It has been over two years since the Naughty Dog released Uncharted 2. The game set the bar not only for what the PS3 could do, but also for consoles in general. Naughty Dog quickly went to work on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception right after the second game was released. While the newest installment does not make any huge leaps forward, it improves upon its predecessor in every way.
The story’s main focus is on the relationship between Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan. Everything else takes a back seat. Players will also notice a drastic difference in the pacing of this game than in the previous two titles. The other two games took three chapters or so to set up the action. It takes a lot longer for things to get going this time around. This is by no means a bad thing. The game has a balance between the exploration, puzzle solving, and action. Players will no longer run from gun fight to gun fight. Some might be put off by this because they identify the Uncharted series as a third person shooter, but this newest iteration proves that the franchise is a mixed genre.
The gameplay itself is rather great. The melee combat has been expanded once more. Drake can now counter his enemies’ attacks and also pull off brand new moves of his own. The environment also plays into fistfights as well. If Drake is close to an object when fighting an enemy, he will use that object in to do damage. Drake is now able to throw grenades back at enemies during firefights. The shooting sections themselves feel like they are the right length. While there are a couple of areas that are padded, there is nothing as horrendous as the one of the last gun fights inside the Shambala Temple in Drake’s previous adventure.
The multiplayer has also been upgraded. Players will be able to level up and this earns perks and new load outs similar to the Call of Duty franchise. The biggest difference in the multiplayer is that now there are game modes where players and CPU controlled characters play together. The hoard mode now has you fighting enemies from a base, as well as trying to score treasure in addition to the standard survival mode. The story mode co-op now has players pulling off multiple objectives in addition to killing enemies. For example, players must break open crates to find a particular item.
The only drawback to Uncharted 3 is the lack of a medal system for the singleplayer mode. This is what made finding the treasures rewarding in past games, and it is a shame that Naughty Dog had difficulty implementing it for this game. The treasures are still fun to find, so it is not a total loss.
Uncharted 3 is a game that is a must have for any PS3 owner. Naughty Dog has pushed things to the limit once again. The amount of polish put into this game is about as good as action games get. One would be hard pressed to find a better alternative that mixes genres so well.