Uncharted 3: Gut Check

I was home sick today, and so I ended up finishing Uncharted 3.  Some key statistics:

Time played: 8:42
60 treasures found (out of 100)
791 enemies defeated
156 checkpoints failed/restarted

791 enemies defeated – that’s a lot of bad guys.  That’s a militia, is what that is.  That seems like maybe too many enemies.  I’m not sure I’ve killed 791 bad guys in all three Gears of War games combined.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with all three games in the Uncharted franchise.  When I’m away from the game and reflecting on what I’d seen and done, I’m swept away by the game’s technical merits.  The presentation in U3 is, as always, outstanding.  Attention has been paid to every last pixel.  The voice acting is terrific, and they’re working from a great script, which goes a long way.  The story is maybe a little silly, but it’s nothing that would seem out of place in an Indiana Jones movie.  The action set-pieces are out of this world.  I had a smile on my face for much of the cutscenes, and I genuinely cared about Nathan and Sully and the gang.

But when I’m actually playing the game?  That’s a different matter.  Enemies continue to soak up large amounts of bullets – it’s not as egregious as it was in the first game, but it’s still pretty bad here, with enemies sometimes requiring 4 shotgun blasts to the head from point blank range before falling.  They can see me when I’m hidden; they outflank me before they have any right to know where I am.  They have uncanny aim.  They do like throwing grenades an awful lot – so much so that I actually got pretty good at throwing them back.  If you see above, I failed/restated 156 checkpoints – I’m assuming that number is specifically related to how many times I died.  That’s a lot of dying, and not all of it was my fault.

I do want to play it again at some point – I want to get all the hidden treasures, because that’s always fun.  Actually, another reason as to why I’d like to get all the treasures is so that I can actually look at the world, instead of looking in the corners and tucked-away places.  Every time I play these games, I get distracted by shiny objects.

A number of reviews have all said something along the lines of Uncharted 3 being a great game although it fails  to surpass the lofty highs of Uncharted 2.  I’d agree with that, for the most part.  Uncharted 2 was unexpectedly great – indeed, it’s probably still one of my favorite games of this generation.  Uncharted 3 has some pretty amazing moments – the burning chateau, the sinking ship, the crashing plane, and the finale are all pretty jaw-dropping.  But the combat remains my least favorite element of this franchise, and unfortunately the combat is what ends up overwhelming the experience.

It’s still a must-own if you’re a PS3 owner, there’s no question about that.  I haven’t even touched the mulitplayer, which is robust and feature-packed and probably pretty fun.  Just know that the campaign can get a bit frustrating, even in spite of your jaw being on the floor.

Author: Jeremy Voss

Musician, wanna-be writer, suburban husband and father. I'll occasionally tweet from @couchshouts. You can find me on XBL, PSN and Steam as JervoNYC.

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