The lights are on
Upon starting up Uncharted 3's campaign I was expecting a scenario with lots of shooting platforming and running, what I got was a Nathan and Sully walking into a British pub, trying to strike a deal with some lunatic with an obsession for jewelery which of course led to a disagreement, and then to a bar brawl. From this point on you are thrust into a tight fisticuffs scenarios that will help newcomers and veterans alike understand the fighting controls of Uncharted3. Then after exiting the bar a series of cutscenes take place that allow you to relive moments of Nathan Drakes childhood on the streets of Cartagena, Colombia. From here on the game focuses on young Drake as he comes across his soon to be father figure Victor Sullivan all the while exploring the museum for where his ancestors had allegedly left him valuable artifacts that in the way you'd expect from an Indiana Johnes film, contain the location of the "Atlantis of the sands" the lost city of Ubar. This just all seems way to familiar like it was the story of uncharted2. Nathan drake passes out after the first level and through flashback sequences we are shown just who these bad guys are how drake came to meet them, and the second level consists of a museum heist. I guess Naughty Dog thought that uncharted 2's Campaign was so perfect that they needed to rip it off, only take away the joy and originality that the last game has. The characters outside of Drake and Sully don't feel as likeable or enticing as they did in the last game. It's like the developers just went out on a whim and said "Okay you know those characters that you liked so much from the previous game, well here they are completely void of enthusiasm". There was one likeable character at the beginning whose sole purpose seems to provide comic relief seeing as how he was introduced to the series at the last minute and his connections to Drake and his crew are unmentioned. They make a long running gag out of him being claustrophobic which leads to funny moments, though him and Chloe Frazer disappear about a third of a way into the game. Also to newcomers of the franchise I strongly recommend playing either one of the earlier games first. This is undoubtedly the hardest game in the Trilogy and not only that but it feels like you kind of need to play the first two games to understand the characters as well as many references that they make throughout the game. Also some of the characters in this game just don't seem to act the way you'd expect them to and quite often say things that contradict there personalities "Man I don't want to have to use this" Elena Says as she looks down at the silenced pistol Drake gives her. Well why the hell not If anyone's played any of the first two games then they'd know that Together Drake and Elena have killed more people than Malaria. And just a few hours before this scene she was completely fine with killing people with illegally bought shot guns. She even prompted Drake and Sully to buy them "You should talk to that rug merchant" "We need guns weapons" "He's not really a rug merchant" So why the sudden change of heart? Elana in this game must have split personality issues because she constantly says one thing, then does another when drake tells her not to follow him over a fence five minutes later I'm trying to hop aboard an airplane and she appears out of nowhere with a hummer to help me hop onto it. What made the campaign feel ham-handed wasn't how repetitious it was of Drakes previous endeavor, or how it failed to deliver the great life like personalities that that the characters had previously shown, but how it tried to top it at some points with gigantic set pieces that felt poorly placed, and to be honest I actually thought that the game would benefit from not having them. Naughty Dog knows that undoubtedly their biggest accomplishment in Uncharted 2 was the train sequence, the Trains' physics affected the combat variety in that drake was pushed along a one way moving path within narrow corridors and needed to use the trains movement to his advantage. While this was undoubtedly impressive what made it all the more so was how it fit into the story so well. In uncharted 3 very reminiscent of Indiana Jones 3 The Last Crusade, Drake is kidnapped and held hostage by pirates as they threaten him for information then forced to undergo a strenuous routine that leads him to a gigantic cruiser miles out at sea. The ships movement offers a wide variety of gun-play in that it's both exciting and challenging. One moment you could be shooting at hordes of bad guys from behind cover, and the next thing you know the waves cause the ship to tilt in a direction that forces you to find a different cover spot as cargo crates move back and forth keeping the action fresh and keeping you on your toes. it's a great technical achievement definitely capable of rivaling the last games train sequence. It's just a shame that this whole scenario couldn't have possibly made any less sense if it tried. while in previous uncharted games the story and gameplay went together hand and hand, here it just seems as though they could push you around wherever they felt like just for the sake of saying "our game has a Gigantic sinking ship level in it" and also just like in Last Crusade Drake manages to swim back to shore without so much as even a life preserver or any idea where he's headed. Sad to say the story is the games weakest element. While the previous 2 uncharted games may have felt somewhat like Indiana Johnes they provided a fresh take on Lucas's beloved franchise by creating their own mythos. Here though it seems as if the entire games story is forged out of uncharted 2's campaign and Indiana Johnes 3. There's the section where Drake is being held hostage by pirates that I mentioned earlier, then there's the scene in Drakes Childhood where he reminisces about not having a father to be there for him, and then there's a scene where you recover half a stone slab from the coffin of a dead knight and trace over it to complete the other half of the slab you don't have. Towards the very end you manage to escape from a collapsing temple on horseback just seconds before an earthquake totals it as you ride off into the setting sun. Then there's the section where you have to take a leap of faith across a lions head onto an invisible bridge, where you meet a magic knight whose been guarding the holy grail for over 600 years... Okay so those last two things didn't happen but if they had I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised. I guess Gameinformer wasn't joking on there April issue for Game infarcer (An april fools joke similar to Gamepro's Lame Pro) When they named the cover Uncharted3 and the Raiders of the Lucas Film vault. Still the games' campaign does end on a high note. Without giving away to much Sully tells Drake that he always wanted a son and that his own father wasn't very good to him, and they all fly off in Sully's new plane in search of thier next life threatning adventure. Well that's the story how fairs the game In terms of Combat, Platforming, and Puzzle solving. Fantastic The game shines as bright as ever only now the Puzzles are actually difficult. The biggest complaint that many people myself included had with uncharted games in the past was that the answers were always in your note book, so basically all the game was testing was whether or not you could see, here the puzzles actually require you to think whatever the case may be, it's a lot more challenging, thus much more rewarding once you've finally completed the puzzles the game doesn't hold your hand all the time and say okay put this block there or rearrange these statues in a certain order. The platforming has received much more polish and Naughty Dog has taken to heart the complaints they've received about it being to difficult to differentiate between what you can grab onto and what's just part of the background. I never once had a problem telling where I could and couldn't jump. The cover mechanics have also been improved, it's now much easier to move from cover to cover without so much hassle. Drake no longer requires you rapidly press the O Button to get out of cover and because of this getting behind cover feels more natural. The only blemish in terms of gameplay would have to be with the aiming mechanics. In both Uncharted 1 and 2 I could switch aiming my gun from left to right with the simple press of the left analog stick here that ability has be removed completely, also when hanging on a ledge and trying to aim it takes drake about 2.5 to 3 seconds to take his gun out. Why would they do this especially since in previous games he did it instantly. Regardless of these trifles the gameplay is rock solid as ever and Naughty Dog spared no expense perfectly transitioning it to the Multiplayer. The Multiplayer is Phenomenal. You have over a dozen modes to chose from each of them requiring a certain level of skill. Team death match is as you'd expect, where as co-op survival and co-op campaign are hard as diamonds. All the faults from the single player experience are easy to overlook here. Since everyone has the same disability that I mentioned in the campaign It evens itself out. The maps are robust and colorful and will give players a reason to keep on their toes constantly. Instead of kill-streaks like in Call Of Duty, you are given medals, you get medals for doing pretty much anything whether it be killing a certain amount of players, or just surviving for long amounts of time. Once you've collected enough medals a kickback becomes available. Depending on how high your rank is which you increase by scoring points more kickbacks become unlocked. A kickback could be anything from spawning an Rpg out of thin air to giving you to ability to run twice as fast for a limited amount of time to turning into an infestation of scarab Beatles to eat your enemies alive. The best part of all of this is that you get to keep you medals even after you die so if you wanted to spawn an rpg which takes 7 medals and somebody killed you with six, you wouldn't have to worry about it a much better mechanic than killstreaks. And just to make sure that new players get a chance to raise their status as well Naughty Dog included a Bare bones gameplay mode that takes away all medal kickbacks and guns that can only be unlocked at higher levels giving everyone only the basics of equipment so even novice players have a chance to beat higher ranking professionals. This is undoubtedly one of the best Multiplayer games on any console. My one and only nitpick with the Kickbacks though would be that weapon kickbacks take the place of whatever gun is in your primary weapons holster. In games like Call Of Duty 4 You are given two weapons to hold plus a perk which you can use without taking up one of your two weapon slots. Here the medal kickbacks take up the space of one of your guns, why couldn't it have been separated from the other two guns and used as a third weapon, it's all because of that stupid two weapon limit I hope that someday developers will stop sacrificing fun for realism, but even still Uncharted 3's abundance of Multiplayer offerings make it worth ever penny of the purchase price. And as far as the games visuals go since when has Naughty dog ever settled for anything less than the best. This is the best looking game on any system. The topology from in this game is so incredibly realistic that accomplished by the way drake interacts with his environments (He sometimes puts his hand on a wall whenever he walks by it) make this once of the most jaw dropping spectacles to ever be accomplished in games and it runs at 60 frames per seconds to, and I never once had a problem with the game slowing down. Story:6/10
Online play 10/10
If you own a playstation 3 then you must buy this game but only do so if you have access online play because that's were the true beauty of the game lies.
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