The lights are on
You take off running, in a
strenuous effort to escape the enemy, jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
A cruise-liner is taken by
storm and capsizes, leaving you to figure which way is up, which way is down -
and which way is out.
Landing gear immediately
popping into place, you tag a long on a plane as a stowaway, in a last ditch
attempt at saving everything.
True, these moments are
difficult to describe just how astounding they are in motion, but sure are fun
to talk about, nonetheless. Uncharted 3 is filled to the brim with these
moments, each only becoming more spectacular than the last, and leaving you
itching to continue.
The third game in an
action-adventure series developed by top-tier developer Naughty Dog, Uncharted
3 finishes with a lasting impact, but leaves the notion that there were flaws
created by new adjustments.
When I hear "Uncharted" from a
fellow gamer, mixed reactions bubble their way up into the bellows of my
cerebrum. What does it mean to me? Uncharted means adventure, it means
spectacle, it means Indian Jones but in video game form. On the other hand,
Uncharted means frustration, unfair odds, and awkward shooting mechanics.
Let's start out with the good
first, and find a way to make this not sound like a rant. Uncharted 3 is
downright one of the most beautiful games that your eyes will ever set sight
on, period. Imagine a professional photographer, and how every photo they take
seems to be enriched with life, color, and clarity. That's exactly what this
culmination of hundreds of men's (and women's) hard work is. Viewing Uncharted
3 is no small matter. After each periodic set of chapters, Naughty Dog goes out
of their way to offer an entirely new locale, be it from the deep and lush
greens of a French forest, to the bright and burning sands of the desert, to
the dark and moody waves of the ocean.
Coming along with the studio's
astounding attention to detail, comes a particular taste for the immaculate -
in every meaning of the word. The facial expressions, the voice actor's
interactions, the script, dialogue, and scripted sequences, are all something
to take delicious note of. Essentially what I'm getting at though, is that
Uncharted makes one heck of an interactive movie. During the game, I found
myself increasingly interested as I discovered Nathan Drake's origin, the
reasons for his behavior, and the witty interaction between characters.
Experiencing the complete package of the game is already something that
warrants a purchase. On the other hand, I can't help but knock on the point of
some annoying gameplay situations.
Uncharted 3 is best experienced
whenever you're working your way to survive the myriad of set-pieces, thinking
to solve the various puzzles, or running to your next destination while talking
to the rest of the crew. In other words, this game is best experience without a
gun. The bad thing about it is, half of the gameplay's structure relies on the
While aiming for the most part
feels fine, other than some otherwise slippery controls, the main complaint I
have with this aspect is more on the absurd situations that Drake is placed in.
Towards the second half of the game, and the same goes for Uncharted 2 as well,
Naughty Dog gets the feeling that it's suddenly okay to throw every single
enemy type -be it powerful or just plain annoying- in to every single
An example. At one point you
are in a broken down ship harbor, with what is about 20 enemies spread across a
large landmass. Now, the option to take them out stealthily is there, but you
can plausibly only get to around 5 before someone notices. The result ends with
you being cornered on one of the many boats, with several men coming over to
get the jump from behind, a couple shotgun guys, two Kevlar-padded dudes, two
snipers, and a grenade launcher tool. After clearing that area, you have a bit
of a breather with an enjoyable platforming section, but are then led to
another gunplay-focused area, where the stakes are even higher - meaning the
odds even more ridiculous.
Fifteen men aren't unfair, you
say? Perhaps it isn't, and rather I just suck at Uncharted. I'd beg to differ,
and blame it on the peculiar decision to make human enemies such amazing bullet
sponges. While the standard rifle-fodder only offers a meager challenge, they
still absorb about 5 bullets before dying properly. The Kevlar guys? Think
either two grenades and a pistol shot, or four shotgun blasts to the face. Pair
this up with the increasingly sparse "usable" cover towards the end-game, and
you have a cruisin' for a bruisin', even on Normal.
Besides the occasional
frustration with fire-fight balancing, I couldn't have been more pleased with
the flow, presentation, and design of the game. Just about everything seems to
work. During my time, I had come across one glitch where I had clipped into a
cabinet and could not exit, thus inducing a necessary checkpoint load. The
conclusion felt a little rushed, leaving off several characters that received
severe under-development in comparison to the face time that Nate and Sully
received. Other than that, the game was a great experience, and I preferred it
over Uncharted 2.
Oh, and for music lovers, your
time won't be left astray. The classic Uncharted song, "Nate's Theme" is on its
third, most epic version yet; expect some bellowing brass and heroic harmonies.
Also, the theme "Museum Bust" offers a unique blend of Latin cordial structure,
with some great filler that lends itself to high-intensity chase scenes.
Despite the complaints, the
overall package offered is a great one. Vistas you won't see anywhere else, a
soundtrack on par with the summer blockbusters, and character interaction
unlike any other seen in a video game, it's something that you'd hate to miss
out on. Just don't expect to fly through the shooting sequences.
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