Naughty Dog – SCEE – PS3 – Out Now
There’s been much anticipation surrounding Nathan Drake’s latest adventure, as his last outing in Among Thieves, was near perfect cinematic action gaming and quite possibly the finest exclusive PS3 title to date. So already, Naughty Dog had a lot to live up to, but is the adventurer’s latest game going to be Drake’s finest moment?
As soon as the game starts you know you’re in for a fun time. The action kicks off with Nate and his long-time side-kick, Sully in London, meeting up with rival archaeologist Talbot, to exchange the ring of Sir Francis Drake for a vast sum of money. After the deal turns sour a fight ensues, climaxing with Nate and Sully being left for dead. This triggers a flashback to when Nate was a youngster and first acquired Sir Francis’ ring. This is also the event that leads Nate and Sully to become form the partnership we see today.
Everything you’d come to expect from an Uncharted game is present and accounted for, from the awe inspiring action set pieces, to the cinematic gameplay, it’s all back in abundance. Nate’s globe trotting sees him thrown in to all sorts of situations. There are several set pieces that really stand out, such as the very clichéd, but always exciting, jumping onto the landing gear of a moving plane, an amazing mid-air fight in said plane, and a Raiders of the Lost Ark-esque truck chase, all make up some of the games defining moments.
Another of Uncharted 3’s greatest features is the environment itself. Be it the back streets of inner cityLondon, a humongous ocean cruise liner or the vast Arabian dessert, the level of detail in the game is nothing short of breathtaking. I have already mentioned Raiders, but much like the other games, there are many elements that pay homage to Indiana Jones. Horseback chases, knight’s tombs and Drake himself is not too different from the weathered archaeologist. As gushing as this all may seem, the game is not without its flaws.
The gun fights, while at first rather fun and thrilling, eventually turn into a chore. The cover system is decent enough and there’s an arsenal of weapons at your disposal, but a lot of the gun play feels sectioned off into arena battles, and after the umpteenth time it does become a bug bear. And that’s without starting on the erratic difficulty levels. When engaged in combat, it can range from a walk in the park to down right frustrating, getting killed many, many times before progressing to the next level. But we’d only complain if it was too easy, right?
The gunplay aside, it’s tremendous that Naughty Dog have delivered the goods, yet again, with Uncharted, and makes for an adventure worthy of its big screen inspirations. The cinematic feel is captured perfectly and proves why this series is probably the best exclusive Playstation title in many years. And speaking of the big screen, all seems to have gone quiet on the movie adaptation of Uncharted, which is by no means a bad thing. It doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor in terms of engaging action, but it’s still up there with the best of them.