Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Review

Sections

Pros

  • Dazzling blend of matinee thrills and all-action gaming
  • The most spectacular set-pieces in the business
  • Incredible graphics and a game with real heart

Cons

  • A mostly linear experience
  • Works best if you've played Uncharted and Uncharted 2

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £38.89




There’s
a problem with reviewing games. No matter how hard we try to pretend
that there’s some kind of technical or critical practice involved, as
we pore over and evaluate the graphics, the game mechanics, the
production design and the gameplay, it really all comes down to one
thing: the experience. How does this game make you feel? With some
games, that’s a tricky one. Why do you feel one way or another? Will
other people necessarily feel the same way. With Uncharted 3 it’s
easy. Playing Uncharted 3 is like watching one of your favourite
blockbuster movies, but having direct control of the action. By
necessity it’s a linear experience, but if so it’s one of the most
thrilling and emotionally engaging games we’ve ever played.





Uncharted 3




Now,
some of you might not have played Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – in which case we’d urge you to
rectify this error immediately, if only because it makes playing
Uncharted 3 even richer and more wondrous than it already is.
Basically, the games chart the life and times of one Nathan Drake –
a treasure-hunting hero in the mould of Lara Croft and a certain Dr.
Jones – as he searches for fortune and glory across South America,
Europe, Asia and the Himalayas.





Uncharted 3




If
you were being critical, you would probably say that the gameplay is
effectively Tomb Raider meets Prince of Persia meets Gears of War,
with a nice mix of platforming, puzzle-solving and cover-based gun
battles, but this doesn’t really do it justice. The trick to
Uncharted is that the mix is so perfect, and that the games are so
cinematic. We don’t just mean this in the usual sense that it’s
packed with movie-like camera angles and motion-captured acting, but
in the sense that the games value the things that used to make
Hollywood movies great: a good story, interesting characters,
engaging dialogue and big narrative hooks. And when the Uncharted
games go for the spectacle, they go really, really big. Uncharted 2
in particular was full of moments where you thought “they’re not
really going to do that, are they? They can’t!” And then they
did.





Uncharted 3




All
this is true of Uncharted 3, which does a brilliant job of taking
Drake, his mentor/father-figure Sully, and the other key Uncharted
characters to new places and new dangers, while exploring a little
deeper into what makes them tick. The action kicks off in London,
before moving to French chateaux, middle-Eastern castles, secret
crypts and pirate shipyards. It starts strong and pretty much never
lets up.






The
team at Naughty Dog has practically perfected its pacing. Where
lesser games give you the same sixty seconds, over and over again
with a few variations, Drake’s Deception moves effortlessly from
high-tension platforming to fraught gun battle to brain-stretching
puzzles to fisticuffs and chase sequences, each element never
standing out as separate, but all part of one gloriously cohesive
whole. Like the Call of Duty-style orchestrated shooter, it’s
effectively a one-track thrill ride, but one that works on a much
broader emotional level than Infinity Ward’s run and gun shooters
ever could.







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