Sadly, I am now out of Die Hard titles until I play the fourth installment of something.
But more importantly, I got around to playing Uncharted 3: Drake’s Decpetion recently. I had nothing else to do that day, so I ended up playing for about eight and a half hours straight and beating the game. It was definitely good. Was it better than Uncharted 2? No. Not even close. Was it better than Uncharted 1? Maybe. I don’t really remember Uncharted 1.
The good news is, Sulley’s back. And not just for a few minutes at the beginning of the game, like in Uncharted 2. He has more screen time than any other NPC. For those that don’t know, Victor Sullivan is Nate’s cigar chomping, mustachioed mentor when it comes to stealing treasure. And if the Uncharted movie happens the way it should, he’d be played by (a slightly skinnier) Craig T. Nelson opposite Nathan Fillion as Drake.
The other good news is, the game looks amazing. Seriously, play until you get to the desert and just watch the sand effects.
Sadly, that’s where the improvements end. Don’t get me wrong, the game’s really good. But when compared to the second one, well… It really falls short.
This could have just been me, but the shooting mechanics did not seem as precise while I was playing Uncharted 3. There were even a few times, when using one of the sniper rifles, that I actually saw the bullet physically move through an enemies head, but the game said I missed (and deprived me of a headshot). This made using any single-shot gun, besides a shotgun, really difficult to use. It never got so bad that it took away from the general enjoyment of the game, but it did get frustrating and I found myself beating people up with my bare fists far more than I should have.
The story is basically the same as the last two games. Drake finds evidence of immense treasure, but it turns out to be something other than treasure, and the antagonist wants to use it to take over the world. And don’t complain about spoilers either. I called it within a minute and a half of gameplay. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. When I finally did discover what the treasure really was, I found myself saying, “Oh, that’s cool! …But how do you plan on taking over the world with that?”. On the bright side of the story, the game does go in to the development of Nate’s and Sulley’s relationship. At the beginning of the game, you get to play for awhile as young Nate and you get to see how he met Sulley. When this first happened, I groaned because I was afraid I’d have to go through a flashback every twenty minutes. But I was pleasantly surprised. They got all of the pertinent information out of the way in one flashback, so I ended up glad. Also, like the second one, the story takes place some time after the last game. A ton of shit happened between the characters, but they don’t actually tell you what. They just make some vague allusions to past events and you have to infer what happened for yourself. I don’t like that, but the Uncharted games do handle it much better than games such as Dragon Age II. The events in question really aren’t things that these characters would want to talk about, so they avoid the subject. You know, like actual people.
One of my favorite things about the Uncharted series is the dialogue. It’s witty, it’s funny, and it’s believable. It was a bit less so here. It was still good, and I found myself laughing more than once. But, I never had my sides split like I did with the first two games. There also didn’t seem to be as much of it. But, I’ll admit, that could just be me.
What I’m trying to say is that, with the reused story mechanic, and the not-as-good dialogue, I found it much harder to become immersed in the game as I did with the last one.
I also liked the level design in the second game better. This is mostly just preferential, but I felt that the levels were not nearly as intense. There’s a point where Nate gets sucked out of a plane, but I never found my heart racing like I did with the train/cliff sequence in the second one. And when Uncharted 3 was intense, it was usually because it was being overly difficult. There were definitely a couple parts that were not well-designed. My mind immediately goes to the part where you’re on a castle wall with four or five guys with rocket launchers firing at you with perfect accuracy, and the only way you can fight them is with the aforementioned defective sniper rifle. The rockets kill you in one shot, and even though there are three other people on the wall with you, they’re all aiming at you all the time. And with five of them there, there’s hardly any time to aim your shot before exploding.
That’s the biggest problem I had. When things were difficult, it wasn’t because of any skill-based challenge, it was because of poor (well, less good) level/enemy design, which just makes the game frustrating. Dragon Age: Origins was guilty of this as well.
There’s also no proper final boss. I live for bosses, and this one was basically just a guy that you fight hand-to-hand like everyone else, just a bit tougher.
So, with all of that said, I’d say yeah, play it. But don’t play the second one right before it.
Gameplay: 8/10: Mostly the same as the first two, but with a few problems the second one didn’t have
Music: 7/10: It’s pretty good, but nothing really caught my attention