Sunday, November 6, 2011

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

This is going to be my first attempt at a video game review for this site. The Uncharted franchise is undoubtedly the premier franchise of the Playstation 3 console. The first game was critically acclaimed and they series has gotten better with each subsequent entry. The second was my favorite game I had ever played, until this one was released. This game captured everything that a great game should, amazing graphics, unforgettable story, and amazing characters. This is the best series in video games currently easily beating Modern Warfare, Battlefield, Mass Effect, and Halo. The only game series that holds a candle to it is Grand Theft Auto and that series has a lot to prove after a somewhat disappointing 4th installment.

Uncharted is what action movies strive to be, a smart, engaging, and action packed piece of entertainment that also focuses on the characters and story just as much as the action being portrayed onscreen. Nathan Drake is one of the best characters to ever be created in a video game, he is a more modern Indiana Jones and has an everyman quality that instantly makes him likeable. His personal journey is at the center of the series and how he grows through each of these adventures is what really makes this series tick. If he was a really generic character this would simply be a pretty action-adventure game not what is widely considered to be the preeminent action-adventure franchise in either movies or video games. The supporting characters in the series are also superb and contribute heavily to the plot and are not simply in the game to look pretty. Each has a history with Drake and they contribute to his character growth and help push and develop the plot.

As for the technical side of the game, the mechanic are mostly unchanged from the previous installment and that is a very good thing considering this game has one of the best control schemes of any game on the market. The graphics are truly breathtaking, everything is as graphically perfect as it can be. Character models are highly detailed and all of the different locations in the game offer something wildly different than the last. There is no shortage of exotic locales in the series with the plot taking place in Syria, Yemen, Columbia, and France, and that is just in the third game alone. All of the visual effects in the game are extremely detailed such as fire and water effects as well as other environmental effects such as sand storms. This is really the complete package when it comes to graphics because you can really tell that the developers took their time with every aspect of the game and didn't neglect anything. The sound design and soundtrack are as reliable as ever. Nothing really changes from game to game in this aspect because they have been top notch from the start of the franchise and that level of quality has continued throughout the entire series.

I feel that this is the most entertaining single player experience that I have ever had with a game. Everything was just great in the game and that is the easiest way of describing it. This game captures what was so special about the first two Indiana Jones movies and bottles it into an interactive experience that is second to none. There are a lot of games that I enjoy playing but this is the only one that I make a conscious effort to play all the way through because I want to actually see how the story plays out and what happens to all of the characters. This is the closest thing that we will get to an interactive movie and it is a perfect video game on top of that. I am not personally used to playing third person multi-player games but the online component of this game is also incredibly fluid and fast paced which is a very good thing when it comes to an online game. The modes are pretty standard and that is usually a knock against the game but everything is so polished that the lack of modes really doesn't detract from the experience.

Overall, this is the best game that I have played all year and the best game I have played since Red Dead Redemption. The combination of graphics, story, characterization, and online play make this a perfect game. If you have played and enjoyed the Uncharted series before this review will be for pure entertainment purposes because you more than likely already picked up the third installment. This game is also the best action movie you will see this year, and if you don't believe me, just play through the game and tell me some of the set pieces didn't blow you mind. Have fun playing the game and leave your feedback on the review in the comments section.