The Uncharted series started as a release title back in 2007 with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Illustrating an amazing narrative led by Nathan Drake, a distant descendant of the famous explorer Sir Francis Drake. Accompanied by his mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan, they went around the world to find El Dorado. The game was insanely popular, and was named by IGN and many others as the game of the year, selling one million copies after its first ten weeks of retail. In 2009, the sequel, Uncharted: Among Thieves, was a graphical leap, adding multiplayer to the mix, as well as a new story with Drake, Sully, and others following in the footsteps of Marco Polo. Improving on the cinematic style of the previous title, it also won a plethora of awards.
It came as no surprise that Uncharted 3 was highly anticipated, and it did not disappoint. I waited for the midnight release, and yes, even shelled out the extra money for the Collector’s Edition, which included a Nathan Drake Statue, a replica of Drake’s belt buckle, his signature ring, a collector’s box, and of course, a copy of the game. I took the day off work and played it through the whole day. I loved it all.
The game opens in a pub in Britain, where all of its inhabitants seem ready to beat the ever-loving crap out of you. And after a deal in the back room doesn’t go down perfectly, that’s exactly what you’ll be dealing with. Fans of the previous game will note the updated melee combat, which has expanded past the previous punch-or-dodge system. Past this, you’ll enjoy a great story involving the tie between Drake’s childhood and the games antagonist, Katherine Marlowe.
The game’s cutscenes aren’t obtrusive or lengthy, like many games have had issue with (Metal Gears Solid 4, anyone?). They do just what a cutscene ought to; tell a part of the story in a way that gameplay can’t. Not to say the gameplay doesn’t further the plot, as much of the dialogue that shows off Nathan’s “loveable jerk” persona is done as you jump from ledge to ledge, are attacked by mobs of goons, or simply can’t figure out how to open a door.
What really makes me love Drake is how human he is. He stumbles after a leap. He fights sloppily. He falls from a ledge and hurts himself. He’s not a superhero by any means. He was designed specifically to be a typical shirt-and-jeans type of guy who happens to be dealing with extraordinary circumstances.
As shown above, one of my few gripes with the game is that the single player story has a similar feel as the previous games. This game does delve into the relationship between Drake and Sully, but does raise the question that any person in that situation would ask, “Why the hell are we doing this?” What are we truly fighting for? This question is barely answered through most it. This doesn’t keep the story from being engaging, but it is a gaping hole in the true motivation of Drake.
But enough about the bad, here’s what makes this game great; the multiplayer.
Uncharted 2 added multiplayer, lifting the feel of the single player campaign and putting into the multiplayer, distinguishing itself from many shooters with its focus on the use of climbing. It was a great start, and Uncharted 3 picks up that torch and runs with it. Adding weapon mods, character customization, emblem creation, and several new multiplayer modes, it truly is an awesome experience.
Overall, it is a remarkable game. If you owned the first two games, I doubt I need to tell you this, because you have UC:3. If you haven’t tried any of the franchise, get the UC:1+2 double pack, play through them, then enjoy UC:3 so you can understand the entirety of the story, and appreciate the progression.