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Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Platform: PlayStation 3
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.
Developer: Naughty Dog, Inc.
Style(s): Action Adventure
Synopsis: Developer Naughty Dog's critically acclaimed Uncharted series returns to PlayStation 3 with Drake's Deception. As globetrotting adventurer Nathan Drake, you must embark on a trip to the mysterious Arabian Desert on a mission to find the legendary "Atlantis of the Sands," otherwise known as the lost city of Ubar. Joined by his mentor, Victor Sullivan, Drake soon discovers that he is in a dangerous race against a covert organization immersed in the occult. For the first time in the Uncharted series, Drake's Deception will offer stereoscopic support for 3D televisions. Promising larger set pieces than those in the two previous games, Uncharted 3 will once again rely on a cinematic presentation that blends Hollywood-style storytelling with dramatic action sequences and special effects that utilize sand, water, smoke, and fire. In addition to his proficiency in ranged combat, Drake can now disable his opponents in other ways. New hand-to-hand combat moves let him take out multiple enemies at once, for example, or Drake can use stealth along with context-specific melee attacks. Both cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes are supported, with the developers integrating more single-player elements into the online game for a new experience. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Package Contents: Starhawk Multiplayer Public Beta Code
Branding issues notwithstanding, it seems perhaps a misnomer to include "Uncharted" in the title of treasure hunter Nathan Drake's latest set of adventures, as Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception offers gamers little they haven't already seen in the Indiana Jones and National Treasure film franchises, or done in the first two Uncharted titles. However, Uncharted 3 more than makes up for any lack of originality by offering players a remarkably polished and enjoyable experience that demands to be completed in as few sittings as possible. The game begins with players once again taking control of the handsomely street-smart Nathan Drake as he and his grizzled mentor Victor "Sully" Sullivan are attempting to sell Sir Francis Drake's ring for cash. The deal quickly turns sour however, providing developer Naughty Dog a perfect opportunity to showcase gratifying new melee combat mechanics, and introducing the two main antagonists in the game: the cold and manipulative Katherine Marlowe, and her right-hand man Talbot. The story soon finds Drake exploring long-abandoned underground ruins in London, visiting ancient castles in France and Syria, battling pirates off the coast of Yemen, and eventually stumbling through the Arabian peninsula's unforgiving Rub' al Khali desert in search of the famed lost city of Ubar. In addition to Sully, former love interests Chloe Frazer and Elena Fisher make cut-scene appearances and periodically offer armed companionship, as does new addition Charlie Cutter, a British adventurer with a shaved head and a fear of enclosed spaces. Gamers are also treated to an early flashback set in Colombia, where they get to play as a 14-year-old Drake, watch as he meets Sully for the first time, and learn the sad story of how he came to be an orphan. Later in the game there are insinuations about romantic entanglements and questions about a character's true identity, but for the most part Uncharted 3 eschews any real character development in favor of keeping the in-game action central to the experience. And the action does stand out, offering a mix of mild puzzle solving, parkour-like platforming, melee battles, frantic escape sequences, and intense firefights. Two of the game's set pieces are particularly noteworthy for their intensity and spectacle. The first takes place in a floating boat graveyard in which players must clamber over, around, and under ships in an elaborate game of "king of the hill" in which each vessel is festooned with a variety of high-powered weapons. Staged like a multiplayer experience, gamers have a remarkable number of options, and are likely to die in a remarkable number of ways. The second notable scene is the most spectacular of more than a dozen near-death experiences for Drake, as he battles for survival during a plane crash, culminating in perhaps one of the most memorable scenes in recent gaming history. The frequent brushes with death do come off as a bit of a stretch, but then realism has never been a huge hallmark of the series. In this entry, Drake once again showcases the climbing skills and body control of an Olympic gymnast, massive hordes of spiders swarm the characters for no apparent reason, and a remarkable number of well-dressed henchmen continue to doggedly attack Drake even as the world is literally crumbling around them. But while the first two Uncharted titles made somewhat disappointing and extended forays into the world of the supernatural, Drake's Deception deserves credit for only flirting with otherworldly subject matter, and even then it provides a plausible explanation. Much like the fantastic single-player campaign, Uncharted 3's multiplayer options are far from groundbreaking, but they offer an extremely polished experience that adds a great deal of value to the overall package. Players earn experience points as they team up or compete on a variety of maps, gaining new ranks, and unlocking new outfits, perks, weapons, and loadouts along the way. All the traditional modes are available, including "Deathmatch," "Team Deathmatch," "Free for All," and the capture-the-flag-like "Plunder" mode, and up to three gamers can join forces in the five-chapter, story-driven "Co-op Adventure" mode. The story itself is quite thin, but the co-op gameplay provides a rewarding challenge, and the "Co-op Arena," and "Co-op Hunter Arena" modes offer more choices for fans of teamwork. With a compelling and enjoyable single-player component and a competent suite of multiplayer options, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception offers players a terrific value, and it stands as not only one of the best games of 2011, but also one of the finest games for the PlayStation 3. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.