Though I would like to say the reason I am focusing on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception in this article is because I have successfully completed the first two games in the series, unfortunately if I did I would be lying. I regrettably entered into the Uncharted franchise just after the third game was released, and instead of obeying the principles I usually uphold of playing games in the order of release, I instead dove straight into the newest game in the series.
I have already been told by fans of the series that I have missed out by not playing Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune’ and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, but I have assured them that after playing the third game it is something I definitely plan on doing. However, as I haven’t played these two games, I cannot comment on Uncharted 3 in relation to the other titles, or say that Uncharted 3 is any better or worse. What I can do is comment on Uncharted 3 as a stand alone game, and I can start by saying that this game is fantastic.
‘Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception’ is, obviously, the third title in the very popular and critically acclaimed Uncharted series on PlayStation, developed by Naughty Dog and released in 2011. According to developers, it is an action-adventure third-person shooter platform game, which translates as it being similar to games such as the Lara Croft series. You play as the protagonist Nathan Drake, a wise cracking, your-every-day-kind-of-guy fortune hunter who travels the world in search of treasure and artefacts.
What makes Nate so unusual as a computer game protagonist is how relatable he is. The developers wanted him to be a believable character, and he really is, more so than any other game character I have encountered. He stumbles when he runs, he narrowly clears obstacles, and he freaks out when he finds himself in absurd and dangerous situations, rather than assuming an unnaturally tough façade in the face of danger. This makes him much more likeable, and realistic.
Much of the character’s movements were created through performance capture technology, where real actor’s body movements are tracked using cameras in order to be digitally reproduced in game. Nate is also played by video game royalty Nolan North, who many keen eyed gamers would recognise as being the actor behind Desmond Miles in the Assassin’s Creed series, as well as hundreds of others.
Because of Nate’s likability, you become heavily invested in the narrative of the game, to the same extent as if it were a film or book. The rough plot follows Nate, a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, and his quest to find the lost city, the Iram of the Pillars, before more sinister forces do. The game sees you explore desert cities, French chateaux and even a sinking ship, each location being a platform style level, in which a varied number of gameplay styles are utilised in order to progress. This is balanced really well, with no one element, for example the acrobatics, gun battles or puzzle solving, gaining the upper hand. As a huge fan of third-person gameplay, this is one of the best examples, and the varied gameplay means you don’t get frustrated or bored if you tire easily of one particular style of play.
I mentioned earlier of Uncharted 3’s similarities to Lara Croft, as it is the one game I would find it easiest to compare Uncharted 3 to. However, while the Lara Croft games are good (focusing mainly on the games prior to the series most recent reboot) I would say that Uncharted 3 seems to have more scope. Though both follow the same linear structure, with less opportunity for exploration as seen in other third-person adventure games, Uncharted 3 is created on a much grander scale, if only it being much longer, and harder, that many of the Lara Croft games.
Though I am a fan of the Lara Croft games, if given a choice I would probably choose Uncharted to be my favourite. I am one level away from finishing this game, and so hopefully I will do so before too long – and I would highly recommend you do the same if you haven’t already.
Rosanna Howard, Games Columnistbookmark me