of saying “hey, we’re just as good as CoD or Battlefield, if not better.” In fact, I think it is better. I’ve already said how dynamic the maps are. First I’ll talk about the modes. There quite a lot of them. You’ve got your usual team deathmatch, free for all, team objective and so on. But my favourite is three team deathmatch. You have 3 teams of 2. You got your buddy, and your up against two more two man teams. Man this is incredible. The first time I played me and my team mate were neck and neck with team red. We killed them, they killed us. With five kills remaining, the music kicked in, a sandstorm appeared, and it was a real fight. The best men would win. They won, with 20 kills as opposed to our 18. The yellow team? Oh they were nothing to worry about, they only got about 3. So, wanting revenge, I went into another match. This is probably the best on-line match I have ever played. It’s 19 all, it’s pretty much next kill wins (unless yellow team kill someone, but they won’t.) I see my buddy in crossfire with team red. They are both in cover, trying to get that last kill. I stealthily walk up to my buddy. I see he’s having trouble, so I jump across the building to another one, this is where our enemy is, only, I didn’t land on the building, I’m hanging from the side, and our enemy knew nothing about it, he doesn’t even know we’re there. So I sidle along the building until I’m just about level with him, he’s still firing at my team mate. I decided not to climb up, he might see me. So, while still hanging, I whip out my mini Uzi, and send this guy to hell, he knew nothing about it. Because the game detected me and my buddy had worked together for that kill, it gave us the option to press down on the d-pad. So we go over to our enemies dead body, press down to top it off with a high five and win the match. Thrilling. I send him a message congratulating our success.
Battlefield isn’t the real teamwork game. This, Uncharted 3, this is the team work game. Three team deathmatch. Amazing. This is the best on-line experience you can have on console. Forget Battlefield, forget CoD, this is where it’s at for on-line gaming.
Well how about that, not only did Naughty Dog manage to improve the single player campaign with planes, boats, and horses, they also added split-screen, and the best on-line experience you can have. If you don’t have an online pass, buy it.
This is probably the best game on PS3.
In the words of Victor Sullivan, if they don’t make Uncharted 4 “I’ll be go to hell!”