Overall, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is a good game with some minor flaws and gameplay that feels a bit dated. Its biggest problem is that it just doesn’t feel like an improvement over its predecessor.
Poor Nathan Drake, first he lost the Gouki.com GOTY to Batman Arkham Asylum in 2009, this year he’s up against Arkham City. Challenges of timing aside, Drake has another problem. While I can definitely state that Arkham City is an improvement over the already excellent Arkham Asylum, Uncharted 3 just isn’t any better than Uncharted 2. At least not in the story mode. The biggest campaign improvement over UC2 is the lack of weird, blue Sasquatch things as enemies.
The game has a good multiplayer mode with lots of variations in how to play. There’s your standard team death match (5v5), a free for all, and a cool 2v2v2 three team match. Plunder makes its return from the UC2 multiplayer. What’s new is the team objective mode where you do a best of 5 in random objective matches including king of the hill, turf war (like territories) and Marked man (similar to VIP in some other games).
Naughty Dog has again created a visual masterpiece, their level design always creates these really large, unique, and often stunning arenas for Nate’s story to take place. The cruise ship level from UC3 is an example of what great level design should be.
As pretty as the game is, Uncharted 3 lacks the control and choice that are the hallmarks of today’s best games. The game is very linear, never giving you the chance to solve something your own way, but it likes to give you an illusion of control avoiding many cut scenes by having the characters interact in real-time is great, but often in these areas the game doesn’t allow all your moves (you can’t even pull your gun out for instance) which kind of kills the drama of whether or not a bad guy is around the corner. On the other hand, if you see some waist high walls in the area, you know you’re going to see a gunfight soon.
There are certain types of enemies that require specific actions to take down. One is a “brute” who you can take down in hand to hand combat by countering his attacks. For some reason he shows up in many different places, even in the middle of a gunfight at the top of a castle. This lead me to try pulling my gun and shooting him mid-fight. To my surprise, the game engine allowed me to pull my gun out, but to my even further surprise, several gunshots to the face did nothing to this guy and I ended up KO-ing him with another fist fight counter. This, of course, made the fist fighting feel forced and tacked-on. It's still fun to fight, shoot, and climb in UC3, but you don't have as much freedom as you think and when you try to move out of the box you will be disappointed.
Overall, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is a good game with some minor flaws and gameplay that feels a bit dated. Its biggest problem is that it just doesn’t feel like an improvement over its predecessor. I’d suggest giving the multiplayer a try before dropping your hard-earned cash on this as the campaign probably wont pull you back in after you finish.