Developer: Naughty Dog
Release Date: 11/1/2011
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The Good: Riveting scripted events, drop dead gorgeous visuals, smooth and fluid animations and controls, tight gunplay, top-notch voice acting, deep story with great twists, multiplayer suite is a blast, well-balanced flow
The Bad: The same combat issues still exist, can be very difficult in most spots, stealth is flawed, multiplayer is mostly average
The Uncharted series is really interesting because it was a skeptical Tomb Raider/Indiana Jones knock-off during E3 2005 when Sony showed it off as a new IP for the PS3, but everywhere just kind of blew it off and ignored it. Now we’re 6 years ahead and Uncharted is one of the most respected and well like series in gaming history. Uncharted 3 is a solid roller coaster ride of action, suspense, and excellent voice acting that will really keep you sucked in.
After the events of Uncharted 2, Drake and Sully find themselves in a fight at a bar with a strange woman wanting Drake’s ring. What this ring does and how they get themselves into more trouble will be left for you to find out. The story gives us some history on how the two met as well as being the most dangerous treasure hunt Drake has been on. These guys seriously want blood and they are more vicious and violent than any of Drake’s other adversaries.The story isn’t anything to balk at because there are some extremely harrowing scripted events, and the characters are just perfect and you get attached to them even more because Naughty Dog brought out a new level for each character (especially Drake) for this big finale.
The game is mostly the same combat wise with cover, lots of guns, and explosions. There is a great variety of guns that we love in the series as well as a few new ones, but combat still has a few issues like snapping into cover doesn’t always work, and the game is extremely hard with way too many enemies like in the previous games so this has never been addressed. You will die dozens of times during certain scenes and I really wish they would have fixed this and made it more reasonable and not so difficult. The stealth sections are still poorly designed because you have no idea where to go and there are too many enemies to sneak the past or take out silently. One area will be choked up with enemies and if you kill one the next will see you because he’s just a few feet away.
Despite the combat being the same, the hand to hand is improved and is a blast to use thanks to great animations and quick counters to knock these guys flat. The platforming and climbing are the same and that’s a really good thing. Cleverly laid out levels are really fun to explore because you never really get lost. But what is special about Uncharted is the unique puzzles that span entire levels and are even bigger in this game. They are a little easier to figure out only in the sense that the clues you get can actually be used like they should unlike in the last game where the puzzles were almost impossible to figure out. Each puzzle is completely different from the last, but there aren’t as many as in previous games because this one is cut scene heavy, and there is a better balance of shooting, puzzle solving, adventuring, and cut scenes, so the overall flow is more natural.
Of course, the best part about Uncharted is the scripted scenes and these go way over the top with horseback riding, combat in the air while trying to get on a plane, a battle on a sinking ship, and just a whole bunch more that make the game feel like a blockbuster movie. This was my favorite part of the whole game because it just sucked you into the experience like most games can’t do, and I really felt the situations and the danger Drake was in thanks to clever camera work. The visuals are probably the best the PS3 has seen (better than Killzone 3, Resistance 3, and I daresay maybe better than God of War III). The huge open landscapes are just riddled with ridiculous detail that I didn’t think the PS3 could even do. Beautiful lighting, high-resolution textures, and the animations are so detailed with Drake tripping over himself, putting his hands on stair rails, so this makes the entire game feel organic and fluid.
Uncharted 3’s multiplayer is also a blast with unlockable characters, guns, and other goodies to keep you playing. I really like the multiplayer and the style works great, but of course, it’s nothing to break grounds for online shooters. Co-op single player is a welcome blast, so the whole multiplayer suite involved helps sweeten the already great package. Uncharted will be remembered by myself and most gamers who appreciate an excellent game. The third entry is the perfect ending to an amazing trilogy.
Collector’s Edition: If you want to spend the extra $40 then you will be treated with everything coming in a beautiful chest (its heavy cardboard, unfortunately), as well as a replica of the ring, a belt buckle, and a 6″ figure of Drake, plus a special packaging for the game case. The whole collection is beautiful and very well designed, but this is for collectors strictly and people who aren’t really hardcore fans of the series should probably pass this up.