Having reached the climax of my uncharted playthrough, I feel almost triumphant and very much glad I fought through this series. The reason why? Uncharted 3 is the most fun I’ve had with the entire series.
Uncharted 3 does everything right; gameplay and storywriting.
One reason for this might be why however: I played the game on the second easiest difficulty. The game’s difficulty just doesn’t make the game fun. Extremely aggressive AI and an endless flurry of grenades isn’t fun. Playing the game on an easier difficulty removed this unnecessary challenge almost completely for me, and made playing the game much more enjoyable.
Even then, shooting has never been the series’ strongest point. Uncharted 3 shows that the series still has many problems with its shooting mechanics, but it hides them much better than the previous titles.
The game makes up for its problems with its guns by providing the right weapons for the correct time in the game. The game often takes away the weapons you’ve picked up to make sure you don’t stick with your favorite guns, then get stuck in a sniper battle with a shotgun.
Most of the weapons still have piss-poor accuracy but the weapons’ kick seems to be more natural, instead of feeling like the reticule was shooting up. This makes gunfights flow a little better, especially since you scope in with several guns.
The weapons are still pretty poor overall, but Naughty Dog works around this issue to prevent frustrating gun fights you can’t win.
Uncharted 3 has the best story of the trilogy. Uncharted 2 made most characters unlikable, namely Chloe who just seemed like some girl that Drake banged, and made Drake spend most of the game trying to get a booty call only to get rejected over and over by her. Even her last line in the second game was “don’t lie, you’re gonna miss this ass”. This detracted from the story by focusing Drake on a crappy love interest instead of his adventure.
Chloe’s character in Uncharted 3 is much less annoying, and actually contributes to the story instead of acting like a distraction.
The new character called Charlie Cutter acts as a parallel to Drake, and is actually my favorite character in the series. Graham McTavish did a great job capturing Cutter’s character by mimicking Drake’s behavior almost perfectly, without making him seem like a snobbish Brit.
Every one of the game’s re-occurring characters are in Uncharted 3, and compared to previous titles, they all fit into the story without distracting the player from the main goal.
While there is a little less platforming compared to previous titles, Uncharted 3 has some of the series best platforming. Rather than having obvious brightly covered handholds on every wall that don’t make aesthetic or architectural sense, the game makes clever use of its assets by making them handholds.
Very early in the game, you infiltrate the villain’s secret lair in a hidden section of the London underground sub system. In this lair is a library with artifacts, tapestries, and ornamental pieces hung on the walls. Instead of oddly placed, garish handholds being spread all over the room’s walls, the decorations act as pieces for Drake to climb on.
Despite this there are still plenty of sections which don’t look natural and seem like giant signs saying “CLIMB THIS PART RIGHT HERE”.
The flow of platforming is also a lot smoother. I’m unsure if having taken a break from Uncharted before I started the third entry is the reason for this, but platforming just feels less janky. In uncharted 2, platforming was fun but it always felt like a hassle because Drake’s movement felt slow and unnatural. I never had that feeling in Uncharted 3.
While Uncharted 3 still shows the underlying problems of the Uncharted series, Naughty Dog has brilliantly learned how to hide these issues and prevent them from ruining the player’s experience.
As a whole Uncharted 3 is the best Uncharted game and should be heralded as such, instead of Uncharted 2 which was sub-par at best.
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