Game Review: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

It’s a small personal milestone, but now that I’ve completed this game, I’ve beaten my first game on PS4! Although technically there’s three games in this collection, but they’re three games on one disk so they count as a single game.

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Nathan Drake is at it again, this time on the trail of the “Atlantis of the Sands” (Iram of the Pillars) which will take him from London to Yemen. The villain du jour is Katherine Marlowe, the head of a secret order with a lust for power. The adventure naturally involves puzzle-solving, climbing, jumping and shooting in fantastic locales, you know, the usual stuff.

While the previous titles were a bit more focused on following breadcrumbs to the next treasure. This game spends about half the time looking for breadcrumbs and the other half chasing the antagonists. There are fewer puzzles this time around, and they’re not so much hard as they are frustrating (and the game will helpfully provide the solutions if you take too long solving them). On the plus side, we learn a bit more about Nate’s past and how he met Sully, although his past is basically Dark and Troubled Past #5: Troubled Orphan Street Kid.

Regarding the debate over which is better, the second or third games, I have to say I prefer the third. I didn’t have as much trouble figuring out which ledges I was allowed to jump to as I did in Uncharted 2, and I had a much easier time with those annoying shotgun-toting enemies. It’s much more practical to melee attack them in this installment, speaking of melee combat, enemies can now grab you and you can grab and throw them. I think my favourite parts in this game were the sections where you needed to jump from vehicle to vehicle to get up to the front of a convoy, but there’s also a sequence where you battle while hanging out of a plane, while it’s on fire. Awesome. The entire game is just focused on being as over the top awesome as it can be.

I did experience a few frustrating moments. The shooting sections often became exercises in trial and error, especially with enemies armed with RPGs, which can kill you in one or two hits (usually one). One of the more annoying puzzles, where you have to place a staff in the exact right position to create a shadow, ate up half an hour of my time before I gave in and looked up the solution on the Internet.

In terms of game length, it will probably take you about 10 – 15 hours to finish the whole thing. There are about a hundred treasures to collect. I managed to collect about 60 and I was actively seeking them out.

Regarding potential triggers, there are several sequences where Nate is chased by spiders or where spiders land on him. One of the supporting characters, Cutter, is claustrophobic and becomes very anxious and angry (leading to a fistfight) with Nate when he has to squeeze through tight spaces. There are also a couple instances where Nathan is drugged and hallucinating and the line between reality and hallucination is blurred. Usually you can tell when this is happening because the environment is covered in a pink haze. The one time this doesn’t happen is when he’s hallucinating due to dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Overall, the third Uncharted game was a blast to play (in fact, the entire collection was pretty good) and I can’t wait to play the final installment in the series.

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