When Uncharted first Stepped on the scene in 2007 it attempted to set the benchmark of what the current generations technology can do. With fluid animation, blockbuster moments, and gorgeous set pieces, it almost did just that, but a few issues keep it from it’s crown.
In 2009 Uncharted – Amongst thieves stormed onto the scene, and did everything the first title didn’t, It changed the way we thought of video games. The cinematic moments were no longer something to be watched, but controlled. The banter between characters felt so natural and life like, you almost felt like the voice actors themselves had this deep relationship with each other, and it showed in the delivery of the lines. Then there’s the graphics… The graphics were something to behold, if the gaming shelf at your local retailer was a treasure chest of beautiful gems, Uncharted 2 was the biggest beautiful diamond that stood out in the bunch. Uncharted 2 was more than just a sequel, it was new experience born from the hard work Naughty dog put into the first uncharted game.
That progression is one of the only negatives I have Against Uncharted – Drakes Deception, it doesn’t capture that feeling of new that it’s predecessor did, but it’s a better game all around.
All the things you loved about Uncharted 2 are back, the great characters, the great dialogue, the beautiful graphics, but this time around we get to do something we didn’t in the first 2 games, delve into characters, specifically the relationship between Drake and his long time friend, and mentor Sully.
The game doesn’t start off with as big a bang as Uncharted 2 did, but it nicely sets up the rivalry and adventure that stems from a old acquaintance of Sully, and Long time rival of Nathan, Katherine Marlowe. Unlike the previous two titles villain, Katherine Marlowe is more than just a bad person looking for fortune or power, She is woven into the intricate relationship between the main characters, and that gives her a deeper feel than the previous antagonists. Her interactions with Drake and Sully come off almost like a angry step mother betrayed by Sully, and in a long standing stalemate with Nathan, as they both hold a piece of the puzzle that each other need.
The adventure this time is way more explosive, and jaw dropping than any game you can find on the market, and even some of the more subtle situations, like a long trek to nowhere, help to keep the adventure fresh, and nicely break up the action sequences.
The environments are beautiful, and while not as big a jump in superiority as Uncharted 2 was from the original, it definitely looks better. The colors are vibrant, the environments look awesome, and the character models look better than ever.
The story is your basic Adventure Blockbuster, more akin to a Nation Treasure, than a Indian Jones, but that is far from a negative, because as far as Indian Jones clones go, The National Treasure movies were actually pretty good. The story sets up the game to have some really interesting puzzles, one that required the use of shadows, I found to be really dope, and inventive way to use the environment.
My first play through I went straight for hard mode, and it did give some decent challenge, but like most games this generation, it felt more like what a normal difficulty would be on some old school titles, but there is a more difficult mode unlocked upon completion of this game. I would love to have been able to play it on that difficulty at jump in order to extend the life of my play through, but for the sake of having a review not to far out from the games release, I guess it was better that it wasn’t.
The character interaction this time around is, believe it or not, even better. Nathan’s obsession with his ancestor, Francis Drakes, Journey is played up well, as he jumps from one disastrous situation to the next, willing to push forward no matter what happens. This also adds a layer to Sully’s character, as his older age and dedication to Nathan Shine through. Elena returns to the story, as they fill us on a little of what happened between the two in-between the two games, while to much detail isn’t given, the voice acting and dialogue are enough to let you know how the two feel about each other, and where their relationship went after the lovey ending of uncharted 2. Chloe makes a return with all of her sexy glory, the cast rounded out by some new characters that fall nicely in line.
Naughty Dog has once again upped the ante of what it is to craft a gaming experience, and other developers will need to step their game up double time to even be on the same ladder.