Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Uncharted 3: Drake's DeceptionUncharted 3: Drake's Deception is an action-adventure third-person shooter platform game, the third game in the Uncharted series, developed by Naughty Dog, with a story written by script-writer Amy Hennig. It is the sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed video games of 2009, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The game was released by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, in North America on November 1, 2011, Europe on November 2, 2011, and Australia on November 3, 2011. A Game of the Year Edition, containing all additional content that was a part of the Fortune Hunters' Club deal, was released on September 19, 2012, for Europe.
Uncharted 3 sees protagonist Nathan Drake and mentor Victor Sullivan traveling around the world to places such as the Rub' al Khali desert, in search of the legendary lost city the Iram of the Pillars, which is mentioned in the Quran. Elena Fisher and Chloe Frazer also return in Uncharted 3. The plot draws from the archaeology days of T. E. Lawrence. Arne Meyer, Naughty Dog's community strategist stated that the "main theme of Uncharted 3 is 'finding the way'.
Uncharted 3 received critical acclaim, averaging 92% on review aggregate website Metacritic and 91.76% on GameRankings, making it one of the best reviewed video games of 2011. It won several "Game of the Year" awards, with reviewers praising the writing, voice acting, graphics, cinematic quality and story. The game shipped 3.8 million copies worldwide on launch day.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception PlotNathan "Nate" Drake (Nolan North) and Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Richard McGonagle) enter a pub in London to meet with a man named Talbot (Robin Atkin Downes), who is interested in purchasing Nate's ring belonging to his ancestor Sir Francis Drake. Nate and Sully accuse Talbot of offering them counterfeit banknotes, and a fight ensues. Outside the pub, Nate and Sully are subdued by Charlie Cutter (Graham McTavish), Talbot's cohort. Talbot's client, Katherine Marlowe (Rosalind Ayres), appears and steals Drake's ring. Then Sully and Nate are shot. A flashback to 20 years earlier finds a 15-year-old Nathan Drake (Billy Unger) exploring a museum in Cartagena, Colombia, in search of Sir Francis Drake's ring, and seeing a younger Sully, unknown to him at this point, who is working with Marlowe to retrieve the ring. Nate is caught by Marlowe and her henchmen, but Sully rescues Nate from the agents and takes the boy on as his protege.
Returning to the present day, it is revealed that the meeting was an elaborate set-up by Nate and Sully to track down Marlowe, with Cutter being a friend of theirs. With the help of Chloe Frazer (Claudia Black), they trace Marlowe's car to an underground library, where they manage to retrieve T. E. Lawrence's notebook and a map showing Francis Drake's secret voyage to Arabia, where he was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I to search for the lost city of Ubar. Using these items, Nate works out that clues to the city's location lie in Crusader crypts in a French chateau and a Syrian citadel. Nate and Sully head to eastern France and locate the long-abandoned chateau in a dense forest. They find one half of an amulet inside the crypt, but are ambushed by Talbot, who takes the amulet and sets the chateau on fire. Nate and Sully escape and quickly head to Syria.
In Syria, Nate and Sully meet up with Chloe and Cutter, who have learned that Marlowe is the head of the same order to which Francis Drake belonged, which seeks to gain power by exploiting the fears of their enemies. The group finds the second crypt and finds the other half of the amulet, revealing the location of the next clue in Yemen. As they escape Marlowe's men and the citadel, Cutter breaks his leg in the process, preventing him and Chloe from journeying to Yemen with Nate and Sully.
In Yemen, Nate reluctantly seeks the aid of his estranged wife Elena Fisher (Emily Rose), who helps them locate an underground tomb where they discover the location of the lost city within the vast Rub' al Khali desert. Back above ground, Nate is shot with a hallucinogenic dart and wanders off on his own. He wakes up outside a café with Marlowe and Talbot, where Marlowe threatens Nate to reveal the location of Ubar. When Talbot gets news of Sully's location, Nate breaks free and gives chase to Talbot throughout the city, but is knocked out and kidnapped by Rameses, a pirate working for Marlowe, who interrogates Nate for information about Iram of the Pillars and who claims to have captured Sully. Nate escapes captivity and searches for Sully on the pirates' captured cruise ship. However, Nate discovers that Rameses lied about having Sully and detonates a grenade, causing the ship to start sinking. Before Nate can escape, Rameses shoots a large window causing the tipped-over ship to flood and killing himself, but Nate manages to escape.
Nate is washed ashore back in Yemen. He is reunited with Elena, who informs him that Sully was indeed captured by Marlowe's men and taken on a convoy into the Rub 'al Khali with Sully being forced to lead them to Ubar. They decide to attempt a rescue by sneaking onto a cargo plane due to airdrop supplies to Marlowe's convoy. Nate successfully infiltrates the plane but is discovered on board by Marlowe's men and a shoot-out ensues, resulting in a massive decompression which tears the plane apart. Falling through the sky, Nate is able to land safely on the desert floor by grabbing hold of a cargo pallet and deploying its parachute. After wandering the desert hopelessly, without water, Nate is rescued by a troop of men on horseback led by a Bedouin named Salim (TJ Ramini). At the Bedouin's encampment, Salim tells Nate that the city of Ubar was doomed thousands of years ago by King Solomon when he imprisoned evil Djinn within a brass vessel and cast it into the heart of the city. Salim agrees to help Nate and leads him to the convoy, which they destroy while rescuing Sully. They ride into a nearby sand storm, but Nate and Sully lose Salim amidst the dust as they arrive at the gates of Ubar.
Upon entering Ubar, Nate and Sully come across a water fountain that Nate drinks from. Suddenly Talbot appears and shoots Sully, killing him. Overcome by rage over Sully's death, Nate gives chase and encounters more of Marlowe's men, who seem to have been possessed by the Djinn. Nate eventually comes to his senses and finds Sully alive. The true mystery of what happened to the people of Ubar thousands of years ago becomes apparent: when King Solomon cast the brass vessel into the depths of the well beneath the city, it tainted the water with a powerful hallucinogenic agent, which caused Nate to imagine Sully was shot and killed. Nate realizes that the vessel is what Queen Elizabeth had sent Francis Drake to find, but after learning the consequences of his quest, Drake abandoned his mission. Nate and Sully search the city and locate Marlowe, who is using a winch to pull the brass vessel from the waters. Nate and Sully destroy the winch which causes the city to begin to collapse around them. Marlowe and Talbot corner Nate and Sully but the floor collapses, throwing Marlowe into a sinkhole. Despite Nate's attempt to save her, Marlowe sinks to her death, taking Drake's ring with her. After Nate and Sully fight Talbot, whom Nate shoots and kills, Salim rides in to rescue Nate and Sully as the city is engulfed by the desert sands.
Nate and Sully return to the airport in Yemen where Sully gives back Nate's wedding ring, which he secretly kept safe when Nate and Elena separated. Elena joins them and Nate offers her his wedding ring again. The two embrace with the promise of a fresh start, and the three fly back home on Sully's new sea plane.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception GameplayUncharted 3: Drake's Deception is an action-adventure platform video game played from a third-person perspective, with the player in control of Nathan Drake. Drake has a large number of different animation sets, enabling him to react according to his surroundings. Drake is physically adept and is able to jump, sprint, climb, swim, scale narrow ledges, wall-faces to get between points, and perform other acrobatic actions. Drake can now take on opponents in more ways than before: hand-to-hand combat with multiple opponents, contextual melee attacks, and new stealth options. Uncharted 3 also features expanded and diverse traversal moves with deep gunplay. Drake can be equipped with up to two firearms – one single-handed and one two-handed – and four grenades. Drake can pick up weapons, automatically replacing the existing weapon he was using, and additional ammunition from downed enemies.
The player can direct Drake to take cover behind corners or low walls using either aimed or blind-fire to kill his enemies. The player can also have Drake fire while moving. If Drake is undetected by his enemies, the player can attempt to use stealth to take them out, such as by sneaking up behind them and killing them with one hit, or by dropping down onto an enemy whilst Drake is hanging from a ledge. The stealth mechanic has been simplified and improved. Some areas of the game will require the player to solve puzzles with the use of Drake's journal, which provides clues towards the puzzles' solutions. When enabled, a hint system provides gameplay clues, such as the direction of the next objective.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception was on display for the general video game audience at the 2011 E3, and received four nominations from the Game Critics Awards for "Best of Show", "Best Console Game", "Best Action/Adventure Game", and "Best Online Multiplayer Game". Uncharted 3 was most notably awarded with "Best PS3 Game" by several media outlets, such as 1UP, X-Play, IGN, Digital Trends, GameSpot, GameSpy, GameInformer and Electric Playground. Uncharted 3 was also awarded "Best Action/Adventure Game" by X-Play, Machinima and Game Rant, "Best Action Game" by Shortlist, "Best Third-Person Shooter" and "Best Visuals" by VGChartz, "Best Graphics" by GameTrailers, as well as "Best 3D Graphics", "Best Multiplayer" and "Best Third-Person Shooter". The Official PlayStation Magazine and Game Revolution awarded Uncharted 3 with "Best Game of E3".
Uncharted 3 was placed at number three on Big Picture Big Sound's "Top 10 Best Games of E3 2011" column, and was included in GamesRadar's and Official PlayStation Magazine's "Most Valuable Game Award". Uncharted 3 was also on display for the general video game audience at the 2011 Gamescom, and received one nomination for "Best Console Game". Numerous gaming websites have called Uncharted 3 one of the most anticipated games of 2011, with 1UP and IGN ranking it number one in their "Top 10 PS3 Games of 2011" column. Metacritic included Uncharted 3 on their "Most Anticipated Games of 2011" column, and stated that "Sony's console has an unusually large lineup of exclusives scheduled for 2011, highlighted by one of the year's biggest titles, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception." In Japan, gaming magazine Famitsu had it listed as one of the most anticipated games in its periodic reader poll. Many shops around the country had large displays advertising its November 2 launch date.
Computer and Video Games 9.5/10
Electronic Gaming Monthly 9/10
Game Informer 9.5/10
GamePro 5/5 stars
Game Revolution A
Joystiq 4.5/5 stars
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 10/10
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) 10/10
Official PlayStation Magazine (Australia) 10/10
Play Magazine 90%
PlayStation 3 Magazine 9.6/10
X-Play 4/5 stars
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception received critical acclaim, receiving numerous "Game of the Year" awards. The first publication to review Uncharted 3 was the Spanish magazine Playmania, which gave it a score of 9.9 out of 10, the highest score that the magazine has ever given a game. The reviewer ignored a request from Naughty Dog co-president Christophe Balestra requesting publishers not to include plot spoilers in their coverage. The second review was published by the Dutch magazine Power Unlimited, which awarded it with 94%, and concluded with "It is jaw-dropping. The whole game is full of highlights. One of the best games ever for the PlayStation 3 to date."
The third review was published by the Spanish edition of the Official PlayStation Magazine, which gave it a 9.8 out of 10 score, called it "A masterpiece to remember for many years that will be difficult to overcome." PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) awarded the game a perfect score and a gold award. In their review they stated, "For the second time in succession, Naughty Dog has created a game that can claim to not only be the best on PS3, but also one of the best in gaming history... A visual, technical and narrative tour de force that takes the sky-high expectations of an entire community and blows them out the back of a jumbo jet, replacing them with more show-stopping moments than you could hope to find in a dozen other games combined." The US edition of the PlayStation Official Magazine stated, "Viewed strictly as a videogame, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception represents the height of technical achievement--the state-of-the-art, if you will--for the interactive console experience."
Several mainstream press reviews praised the game, particularly for its graphics and cinematic quality. Garrett Martin of Paste said:
"Like the previous game's hotel sequence, the cruise ship segment is impressive because of how it exploits our perception of both the game's rules and our character's surroundings. As the boat lurches downward, we have to maneuver Drake upwards through hallways and staterooms that tilt sideways, climbing up through doors and over bed frames. Our horizontal axis turns vertical as a wall of water surges towards us and suicidal pirates continue to attack, forcing us to quickly adapt to this new perspective. Eventually we fall into a grand chamber whose skylight is fully submerged. The art deco decor, underwater lighting, and skewed angles recall both Bioshock and The Poseidon Adventure. Sadly there are no cameos from Red Buttons or Shelley Winters. Moments like that are what make Uncharted 3 great."
Ars Technica reviewer Ben Kuchera praised the writing and voice acting, stating "Overall, this is an amazing achievement in design, and it rests comfortably at the top of the heap when it comes to action games. It's also one of the rare video games where the writing and voice acting aren't just good "for a video game," they're good for a television show or a movie. Joy can be found in the small moments and movements of the characters, and their interactions are always fun to watch." In a review for The Telegraph, Tom Hoggins described it as "If you were to break Drake's Deception down to its base elements, it's the same Uncharted we have grown to love, just a little trimmer, more slick." Dan Silver of Daily Mirror concluded with "Overall, Drake's Deception is one of the most spectacular entertainment experiences ever produced, but one you'll enjoy holding a joypad rather than a bucket of popcorn. And, ultimately, that doesn't really matter at all." The Sydney Morning Herald reviewer said, "It's another thrilling ride with gorgeous presentation, absolutely exhilarating set pieces, well-integrated puzzles and robust combat that is equally satisfying whether you are wielding a gun or bare-knuckle brawling."
Uncharted 3 has a GameRankings score of 91.76%, and a score of 92 out of 100 on Metacritic, making it one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2011. 1UP gave the game a perfect score, and stated "Developer Naughty Dog continues to prove they are masters of their craft, and the third chapter of Uncharted is a fun and rewarding adventure that's easily one of the best games this year." IGN's Greg Miller praised the title by awarding it with a perfect score, and saying that, "From start to finish, single player to multiplayer, this game sings. The characters, the graphics, the sound, the story - they're all top notch. If you're willing to skip Uncharted 3, be prepared to miss one of gaming's finest moments." and calling it "an experience, a complete package."
Edge gave it 9 out of 10 and concluded with, "Just like Machu Picchu, the Pyramids and every other engineering marvel of antiquity, Uncharted 3 will stand as a reminder to future generations of gamers that enough problem-solving imagination can turn any old trowel into a magic wand." One of the lowest scores was given by Simon Parkin of Eurogamer, which stated "As a slice of one-view entertainment, Uncharted 3 is peerless... As an expression of all that a video game could be, however, Uncharted 3 is narrow, focused and ultimately shallow." The Technique reviewer Hank Whitson was also less impressed by the game, writing "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was not only one of the best games on the PlayStation 3, but one of the best video games to date. It featured a fun sharply-written script, engaging gameplay, a brilliant soundtrack and the best cinematic pacing ever presented in a videogame. Needless to say, expectations for Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception were extremely high. While Uncharted 3 is a tremendously satisfying game and one of the best releases of 2011, it fails to fully live up to the legacy of its legendary predecessor."
The game was criticised for some negative issues, such as the aiming system in gunplay. The developer had initially countered complaints that the game's aiming was inaccurate in a blog post on its official site. However, after complaints continued on the Naughty Dog forum and NeoGAF, a patch to address concerns about the game's aiming system was impending after developer Naughty Dog invited a couple of fans to its HQ to discuss the problem. On November 27, 2011, Naughty Dog released a patch that offer a fix for those unhappy with the game's refined aiming controls. The update offers the option of toggling between the new controls and a set-up more in line with that found in Uncharted 2. Despite being addressed in the previous games in the series, another minor issue raised was that of the game's linearity. Amy Hennig, in an interview with GameTrailers, defended this aspect by arguing that too little linearity in the series would have affected the game's narrative.
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