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Customer Review

198 of 242 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREATNESS from small beginnings..., November 1, 2011
This review is from: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Greatness is a word I want to stress regarding this game. Drake's Fortune was great fun, a welcome departure from the end of the world/futuristic shooters predominating at the time. Among Thieves was the ultimate sequel and built wonderfully on all aspects of the first. Drake's Deception, the third entry in the series, is something else altogether. This game sets a new precedent for how inclusive and engaging video games can be. There will be some who won't feel so strongly but most anybody who loved the first two is going to LOVE this.

>Graphics 5/5 - As always, fantastic! They have managed to improve on the sequel. While the game still looks the same overall it is the details that ND continues to add that makes each game an improvement over the previous one. This entry specifically seems to push the already present cinematic feel - as evidenced brilliantly by its opening scene and chapter as well as numerous times during the game in cutscenes and gameplay.

They show off their abilities by purposely trying to show us different settings than the previous games. The London Underground is wonderfully designed, the Colombia streets are populated and lively, a temple found in Syria has a wonderfully cinematic design, etc. They also show off their ability to render fire, sand, some excitingly trippy hallucination style sequences where everything is warped, and a fantastic (if slightly out of place in the overarching story) swaying environment on a ship. Another nice touch is some levels occurring during day and others at night.

Character acting has again improved as much between this and the last game as the last game did over the original. Faces are fuller and more expressive (Chloe's face is major evidence of this). This game looks so good family members will stop to see what I am watching and so entertaining they then wind up sitting down to watch me play.

>Gameplay 4.5/5 - Drake's Deception has everything you loved about the first two games, only more finessed and perfected. Enemies are now slightly smarter and diverge on your position quicker (though in some ways I'd argue this makes them easier to take down, no more pin downs). The weapons system has been updated and tweaked (anyone who played the beta knows aiming is more particular, but you quickly adapt). Drake now grabs weapons automatically when out of ammo, another nice added detail.

The best new feature seems to be the updated brawling system. In what reminds me of the recent Batman Arkham games, Nate can now evade, counter and take on multiple opponents. It's all great fun and plays well. The ability to dive underwater becomes well utilized in later chapters. The new ability to ride a horse is simple but works well, think of the jet ski from the first game only updated, you sort of just steer and shoot. Another nifty new detail is the ability to throw back grenades, though you have to time it well.

Having finished the game I will say objectively that any faults to be found are in gameplay pacing/mechanics. All games I've experienced have a sometimes clumsy quality to gameplay. On occasion you press a button and it doesn't do what you want, that's just part of gaming. In Uncharted this manifests itself when sometimes trying to reach for a specific ledge, it can look like Drake is doing calisthenics.

The other issue is more subjective but this game seems to have less prolonged gun fights (which I always enjoyed) and more of the game plays itself in a sense. Another reviewer said it best noting that the game holds the players hand more this go around (press square now, circle now, etc), this may please some but will definitely aggravate others looking for more challenge. Though this may be due to my having a better handle on the gameplay by this third installment it would still be nice if some new/larger challenges were added to compensate for those who have learned from the previous entries.

>The story 5/5 - I won't give anything away but well crafted stories are a key reason for the popularity of this franchise, this entry doesn't disappoint in that regard. The actors perform great as always, so many nuances brought to the characters. This game takes the world of the previous games and expands on it. If the second game was a continuation of the story from the first then this game is an opening up of the characters, their world and the story being told.

A wonderful backstory for Nate and Sully is crafted and played out and a flashback of sorts is handled in a respectful way when it could've felt cheap or forced. There is a very Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade feeling here. This game has the mix of action, humor and romance that previous games had with strong emphasis on emotion in some key scenes (and for those concerned I felt Elena and Chloe's respective returns were well handled and logical continuations).

Another possible criticism though, the villain in this entry is formidable and compelling but when you finally reach the ending I don't feel she is as well utilized a final boss as either Navaro or Lazarvic. The villains overall are also not well explained, not that they have to be, some mystery is always nice, but how this one guy appears and vanishes almost magically at several points I'll never know. Then there is no real boss showdown. There is also a character, Charlie, who is fun but severly underdeveloped and largely used only for story purposes. These don't detract from the game at large but I mention them as I hope they aren't issues that will magnify as further installments are released.

>Online Content 5/5- It was adding the online content to the sequel that propelled this series to a new status within the gaming world and here it looks like they aim to keep that status. So far it looks like all the fun of the Beta without most of the bugs or any of the restraints. Everything seems to run smoother and it feels more like playing Uncharted 2's online content, though perhaps this is because I'm more used to the updated mechanics after playing the full campaign? Anyway, you get more customization, more options, more everything.

>Conclusion > Game of the year? You better believe it. Certainly if you are new to PS3 or debating the commitment this game makes it well worth it. You don't have to have played the first two for this to be enjoyable (though I suggest both based on their own merits and to make this story even more enjoyable). While some game studios dream in the recesses of their mind only to wake and find it vanity, Naughty Dog are dreamers of the day. They act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible, and in making Drake's Deception, this they did.

The game is 22 chapters of greatness and should be a good 8-10 hours on the main story depending on player ability. Then there is the treasure hunting/trophies and acclaimed multiplayer to ensure you get well worth the $60 price tag. Overall I'd say this game could be critically rated at the worst 4.5/5 but as a fan I'll say anyone else who enjoys these games is going to rate it 5/5, no doubt.
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Showing 1-10 of 40 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 1, 2011 9:58:09 AM PDT
C. Johnson says:
Nice review. I'm currently playing through Uncharted 2 again to get all the treasures (currently at 88/100), then I will more than likely pick this up.

But the single player is only 7 - 8 hours? If so then that is really short. :( Both Uncharted 1 and Uncharted 2 single player campaigns are much longer than 7 - 8 hours which is one reason why they were some of my favorite games. But 8 hours on Uncharted 3 is disappointing; especially since I don't really care for the multiplayer in this series (or third person shooters in general)

Posted on Nov 1, 2011 2:04:21 PM PDT
Very informative and helpful review, unlike some of the other reviews which leave you wondering if these people have even played the game with all the generic information that can pretty much be said about a few hundred other games.

Posted on Nov 2, 2011 4:55:08 AM PDT
For a possible future story line for the series I think in intriguing one would be to show us the early years of Sully and Nate as you have them and Elena talking at home or something as Nate and Sully reminisce to her and with each other about their past exploits and adventures together..

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2011 9:34:16 AM PDT
C. Johnson, I finished both Uncharted and Uncharted 2 in around 8 hours each. Longer if I took time to find hidden items. But 8 hours is pretty typical for this type of game.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2011 12:11:20 PM PDT
I don't think that the built-in "time played" statistic is accurate. Either that or it's very restrictive, and I will explain why I believe this. I don't think it counts the times that you die and have to restart from the last checkpoing. I also am not sure it counts any of the cutscenes... likely only counting actual gameplay at its core. There's probably close to an hour of cutscenes throughout the campaign.

I played for 6 hours straight on the first stretch, ate some dinner, and came back for another 4 hours to finish the game, so it took me about 10 hours to get through the campaign. I also played it on very easy mode, as I am mainly in games for the experience and story. I would guess you'd easily tack on another couple hours for higher difficulties.

Perhaps those who rush through it could possibly finish the campaign in 7-8 hours. I took a little more time as I took in the details and searched some areas for treasures. I found half of the 100 hidden treasures on my first play-through.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2011 1:18:49 PM PDT
Same with me I was also on very easy mode and died quite embarrassingly more then a few times which is kind of sad. I do wish that we could see the cutscenes again like they did with Uncharted 1

Posted on Nov 2, 2011 1:59:59 PM PDT
DL says:
Good review, glad you spent the time to put up a detailed one.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2011 4:54:12 AM PDT
Same here, I got 51 of them played it on hard, took me 9 hours but that's why I estimate it could be beat in 7-8 realistically - I also spend time just looking at environment

Posted on Nov 3, 2011 6:25:01 AM PDT
Joseph Izzo says:
Great review. Started playing it last night and it is astounding.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2011 11:25:45 AM PDT
If the graphics are so good, why didn't Naughty Dog output a native 1080p resolution instead of 720p??
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