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Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Review

Susan Arendt | 1 Nov 2011 21:45
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If you really enjoy Uncharted 3's take on combat, you'll definitely get a kick out of co-op mode, which blends story elements from the single player campaign with the medals and unlockables from the multiplayer. As Nate and Player 2's companion of choice, you move from checkpoint to checkpoint, killing everyone in your path and earning rewards for things like kills, headshots, or rescuing your buddy. You can trade in medals for an instant upgrade, like a sniper rifle, and use the cash rewards to unlock new mods and weapons. You'll visit some of the same areas that you see in the main campaign, brushing up against the storyline with actually following it. You might have to blow through a wall to reach the next checkpoint in co-op, then run through that hole in the wall in the main story. You don't need one to do the other, but it's fun to see the overlap. It's a nice middle ground for people who want to play with a pal, but don't want to play yet another deathmatch.

Drake's Deception also compromises when it comes to the platforming, opting to paint certain ledges and handholds yellow rather than making them flash obnoxiously or expecting you to search for them unaided. It's a subtle nudge in the right direction, enough to keep you moving without slapping an immersion-killing hint in your face. The platforming can be as twitchy as the combat - you'll occasionally leap to your death because you weren't in the exact right spot - but it does provide you with an opportunity to appreciate the extraordinary detail of Uncharted 3's environments. No game makes such great use of huge spaces and dramatic set pieces better than Uncharted 3, but the small details make the game world feel lived in and real. The character animations are similarly nuanced; Nate will stick his hand out to steady himself as he picks his way through a rocky passage, or wipe his brow after running. You never feel like you're watching a character navigating a game level, but rather tagging along as your buddy has an adventure. That adventure winds up in some extreme situations, it never feels artificial or arbitrary - one event leads naturally to the next, even more spectacular and dramatic event. By the time Nate is dangling out of the back of a cargo plane, you'd think the drama couldn't crank any higher, but it does, in wonderful and unexpected ways.

Bottom Line: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is a brilliant romp. The controls can be frustrating at times, but the overall journey is exceptional.

Recommendation: Pick up the first two if you haven't already, then saddle up and enjoy the ride. Uncharted 3 will make you glad you own a PS3.

What our review scores mean.

Game: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Genre: Action Adventure
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony
Platform(s): PS3
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US), Amazon(UK), Play.com(UK)

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