Graphics:
10.0
Gameplay:
10.0
Sound:
10.0
Control:
9.5
Replay Value:
10.0
Online Gameplay:
9.5
Overall Rating:
10.0
Publisher:
SCEA
Developer:
Naughty Dog
Number Of Players:
1-12
Genre:
Action


When I created PSX Extreme alongside my brother 12 years ago, the last thing I imagined was that I'd have something called a Blu-ray disc spinning inside a PlayStation 3, displaying an image that would absolutely surpass the CG sequences I was used to from the likes of Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, Chrono Cross, Legend of Dragoon, and so forth. What action-adventure shooters like Uncharted and Gears of War are for the industry today, is what the above RPGs were for a generation of gamers yesterday. And while many of us have vilified this genre for dumbing gaming down, and with good reason, games like Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is a core example of what being the very finest exception to a rule is all about.

And it really is the finest exception. While I couldn't have imagined playing something like Uncharted 3 back in 1999, I bet few even imagined playing something like this 5 years ago when the PlayStation 3 debuted. Sure, the original game was superb when it launched, but we didn't think Naughty Dog would make such massive strides with its sequel. And that very same sequel left the inevitable Uncharted 3 with some massive loafers to fill. Not only does Uncharted 3 fill the footwear, but its footprint is sasquatch-esque in size, tearing the very seams of the shoe it's attempting to fill. Playing Uncharted 3 left me with simply one thought: 'how do they do it'? "They" being Naughty Dog, of course.

The moment you boot the game up, you're taken for a ride. You're thrown into a really tense bar scene that quickly escalates into a huge brawl and you're familiarized with the polished and honed fighting mechanics of the game. Where as in Uncharted 2 there was a bit of clunkiness to the hand-to-hand combat, Uncharted 3 deals away with nearly all of that. The next thing you know you're running around pounding everyone in sight, throwin' a bunch of bloody wankers to the floor, beating them until they can no longer stand…and when you're done a cutscene unfolds, the end of which leaves your jaw on the floor and your mind racing at every possible outcome of this "what now?" situation. This is really clever Hollywood-class writing here, folks. To flesh out the characters and to calm you down following the cutscene will be your second chapter, a prequel of sorts…the story of Drake meeting Sully. It's like Harry meeting Sally, without the awkward moaning and with a lot of roof jumping through a lush Columbian backdrop. This is quality stuff, believe me.

Within the first 30 minutes of the game, Uncharted 3 has sunk its teeth into you, and I dare anyone to admit you didn't fight yourself to put the game down. The shooting mechanics have remained largely the same, though collision detection is now flawless as every well aimed bullet will connect and either kill or wound your opponent. Climbing and general control quirks have also been ironed out, which makes the game play even smoother than the last, though I do think things such as jumping over obstacles and certain leaps of faith could've been handled better. But if you happen to fail, the game stores plenty of checkpoints throughout every chapter and chances are you won't have to repeat anymore than 30-60 seconds of gameplay to correct your mistake.

A.I. continues to be one of the finest aspects of the game, ranging from absolutely moronic to tactile and organized. Depending on the difficulty you set your game to also has an affect on the brains of your support – so if you're playing on the easier settings and witness Sully not doing anything about enemies who sneak up behind you, well don't say I didn't warn you. At the very least, play this on the standard difficulty – it's fairly well balanced that way.

Though, as is always the case with this franchise, it's the story and its characters that really grab you. The level of interaction between everyone is simply unparalleled; there's just no other gaming experience that is within miles of what Uncharted 3 offers to the gamer on a scale of immersion. Uncharted 2 was epic in its presentation, and yet somehow Uncharted 3 is able to expand on that. The scenarios are more tense. The writing keeps you on the edge of your seat. The action will have you gasping for air with every leap of faith or wondrous moment. The simple joy you experience completing these epic moments is unlike any feeling you've ever felt in a game. And while I'm aware of how vague I'm being with my descriptions, there's just so much amazement to see in Uncharted 3 that giving even the slightest bit of detail would feel like I'm spoiling something special.

And that's what makes Uncharted 3 so unique, it's how special the game feels; you are part of this interactive journey, you are part of these characters, you want the good guys to succeed not because you want to win, but because you're convinced this character on your screen has a real-life personality. You're convinced that they're real, and you know that you are the key to their success…and it is brilliant feeling. The level of satisfaction one gets from completing some absurd escape is all too high. Though, I must say if I did have one complaint about the game, it's that some of the escapes can feel a little drawn out and farfetched. Though blame it on the game's absolutely flawless execution, because it does such a remarkable job at conveying this sense of realism, that you almost can't forgive it for being just a "videogame". Because Uncharted 3 feels, plays, and looks so life-like, some of the crazy escapes occasionally get to you because of how implausible they can be, all because you've let go of the fact that this is still a videogame at the end of the day. Again, it's one of those scratches that doesn't really scratch the surface…the double-edged sword, if you get what I mean.

Multiplayer was introduced with Uncharted 2, and it returns for Uncharted 3 with enhancements, additions, and fixes. Much of what you loved about last year's game returns, including co-op. While it's early to tell just how fulfilling the multiplayer experience is, I can tell you that it is robust. A number of you have already played the multiplayer beta, which boasted weapon enhancement, rankings, medals, boosters, and so forth. Modes such as Free For All (Deathmatch), Team Deathmatch, Team Objective, Plunder, Hardcore, Co-Op Hunter, Co-Op Arena, and Co-Op Adventure round out the list of available multiplayer modes. We've seen what a great job Naughty Dog did with the last game's multiplayer, and we've witnessed how great Uncharted 3's multiplayer efforts turned out, as well. Granted, because there is virtually no one playing the game online right now aside from us press folk with special access invites, we can't truly gauge the multiplayer because we don't know what its core audience and infrastructure will turn the experience into. Still what we do know is that the game boasts a feature rich and wholly enjoyable multiplayer experience and that the beta was a solid indicator of said audience and infrastructure (matchmaking, woo!). Still, Ben will be providing his own review which will include additional multiplayer details once the game launches worldwide for all.

To wrap things up, I think goes without saying that Uncharted 3 will go down as the best looking game of this generation by a long, blistering, and freezing Antarctic mile. Apart from another Naughty Dog title, I don't see anything getting close. I don't have to spell it out for you, you've seen the HD footage and the high-resolution screens. You've seen the glistening screens that show off those gorgeous landscapes, the textures on the wall, ground, objects and characters, the flawless animation, the surreal lighting, the lack of a jagged edge on the screen, the solid framerate, and those stunning cinematic cutscenes.

So with visuals that clean and practically perfect, it only makes sense the audio matches. As is par for course, Uncharted 3 delivers a deck of aces for the audio. The same way the graphics accomplish everything they possibly can to deliver the most polished picture possible, the audio delivers every punch it can pull off to do the same for your ears (and the audio system you should have taking advantage of this marvelous sonic achievement). The voice acting remains flawless, and it is one of the main principles behind making the game feel so alive and the characters so real. Drake still makes his quips and snide remarks, and the bounce between Sully and Drake remains as effortless as ever. All interactions you experience with the supporting cast will probably upset you once you realize that the chances of the Hollywood movie having dialogue this perfect and natural is slim to none. Of course there is a soundtrack in the background that'll accompany you with every tense moment, and a ton of boomy and rich sound effects to accompany you when those same tense moments get out of control. Home theater guys will have a field day with this.

There's only one last thing that needs to be said, and this is going to be one of the shortest conclusions I'll ever piece together. All that can be remains to be said about Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is that it both defies and defines everything a videogame is and should be. In that order.

Subscribe
Notify of
200 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Awesome.

I am so hyped for this game now!!

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

I've been hyped for this game since I finished Drakes Fortune! I love these games!

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

Goose bumps! Folks, we may have a couple years left in this gen, but from ND, this smells of grand finale. Thanks for the lovely and timely review, Arnold, and thanks ND and Sony. The unexpected was only expected from you!

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

Urge to play… rising…

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

I know, perfect 10 score this game cannot be missed. Rise up, nature is calling.

allDFlavors
allDFlavors
9 years ago

Brilliant review, Arnold. I am especially looking forward to getting my hands on this one.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

I did notice the "Good" "Bad" "Ugly" parts at the end of Ben's reviews missing. That should've been enough of a giveaway to suggest it wasn't Ben's review. Made that mistake in my first comment waaaaay down further.

Nice review Arnold!!!

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
9 years ago

The [insert any game title] Destroyer 😉

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
9 years ago

Also, side note, good to see you write a review Arnold, great job 😀 Been a good while since you're last one on this here grand front page.

OPHIDIAN
OPHIDIAN
9 years ago

Nice review man.

A perfect 10 . . . wow.

[POTENTIAL SPOILER]

Have a question for you Arnold, if I may. Does this one have supernatural beings in it too?


Last edited by OPHIDIAN on 10/24/2011 7:51:01 PM

kevinater321
kevinater321
9 years ago

DON'T TELL US

sirbob6
sirbob6
9 years ago

Most likely. The trailer had a book about demons in it.

Snorge
Snorge
9 years ago

Why would you ask for any potential spoilers ALREADY!?!?…..WTH? I mean damn man….c'mon son


Last edited by Snorge on 10/24/2011 8:36:27 PM

OPHIDIAN
OPHIDIAN
9 years ago

lol

I really enjoyed U2, but the things in U1 bloody freaked me out. Turned into a temporary Silent Hill.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

AARRGGG…. *sigh* …….

Even if Arnold doesn't answer, it opens it up for others to comment… like Sirbob…. even that little tidbit is far more than I wanted to know.

sirbob6
sirbob6
9 years ago

In my defense, it was featured in the very first trailer.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Didn't expect anything less.

sonic1899
sonic1899
9 years ago

@Jawknee
I did. …a 9.7 My mind has been blown…
KABOOM!

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

I didn't expect anything less. Even IGN gave it a 10. When that happens anything less is well… A lie! 😉

Seriously though, I just wanna play it!


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/25/2011 12:01:24 AM

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

Wow IGN gave a ps3 game a 10?… its official, hell has frozen over twice…

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

IGN doesn't seem to be as bad these days, but there was a period where they were running rampant with Xbots and 360 love editorials and news articles.

With a game like Uncharted 3, they can't be bias any longer towards 360, and instead be honest with their review. A perfect 10 sounds exactly like what Uncharted 3 deserves.

Must say, I was worried that it would score less, like 7 or 8, for repeating the awesomeness of Uncharted 2 and reviewers being bias while giving MW3 (a "copy-paste" example of a game series) a better score.

Looks like IGN's love for Nathan and Elena is as strong as the rest of us.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

IGN will continue to have hope so long as Greg Miller stays on staff.

He always tries to give Sony games a fair an equal shot, I find.

Any other reviewer, however, it's a shot in the dark.

clockwyzebkny
clockwyzebkny
9 years ago

i just creamed myself
Thacan the last time i eat ice cream and read a review about a game i'm totally psyched about.
i cannot wait to play this
Arnold and Ben, i envy you

kevinater321
kevinater321
9 years ago

What an amazing review, anyone is the face of the earth who own a PS3 absolutely HAS to get this game.

FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

This game should be built into PS3 or the PS4 some day. Just like the Sega Master system had some sort of secret game baked in. A simple game but still secret.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

The Uncharted trilogy should be built into the PS4. Now THAT would sell consoles!!!!

OPHIDIAN
OPHIDIAN
9 years ago

Who keeps on giving these thumbs down. Madness I tell you.

wasim
wasim
9 years ago

awesome
best game of all time

TubbyUrchin
TubbyUrchin
9 years ago

Fourth paragraph down around the middle there is a typo:
Climbing and general control quirks have also been ironed out, which makes the game play even smoother than the last, though I do think things such as jumping over obstacles and certain leaps of faith could've been handled bette.
Should it be 'better'? 😉
Great review by the way, too bad the EBgames near me isn't doing a midnight release…

Nas Is Like
Nas Is Like
9 years ago

Saw it coming a mile away (10 out of 10).

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
9 years ago

I actually have an email with Ben where I was considering a high 9. But I kept playing the game. And the more I played the more I was like "hmm…does this deserve a high 9?" As fantastic as a high 9 is, it's just that this game does things others don't. I couldn't justify lumping (for lack of a better word) Uncharted 3 with other games. I think it's in a league of its own.

And when it came down to put out the individual scores per category, it felt justified. Is it perfect? No, absolutely not. But it is in its own league.


Last edited by ArnoldK PSXE on 10/24/2011 8:40:19 PM

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

Greggy M concurs, and concludes his review in the same vain.

Snorge
Snorge
9 years ago

Outstanding! I expected nothing less and will receive just that come Tuesday! Is it a good idea I already requested that day off?

Can't wait to see this bad boy in all its glory in 3D. I might have to fill out some life insurance for my wife, I….might…have….a heart attack

I was wondering how you could rate the Online a 9.5 if it hasn't been released yet…..Is that 9.5 a place holder for when Ben tries the Online after launch?


Last edited by Snorge on 10/24/2011 8:34:27 PM

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
9 years ago

No, we've played the online a handful of times already. Sony organizes private sessions for us. Plus there was also the beta. 😛

Snorge
Snorge
9 years ago

Private sessions!? Early access….Im hella jealous now..I can dig it though! Yeeeeeaaaah didn't think about the beta either ….*insert foot in mouth*

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

I've never seen so many 10s, so beautiful ….

sirbob6
sirbob6
9 years ago

I can not wait for the 1st now. I must experience this game and all of its wonder.

Thank you for the review and forcing me to buy this game. This is only the second ten, right?

Snorge
Snorge
9 years ago

Nobody SHOULD have forced any thing for this game….I call this "natural selection" LoL

Pyramid
Pyramid
9 years ago

10,10,10 OMG! A 10 for u too having the game one week earlier review.This is power or what? I love to be part of this awesome board.

556pineapple
556pineapple
9 years ago

This review makes me sad. I have neither the time, nor the money for this game right now. Couldn't you have published a fake review just for me saying how disappointing it was? I just hope I can wait the three weeks until Thanksgiving break.

FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

Just read this review in reverse or something. Uncharted 3 score -10.

Seriously though, It sucks that you have to wait.

FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

"Uncharted 3 will go down as the best looking game of this generation by a long, blistering, and freezing Antarctic mile."

Excellent choice of words. What a remarkable review. Thank You Arnold. Is Ben going to do a separate review like you guys did once before? If I remember correctly that is. Or is the season just too busy? Not that one is needed.


Last edited by FatherSun on 10/24/2011 8:54:47 PM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Wait a sec when did Arnold come back?!!?!?!!?!?!?!?!

I've had this preordered for months, omg I can't wait.

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
9 years ago

I never left, really. Just have a different career now. It just so happened that the game fell into my lap instead of Ben's, so I told him I'd take care of it.

This is the first review I wrote since Gran Turismo 5.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

What's the new career?

OPHIDIAN
OPHIDIAN
9 years ago

We all saw what happened in Zookeeper Arnold!

Arvis
Arvis
9 years ago

Does Ben need any help with reviewing games? I can email you a resume and list of references upon request. 😉

-Arvis

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

I hear ya, Arvis. I'd love to become a writer, myself. I'm too wrapped up into my current career, however. I feel like I would love spending my days in research and writing, whether it's gaming or something else. With a mortgage and a baby any day now, I can't really responsibly chase a career change. lol!

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

P.s. for additional writing to what Ben does, I recommend the nice chaps over at Velocity Gamer. They often provide a good read.

World does a lot of work there, I believe.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Thanks for the props underdog, we've got a few PSXE members writing and things are just keep getting better as we grow 🙂