Uncharted 3 is a dark, gorgeous look into the complex relationship between Nathan Drake and Sully, wrapped inside of a large-scale, action-packed egg-roll of emotion, love, fear, and most of all, fun.
Uncharted 3 has a very non-linear narrative, and not to spoil much, I’ll give you a brief premise: Nathan Drake and his best friend, Sully, along with a few others, are going up against an old enemy, to unlock the secret of what exactly Francais Drake found years ago, something of which caused him to lie to the Queen; in tale of revenge, honor, pride, fear, and love. The story is a step-up from previous games in the series, as is the voice-acting. Sully, unlike the last game, is a main character, and does a great performance; Nolan North is phenomenal as Drake, and really convinces you that he’s a real living, breathing being; which is no small part due to the ground-breaking motion-capture technology used. Nolan North had a case of broken ribs during the filming of the desert scenes, so Nate’s anguish was his anguish, and gives this game a very natural, authentic in regards to the acting.
As you can see from the above screenshot, U3 is fantastic looking. In fact, it’s the best looking console game ever made. Every single pixel is packed with so much detail; every facial animation looks undeniably real. It’s been a long road, but video games have finally come to the point of being able to express emotion at real-life quality. Hell, it looks better than real-life. Naughty Dog has a fucking knack for making their games the prettiest, and who can blame them? And boy, the effort; all the sleepless nights, and backbreaking days; all the heart attacks; it all shows.
When people talk about this game, they will talk about how great the sand effects were (which they were), but the desert was only a part of what made this game so great. The above picture shows what I consider the best part about Uncharted 3: the ship graveyard. Chapters 12-15 are boat and water themed, and are, coincidentally, the best chapters in the game, hold some of the best set-pieces of all-time, and manage to single-handedly outshine every single highlight from Uncharted 2. Each of these chapters could be removed, and it wouldn’t hurt the narrative in the least. This is one of the only instances where filler is better than the rest of the game.
I also really enjoy the newly-added ability to throwback grenades, which makes Crushing that much less of a bitch than 2. The rest of the gameplay is basically the same, with awesome executions thrown in (such as pulling the tab out of an enemies’ grenade, while it’s still in his holster), and a new focus on hand-to-hand combat. In the past, Nate would just punch a mook a couple of times, dodge his attacks a few times, and kill him; now, there are “mini bosses”, which can only be beaten by h2h, and are regularly put into normal gunfights.
Marlowe (the main villain) is a much more 3-dimensional character than 2’s Lazarević, and has a part in Nate and Sully’s past, though her lackie, Talbot (the one you’ll be battling the most), although awesome, is like a ghost, when compared to 2’s Flynn, though I like Talbot a hell of a lot more than that annoying dickhead. Cutter is also a great new character, who I hope gets a part in 4, since he leaves the game about 2/5 in; this is due to his actor going to do The Hobbit (Lord of the Ring’s disabled little brother); he was a fully realized, 3-dimensional character, with feelings and fears, which is why it’s unfortunate he had to leave before it was finished.
The music is fantastic; best of the series. It is so tonally perfect, and really puts you in the mood of a treasure hunter. Here’s the entire soundtrack:
This is the second game in the series to feature multiplayer, and unlike 2, this one actually goes somewhere. You can play 5 vs 5 player matches, using either a character that you created from scratch (if you don’t like spending real-world money on in-game clothes, this is unlikely; though, there is good stuff you can get with in-game money) or just use in-game money to buy a character from the game, which you can customize. As you advance in rank, you unlock more weapons, as well as these things called boosters and medal kickbacks; both of which could give you an edge in matches; and if you’re team is losing big-time, power-plays are activated; these include marked man, where a random player is marked, and whoever kills them gets extra XP; exposed, where one team’s gamertags are completely exposed to the other; and double damge, which is self-explanatory. U3 also holds the distinction of being one of the only PS3 games which features split-screen, to allow the use of multiple PSN IDs on the PS3; which makes for a lot of fun, but it is marred by a lame icon on the side of each player’s “screen” (most likely for performance reasons).
Speaking of which, these icons help spread your notoriety among the community of U3 MP. You can design your own (though you have to pay with in-game for some of the features) and, depending on who’s winning, their emblem will be watermarked all over the board; the default one is a heart. The black screens are there during co-op as well, which is a small, original “campaign” (though, mostly a rehash of Uncharted 2, with some of 3 mixed in) consisting of about 5 chapters, and can be played by 3 players (not on the same screen, I’m pretty sure). It’s a neat idea, and kinda fun. Co-op also consists of a mode known as “co-op surivival”, which is, without question, the best part of the multiplayer. It’s where you, and 2 partners, team up to take on 10 rounds of mooks being thrown at you left and right, most of them armed with RPGs and armor. If your friend is dying, it’s up to you (or your other teammate) to save them, by running up to them and holding triangle.
Then, there’s Tetram. Tetram is the scariest, and, quite possibly, the most annoying enemy of all-time. He is distinguished from other enemies by his gas mask, and speed. He comes up behind you (or gets anywhere near you from any angle) and chokes you, until either you die or one of your teammates saves you; which means that if all your teammates die, you die; they make up for that by making him easy to kill, since all you have to do is stealth kill him. I have lost many co-op games because of this son of a bitch. He also comes in armored flavor, which makes it impossible to stealth kill him, unless you shoot off his armored helmet. He breathes heavily, so if you hear him coming (which is sometimes hard to do, what with all the gunfire going on around you), run like you have propellers in your ass, find which direction he’s coming from, and let that bastard have it. It’s even worse during split-screen, where it’s impossible to tell which one of your sorry asses is about to get Tetram’d. Thankfully, he only appears in co-op arena.
Even in a game of this pedigree, there are still 2 things that piss me off.
1. During some of the so-called “stealth” sections, there will be enemies which are impossible to kill stealthy (especially in the ship sections), and you’ll have no choice but to engage in a fire-fight. AI partners will also sometimes start shooting before you want them to (though this also happened in the previous 2). Thankfully, this game doesn’t have a mandatory stealth section like 2.
2. There’s no in-game store like in 1 & 2, which means you can’t change buy characters, weapons, and filters to use after you beat the game. While this is mostly a nitpick; I can’t think of a single reason NOT to include this in the game; it would give it more replay value, and make it easier to come back and collect trophies (actually, this could be the reason).
Speaking of trophies, this game has a pretty hefty list of ’em. The treasure trophies are back, though this time you get one every 20 treasures you collect, as are the special kill requirement ones; but they’ve added some pretty neat situational ones. Thankfully, there are only 2 related to multiplayer: one for playing a full game of competitive and one for playing through a chapter of co-op (both can be earned online and offline). I forgot to mention that if you buy this game used (which you shouldn’t since it’s like $20 now; though you should spend an extra $20 on the GOTY edition, which comes with all the multiplayer DLC), you have to pay $10 to get an online pass for the PS Store, if you want to play online; you get this for free with a new copy.
Oh yeah, and due to the servers for this game being crap, it can sometimes be hard to find a match, not due to the number of players, but because these servers can be buttholes sometimes, although, as I say constantly, multiplayer never affects my final score, unless it’s good.
Uncharted 3 will take you about 9-12 hours (depending on how much you suck), and even then it’s too short, because I never wanted it end, and when it did end, I just stared at the credits, reflecting on what I’ve just experienced, and felt pretty confident that not only did I just finish the best game in the series, but one of the best games of all-time; Uncharted 3 is a masterpiece, and I recommend it to anyone with a PS3. Naughty Dog has outdone themselves yet again, and I can’t wait to see by how much of a stretch they outdo this with their upcoming The Last of Us. Time will tell.
My tastes in games breach all genres, though my fortes are platformers and first-person shooters. My favorite game series is probably Super Mario, specifically the 3D games. I also love Rayman, Hitman, Bioshock, Half-Life/Portal, Uncharted, and Grand Theft Auto. As for my favorite game, it's hard to say: I love Portal 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life 2, Bioshock, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Rayman Legends, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Grand Theft Auto IV, L.A. Noire, Fallout 3, Journey, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence all so damn much.
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