Greatness From Drake’s Beginnings

 

 

Sorry I haven’t posted lately. In September, I started a new shift at one of my jobs. Needless to say, my work schedule is sort of…all over the place. I only have one day off a week now. To put it lightly : I haven’t had a lot of time to do anything else but work. When I get home from work, I’m so tired that I just want to crash. When I do manage to put some gaming time in, it’s only for a few hours. I’ve been sitting on this review for about a good month. I’m not really happy with it, but it just sits there staring at me unpublished and I’m tired of it. Sometimes I feel like my mind isn’t functioning properly, making these reviews difficult to really convey how I feel about the game. I often have trouble finding the words, let alone the right ones.

So, as Nathan Drake would say,
“Here we go…”

I’ve recently been busy playing the new Uncharted Collection, which has been meticulously crafted for the PlayStation 4. It was a lot of fun revisiting the first two games in the series. Uncharted 3 would be my first time playing.

The story starts with a trade for Nate’s prized possession (Drake’s ring) that goes wrong, leaving Nate and Sully for dead. The story then flashes back 20 years earlier to a young Drake, who is obsessed with Sir Francis Drake. He finds the ring at a museum in Cartagena, Colombia, and meets Sully for the first time.

Uncharted 3 once again follows an expedition of Sir Francis Drake, as well as T.E. Lawrence (A.K.A. Lawrence of Arabia). Sir Francis Drake discovered the Iram of the Pillars (or the “Atlantis of the Sands”) during his circumnavigation, but kept it a secret. Players get to see a young Nate and how his obsession with Drake began.

Naughty Dog has always had a knack for challenging environmental effects that really help to graphically push their games. The first two games focused on water and snow. The focus for the developers during Uncharted 3 was the fire and sand effects and making them as realistic as possible. They have succeeded. Naughty Dog devs actually programmed Oxygen into the game and then they had the fire follow it around the environment. It’s incredible how realistic it appears.

Drake’s Deception features heart-pounding action scenes, such as escaping from an old abandoned chateau that caught on fire, jumping for my life from platform to platform as they begin to collapse, or hanging out of the cargo bay of an airplane mid-flight.

It has been said that Uncharted 3 has the easiest Crushing mode in the trilogy. I can’t imagine how that’s possible. I played on Normal and it was very, very difficult at times. The enemies flank to your position like never before. There really isn’t much of a  point in using the cover system of the past games. The enemies will come from both sides and just start punching you. Speaking of punching, there’s entirely too much emphasis on hand-to-hand combat. That got old real quick. Back to the combat sections. I felt powerful in the first two games; able to handle any situation placed before me. However, I absolutely dreaded the combat scenarios in Uncharted 3. Where do I start? It’s totally unmatched. I’m thrown into situations where there’s laser sights coming from four separate directions, there’s enemies with grenade launchers, there’s heavily armored guards with shotguns, machine guns, or mini-guns. Not enough? Let’s add in some enemies using turret guns! This is all happening at the same time. The hit detection that was pitch-perfect in the last two games is long gone here. I’m aiming and shooting right at an enemy; why is nothing happening? “Frustrating” doesn’t begin to describe my experience. But this is Uncharted. This is Naughty Dog. How could this happen???

In the end, Uncharted 3 delivers a satisfying, yet somewhat disappointing experience. Although this game featured some of the greatest action sequences from the trilogy (soon to no longer be a trilogy), I felt Unchared 3 was a step back instead of a couple steps forward. However, the trilogy as a whole is still very solid. There’s no doubt that these games are masterpieces.

To close out this review, I thought I would gather all of the fantastic screenshots from the very special Nathan Drake Collection :

 

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In other news, I started playing Fallout 3 (yes, you read that correctly). Seven years late to that party. Anyway, I started playing it, but I think that game is just going to take too long to complete. I could finish several games in the time it would take me to finish Fallout. So for now, it’s on hold, and I’m not sure when I’ll pick back up on it.

 

 

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