Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Nathan Drake was already a superstar when developer Naughty Dog teamed up with Sony Computer Entertainment and released Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception in 2011 for the PlayStation 3. With the massive success of Uncharted 2, fans were eager to see what Uncharted 3 had in store for them. Would the third game in the Uncharted series take the series to new heights or are the best moments behind it?

Story:
Taking place two years after Uncharted 2 and four years after the original Uncharted, Nathan Drake still hasn’t checked out of the treasure hunting career. Drake and his old pal Sully are in a London bar where they arranging for Drake’s ring to be sold to a buyer. The deal sours and a huge bar fight ensues where Sully and Drake both are shot.

That’s it. That’s the end of the series.

Just kidding, because both Drake and Sully survive their gunshot wounds but before you know that you get a nice flashback to a young Nathan Drake climbing walls and breaking into a museum where Sully rescues him from the guards. It was cool to see how Drake and Sully met because they have such a dynamic relationship and I was curious about how it all started. The story shifts to how they met the man who ends up shooting them (a man named Talbot) in the present day. Cutter, Sully, Drake, and Chloe (yes, Drake’s side chick from the second game) are working together to break into a library that has a map that details the location of the lost city of Ubar.

Drake and Sully are in search of an amulet that is split into two pieces. They locate the first half of the amulet but are ambushed Talbot who steals the amulet and escapes. They travel to Yemen where they meet with Elena! Remember her? Drake’s on-again, off-again wife? Well, she joins the crew and helps them into a tomb that has a few clues of where Ubar could be. Talbot and his partner Marlowe arrive and reveal to Drake that he in fact not related to Sir Francis Drake as he adopted that name when he was a child while in an orphanage. Sully is captured and Drake fights for his life as the two are split up.

Sully has been forced to lead Talbot and Marlowe to the city of Ubar while Drake chases them on a cargo plane. His presence is alerted and the plane goes up in smoke as he tumbles back down to the ground landing in the desert. He catches up with the convey and rescues Sully from Talbot and Marlowe and escapes into a sandstorm. There is a super-natural element injected into the story as an evil Djinn has cursed the city of Ubar through the water system. Drake destroys the support system to the city and causes it to collapse to seal away the Djinn that causes hallucinations. The whole city turns into a sinkhole where Marlowe and Talbot are trapped and sink to their death while Drake and Sully escape. Elena and Drake make up again and the three of them fly home.

Gameplay:
Part of what made Uncharted 2 so great was the non-stop action and character relationships. Uncharted 3’s “train sequence” was the cargo airplane where it bursts apart as cargo falls to the desert with Drake in tow. It was an incredible sequence and well done. There moments in video games that just make you go “wow” and this was one of them for me when I was careening down to the desert with boxes and mercenaries flying by.

Uncharted 3 improved upon the stealth aspect of combat. Drake has a few more tricks up his sleeve in this game and it was tons of fun to plan the attack and whether I was going to bust in guns blazing or silently take out enemy after enemy. Hand-to-hand combat feels smooth and the action of shoot outs returns with multiple guns to choose from, each with their strengths. In the heat of the moment, you won’t be picky with your gun. If you can pull off a headshot, that’s all you need as a skill.

Series favorites like large puzzles and treasure hunting return. You’ll be forced to solve unique problems to advance the story but most are solvable within minutes. You’ll see treasure glisten and Drake can pick it up to add to his collection. I’ve always enjoyed the game within the game of finding treasures. Drake is superhuman again, well he is freakishly strong and nimble being able to push or pull ten times his weight as well as the climb from the tiniest of ledges. Only in a video game! For a series that has beautiful attention to detail with the environments, voice acting, and atmosphere, I wish the physics of Drake were a bit more realistic. He is either immortal or the luckiest man alive.

I know there’s a multiplayer and online section but I never played it. I’m way too selfish and only story or single-player campaigns to waste my time on online multiplayer modes. I’m sure it was received well, but if you want an opinion on the facets or attributes of the online mode you won’t get it from me, sorry!

Memories:
I remember Uncharted 3 was received well, but the opinion of most video game outlets and critics was that it wasn’t as great as the second game. That’s fine, but Naughty Dog still put together a great game, and this time they didn’t have to pay for good reviews as they did with user reviews of the Last of Us 2 on Metacritic. Uncharted 3 was a great game to play through and I had tons of fun in the gorgeous desert. The series could have ended with the third game and I think everyone would have been satisfied.

Overall:
Uncharted 3 improves on elements like stealth and hand-to-hand combat and has its own unique “wow” factor with the cargo plane sequence. With Uncharted 2 being hailed as one of the best games on the PS3, Uncharted 3 had a lot to live up to and for the most part, it did. It’s another must-play if you own a PS3 and enjoy action-adventure games.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception scores a 9.1 out of 10.

Do you remember when Uncharted 3 first came out? What did you think of the story? Did you think that one of the main characters would die? How does it compare to the second game? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!

If you’d like to own a copy of Uncharted 3, you can purchase a used copy of it for the PS3 from eBay for around $10.

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