Puzzles and Peril Make Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
- Friday, February 24, 2012
One of the first movies I remember seeing in the theater was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Whether or not it was a good decision for my parents to take a seven and a half year old kid to a movie with questionable Asian stereotyping and a dude's heart getting yanked out of his chest is up for debate. In their defense, they weren't able to hop on Crosswalk.com and get a review of the film back then (see what I did there? Cross promotion!). All I know is that I've wanted to be the guy with a bullwhip ever since.
The PS3-exclusive series of Uncharted games has been giving frustrated treasure-seeking adventurers that chance ever since November 2007. Players take on the role of Nathan Drake, an Indy for a new millennium. Gone, however, is the veneer of civility given to the adventure story by Dr. Jones' tenured professorship. Drake is an erstwhile con-man and vagabond, roaming the world in search of riches and adrenaline rushes, with his buddy and mentor Victor "Sully" Sullivan by his side (and an attractive lady or two, natch).
The third entry into the series was released in November to a chorus of excited squeals the likes of which had previously only been heard at a Justin Bieber concert. And for good reason: Uncharted 3 is a outstanding finale to the series and the most highly-rated of the trilogy on Metacritic. Those of us who have been fans of the series get to see the return of favorite characters, an outstanding back-story that we've been clamoring for, exotic new locations, and another epic quest for Drake and Sully that will test their commitment like never before.
In this installment, Drake and Sully encounter an old enemy who appears to trick them out of an important artifact that's part of the solution to the exact position of the fabled "Atlantis of the Sands", located somewhere in the Arabian Desert. Drake and Sully are quickly after their swindler, with whom they both have a prior history.
Drake's dogged pursuit of this villain causes some of his oldest friends to question his motives, and puts those who continue to support him in grave danger. This aspect of the story, and the character development that the player sees throughout, makes this not only one of the best video games of the year, but could put it in the running for one of the best movies of 2011. I don't know that I've ever seen storytelling of this depth in a video game before, and I've played a lot of games.
The progress of the game includes (or at least, it felt to me) many more gun battles and melee combat than in previous installations of the series. Honestly, I could have done with a little less gun play and a few more puzzles to solve in order to advance the story. While Drake is not meant to be a direct descendant of Indy, I can't help but feel that Dr. Jones would have found ways to avoid a lot of the combat that occurs in this game. But, that's just a personal preference, and I may just be nitpicking in order to seem more objective.
If you like multiplayer, Uncharted 3 has you covered here, as well. I'm not much for multiplayer myself, but I played a (very) little bit on Uncharted 3 and a bit more on Uncharted 2. Didn't notice too many variances (other than different maps, obviously). There're are still cooperative (play with your friends) and competitive (play against your friends) modes. Again, if this is your thing, you'll definitely enjoy it.
So, I've sung Uncharted 3's praises, and I feel it's deserving of all the accolades it has received in the media since its release. But, how does it come across to a Christian?
I do know that there will be many of my Christian brethren (and sisteren) who are greatly offended by the language of the game. Profanities and blasphemies are not infrequent. Additionally, there's killing of bad guys and a few references to the occult which may bother some. This game's subject matter, language, and level of violence have earned it a "T" for Teen rating, which I think is fairly lenient, honestly.
If you determine to play the game, whether you're an returning fan or just picking up an Uncharted game for the first time, Drake's Deception will not disappoint.
Final rating: Three and a half thumbs up, as well as two bags of popcorn and a bag of Sour Patch Kids.
*This review first published 2/24/2012
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