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.)


User Comments:

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peej - on 31/10/2011 at 11:38 wrote:
Feels a bit silly having to tag this "single player review" really, who on earth would give a fig about Uncharted's multiplayer?

Great review Sy, I wonder why you guys got the game a week early though!

Syrok - on 31/10/2011 at 12:18 wrote:
Thanks! I don't know, was supposed to be out on Wednesday. Maybe they figured that by releasing last Thursday more people would buy it since it's a holiday tomorrow and most people probably have today off as well.

peej - on 31/10/2011 at 12:22 wrote:
Wonder if it was released early because Naughty Dog did such a huge preview over in Cologne last week? Could be...Either way I think it's due out here on wednesday so hopefully Amazon will do their "guaranteed release day" thing and I'll get it wednesday morning on my day off!

Dragul - on 31/10/2011 at 13:31 wrote:
It was also released on week earlier here in Portugal!

I was going to get it day one but unfortunetly do to the crisis I'm stepping down on shopping to create some economies... :(

The game looks awesome, and the review is very good!

Peej Uncharted 2 had a really good following online, it was easy to get into a multiplayer game and it was fun to play.

peej - on 31/10/2011 at 14:12 wrote:
I think I dabbled with UC2's multiplayer but never really found anything sufficiently engaging in it. It was alright, just didn't light my fires. Single player UC2 was superb though. Pacey, full of thrills and looked gorgeous. If this is better, then I think we're in for a treat this friday.

Syrok - on 31/10/2011 at 17:13 wrote:
Co-op in UC2 was pretty good. But there weren't enough levels. I presume this will have a few more seeing as it is a separate point in the menu.

I forgot to mention this in the review, but the soundtrack is once again very good. And the theme song is still one of my favourite videogame pieces. :)

NewYork - on 31/10/2011 at 18:21 wrote:
/quicky scrolls to bottom just to see score

/sees Elena in the YT box


Syrok - on 31/10/2011 at 18:36 wrote:
Not my fault! :)

ilmaestro - on 31/10/2011 at 19:29 wrote:
4/5! That's like 8/10! Controversy!

Cool review, great to see it up before the UK release, nice work!

peej - on 01/11/2011 at 08:23 wrote:
My bad for sticking up the launch trailer in the YT box...but yeah that's exactly what I thought, NY. NOT AGAIN!

Syrok - on 01/11/2011 at 08:32 wrote:
Do not watch the trailer! It spoils most of the surprises. :/

Kay - on 01/11/2011 at 14:43 wrote:
Not played any of the Uncharted games, but was really keen to try out the second one when it came out. I thought it was going to be a genuine Indiana Jones-esque adventure with plenty of exploring exotic locations, puzzle-solving, treasure-hunting etc. Was disappointed when I watched some videos and found that it was a mostly linear game in which you were constantly interrupted by shooty bits, with areas that had to be cleared of enemies before you could move on.

Not hating on the series btw, if I do ever end up getting a PS3 it'll definitely be one of the first things that I try. It certainly seems like the most cinematic game ever from the trailers, with some stunning set-pieces. Just disappointed that it wasn't what I had imagined it to be. :/

peej - on 01/11/2011 at 14:45 wrote:
UC2 definitely had less of a shooter bias than the first game and there was more of a sense of exploration and puzzle solving than there was in the first game too. It was almost as if Naughty Dog listened to their critics and gave the game a big Tomb Raider-ey shot in the arm (Tomb Raider back when it was an interesting game about exploration and puzzle solving, not some rather lightweight 3rd person actioner). So I've high hopes this continues along the same path.

Syrok - on 01/11/2011 at 15:51 wrote:
Yeah, they have taken that criticism on board, but as I said towards the end you will find yourself shooting more again. That said, you don't have a gun at all for the first couple of chapters.
I thought the puzzle were slightly better, too.

peej - on 03/11/2011 at 08:29 wrote:
So far so good. Really nice mix of platforming, puzzles and shooting. Without spoiling, a nice bit of upstaging of the next Tomb Raider by Naughty Dog quite early on :)

Liking it though, it's like catching the latest instalment of a buddy movie series you really like.

Some properly astonishing visuals too (though I still think Naughty Dog need to get an eye expert in, the character eyes still look a bit peculiar).

Not a comment about this game but a comment in general. Is it just me that thinks Nathan Drake's a bit of a twat? A bit unlikeable?

Syrok - on 03/11/2011 at 11:50 wrote:
Just you. He is ace. All characters in this are great. :P

peej - on 03/11/2011 at 16:39 wrote:
I don't like Elena either. Sully's excellent though as is Cutter (though he seems to have a bit of a weird slip into campness from time to time)

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