Well, we’re back at it again. Everybody’s favourite male equivalent of Lara Croft is about to raid more tombs, swoon more ladies, and get shot more times and fall off more buildings to question whether he really is an immortal.
Nathan Drake returns with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, a title that hints at a possible foreshadow of the plot.
I’m still halfway through the game, but I essentially get the idea. I have yet to try multi-player, but I was not very good at the second game’s online capabilities, so let’s just stick this review with the single player.
Once again, you play as Nathan Drake, the studly adventure seeker and treasure hunter that looks like a combination of Nathan Fillon and Bradley Cooper, but now, he sort of has that hint of Mark Wahlberg. (I wonder why they did that. Could it be? … Nah.).
This time, Drake and his father-figure-like partner Sully, go after a treasure that’s connected with Drake’s ancestry. So right there, you know there will be a lot of character development upcoming. As well, we get a glimpse of flashback Nate as he steals the ring-shaped plot device from a museum, and we are introduced to how Drake and Victor “Sully” Sullivan met. The usual suspects come back eventually, including Chloe the love interest, and Elena, the … Other … Love interest. I think. It’s gets a bit blurry which is which. Now we are joined by Charlie Cutter, which sounds like a wrestler’s name, and looks and sounds an awful lot like Jason Statham. In some of the game, it seems like NPC’s when they are in the same room, just aimlessly run around while you look for the next item to activate the next cut scene like, say, the door. It makes for annoying and unnecessary additions, and its purpose is to get the plot going.
Next up on the cast round up is our villain, Katherine Marlowe, played apparently by Angela Lansbury. She’s after the same treasure in some Cruella DeVille like evil, and she is surrounded by multiples of 101 goons that do her bidding. (And by bidding, I mean shooting) The big complaint that ruins the mood is that all the goons look the same. And there are a lot that come running around in every corner. It’s like a broken cloning device off camera. There’s even a part of the game where have to fight at least 20 Agent Smiths in the middle of a street, and in some point, Neo Drake will superman fly out of there.
The story and gameplay is just as linear as the first two, so with the idea of it being a movie in video game form, it’s a pass for them. That said, so far, the story is the weaker of the three. There’s action parts to it that are gripping, but with cover-based shooting and no auto-aim capabilities, it gets to the point where it gets tedious, and will be more fun the next day, so let it auto save and try again tomorrow.
The guns in the game are pretty similar to the previous games, but it feels like their weaker in damage by comparison. The biggest damage drop is the shotgun. The number of times I have shot a Smith point-blank, and it needed two slugs to kill him, makes a lot of the weapons weaker and frustrating.
Not much to say about the controls. They’re identical to the first two. Tutorials pop up near the beginning feel more like they’re reminding you instead of teaching you the moves you need to learn. I like the new stealthier moves that they offer, make you feel like Assassin’s Creed or, dare I say, Batman Arkham games. But they are few and far between to use them in practical situations when you have six other goons firing at you, two at least with laser-pointing sniper rifles aiming at you.
The graphics are just as impressive as the first two. No real improvement, and a lot of deja vu popping up from time to time, but they still shine. It still gives the feel of an action movie, and still executes it really well.
The series feels similar to the previously mentioned Tomb Raider series, and it gives off the feeling that history is doomed to repeat. If you recall, the first Tomb Raider was pretty good, and the second game was far and away the best game of the series. By the time it got to the third one, that’s when the audience came to realize that it was the same game, and the series kept going downhill until Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, which sucked. Naughty Dog needs to see the series that inspired the Uncharted trilogy, and try it’s best to avoid the same pitfalls for its fourth instalment. Last thing we need is an Uncharted reboot where Nathan Drake is a blonde surfer guy, or something stupid like that.
Overall, the trilogy suffers from middle child syndrome, the video game edition. The second Uncharted was a better game than the one before and the one after. It’s not that Uncharted 3 is bad, don’t get me wrong, but the game needed more. The story was okay, but nothing groundbreaking as of yet. The gameplay is all too familiar, and there really isn’t any new settings that gives it that wow factor. The game doesn’t offer more,
If you played the first two, there’s no harm in playing the third. That’s their target audience. But don’t start from the third game. Go back to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and work your way to this one. You will get lost in the plot fast, and not know what you are doing.