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Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Skrivet av: Peddi93   2012-04-12

This review WILL contain spoilers and I highly suggest you ONLY read the Overall and Verdict part of the review unless you don't mind spoilers.


Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception had a huge impact on me as a gamer. This comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me. Essentially, the game is known for its insane production values and the interaction between the characters of the franchise (notably Nathan Drake, Victor Sullivan, Elena Fisher and Chloe Frazier).

From here on: I will refer to "Uncharted 3" as "UC3".

The story

The story in UC3 is by far a story that I personally, as a cinematic experience junkie, can relate very much to. A cinematic experience basically means games where the developer holds your hand to a certain degree in which developers are able to present a story with movie-like quality. These developers will then top it all off with magnificant gameplay in order to tell something incredible and far more than the standard norms of "just a game".

Obviously these "moments" have to somewhat mindblowing or have an important role in moving the story forward. Some/arguably all of these, can be explained as "set pieces" which are scripted events that have been pre-made and are set to start once you reach a certain point in a level. What makes this so intriguing is that you get to see and experience some breathtaking moments that most other game developers cannot accomplish. The problem is that it is very difficult to do something like this and have the player maintain control over the situation which essientally means to still hold the controller and play. I honestly feel these cinematic experiences are an art form of its own and what the developer of UC3: Naughty Dog has accomplished is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The developer will try to blend this cinematic feel, mostly by the usage of camera angles but also by the human survival nature and by making you look around the environment you will make choices that the developers obviously wants you to do. Taking this and making it natural is what makes Uncharted 3 so amazing. The story this time around focuses on Nathan Drake himself and what truly makes it unique is the fact that it doesn't just apply to Nathan, it applies to you: The player.

Uncharted 3 makes the player question the motives and the reasoning behind the protagonist. It makes you wonder why you keep playing. Too often do gamers play games where they keep progressing for no apparent reason other than to feel that they have accomplished what the game originally wants you to do. This was the case in Uncharted 2, but this is absolutely NOT the case in Uncharted 3. Nathan has everything he needs in order to stop Katherine Marlowe (the main antagonist) from finding the Atlantis of the Sands. Yet he is obsessed to continue and follow the trails of Sir Francis Drake. The game does a superb job on asking the player: Why?

As the game plays out, you reach the realization that Nathan Drake is not actually the protagonist's real name. You get to hear that his mother committed suicide and his father gave his son away to an orphanage. By knowing this, the player can draw the conclusion that Nathan Drake actually came up with his own name due to his obsession over history and forgotten relics. Drake rarely seems to be interested in the actual treasure ... no, it's rather the hunt that keeps him going. What separates Nathan Drake from a lot of characters in video games is that he is very clever and determined.

The first chapter which plays in the London pub was all a scam in order to backtrack Marlowe and her henchman Talbot, to their base and locate a Decipher which will then prevent them from reaching the city. Once you aquire the decipher, Drake uses it to continue the journey, leading the antagonist with him. Over the course of the game, we get to see his friends, which have stood behind him in the previous iterations, question his reasoning and motives. The hunt leads them to France and Syria.

Shortly after Syria, Chloe Frazier (whose arguably as reckless as Drake) takes her leave along with Charlie Cutter, a new character we got to know during the beginning of this game. They cannot continue because Cutter broke both of his legs as a result of Drakes obsession over this hunt. Chloe makes it very clear that Drake should let "this one" go. Sully however, continues the journey with Drake and we get to see how Sully became the father figure of Drake ever since they met. The player is even able to play this sequence which once again makes the game truly stand out.

Moving on: Sully contacts Elena, Drake's significant other in order to get into Yemen. We find out that Elena has a ring, and Drake isn't very subtle in notifying the player that Elena is "still wearing it". Elena replies "I see you are still wearing yours" while glancing at Drake's necklace which holds the ring of Sir Francis Drake. The player can then draw the conclusion that at some point, Elena and Drake had actually married one another after the events of Uncharted 2, but they broke it off because of Drake's obsession with Francis Drake. Elena then lets Drake know that his obsession could make him lose his friends, and emphasizes his relation with Sully by saying how he would follow Drake to the ends of the world and that Drake should not ask that of him.

Once in Yemen, Drake sees Talbot; the henchman of Marlowe. Talbot is a very interesting character as his character is shown in Drakes journal as "The magician". Cutter told us that Talbot is part of an organization that manipulates people through fear and deception. Anyhow, Drake follows him and is later drugged by Talbot and eventually captured by Marlowe. Before this, Sully manages to memorize the location of Ubar also known as the Atlantis of the Sands. It is then that Marlowe reveals to the player that Drake isn't his real name and suddenly: The plot becomes so clear. Unfortunately, Marlowe has captured Sully and as Talbot walks away (most probably to bring Sully to Marlowe), Drake runs after him in rage which launches one of the most amazing sequences in gaming that I have experienced. You run through the amazingly detailed and atmospheric city of Yemen while chasing Talbot. This sequence is so impressively done and so cinematic that it feels like it is taken right out of a movie but with the exception that your heart is beating and you are in full control of Drake.

Uncharted 3 makes you feel as if you are playing a movie and a good one I might add. This doesn't necessarily mean that the game is a movie, it simply means that it is very difficult for anyone that sees it to not be baffled by the experience and breathtaking visuals. I could go on and on about the story but you have to keep some sort of limit.

The visuals:

No game is as impressive and visually pleasing as Uncharted 3. Naughty Dog once again prooves that nobody does graphics like them on the Playstation 3. This is the best looking video game on consoles as of right now and by quite a maragin too. There's a ridicilous amount of detail in every moment of the game. We could be discussing the sand, water, fire, overall vegitation, textures and/or lightning: This game will litterarly floor you due to its graphical power.

The sound:

Noticeably better than its predecessor and right up there as one of my favorite official soundtracks. As for the voice acting, no game does it better. The fact that Naughty Dog is able to introduce characters that are so easy to like or hate depending on what they are going for is incredible. The script and writing of the dialogues are so well performed that it is very difficult to find any game that does it as good as UC3.

The gameplay:

Uncharted keeps things very simple. There is one button for the aiming, one for the shooting. There is one button for jumping, climbing and another for punching and brawling. With the addition of melee fights and object interactions such as hitting somebody with a wrench is so easy: yet it has made the game reach a certain level of cinematic experience that blends the gameplay so amazingly well with the cutscenes and the result is a game where you are literary feeling as if the player is creating his own cutscenes. The interactions during the set pieces ESPECIALLY the burning Chateau in France will have you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The chase scenes, the brawls, the cargo plane, the cruise ship, the caravan, the drug sequences. There are so many different mechanics depending on how drake is feeling, not to mention the different set of animations that the character portrays through every drastic level in the game... Few games come this far when speaking about details and practically none reach this level of excellence. It is simple, it is interesting, it offers enough diversity depending on how you play it, but most importantly: it is fun.

The lasting appeal:

The singleplayer really deserves more than one playthrough because as you play it, you just seem to love it more and more. The co op is very fun and challenging once you ask it to be and the multiplayer has completely drawn me in. It's not for everyone, but for those who get into it: prepare to get addicted. It is the only MP game that rivals Killzone 2 on the PS3 for me, personally. The game truly shines in value.


What Naughty Dog has created with UC3 is an instant classic and masterpiece. They have taken the game to standards that are unrivaled when compared to any other developer out there. I felt a huge emotional connection to Drake, more than I did to any other gaming character. It is simply a story about a man who has dedicated his whole life to a greater purpose because he grew up alone, with no father, with no mother. He needed something to hold on to. He needed a purpose in life and that became his obsession. The past almost made him lose the present and thus change his future.

Naughty Dog has crafted a very impressive masterpiece that will not be forgotten!

Final Verdict:
(not a representation of the final score)

Story: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10
Sound: 10/10
Gameplay: 10/10
Lasting Appeal: 10/10

Overall: 10/10 - "Masterpiece"

Samlat betyg: 9.4/10