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'Uncharted 3' a fantastic, character-driven experience

(Courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment)
(Courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment)


'Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception'

4.5 out of 5 Pitchforks

PlayStation 3

Rating: Teen (T)

Released: Nov. 1


“Uncharted” is one of PlayStation's flagship franchises; since the first game was released back in 2007, it has set the bar when it comes to graphics and storytelling in video games. “Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception” not only meets the high standards the previous titles set, but surpasses them.

“Uncharted 3” is the story of Nathan Drake and his partner in crime Victor “Sully” Sullivan. This time around, the two are in search of a lost city that is supposedly filled with treasure. Much like the past games, a shadowy villain is also after the city and Drake and Sully must find it before the villain does.

It may seem that on the surface the story is very close to the past titles. In fact, the biggest criticism of the “Uncharted” series as whole is that all the games follow the same storytelling blueprint. “Uncharted 3” does start out in very similar waters as the past games, but where the game goes from there is entirely unexpected.

The story is much deeper than this short description would lead you to believe; one of the best aspects of this game is the character-driven story and having too much explained beforehand would take away from the experience.

The main reason the plot of the game works is because it has one of the most compelling cast of characters in any game ever made. More than anything else, “Uncharted” makes the player care for the characters on the screen in a way that is not just unique to gaming, but to any other medium of storytelling. This includes the relationship between Drake and his love interest, Elena, or the banter between him and Sully. “Uncharted” is known for over the top set pieces but it is the quieter character moments of the game that really stick with you after the credit roll.

Speaking of over the top set pieces, they are back and they are better then ever. Drake will fight in countless perilous situation, from ten thousand feet in the air hanging out the back of an airplane to dodging debris inside a boat that is quickly capsizing. The set pieces in “Uncharted 3” outdo the previous games and even manage to make the predecessors seem a little boring in comparison.

The gameplay is a basic third person action game. There are a few new additions, like the ability to throw grenades back at enemies, but “Uncharted” certainly doesn't break any new ground in the gameplay department. It does, however, do everything well. The melee system is actually useable this time around and moving from cover to cover during a gunfight is seamless. Although the shooting mechanics of the game don't hold up to something like “Gears of War 3,” the combat is intense and rewarding.

On top of all of that, “Uncharted 3” is the best looking game to ever grace the PlayStation 3. It will be hard for anyone to not stop and stare as fire engulfs a wall or as water crashes over the deck of a boat. The game even somehow manages to make sand look amazing.

“Uncharted 2” introduced a multiplayer aspect to the game and it makes a return in “Uncharted 3.” There are a few cooperative missions to play, but the majority of the multiplayer is death match-style games. You'll gain experience, get new items and unlock perks. The multiplayer mode is fun; anyone who has picked up a “Modern Warfare” game lately will be right at home, but it only serves as a momentary distraction for the main story.

2011 has been a fantastic year for gaming and the month of November will see several of the year's biggest releases. “Uncharted 3” may be the first game to be release this month, but it also has the chance to be the best.


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