Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Developer: Naughty Dog
Plataform: PlayStation 3
When we play Uncharted 1 for the very first time, we feel the sensation that we never saw a game with such a amazing graphics and scenarios full of so realistic nature. Then comes Uncharted 2, which can offer to you graphics even better and with a so distinct narrative that we never saw in a game before, as they can present to you the story in the same time that you are playing and controlling your game character. And finally, when we are thinking in how Naughty Dog could give to us a new Uncharted with a lot of surprising things like the old ones, we will never expected that would be this all. However we could find that the game would be great, we would not expect how much he really was amazing. And that’s why I’m always saying that Naughty Dog is one of the most incredible game companies that I know until now, and of course, like me, must have another thousands of people dreaming to work there someday.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception have the same initial plot focused on something that is always in the games of the series. Nathan Drake is in search of lost treasure in a mysterious land in the middle of
nothing desert and for that, he have the presence of his inseparable friend Victor Sullivan. But even coming with the same cliche as always, this time we notice that the main objective of his search in the story is not exactly just the treasure, but actually the answers for some unsolved questions that Nate are carrying for so long. The story is much more! Is about Nathan’s life, his feelings, what he believes and how proud he can be, at the point of risk his and his friends lifes.
In some way we have two opposite opinions here. This screenplay is one of the most vague of all, or one of the most strong? I’m saying that because differently from the other previous two games, you never feel that you are really searching for the treasure. Of course you are going to find tips of how to find the correct place that the treasure are, you are dealing with enemies that want the same as you, and you are risking your life for that. But during all the story, I don’t feel that the main characters really want to find the precious treasure, like in the old games. And that’s why I’m here questioning myself if it is something good or not. Since in all the others games of the series we are always seeing the same plot. It looks like that Amy Hennig – game director and script writer of Naughty Dog – finally made a story that absorbs players into something more intimate and exciting.
The Little Thief
Soon after the first scene of the game – which by the way is set in a Pub in London – in the end of the first chapter, we are led to the first steps of Nathan as a little thief and treasure hunter. We can control the Nathan of 20 years ago through the colourful streets of Colombia, and better understand how his childhood was influenced for everything and how he met Sullivan and started his friendship in a uncommon way.
It’s interesting to learn how was Nathan’s life, and all the difficulties that he passed. And it’s amazing to see how the story take all the old characters of the old games and put then together in a natural way.
One new character is presented too, and she is the villain of Drake’s Deception. Her name is Marlowe and she’s in Nate’s childhood too. Marlowe was the first woman villain in Uncharted series, and she can be both a manipulative woman, also a person who cares about Nate in some strange ways. She want to find the same treasure that Nate are searching for 20 years ago.
Visual richness in all aspects
Every time Naughty Dog focuses on a different main ambiance. The first two games we were surprised with a great realistic nature, water and ice scenarios, respectively. This time, graphically, we can see that they made a big upgrade with more realistic scenarios, and presenting for the first time one huge desert full of sand effects. With all references that the team searched for, they were capable to create realistic real time sand physics, presenting exactly how the sand reacts when someone walks on it. It’s amazing and indescribable when Nate walks around the desert, trying to stand firm and survive while walking with no direction.
The Level Design team had a lot of research based in all scenarios to make them the most realistic possible. Every detail has been thoroughly studied, able to create a very realistic atmosphere for every place. They visited cities such as Cartagena, in Colombia, Pubs in London and even castles in Syria, to create the most realistic possible the new scenarios of the game. And the result that they had have been really impressive. The wealth of detail is such that reminds me some times the game Assassin’s Creed, but with brighter and more vibrant colours.
But as if that’s not enough, Drake’s Deception can impress us even more with all the light effects and render, that we had never seen in PS3 game so far. It’s impossible to don’t agree that we feel like we are seeing a playable hollywood action movie in real time.
Barbie, the new generation
If have something that Nathan doesn’t cease to do in Drake’s Deception is to change his clothes. I was taking note every time that he appears using new clothes or just swapping between the old ones or adding a new accessory. Naughty Dog was not stopped when it came to creating new looks for our hero.
Throughout the game, Nate ranged between visual as a elegant black smoke, his jeans and green T-shirt for use in forests, long sleeve white shirt, then adding a Blue Palestinian scarf for levels in the desert and, finally, returning to the traditional green T-shirt.
A new cherry in the old cake recipe
Overall the game follows a very similar gameplay to the already known in the series. All progress through the game is presented by a gameplay that tricks you with a false freedom that doesn’t exist. As different as your fighting may be, the end result will always be the same, looking like you’re following a rhythm of quick-time events. But what benefits these pace of play, is that the narrative can convince you that you have control of your choices and in the end what matters most are the scenes that you saw through its results.
This time the game also focuses on melee combat. It is clear that the moments of great tension and firing are included in the game as always. But now you also have the option of attacking your enemies with many different types of scams, and even steal their weapons and grenades during your defence against the enemy attack, and your own counterattack.
Another thing that makes the gameplay more fun and variable is how the level design is very important for the gameplay. This time you have more option to take advantage of scenarios to use them in your favour, dodging the blows of the enemy, climbing platforms and even taking advantage of object scenarios to attack your rivals, for example, using chairs and bottles.
Of course we see some glitches during the gameplay. One of the most notable and frequent is during the horse fighting level. Sometimes we can see that is impossible to Nate jump in the back of the horse from where he is, and then, even so, he just appear on it like everything was totally normal. By the way, this level is amazing!
In general the gameplay changes between action and puzzles, with great well-built cutscenes, making you feel like you never spend so long on just one activity during the game. They knew how to mix all chapters in a way that you don’t want to stop to play the game until you solve everything. Even though the game follows a linear sequence, and without many difficulties.
Without wasting more time, I might add that the soundtrack is also something that deserves our congratulations. All the action scenes were perfectly represented by the music, as well as the most sensitive and quiet scenes of the game. What about voice acting, Drake’s Deception also remains with the impeccable quality of the previous games, but maybe a little disappointed in the language voiceovers in Portuguese-BR, because of some inconsistencies with our true language.
Naughty Dog Lovers
The Uncharted series has always been a good option for the worshipers of games, the curious, and especially for Game Designers. The extras with several making-of in the game are still available. Not to mention the variety of options for dubbing and subtitles in several languages, including our Portuguese of Brazil.
It’s clear that the game – as all of them! – has some failures. But I believe that the qualities that the same gives to the players and all the affection and love that we can see in the production of it, makes any slight failures be acceptable to the point of putting Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception in the list of one of the best games ever developed.
My Personal Score: 5/5
[button type=”icon” icon=”paper”]Written by Matheus Pitillo.[/button]