Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Uncharted 3 Review

Drake's back, this time in search of the Lost city of Brass. If you've played any of his other adventures you'll know all too well what it's all about. If not I encourage you to read my previous Uncharted series review, as I won't be going over it again.
However, I can say we are back to an action packed adventure, which while short in length more than makes up for it in impact. We start in the streets of London, but it is not long until we are treated to a flashback showing some of Nathan's earliest adventures and how he met Sully. I must be honest in saying out of the three Uncharted games so far, this was my favourite way to lead the game. The end result is us going on a search once again.
The basic combat and navigation has not changed. What has though, is important. In previous iterations of the series I shied away from the AK47 and weapons in that tree - they were simply too unwieldy for too little gain. This has been solved here, so I don't complain to pick one up, Its actually rather nice. We also see improvements to close combat. Grabbing now takes place fairly frequently, so an extra layer is welcomed. I would say that it has pretty much integrated combat into gunplay perfectly. But that would be lying. Its close, but if you want to roll away from an enemy to avoid sniper fire, you may find yourself instead grabbing them. In the heat of battle such an important control issue can be important, as while sometimes you can roll fine other times your stood there waiting to be sniped. With the ability to throw back grenades, while useful, sometimes conflicts if there's a weapon nearby, prompting you to instead change weapon, leading to an untimely death. Other than these (which both turned up at multiple points) the game play is perfect. Fix these and it's golden.
We also see graphical enchantments. Some areas look amazing first time round, and it is not hard to see the detail on each character has again been improved upon. It's a wonder to see. The UI is as clean as ever, with only ammo being shown, and you don't need anything else. You are pretty much guided where to go, so it's still a linear beast, but during the action scenes it seems this is not so as your naturally guided to make the right choices. It works for the kind of game. I would say I was longing for more, but I didn't feel a need - I was just left with nothing.
Now this may be personal, or perhaps because I saw a fair bit of footage for this game before its released compared to the first two games. But it felt rather short. It seemed as if not as much happened, and while I know the series is not quite known for it's length it felt just a bit TOO short. Again, perhaps this is because of my recently completing a 50 hour epic. But regardless, I'll comment on it. And finally, a crushing blow... repetition is starting to set in. It still feels awesome the majority of the time, but in the "epic" finale felt against it's aims. We have seem the massive civilisation being destroyed and falling apart at your hands. Seeing it for the third time felt like just an expectation rather than an epic finish. other than this though it all plays fresh and fine.
And finally, I finally felt a disconnect with Drake. I know that we are meant to use a bit of imagination - Drake will have killed thousands of men by now, more it seems than the villains themselves. But they are evil minions, so it's fine. Indeed, when infiltrating a museum in Uncharted 2 they used stun guns instead, so I felt at least he was unwilling to hurt innocents... But unless I missed a plot device, it seemed to me that Drake killed many airport security guards. Sure, they were trying to kill him, but seeing as he is trying to board a plane with weapons illegally, can you blame them? Ever since this point, regardless of the airport staff intentions - I felt it was just too much. A man who kills good people to save his friend... seems a bit like a villain.
I may seem fairly negative in this review. As indeed, this is how I came out of the game. But perhaps that lies in how I have already said all the good points previously. They carry over. As a standalone game this is fantastic. Must have. But as a third in the series... it's still epic. Yet I did feel elements of dissapointment. I would be lying to say I did not enjoy the game all the way through. Perhaps I have been too negative. This is an A* game for the PS3. Certainly a definite purchase.

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