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Of all the games released in 2011 the one that I was most excited for had to have been Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception! This is the third entry into Naughty Dogs phenomenal Uncharted series that follow the exploits of globetrotting everyman Nathan Drake. Essentially a modern day Indiana Jones trilogy the series follows an archaeologist who claims to be a descendant of Sir Francis Drake and is obsessed with uncovering the truth behind his ancestor's very secretive voyages.
The story to this entry delves a little deeper into Drake and Sully's past as they are reunited with an old enemy named Catherine Marlow. Part of a 400 year old ancient order Marlow is a refreshingly sophisticated villain for Drake who is obsessed with beating him to the lost city of Ubar. Both Francis Drake and T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence Of Arabia) had previously investigated the mysteries behind this long lost city before inexplicably quitting and covering up whatever information they could find. It is up to Drake to scour the globe for information on the city before Marlow can get there first and use the city's secrets for her own insidious ends.
While this may sound like a glorified Tomb Raider game it really is something special to behold. The Uncharted series pretty much sums up what Tomb Raider should have evolved into. It is a cinematic tour de force of action entertainment that draws you into the adventure in a way no other game can manage. Unlike the average cinematic computer game Uncharted is surprisingly light on cut scenes. Cut scenes; while well shot, will generally be limited to the usual post level story segments. This enables you to enjoy the coolest action concepts in all of their fully playable glory! This has been true of the series to date and yet Uncharted 3 has still managed to exceed the scale of anything you have seen before. Some highlights include a superb Casino Royal inspired free running chase through the streets of Yemen, and a fight to survive a port side ambush while a boat capsizes around you. These are just two scenes in the midst of many other quality examples that happily homage all of your favourite action movies into an engaging interactive extravaganza.
Visually the game stands out from the crowd because even though these scenes are playable they still manage to look like a big budget movie with all the trimmings. The cinematography creates an unparalleled atmosphere as the camera frames Drake's antics with all the flare of the average Michael Bay blockbuster, and yet amazingly rarely causes the player to become confused. However the biggest visual treat that adds to the atmosphere is in the animations of Drake himself. Unlike the static repetitive movements of every other gaming icon, Drake is always doing something interesting to make his world more lifelike. What starts in little things; such as the way he will swat mosquitoes while walking, quickly give way to much grander displays. I love the way Drake swings his arms around whenever he jumps long distances, and the way he will sometimes stumble while sprinting, because things like these are what add depth to his world.
Yet this entire atmosphere is just the icing that tops off an already mighty fine shoot-em-up. Like its predecessors Uncarted 3 is a 3rdperson shooter with a Gears Of war style cover system. However what separates it from its peers is in the A.I of the enemies you will encounter. Unlike a Call Of Duty or Battlefield entry you will find enemies making a concerted effort to flank your position and take you out from behind. Unfortunately if you do not stay on your toes they will often succeed. It seemed even more prevalent in this game than in the others that enemies would catch me off guard and force me out of my hiding place before I could regain any health. During these moments I admit that I was frustrated, but as a gamer I loved the extra challenge they presented.
One new feature to the gunplay is an increased focus on melee combat though. This was both a good thing and a bad thing for the game. During shootouts it significantly increased the sense of fun whenever I could uppercut a nearby soldier and steal his gun. Yet I was disappointed to find levels where the game shifted uncomfortably into a scrolling beat-em-up and the engine did not work. Imagine a stripped down Batman game where one button punches and one counters, but without the split second timing needed to succeed. Unfortunately the ease of this very forgiving counter system meant that you could usually avoid any damage and boredom could set in. Although whenever you made use of an interactive environment during a fight the results looked superb!
That in a nutshell is the game, but I really could not forgive myself if I did not tell you how amazingly it was presented. It is not just the extra little animations that make this look like a big budget blockbuster, it is the graphics to. Now two years ago Naughty Dog claimed that Uncharted 2 had maxxed out the PlayStation 3s abilities, but they must have been lying because this game blows it clean out of the water. It does not matter which level you look at because everything looks so good. There are jungle levels, ocean levels, desert levels, and even urban levels that are all treated to the same quality visuals. These are then layered with some of the best visual effects you will ever see. I could quite happily sit here and talk up the lighting, the fire effects, the water effects, or even the all new sand effects, because they all look so authentic. I could also challenge anyone to look in any direction on the desert level and not be wowed by the games draw distance. It all adds up to what genuinely is the best looking game of all time, and really heightens the feeling of authenticity the developers were aiming for.
The sound is no slouch in this department either. Naughty Dog uses a pioneering technique for these games where every voice actor records their lines together. This means that they work well off each other, getting their timing spot on, and all sound fantastic. Besides which there is another fantastic soundtrack from a Mr Greg Edmonson. There is very little in the way of filler music in the games soundtrack. Instead you have a varied musical accompaniment that mixes well with the graphics and action presentation to create an unparalleled cinematic experience.
Sadly as much as I praise the game I cannot bring myself to give it a perfect score. Uncharted 3 is just not quite as good as Uncharted 2, and is not quite good enough to take Batman's Game Of the Year crown from him. There are three problems with the game that would have been minor in any other game, but stand out amidst the rest of this superbly packaged game. Firstly we have the aforementioned brawling levels. Secondly the games story feels very fragmented. The action scenes may be superb, but the explanations that get you to them do not seem to be present, and as a result you are not always sure why you are where you are. I also felt that fan favorite side characters were underused to the point you wonder why they even bothered coming along for the ride. Thirdly the story is over too quickly to warrant the $40 price point. At just 8 hours of gameplay, the standard difficulty mode should be completed within a day or two. There is a multiplayer mode that has been included, but the single player experience is just over far too quickly.
However these three points alone should not prevent you from playing the game and enjoying every breathtaking moment. Give it a rent, enjoy yourself, and then keep an eye on the price as you will definitely want to play the game again a year or so down the line. Like the Blockbuster movies it emulates Uncharted 3 is one experience that should never grow stale.
I've had this game for less than a week now and have completed the single player story mode in under 10 hours on normal difficulty. That's been enough time to soak up the game's every moment of beauty. The game is a masterpiece, in terms of its stunning visuals and gripping plot; it's mind blowing at almost every point and turn. Uncharted 3 is a must play for all PS3 owners to truly appreciate their console's capabilities. No other game has gratified my appreciation of PS3 gaming quite like Uncharted 3.
I'm yet to play the second installment in the Uncharted series, but from my experience with the first game and this one it's apparent that Naughty Dog have nailed a perfect balance of puzzle solving and action sequences met with genuinely decent and exciting plot twists. It's a Tomb Raider formula but arguably more polished. Drake's Deception never lets up its fast pace, constantly shifting environments and intertwining surprises. To survive you have to be prepared at all times for sudden changes in direction or rapid advances and attacks from unexpected enemies. Uncharted never doesn't have you on the edge of your seat!, especially because the action runs so smoothly. The cut scenes work most effectively in action sequences and general plot development and often make the gamer take action at critical moments.
The addition of hand-to-hand combat is an enjoyable and often clever feature, accentuating action and suspense in cutscenes and other various moments, and being able to perform silent takedowns is useful for tactical and intelligent gaming (more like the likes of Assassin's Creed and Batman). Uncharted 3 has improved upon it's own creative ideas since the first game in the series and pulled upon other inspirations to create a unique blend of game play with mind blowing attention to detail. The landscapes, the characters, the sounds, they're all beautiful.
The only annoyances to bring to attention, and they're pretty minor ones, were the baddies' occasional acts of stupidity demonstrated in their fighting and that I was left wanting more. I feel there could of been just that bit more for an even greater game; like being able to backtrack and openly explore areas without the restriction of an enforced route. Room for extra exploring would be awesome.
The game ticks so many boxes, which is why I'm ready to replay in hard mode!
Ever since I bought my Playstation 3 there have been a few game series that have become must buys and one of these is the Uncharted series. Having played and completed the first two instalments, I really couldn't wait once I'd heard about the release of a third. Having finally been released in November last year, I had to wait until Christmas to get my hands on a copy, which given how keen I was to play the latest instalment, seemed like a long time. Once I did get my hands on it though it was a case of sitting in front of the PS3 for days on end to get to end of another Nathan Drake adventure.
What's Drake Up To This Time?
The game starts with a flashback to Drake's younger days, before he heads of on the first two adventures to discover some of his ancestor, Sir Frances Drakes, buried treasures. We learn some of the back story and how he came to be paired up with Sully before embarking on his latest adventure, to find a buried city in the sands, where Drake is convinced that Sir Frances had discovered and left a number of clues on how to find it. Of course Drake and Sully aren't the only ones looking for the lost city, as Katherine Marlow a face from both Drake and Sully's past appears to be hell bent on finding the City before them and enlist the help of a large number of goons to halt Drake's progression.
How Does It Compare?
Well having set quite a high precedent with the first two games, the developers Naughty Dog left themselves with a very tough job of improving the adventure of Nathan Drake. It's fair to say that they have managed to almost achieve the same high standards of the first two games; it's just that there is also a major element of the game which isn't quite as good as the previous outings. Of course in developing one side of the game I guess there were always going to be elements that were sacrificed, but first I'll look at the good aspects of the game.
Like the previous two games the developers have done wonders in creating an original and captivating storyline that keeps players hooked. It's fair to say that the plot for this game is just as god as the previous two and once again I wasn't allowed to play it unless Jen was in the room to see how the game unfolds. Of course it's fair to say that Drake gets himself into some impossible situations and with the number of bad guys running around it does make it quite challenging but the story really works and the games varying levels of difficult make it possible for all level of players to control and enjoy the adventures of Nathan Drake.
The biggest improvement from the first two games has to be in the graphics and general look of the games. The first two games had really made me realise what the PS3 was capable of but the third instalment pushes it even further. The graphics look like a movie whether you be in cut scenes or the actual in game play. This latest instalment also supports 3D play and this adds a whole new look to the style of the game. The 3D works really well and makes the game even more enjoyable to look at and play.
I did of course mention however that there was a downside and unfortunately that downside is quite a major one, at least to begin with anyway. The control side of the game really lets it down as you don't appear to have as much freedom to explore each environment with Drake and when you're on the run from the bad guys he has a tendency to jump in the wrong direction or run in a slightly different direction to how you're telling him to on your controller. The glitch itself is quite minor but it seems to happen at quite key moments of game play, which make it more annoying than anything else.
The other slight problem I had was with killing the enemies. As usual there are swarms and swarms of them, I'm sure there has to be a goon for hire shop somewhere in these games, but occasionally even when you hit them with a direct shot to the head they keep coming at you as if they hadn't even been touched. This has been a problem on all three Uncharted games, but with the added control issues mentioned above it makes it stand out a lot more. One element they have improved from the control point of view is hand to hand combat and the new system for this works really well and encourages you to take on more bad guys in fist fights, which are far more fun than hiding behind something shooting at them.
Just like the plot and graphics, I thought that the developers have done an excellent job with the sounds and music used throughout the story. The voices are all in synch with the story and the characters on screen, which really works well with the stunning graphics. The music too is well thought out and works really well with each individual scene.
Still Worth Buying?
Despite the negatives that come with this game, I think it is still one I'd highly recommend. The flaws in the controls are few and far between and whilst they are annoying when they happen, they don't detract too much from a very well put together game. The graphics are still outstanding and the story is really addictive immersing the player right back into Drake's world of adventure. The controls when they work are really simple and follow a very easy to manage method. All in all its an excellent game, although not quite up to the standard of game play as the previous two. All in all I got about 16 hours of gameplay from Drake's deception, which for the current price of £37.25 is quite good value.
If you do buy one action adventure game this year then I'd seriously recommend that you buy Uncharted 3, however if you are yet to experience the Uncharted series then you'd also be advised to stretch to the first and second instalment as well.
Other Platforms: PS3 exclusive
Age - 15 plus
It's important to note that the game does have online enabled content, however I'm not big on Online gameplay and instead am writing this review based on the game itself, not the online aspects.
I have never been a huge PS3 gamer. However, Uncharted 3 got me completely addicted to the console. The game puts you into the shoes of Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter. While it is the third game in the series, you don't really have to have played the first two games in order to enjoy this fantastic game.
First of all, the graphics in the game are absolutely amazing. The animation is smooth in both the cutscenes and the actual gameplay itself. I loved all the small touches during the game that just added to the experience and managed to keep you in the moment, such as Drake swatting flies away whilst walking through the streets of Yemen. The music that is used in the game is also expertly done, matching the mood of the gaming perfectly. The combination of all these things gives it more of an appearence of a movie than a video game.
The plot of the game is also extremely well done. You will find yourself beginning to feel emotion for characters very quickly, and this is something that will carry all the way through the game. While most games struggle to show real emotion with their characters, Uncharted's characters rival that of a film, as you can truly tell when one of the characters is angry or hurt, and you will even be able to pick up on subtle undertones through the way the characters speak. Very often in the game I felt genuine hatred towards the games main villains, and relished the opportunity to finally get my hands on them.
The gameplay is fantastic, as are the environments. Each area of the game looks fantastic, and most of it can be interacted with, mostly for searching for hidden treasure. There are even points in the game, for example when you are on the ship, where the environment actually reacts to what is going. For example, on the ship there are very often big waves which will rock the ship, when this happens things will actually move around, something which a lot of other games will forget to include.
The game consists of a combination of third person shooter and puzzle gaming. The puzzle solving side of the game is almost flawless. On quite a few occasions you will be put up against a puzzle which must be solved, and will actually require you to think in order for the puzzle to be solved. Even when you have an idea of what you have to do, there is still a bit of extra work to be done before the puzzle is solved. The shooting side of the game, while good, is not as polished. The aiming system in Uncharted 3 is not the best, and I found that I would often waste quite a lot of bullets trying to shoot enemies because I could not easily aim onto the person I was trying to shoot. However, that is my only complaint with the shooting side of the game, as there is a good variety of different weapons, the covering system works very well, and the inclusion of being able to shoot whilst climbing was very welcome.
There were only a couple of things I disliked with the game. The first one, whilst slightly petty, is the inconsistency of how far Drake can fall without dying. Early on in the game I was trying to make my way into a warehouse, and decided to just drop straight down. While it only look like a small drop, whenever I attempted this I would die. However, later on the game, Drake was able to drop great distances and then would be able to get up completely unharmed. The second problem I had with the game was the camera angles. While the camera angles would sometimes work extremely well, especially during scenes where Drake was having to run away, there were other times when I would have the camera just move on me, meaning that I would often have problems. The random change in camera angle would mean that there were times when I would no longer be able to see an enemy, meaning he was able to sneak up and kill me, and even points where the camera would move whilst I was trying to make my way across an area, which would result in me missing a platform, dying, and having to start the section all over again.
Overall, I would say that the game is fantastic. The combination of great graphics, amazing character again and great gameplay means that it is a must have for any PS3 owner, and is the type of game that should tempt any non PS3 owner to buy a system just to play it.
The uncharted series has always been about the amazing graphics, huge set pieces and generally movie like effects with the difference being your playing the hero. I though after uncharted 2 it was going to be difficult to beat but it has done it. Uncharted 3 has far exceeded it. The game which has always looked good now looks even better. It's not so much the engine it works on now it's finding new environments that use all of the engines capability and the game certainly does that.
The gameplay is smooth and flows easily enough whilst also adding in some animation so drake jumps and trips over things like a person would in real life. The gameplay is no different from the other uncharted games accept that drake has been made to react a little better to his environment and you can tell while playing game that every detail has been thought over.
Another huge part of the uncharted games are the story lines which consist mostly of Indiana jones style climbing and puzzle solving weaves in with a bit of max Payne style shoot outs. Every chapter has another surprise weather it's a twist in the story or a huge set piece. As always the narrative and cut scenes are of the highest quality.
The only thing i can find that is wrong with this game is that midway through the story you do sort of feel you are killing time doing puzzles and fighting more enemies while waiting for the story to continue but none the less all parts of the story are fun.
Graphics: You may have heard about Uncharted 3's graphics being amongst the best seen so far and it's true. They may only look above average when inside a room, crouched behind a crate with a pistol, but when you see the set pieces: hanging 80ft in the air off of a broken mast or escaping collapsing ruins, you see some of the most impressive visuals of all time.
Although the environments and textures themselves still have a slightly old-school video game-ish look, the interactions with them (climbing, or grabbing an enemy and slamming his face into a door frame) look incredibly mastered and the game purposefully aims to make the player feel like their playing a film, not a game. A few times near the start, in a fight in an archetype London pub I waited for Drake to move automatically, thinking a cut scene had begun to play. Shooting dynamics are still fairly average, with little impact being made on the environment during gun battles. However, that's not what Uncharted is about and it show's you itself at its best in mythological, ancient civilisations, character facial/body movements and adrenaline-fuelled set pieces.
Gameplay: A strong mix of adventure, stealth and action with even the puzzles being less tedious this time. The fighting mechanics have also been enhanced, not to Arkham City standards, but with enough varsity to keep things interesting, like pulling a grenade pin out of an enemies' belt before kicking them away. Fun. The shooting is pretty much indistinguishable from Uncharted 2, but the environments are all so different you can play it in quite a different way. Hanging off a pirate ship, for example. Apart from an odd glitch where Drake insists on reaching up again and again for hours rather than jumping to a ledge, the free-running and acrobatics is the best in any game released yet.
Among the new locations are an airport, a Renaissance castle, a series of pirate boats and a ghost town in the middle of the desert. These are all much more interesting then they sound, and level design has always been one of the strongest points of the Uncharted series. Subtle movements make the game immersed in reality, the way Drake skids if he stops running, how he pushes off a wall if he runs near it, how he begins to see in monochrome when shot with a rifle in the head. Very realistic. Multiplayer manages to capture most of the essence of the campaign: the climbing is just as impressive and you feel a lot better leaping up like a alligator and pulling a multiplayer enemy of a ledge to the water below, then you would to a NPC. All in all, fantastic set pieces, great interactive environments and the occasional puzzle that's actually fun.
Story: Continued from the last Uncharted story, Drake inevitably finds himself looking for an extremely rare artefact and the same time as a ruthless, theatrical villain. This time it's the ring of Sir Drake, and Katherine Marlowe respectively (who isn't as fun as Lazarevic). Genuinely likeable characters such as Sully and Chloe return. The plot seems like the best adventure films you saw as a kid, and has the same driven feel which makes you want to finish the game and conclude the story. Maybe less action-packed than UC2, in these games the plot and dialogue is obviously paid close attention.
Sound: Voice acting, in the majority of the game, is above par. Although a few repetitive bangs and crashes are overused, the sounds add to the exciting, layered and hectic feel to the game. Noises such as grenades bleeping can get a little frustrating in long areas or hard ones, where you need to associate hearing certain noises with a cycle of failure. Still, the less used noises such as swaying boats and busy streets add another layer of realism.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is the third game (if the 3 didn't already give that away) in the Uncharted series by Naughty Dog. Once again you play as Nathan Drake. If you've played either of the games in the Uncharted series you'll find it easy to jump in and start playing this. For anyone that hasn't played them, it might be an idea to read up on the story for one and two first as the story is very important in the game. The controls are pretty easy to get used to and the game does show you what to press whenever you have to do something new so you can just pick it up and start playing.
Once again there is a very impressive storyline, although it makes much more sense if you've played through the first two games, or at least the first one. Uncharted 3 is set after Uncharted 2, but goes back in time to when Drake was much younger and you see how he and Sully first met. You even get to play as young Drake which really helps you understand the character and see how he ended up where he is today.
This time Drake is searching for "Atlantis of the Sands" which leads him on a dangerous journey to the Arabian Desert, but as always nothing is simple. Not only do they have puzzles to solve, but Drake and his friends aren't the only one searching. Katherine Marlow is also on the search and there are men everywhere, following the group and attempting to kill them.
Nathan "Nate" Drake voiced by Nolan North. Drake is the main character in the game and the one you control. Drake claims he is a descendant of Sir Francis Drake. He has a habit of finding himself in trouble and even though he realises how serious it is he tends to make jokes about the situation. He refuses to give up, even if it means risking his own life, and he's always thinking ahead although the unpredictable events lead him to situations he wasn't expecting.
Elena Fisher is voiced by Emily Rose. Elena is a journalist who is filming Drake's quest for a documentary. She's tougher than she looks and doesn't give up easily, but she's not so keen on killing people or risking her life.
Victor "Sully" Sullivan is voiced by Richard McGonagle. He is Drake's friend and you see how they first met in Uncharted 3. Sully taught Drake how to survive and is always there to save him when needed. Despite this, he tends to take orders rather than give them. He often comments on his age and says he is too old for such adventures, but the truth is he will follow Drake anywhere and fight by his side.
Chloe Frazer is voiced by Claudia Black. Chloe likes adventure. She is a strong character and seems to have no problems with shooting the bad guys, but she does have a soft side. She clearly cares for Drake, but remains as just friends with him when she realises he loves Elena.
Charlie Cutter is voiced by Graham McTavish. Charlie appears at first to be working for the enemy, Katherine "Kate" Marlowe, and doesn't seem to be too smart as he shoots both Drake and Sully which wasn't part of the plan. However, it's soon shown that not only is he working with Drake and Sully, but he has known them for many years and perhaps is smarter than he looks.
There are three options from the main menu; campaign, online and split screen. The campaign is the single player story mode, online allows you to play various games against people around the world and split screen allows you to play through a different story offline with someone.
Before starting the campaign you can choose what difficulty to play it on. You can go for very easy, easy, normal or hard and, if you complete the game, you unlock crushing.
Uncharted is a mixture of shooting, fighting, free-running and puzzles. While both Uncharted 1 and 2 were the same I think they are more equally split this time. The first two felt like they were mostly about the fighting and even though this does have a lot of fighting it somehow doesn't seem to be more about fighting than the free-running and puzzles, but perhaps that's partly due to the fact you use more hand-to-hand combat rather than just shooting.
Hand-to-hand combat is more enjoyable in this, although having said that I prefer it when I have a choice of that or shooting rather than when I'm forced to just use hand-to-hand combat.
There are times when you have no weapons and a number of bad guys to fight. During these scenes it often tells you which button to press, the idea being to help you avoid being hit. I tend to find I actually get hit more. I don't know whether it's just because you always seem to have to hit the button really fast or whether I'm just focusing more on waiting for it to show the button rather than watching for when someone is about to hit me, but which ever it is no matter how quick I press the button I usually end up being hit anyway.
Despite there being a number of guys surrounding you, you only fight one at a time. Some will go to hit you the second you knock one person down while others seem to wait for you to go and fight them. There are times when you'll hit one person then have to turn to hit another before turning back or even hitting a third person first, which can cause you to get hit in the split second it takes you to turn around. On one hand, it does make it more realistic, but on the other it can be annoying as you don't always have chance to defend yourself and one hit can lead to other hits (and of course death) if you're not quick enough.
As I said, there is a lot of fighting and with that comes a lot of weapons. Drake can carry two guns (a handgun and a rifle) and grenades. You'll probably find two guns you prefer, but sometimes certain guns are more helpful or there are only certain ones lying around to pick up. For handguns you get weapons such as the Raffica Pistol and Para 9. For rifles you get weapons such as the AK-47, M9 and Dragon Sniper. There is some ammo lying around, but most will be from people you have killed. Even though I've attacked with hand-to-hand combat quite a bit I've still found myself with no ammo a number of times and it's often been at the worst possible time.
I also found once that after dying all the guys I'd killed previously had vanished, leaving me with no ammo lying around like it was before I'd died. Luckily this isn't a common thing and you normally find yourself back at the start or at a point where you at least have a chance of winning. Facing people with guns and riot shields when you have no ammo is certainly something to avoid if you can help it.
Of course it wouldn't be Uncharted without the free-running. This is made as realistic as possible as Drake only just makes long jumps and finds himself climbing unsafe pipes and ladders which can sometimes come away from the wall. Most of the time it's clear where you need to go and not really much of a challenge, but there are occasions where you will see a treasure nearby and these can be more challenging to reach. Finding these also makes the game more interesting.
There appear to be more puzzles than in the previous two, but none of them are complicated and after so long it offers to give you the solution if you are really stuck. The puzzles are logical and usually it's not too difficult to figure out what needs to be done, but sometimes actually doing it can be challenging and, at times, frustrating. On one puzzle you have to spin statues around and I'm sure they were all in the right order at one point yet nothing happened. After spending ages moving them around I gave up and got the answer from Drake's journal. After slightly moving a couple of statues I waited and it did continue with the story, although not instantly so perhaps it was a glitch or perhaps I just didn't leave it for long enough, but either way it kind of took the enjoyment out of working out the puzzle.
As with previous Uncharted games, there is no health bar, but it's easy to tell when you are injured as you see red flash around the edges of the screen when you are hit and then all the colour in the game starts draining away, giving the impression you're about to pass out. To get the colour back again you just have to avoid being hit for a certain length of time, which is sometimes easier said than done when you have people shooting at you from various angles, throwing grenades or shooting down the wall you're behind (though luckily not all walls will break down). Health bars can be very useful as they give a more exact idea of how much health you have, but if you keep glancing at it it can distract you where as this way you don't have to focus your attention anywhere else.
During certain chapters you have to walk or run around. Some are chases, either where you are escaping or where you are trying to catch someone, and these are well done and add to the gameplay. There is one chapter though where you have to walk around a town and it is quite boring and unnecessary. I'm sure they could have made it a shorter walk to save wasting time. In another part Drake is walking/running through the town after being drugged by the enemy and out of the whole game I'd say this was the worst part in my opinion. It showed things from Drake's point of view and in a way it's a clever idea, but with everything being blurry and getting brighter as you went through the streets it just gave me a headache. On top of that it was far too long - I didn't think it was ever going to end! It was obvious he'd been drugged so a slight blur and running off down one street would have been enough in my opinion.
Online has plenty of options for playing against people around the world. Annoyingly Uncharted requires an online pass which only comes with new games. You can also buy this pass through the Playstation Store, but either way you are having to buy new (which is likely to be more expensive) or pay out extra on top of buying the game used if you wish to go online. As much as I hate this feature and find it unfair, it is worth buying the pass as online has many different online games.
Once online you have an online profile. This shows the character you have, which you can customise. There are other characters and items of clothing that can be unlocked as you level up and you can then purchase these with the money you earn through each game you play.
You can also buy weapons, boosters and kickbacks that you can use during the game and these too can be unlocked by levelling up. The boosters can be bought using money and the kickbacks are bought using medals that you earn during the games for doing various things. Boosters and kickbacks give you things that you wouldn't normally have such as throwing 3 grenades at one time, respawn faster after dying or move faster while aiming. Some are more useful to others, but overall it makes the game more interesting as you can gain an advantage. If you don't want to use them you don't have to and if you want a game where it is all based on your skill then you can play the hardcore mode.
You also have the option of buying one paid booster before a game, but these only last for one game so they're good if you have a bit of extra cash, but probably not something you'll purchase for every game.
The online modes are:
* Team deathmatch - A fight to the end with team mates at your side.
* Plunder - Bring the idol back to your base.
* Team objective - Complete the objective before your enemies, best of 5 rounds wins.
* Three team deathmatch - Grab a buddy and take on two other teams.
* Free for all - You fight alone and the victory is all yours.
* Hardcore - No boosters. No medal kickbacks. No mods. Just your skill and more health.
* Co-op Arena - Survive the waves of soldiers.
* Co-op Hunter arena - You and your friends against the world...and other people!
* Co-op Adventure - Story-based co-op missions with 2-3 players.
Loading times and finding other players, especially for certain games, can take a little while and a couple of times I have given up waiting for it to find other players, but I don't think it's really any worse than any other online game and it probably varies depending on the time you are online. However, once playing I haven't noticed any lag or other problems.
While I like being able to play 1 player or online I always like to have the option of offline multiplayer as well, especially for ps3 exclusive games considering most of my friends don't have a PS3 to be able to play online. So it's nice to see that Uncharted has a split screen option for offline multiplayer.
In split screen you play through a chapter and fight together against the enemy. The screen is, of course, split into two with player one looking at the top of the screen and player two looking at the bottom. The gameplay and everything else about the game are the same as the single player campaign, except you have someone else playing beside you.
The only thing I didn't like about the split screen is the fact that at the side it shows the emblem you're using and personally I'd prefer to just see more of the game I'm playing rather than what emblems we both have. After all, it's better to get through the chapter and be able to talk about the times you nearly died or the amazing shot you managed to make than to say "well, we died and never finished the chapter because we couldn't quite see everything that was happening, but hey, at least we have great emblems." I don't get why they are so big and you have no option to turn them off as they don't do anything. i'd rather be able to see a wider shot of the game. It would also be nice if you had the option of the screen being split the other way.
The same voices were used for characters as the previous games and they fit the characters perfectly. The voice acting is great during both video sequences and gameplay.
The sound effects of things such as guns and water are realistic and really add to the game. When you are about to die you can hear a heartbeat and heavy breathing that speeds up as you get closer to death, which works really well with the colour draining.
The instruments used for the game are different to what would normally be used in games, giving the Uncharted series a unique soundtrack that works perfectly with the game.
The music also changes depending on the situation. For example, when a fight is coming the music changes so you can be prepared to fight and once the fight is over it changes again so you know you are safe to continue. This may seem like a bit of a cheat, but when you're playing the game it's more of a subtle hint because you're focused on what to do and where to go rather than listening out for the music. If you do notice it though you make sure you're ready to fight and sometimes just that slight change in music can stop you being killed and having to restart the scene.
The uncharted games have always had amazing graphics and everything has always looked rather realistic so it's no surprise that Uncharted 3 looks fantastic. No matter what you look at every single thing has an unbelievable amount of detail.
Motion capture is used to make sure all the characters move realistically and it shows. Whether it's the way they walk or run or the small details in their facial expressions, it's clear they put a lot of work into making everything look right.
I do think the graphics have improved since the last game, especially with the characters. However, I have noticed a few glitches where the characters haven't moved smoothly. I think this has mostly been when it has gone from a video sequence to gameplay and the console is working hard to combine the two and continue the scene. The great thing about the game is that the characters speak and react to things during gameplay and any other characters in the scene continue as they did in the video sequence. It is because of that that I would expect the odd glitch at times with the graphics.
You can view bonus videos which include things like behind the scenes and the making of certain features. It also has a lot of concept art, which is really interesting to look through. You can see how the characters were developed and how they were originally designed as well as seeing the art work for various scenes. From the videos and art work you can see the amount of time and detail that has gone into making the game.
Another amazing game by Naughty Dog. Uncharted 3 has lived up to the expectations. I'd give the story and audio 5/5. But the reason for only giving the game 4/5 overall instead of 5/5 is simply due to the gameplay, especially that one scene when Drake was drugged that seemed to go on forever. However, I would recommend this game for the single player campaign and if you like playing multiplayer too then it's definitely worth buying.