Latest Game Reviews
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Review - PS3
It’s pretty crazy to think that in the space of four years, a brand new IP has become perhaps the signature PlayStation brand. Yes, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune came out in 2007, with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves arriving two years later in 2009. Right on schedule, Naughty Dog has shipped Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception for this holiday season, but how does the team deliver in their third game for the system?
The progression from the original Uncharted to its sequel was notable. The graphics received a huge bump, and everything felt bigger, and more complete too. The combat was refined with control tweaks and a better cover system, and the story grew in scope too. From the train crash that introduced the game to the fantastic jeep sequence in Nepal, it put you in the shoes of the classic adventure archetype popularised by the Indiana Jones franchise on the big screen.
And that’s the trouble with Uncharted 3, and indeed every third game in a series. When you’ve had a second game to get in all the big ideas that didn’t make the cut first time around, how do you top yourself again? You can tell that the development team knew the pressure and wanted to address it, but alas they didn’t completely succeed. Let me say here at the start that Uncharted 3 is an enjoyable action-adventure title and anyone new to the franchise would in all likelihood love it. It’s just that for those familiar with the franchise, the familiarity is not offset by any particular revolutions or additions that keep the experience fresh.
You can tell, though, that they tried. As is often the case, the story this time is more personal, and includes flashbacks to Drake’s childhood and exploration of his relationship with Sully. The environments are almost completely new, and include a brief stint in London, before jumping to the game’s first and only stop in a forest in what is supposedly France but does not resemble any French wilderness I’ve ever seen. Without spoiling more of the setpieces, I’ll just say that there are several ‘escaping from perilous danger as the place/thing is destroyed’ moments on a scale bigger than much of what’s come before.
The trouble is that while these moments are executed strongly, and provide sufficient entertainment that a bystander could quite happily watch as if it were an action movie, the actual gameplay hasn’t particularly changed. You run towards the camera dodging obstacles as something chases you or things collapse around you. You leap to ledges and only make it by the skin of your teeth. You climb crates to reach exit points as water or fire fills the room. The game really could have used a new item or ... (continued next page)
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