Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception full review

Here's a not-so-bold declaration: The Uncharted games are our generation's Indiana Jones films. Just as we once recalled scenes when Indiana blew up that tank or escaped that rolling boulder trap, we'll begin to reference Nathan Drake's survival of a train wreck or his blowing up of a Hind or his epic fight from a cargo plane's open door. Make no mistakes -- Drake's Uncharted games have become cultural touchstones.

Now, no longer can we merely say that games are "cinematic" or like "Hollywood blockbusters." With Uncharted 3, games have truly become media events in themselves as Naughty Dog's cinematics and set pieces would bankrupt most film studios and Nathan Drake's character displays more range and depth than most action movie protagonists.

The Uncharted series keeps getting better and better, and at the centre of that are characters who become more and more real.

Uncharted 3 is arguably Nathan Drake's best adventure to date, and the overall package -- the stellar single-player campaign, co-op modes, and competitive multiplayer -- should help vault it into Game of the Year discussions.

In Uncharted 3: roguish protagonist Nathan Drake, his mentor Victor Sullivan, ex-girlfriend and fellow adventurer Chloe Frazer, and constant love interest Elena Fisher, all get wrapped up in a conspiracy involving Sir Francis Drake, T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) and the legendary "Atlantis of the Sands," Iram of the Pillars. Without giving too much away, the conspiracy and search for treasure sees Drake globe-trot from London to France to the Rub' al Khali desert with stops in pirate waters, the streets of Columbia, and many, many crypts. He'll also confront memories from his past and, like the series itself, show some real maturation.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

All of your favourite characters get more screen time and are given plenty of memorable lines, speaking to both the top-notch voice-acting and the incredible script offered to the actors. Sadly, in an effort to give every fan-favourite character their lines and move along the story, both characters and motivations are often given short shrift this time around. The game at times feels like a quick tour of action set pieces, and the explanation for why you're where you are is thin at best.

Personally, I could have done with more explanation in T.E. Lawrence's findings (the supposed impetus for the plot) as well as any background on the villains (who are actually much creepier, and their motivations more ambiguous than previous enemies). There's a really weird "mystical/mind control" aspect to one of the enemies that never gets explained, and, in my opinion, Chloe is somewhat under-utilized. These might sound like minor quibbles, but a game that puts so much emphasis on story needs to be held accountable when tank-sized plot holes appear.

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