Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, an action/adventure game that’s probably one of the most-anticipated titles of any PS3 owner this year, is now available in North America. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception follows franchise hero Nathan Drake on a treasure-hunting adventure to uncover a historical conspiracy tying together Sir Francis Drake, T.E. Lawrence and a mythological city known as the Atlantis of the Sands.
The Uncharted series is our executive editor’s favorite PS3-exclusive franchise, and this third outing looks like it will uphold the pedigree.
In the franchise’s most compelling plotline yet, the tradition of exploring real-life historical mysteries continues with a quest for a legendary city lost to the sands in a desert that has ties to a lost chapter in the life of Sir Francis Drake, the reputed ancestor of Nathan Drake. Drake and his mentor, Victor Sullivan, travel through treacherous, new environments—including London, France, Syria, and the vast Rub’ al Khali desert—as they unravel a complex conspiracy involving an enduring secret society led by their main antagonist, Katherine Marlowe. The deeply emotional narrative and award-winning motion-capture performances in Uncharted 3 immerse players in the role of Nathan Drake as he tests the limits of his strongest relationships and is forced to confront his past and his very identity.
The Naughty Dog Engine 3.0 that drives Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception re-creates the harsh desert of the Rub’ al Khali with sand that displaces, swirls, and flows realistically in precise rendered detail. Effects such as fire and water have been overhauled to make each environment unique and interactive allowing gamers to rush through walls of water, aim and shoot through sloshing pools, and escape a chateau engulfed by fire that curls, billows, and smokes as it burns.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception can also be played entirely in stereoscopic 3D, which provides deeper immersion into the cinematic presentation and overall gameplay experience through such enhancements as an added sense of depth and scale to environments and an increased feeling of vertigo during set-piece moments.
Fast-paced gun combat, platforming, and puzzle solving all make a grand return alongside superior fighting mechanics. The enhanced melee combat system allows players to engage in brawl-style combat, with multiple enemies at once, using a combination of punches and kicks to shake off opponents. Drake can launch contextual attacks by using objects found in the environment, like an empty bottle, as improvised weapons. The game also features an expanded move-set including climbing backwards and traversal across physics-based objects, such as a crumbling staircase, a swinging chandelier or a fully realized, massive cruise ship that is tossed back and forth by a procedurally generated, real-time ocean.
In addition to the single-player campaign, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception offers cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. The cinematic experience and grand set-pieces have been incorporated as playable components of the multiplayer maps. This brand new 10-player, action-adventure competitive multiplayer launches with a wealth of new and improved customization features that give players the freedom to define their own unique play styles within the game. The options let players leverage Loadout slots, use upgradable Boosters, make Weapon Modifications, and use hundreds of mix-and-match character accessories and an emblem editor.
With multiplayer modes across 11 different maps, players can challenge each other in Three Team Death match, Free-for-All, Team Objective, Plunder, or the classic Team Deathmatch. Utilizing a new inherent player balancing system, matches are ensured to stay competitive by matching players based on player levels and by introducing Power Plays and gameplay modes, like Overtime and Sudden Death, to increase the intense competition between teams. Alongside the competitive mode, the local and online cooperative modes in UNCHARTED 3 encourage three teammates to play through rounds of objective-based scenarios, working together against the clock to collect and return idols or defend against waves of enemies with limited lives. Additionally, Co-op Adventure features a unique story arc found only in this mode that spans across five different levels as Drake and Sully embark on a mission to track down a rare and valuable Janus Head treasure. With a unique set of Co-op only Boosters and Kickbacks it’ll be up to the players to decide how they work together to solve all the co-op missions.