A friend recently commented on how, since purchasing my PS3 back in September, I am running through some of the greatest hits in the video gaming world in, what appears to many, a break-neck speed. I dont know what would be a normal speed but I am aware that I have spent an inordinate amount of time wrapped up in these pixilated worlds over the last few months.
After completing the main quest in Skyrim (I will return to this world many times in the near future, just needed a break and a good place to take that break the main quest fit that bill perfectly), I took a wee break of a week and returned to the console to play what every review says to be the best of what the PS3 has to offer, Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception. I was dubious of that claim seeing how I had just been enveloped in what many have been calling the game of the year and couldnt quite imagine how a linear non-RPG game could even compare.
I had nothing to worry about Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception was an amazing, rollicking, non-stop adventure that had me and my girls laughing, screaming, hooting and hollering in a way that only the greatest films have ever produced. From beginning to end, this game proved to be nothing short of the most fun Ive had in years. Sure, Skyrim is epic and detailed Red Dead Redemptions story is heartbreaking and choc-a-block full of grand vistas and hard scrapple characters but Uncharted 3 is pulse pounding fun with grand set pieces, well fleshed out characters, incredible voice work, and the most incredible graphics I have had the pleasure of seeing in a video game.
Over the holidays, another friend had purchased a 3D TV and test drove it with his copy of Uncharted 3. His description boiled down to, it was like being in a movie, except you are directing what the action will be. It was difficult to get a grasp on what it was he was saying until I popped it in myself (sans 3D unfortunately). Opening in a dingy London alley and moving into a pub for a back room deal that goes awry, you are thrust into a bar room brawl that has an extremely cinematic look and feel while at the same time guiding you through the basics of this games melee system.
Obviously, since this is the third in the series and I have not played the previous two (they are up next in my queue), I wasnt fully aware of the whos, whys and whats of the characters and the initial plot. One person told me I should play the previous games first, another told me not to bother. Im glad I didnt bother. It is not difficult to understand the basics of what is going on. Nathan Drake, the protagonist and a distant relative of Sir Francis Drake, and his partner Victor Sully Sullivan are adventurers in what must be an homage to Indiana Jones and the serial dramas of the 30s that gave rise to George Lucas entire oeuvre. Seeking treasure and fortune, this pair finds themselves in a number of spectacular situations.
What I realized I was missing is the backstory of these characters but, after the prologue in the pub, the game goes back twenty years to flesh out the first meeting of Nathan and Sully and to put some understanding of both mens motivations and character. Giving away more than that would be wrong but it eventual makes its way to a rooftop chase that was the second clue that I was playing something different something grand something that can only described as Fun (yes, fun with a capital F).
One of the more amazing aspects of the graphics and how seamlessly the game moves forward are the minor touches that you may not notice immediately, yet the impact adds to the realism of what you are seeing. The way Nates hand will brush against walls when you walk past them how he will slightly stumble over a root or rock glancing down at something on the ground as you pass and ultimately, the number of times I had to wonder whether or not I was playing or it was a cut-scene. That was an experience I had not encountered in anything Ive played previously.
One complaint I have read about with this franchise is that Naughty Dog, the developers of Uncharted, comes up with the ideas for the major set pieces and then creates a story around them as opposed to the set pieces being more organic and germane to the storytelling itself. To that I say, hooey! Much of what happens in the game is unlikely and obviously contrived like, how many headshots can someone take before falling over? 5? Really? Nathan can climb buildings, swing on vines, escape various disasters and never once run out of breath? Really? Yes really and I could not care less. How did Indiana Jones get into that submarine? How did his hat stay on? These are the nitpicking naggeries that give geeks and nerds a bad name sometimes. Ill just say, go with it.
So what are these set pieces Im talking about? A crumbling, and eventually burning French chateau you must race out of a gun battle in a Syrian ruin as you uncover various clues and puzzles throughout a capsizing ocean liner surviving a cargo plane crash and a finale that had my older daughter declaring, THIS! IS! EPIC! as my palms soaked in sweat and my face alternated between shock and pure unfettered joy.
The review of this game in Playstation, The Official Magazine says that this is the game we PS3 owners should show to our Xbox friends and ask them if they have anything that compares. Apparently, the answer would be no, but I am not sure about that. I dont imagine this game is for everyone. If you are a strictly RPG or MMO fan, this game could be viewed as a pretty trinket with little substance. I finished it in about 12 hours, and Im sure a better gamer would finish in 10. Skyrim for instance took me 80+ hours to get through a fraction of the complete game. But I rarely had anything close to the thrills I encountered with Nate and Sully with any other game.
I have already tried convincing a few others to give the game a spin, and one person in particular is now looking at PS3s based on how much I raved about Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception. Whether this game is for you or not is not for me to say but I can say that the 12 hours I spent playing were some of the better hours Ive spent in a while with my clothing on (best to keep the gaming thing in perspective).
Ive purchased the first two games, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and am eager to jump into this world twice more.
why did it have to be spiders,
Cornelius J. Blahg