Heading back to the land of the uncharted, Drake's Deception looks to recreate the winning formula of its predecessors.

Naughty Dog and their leading man, Nathan Drake, are looking to charm another heist of our hearts. Easily one of the most decorated Playstation 3 series, 'Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception' ushers in another formulaic win. 'Uncharted 3' will have no problem satisfying the devotees, and gamers who haven't weathered the "Uncharted" storm, it is time to welcome the jungle.

Without question, 'Uncharted 3' is spectacular, however, its bulletproof swagger is starting show some holes. The main factor working against 'Uncharted 3' is the simple fact that other games are starting to perfect the innovations the series introduced. Sure, nobody has braved this “Tomb Raiding” formula aside from Laura, but when it comes to Drake's core, a man with a cape, trumps all. Coming off 'Assassin's Creed: Revelations' (review) and 'Batman: Arkham City' (review) might have worked against Drake because in some respects they do Drake better than Drake himself. The climbing navigation and duck n' cover shooting oddly feels clumsy and too loose to be held up as the leader in this type of action/adventure game. Even with Drake feeling a little wobbly on his feet, he doesn't fault when its comes to the clever set-pieces mixed with a skillful unwrapping narrative. While the action doesn't always satisfy on every level, the wanting to see what happens next feeling does.


The Unexpected, Expected
Looking past a few unrefined sidesteps, all the expected moments manifest with a returning selection of stand-up characters. The T.E. Lawrence influenced plot might be a little “out there,” but it works in this satire. Similar to the first two Uncharted exploits, you really don't know what to expect until you start spelunking in these worlds. Then it becomes apparent as "Drake" slips on like a cozy pair of slippers. 'Uncharted 3,' doesn't try to do anything new, it just fills the void particularly well. Additionally, 'Naughty Dog' strengthens the tale by introducing an interesting segment pulled out of Drake's past. Although being shoot at (or killed) as a kid can be a tad uncomfortable, 'Naughty Dog' shows Drake has always had his uncompromising sense of adventure, no matter how ridiculously dangerous the adventure is.

Without spoilers, Drake will visit several exotic locations (exotic for us, common for Drake) which always ends in a narrow escape, a villainous threat, and in this case, lots of spiders! Like I mentioned, the formula isn't new, but the situations are still invigorating. The level design is a clear highlight and even though these "spots" don't surpass anything created previously, the weaving path Drake follows is well crafted in comparison with other titles. The technology really deserves part of the showcase because the moving environmental factor is a big one that can turn a normal boat ride into a sea-sick adventure thrill ride. In this respect, 'Naughty Dog' is still king-of-the-hill and will be for sometime.


Lights to Fights
Graphically 'Uncharted 3' still has some of the best lighting and outdoor environments seen in gaming. However, the polish seems to be loosing some its shine. Indoor spots are easily the weakest components within the game with a weaning quality. This goes for the animation as well, like I said earlier Drake “feels clumsy” well this party because of its animation set, poor connection, and timing of animations. In what used to be the highlight of the year when it comes to free flowing combat, has dropped to the side thanks to other developers who are pushing this style of combat even further than Uncharted. Sure a few new elements have been added, like improving on environmental interaction and new effects and physics, but it seems like creating a big moment has taken over making the little ones stand out.

On the flip-side the audio component doesn't carry the same sense of deterioration. The audio is still outstanding with great chemistry returning to the actors performances. From the soundtrack to the effects, 'Uncharted 3' stays “inside the box,” but it is such a perfect box. Furthermore, the new acquisitions of Charlie Cutter (voiced by Graham McTavish) and the black-hearted, Katherine Marlowe (Rosalind Ayres) overachieve in their presence (both voice and mo-cap) which greatly helps the narrative move forward.

Online plundering we will go
For the multiplayer, 'Uncharted 3' is still a great alternative to the run-of-the-mill shooters for the Playstation 3. The co-op, or competitive multiplayer is refreshing and addictive. Although the concept of an “online pass” has been hitched on, the multiplayer component is worth checking out. Plundering treasure, free-for-all detahmatches, co-op arena survival rounds are just a snippet. All the modes are extremely entertaining with some fun features. In comparison to other action games, 'Uncharted 3' does multiplayer right without feeling like a tacked on addition.


Uncharted's third engagement into the uncharted leaves another lasting impression. Although slightly underachieving in its innovation, Drake's magnetic pull for trouble provides another memorable adventure. Playstation 3 owners, Drake is still your go to action man.

  • Clever level design
  • Excellent lighting and dynamic enviroments
  • Another interesting expedition with quick-witted writing and great characterization
  • Brilliant sound design
  • Some memorable “set-piece” moments
  • Even chalked full of surprises Uncharted 3 still feels predictable
  • Clumsy Drake, why so wobbly?
  • Combat feels unnatural-- could be tightened up
  • Graphics aren't as impressive
Quote: "Uncharted's third engagement into the uncharted leaves another lasting impression. Although slightly underachieving in its innovation, Drake's magnetic pull for trouble provides another memorable adventure."
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 12.28.11

Similar Games: AC: Revelations (8.0) | Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (9.5) | Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (9.8)


Uncharted 3
Drake's Deception


Naughty Dog


US Release
November '11



1 Players
MP 2-10
Co-Op 1-3
HD 720p
16:9 Support
3D Compatible