Uncharted-3:-Among-Thieves---PS3-Review-(Single-Player) Uncharted 3: Among Thieves - PS3 Review (Single Player)

   31/10/2011 at 11:28       Syrok       17 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - Uncharted 3: Among Thieves, Playstation 3, Naughty Dog, Sony, Nathan Drake

I won’t tell you anything about the locations and characters of Uncharted 3 in this review. The game is such a movie-like experience that even talking about one scene is likely to lessen your amazement of the world Naughty Dog has created. In fact I'll tell you right now that watching the game is probably a better experience than playing it.

Why is that? Put simply, Uncharted 3 is still plagued by many of the same problems the previous two games had and it doesn’t stray away from the tried and tested experience of Uncharted 2. This is arguably a great thing  - if you just want more of the same.

As with the previous games gun fights are the low points of the game. It fortunate then that you won’t encounter many prolonged shootouts in the early sections of the game. Only towards the end you will find yourself cowering behind cover a lot more frequently than clambering up walls, exploring the environment and solving puzzles. 

At least in Uncharted 3, a stealthy approach is encouraged. You’ll have more opportunities to take out enemies without alerting their compadres to your presence. 

Melee combat in general has improved, mostly because there is a big triangle in the bottom right corner of your screen that tells you when to press the required button to avoid being punched in the face. You could argue that this turns every fight into a quicktime event, but in my opinion anything that gets you back to exploring faster is a good thing in these games (It may be the case that button prompts are only displayed on easy difficulty levels, mind).

Another reason why melee combat is a lot more dynamic now is that Nathan Drake will, for example, grab nearby objects to defeat enemies with one hit. Regrettably, the camera can sometimes gets in the way of your fun and requires you to manually adjust so that you foes are in view again.

Another shortcoming of Uncharted 3 is that it is very scripted. It’s often very noticeable that enemies are only triggered once you reach a specific point in a room or have walked far away enough from their spawn point. The latter sometimes leads to bewildering situations where you run around in circles to dramatic music, waiting for enemies to spawn, only to find out that you were seemingly too close to the spawn point. This doesn’t happen too often though, and most of the time all enemies you face in the game are already waiting for you when you enter a scene. 

At other times cutscenes won’t trigger until you stand in a certain position and use the look-at function (pressing up on your D-pad) even when you’ve been looking at the object that’s supposed to trigger the cutscene the whole time. This can be a little frustrating, but it’s a minor flaw much like the fact that Nathan (or other characters) sometimes tell you about things in the room that you haven’t even noticed.

Now I would love to tell you about all the fantastic set-pieces and beautiful locations that are in this game, but as I said I won’t do that. Suffice to say the game is gorgeous. It probably has the most detailed scenery I have seen in a PS3 game and some of the levels are very dynamic. In some levels it would be easy to get lost, especially when you are being chased, but Naughty Dog has come up with some very subtle and clever signposting that ensures that you can find your way around most of the time if you pay attention to the environment. Again, this would be better illustrated with examples, but you will just have to trust me on this one and experience it for yourself.

Uncharted 3 feels more varied than the previous instalments. If you think your experience has been spoiled by huge banner ads on the web, do not worry. They only show a small fraction of what awaits you in the full game.

As usual the game is interspersed with cutscenes and quips from your compadres. If you’ve played the previous games it should come as no surprise that the visual differences between cutscenes and gameplay are often minimal. This actually led to my demise one or two times because I thought I was looking at a cutscene when in actuality I was meant to press some buttons to save myself. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to you. It certainly didn’t stop me from enjoying the game.

Overall, Uncharted 3 is easily the most cinematic experience of all Uncharted games so far. As such it makes for very good spectator viewing, but even the flaws listed above don’t make it a bad game to play. No game is perfect, but if you enjoyed the previous games you might just find that this is the best game in the series. It certainly is the most spectacular! 

Our review system only allows one rating here, but I reckon you can almost give the game two ratings, one for players and one for viewers. Because of the few gameplay flaws that this game still has it gets 4 stars. However, if you are just watching it, or playing on very easy, than it fully deserves 5 stars.

Additional information: This review is based on the German version of the game (we got it a week early). The game took me 8 hours to complete. According to the in-game statistics one hour was spend standing still. Despite being so action packed, I sometimes just had to stop and look around or walk slowly through the environment. 

Lastly, I have not played the multiplayer part at all. I have not even used that silly online pass yet. So, I can’t comment on the multiplayer aspect at all. Like Uncharted 2, this game has competitive multiplayer as well as online and offline co-op.)

 

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