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Uncharted 3 Review: Maintaining greatness for the Playstation?

To define and refine are two conceptual meanings that can be rightfully applied to Uncharted. Define- Uncharted is an explosive cinematic game with riveting set-pieces combining that with 3rd person cover shooting gameplay. That is Uncharted as a whole though as defining the third entry into the critically acclaimed trilogy is complex. Refine- Uncharted 3 utilises previous elements to maximum capacity in this instalment alongside some new features and dynamic cinematic storytelling.

Uncharted 3 as a game- as a whole is worthy of any living person’s time. I don’t need to tell anyone that. So go out there and buy the game okay? Uncharted 3 coming as an instalment in a trilogy so acclaimed its legendary (well nearly) the game makes very little improvement on its predecessor but opting for refinement of the game. The vast majority of the game to experience Uncharted vets like myself and many others is in places predictably predictable.

The game follows Nathan “Nate” Drake on another globe trotting adventure from London to the Rub al Kali desert looking for the fabled lost city of Ubar/Iram of the Pillars. The mystery is consistent with the other two entries offering plenty of intrigue although at the end is slightly disappointing yet still delivers. Nate is joined by his close friend Victor “Sully” Sullivan who in this game is focused much more in depth which offers to players a new perspective into Nate’s and Sully’s friendship including some flashback sequences.

Mechanically, graphically and technically this is near flawless by today’s standards. The glistening colour of the sand blowing swiftly through Drake’ s path. The vibrant colours shown throughout the game and the attention to detail is phenomenal. This is the height of graphical power of games at this moment in time. There are the odd chugs in framerate and some minor tearing that pops up occasionally but it does nothing to detract Uncharted from being aesthetically stunning. The game controls how standard 3rd person games do. Expect jumping to cover and popping out for some sly headshots. Free climbing is back and better than before. Scaling rusty ships has never been so fun (oh did I give something away?). The voice acting is again top notch. Nolan North really does a great job as Nate and the motion capture tech used for all the actors is impressive on par with L.A Noire’s facial recognition tech.

The game unfortunately suffers from its own escalating popularity and its clear to see. A trend is common in games nowadays and like Call of Duty- why innovate when you have a successful product? Yes that may be true yet familiarity can be detracting. The plot is somewhat predicatble at times as well as some of the gunfights. Some of the gunfights are so obviously staged there may as well be a message saying incoming fight. The plot even follows similarly to the other two predecessors which adds to the familiarity like “I have played this before.” Shame as some of the set pieces in Uncharted 3 are breathtaking but detracting at the same time.

By no means a major flaw but however unnecessary as a breaking the mould in terms of twists etc could have made the single player more worthy. Nonetheless though, these criticisms are still relatively minor compared to what matters which is Uncharted 3 delivers. The story is still as intriguing as ever and while it may sound like I am hammering Uncharted I am not far from it. This is minor and when Uncharted hits the ground running, it blows everything out of the water on technical terms.

Enter multiplayer and this is where the bulk of playtime will be spent. Modes from standard team versus team and deathmatch are here. Plunder (capture the treasure) and co-op modes are back with a vengeance. The online offering is much more substantial than the second offering with deeper customisation, more weapons available and in-game perk unlocks from your overall performance (similar to COD’s killstreaks).  Bigger and better, it is the biggest improvement that Uncharted 3 has on its predecessor. The sense of “this is Uncharted” is clearly prevalent throughout each match and the subtle additions make it more worthwhile.

To conclude, Uncharted is the best trilogy this generation on any console and is concluded in an suited fashion. The game has been refined since Among Thieves two years prior  to make it mechanically and graphically one of the best titles around. While most things are spot on including a addictive multiplayer experience, the single player is a hit and miss somewhat. The narrative is brilliant one chapter but falls flat another. The cast is on form one chapter but is disjointed another. The feeling of familiarity and deja vu are too common that it is detracting from the experience at hand. A shame really as the game ha so much going for it and it remains to be seen as one of the best games this generation-it could and should have been better.

10/10-A fitting finale to a superb trilogy. Will be up for awards that is just as strong as its predecessor. Hardly a bad thing considering Uncharted 2 is phenomenal and Uncharted 3 is so close to matching that. Need I say more. I can’t recommend it more.

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