Sure this review is a little late to the party but what the hell, I just recently finished the game so now it’s time for my full review. Also check out my first impression of Uncharted 3 which I can tell you now not much has changed in my impression of the game after completing it. It’s a great game. If you are a PS3 owner and have enjoyed the Uncharted series in the past, you’ll love Uncharted 3. Simple as that.
As always, a great story with familiar key characters you know and love. You are once again, Nathan Drake (aka Indiana Jones) in search of various treasures/artifacts around the world. Along side you are the usual group of Sully, Elena, and Cloe. Each intertwine at various times throughout the chapters with the usual humour and funny banter among all of them. I won’t go deep into the plot but you are basically in search of the Atlantis of the Sands but you get to learn a lot of the lineage of Drake’s ancestors. I particularly enjoyed the flash back chapters that give you back story of how Drake first meets Sully and how their father/son type relationship was built on. Some people found the story in Uncharted 2 dragged in the second half. I can see where they are coming from but thankfully in Uncharted 3, the story was more focused and entertaining. It made me want to continue playing the game without making me feel like I was just working to finish the game for the sake of finishing it. Having said that, there was one stage that I hated. The walking through the dessert stage. I understand the point they were trying to make but felt like it could have been cut in half. You know what I mean when you get there.
Graphics, Visuals and Sound
- Beautiful graphics, with a bright colourful palette
- Changing camera angles that would adjust based on situation, landscape or scene. Eg zoom way out as you are climbing a mountain to give us the impression of the sheer size of the rock face
- Dynamic action set pieces that are interwoven with actual gameplay
- Feels like you are in a modern day Indiana Jones movie
- There are numerous moments during cut scene where you will be watching and not even realize that it has switched to take control of your character
- Some tricky riddles and puzzles that require a bit of thought to figure out
- The PlayStation 3 can output full 5.1 DTS and Uncharted 3 makes great use of your surround sound system with sweeping music, direction explosions, dialogue, ambient noises and unique gunshot sounds.
- Voice work was top notch throughout with believable characters and dialogue
- The controls and movements haven’t changed much from previous games.
- If you’ve played previous versions, the one thing you will notice is that the targeting is a bit “off” in Uncharted 3. It simply feels different than before even with the normal and alternate aim modes. This can be overcome but it takes a bit getting used to. Naughty Dog has even gone out of their way to defend their revised shooting mechanic. They still implemented an alternate scheme to appease complaining gamers in a later game patch update.
- Controls and movements can be jerky at times due to third person view and you can sometimes be caught between the cover and jumping mechanics.
- Since there are dynamic changing camera angles, be ready when control direction will suddenly change
- Free running elements not as “free” as Assassins Creed style. The chase scenes must follow a certain path and sometimes it’s hard to tell which is the correct one due to the bright colours and everything looking similar. It might take a couple of tries to pass certain sections as you figure out what the correct path to take is.
- Hand to hand combat system is still pretty basic and involves more or less just one button to punch and another to dodge/counter
- Multiplayer has it’s moments but just not something I can get into personally.
- Expect to complete the game in about 10-12 hours on Normal difficulty. I found Uncharted 2 to be pretty easy but this time certain scenes took multiple attempts. Be prepared for some difficult moments dealing with grenade spam and armoured enemies that can get frustrating when failing multiple times. This includes this scene below in the video where I demonstrate how to complete it. Don’t be fooled, it took me a few tries to figure out the best strategy. I can’t even imagine doing it on Crushing difficulty!
The Old Guy in Me Says
Uncharted 3 is simply a great and fun game. The MP is okay but not why you play the game, at least in my case. It’s all about the single player and seeing what kind of trouble Drake and friends get into this time around. It’s not a huge technical upgrade from Uncharted 2 other than a more focused storyline and lots of great action set pieces. The way the game looks and the cinematic scenes, even your wife or girlfriend might want to play or at least watch you play the game. She’ll feel like she’s just watching an action movie where YOU are the star! A good time waster and an easy game to pick up, play for a bit and take a break from. It’s a definite buy but just don’t rush out and get it at regular price. Save your money and wait to pick it up on sale or when you have some free time.
If you are new to the series, I’d recommend picking up Uncharted 2 first. It can be bought brand new for dirt cheap and you won’t lose much by not playing Uncharted 1. Once you play it, you should then know right away if the series is for you and if you’ll want to invest your time in Uncharted 3