Uncharted 3 started off in 2007. Developed by Naughty Dog, the game recieved great reviews and quickly garnered a huge fan base. The sequel, released in 2009, took everything that made the first game great, added some new features, including multiplayer, and went on to gather up some stellar reviews (including some really high metacritic scores). And now the third game in the series has just been released. Me, as well as a billion other people have been waiting for this game since the second, so is it any good?
A dodgy deal is going down in old London town. Nathan Drake and his mentor Sully, are selling a ring that belonged to Sir Francis Drake. After the deal does badly, as most done in London boozers do, we flash back to a young Nathan trying to steal the ring from a museum. A new character, Helen Mirran a-like Katherine Marlow, wants this ring, as it apparently has some information about one of Sir Drake’s old quests for the queen, which involves some kind of lost land and it turns out Sir Drake abandoned the mission for unknown reasons. Getting some clues as to the whereabouts, we see our heroes trek off in another globetrotting escapade.
What I liked:
I was a late started to the Uncharted series. I didn’t play the first game until the second was released, and it soon became one of my favourite games. The sequel even more so. So I was frothing at the mouth in anticipation in getting my hands on this game. It does not disappoint. The game is Uncharted through and through. Nathan Drake is a brilliant character. In the first two games he was extremely well developed, and his rugged charm and humour never fails to bring a smile to your face. In this game he’s developed even further, and it’s a tribute to Naughty Dog that Nate now trancends the medium of videogames. He’s your favourite actor. This lavish attention to character detail is also spread onto Sully. He’s not featured as heavily in the game as he is the others, but during the game and the story you really do start to feel an actual respect and a love for the bloke. An0ther new character, Charlie Cutter (played by Jason Statham) is another great addition to the series, and the cockney rogue hasn’t been portrayed as well since the film Snatch. Simply put, the interactions between all of the characters in the game is nothing short of amazing. The game plays just like it has before, with some welcome improvements. Now, during fights with multiple people, you can get the background scenery involved, slamming bottles into peoples heads, smashing them into doors, pushing them into a wall and use them like a punchbag….it’s brilliant. You can also counter multiple enemy attacks, think the combat in Batman: Arkham Asylum in light mode and you’re there. One of my favourites is when you’re fighting armed people, and after a few punches you pull a pin on a grenade they have on them, kick them away and watch them explode! Brilliant. There have been some complains about the gunplay in the game, but I didn’t see any difference to be honest. It was never the most accurate to begin with, and I found myself pulling off headshots with ease. Basically the controls do the job extremely well, and the new additions are very well done. The story, which sees Nate and the team go from the grimy backstreats of London to the harse deserts of Yemen, is pure adventure and escapism. It’s the best story in the Uncharted games to date. I’m not going into any detail, but the plot, the twists, the characters….well….it’s just so gripping that I finished it in two sessions….and inbetween those sessions I was thinking of nothing but the game. To go into any details will spoil the game, but suffice it to say it’s the most well-rounded, emotional Uncharted game to date.
And the graphics. Oh my lord the graphics. If there is any arguement at all over what console, the PS3 or the Xbox 360, is graphically superior Uncharted 3 ends that arguement in one fell swoop. It’s quite literally jaw dropping in places. The initial fight in a London pub looks like several pubs i’ve been in. It brims with detail. Draw distances go on for miles. Get into any rooftop in a level and you see the whole town or city expand to the horizon. There are a few levels in the game that have instantly shot into my favourite levels in any game….EVER. The run through the airport to a plane, and the following fight on the dropped tail-end of that plane as it’s in mid air. The fight through the ruined ship yard, which culminates on you having to fight you way through a flooded and sinking ship which has flipped onto it’s side. The trek through the desert as you’re slowly dying of thirst. The horseback chase through the desert vally. Any gamer worth their salt should play through these levels. It’s no exaggeration at all to say that at some points I had to pause the game just to take in what I had seen and done. A staggering achievement.
I haven’t played the online multiplayer or co-op modes yet. I will review these aspects seperately.
What I loathed:
There is only one thing that I found frustrating, and unfortunatly I’m marking the game down because of it. And that’s some of the chase scenes. Certain parts of the game, like the section of the others, sees you being pursued by some bad guys. It’s pretty much just trial and error in these sections. You get to a bit, you’re not sure where to go, and bang…..you’re caught. Start again, get a bit further, and the same thing happens. I saw someone on twitter equate it to being on a film set….you get to a bit, screw up and the director says “cut….let’s try that one again”. I couldn’t put a better summery on these parts, and it’s unfortunate as it’s these bits and these bits alone that took me out of the movie and reminded me I was playing a game. Fortunatley it only happens in a couple of sections, but I can’t lie and say these bits didn’t bother me. The cover system can also be a bit buggy, sometimes you jump into cover, sometimes you don’t, but it seems a bit rich to punish the game on this basis when the first two games and most cover games in general suffer from the same kind of cover lag.
Uncharted 3 is hands down one of the greatest video games i’ve ever had the pleasure of laying my hands on. For sheer escapism, adventure, swashbuckling and scale it has no comparison. It’s the greatest adventure movie that’s never been made. It’s funny, it’s a specticle, it’s surprisingly emotional and if you’re a graphics whore, be prepared to have your sex parts given the best ride of their life. I can’t quite say buy a PS3 for this game, but if you’re deciding on getting a new console, get a Playstation 3 and this game with it.
Naughty Dog…..I tip my hat at you.
Uncharted 3 is available right now on the Playstation 3
Visit the games official website right here.