Community Review: Uncharted 3

Community Review: Uncharted 3

The weekend before last was one of those rare weekends when I got to spend absolutely every single waking hour playing games — which resulted in me finishing off Batman: Arkham City, and completely loving it. This weekend was supposed to be about me playing a decent chunk of Uncharted 3, but that got the kibosh real quick. So I’m really relying on you guys for this week’s Community Review!

The weekend was a bit of a bust in gaming terms, but I still managed to put a good hour into Uncharted 3 and, as expected it still managed to provide those incredible set piece driven action moments I loved from Uncharted 2.

My first impression was that Uncharted 3 didn’t have as punchy an opening as its predecessor. The climb up the derailed train in Uncharted 2 was one of the most memorable sequences of 2009 — so good the game made you play through it twice! Uncharted 3’s bar room brawl had a bit of the Indiana Jones about it (think the fight in Nepal from Raiders or the opening of The Temple of Doom) but it felt a bit closed in for my liking.

And continuing along the Indiana Jones theme, Uncharted 3 seems to borrow liberally from The Last Crusade in terms of its themes — a move which I thoroughly approve of. You have the flashback to Nathan Drake’s childhood, the focus on Drake’s father/son relationship with Sully. It’s all as tightly scripted and flashy as we’ve come to expect.

As I mentioned before, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the game, but I’m hoping to be surprised. The game is clearly dense with some interesting new characters, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the dynamic between Drake and Sully play out.

Hopefully, this week, I’ll get to spend a bit more time with the game.


  • I’m loving the Multiplayer, especially the ‘Plunder’ mode.

    In terms of story, I’m amazed at how long it seems to be- I know from trailer’s there’s a couple of major set pieces I haven’t seen yet, and I’ve been playing a good 6 hours- so I expect it to come out at 20 hours + for me.

  • I’m up to chapter 12 and so far it’s a rather good game, although the camera does seem to like to change angles for CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE! which can get rather irritating.

    Also they get rather heavy handed with the “why are you doing this, Nate” thing.

    Negativity out of the way, it’s pretty much exactly what I was looking for and there is a market brawl section where you can beat people with a large fish. Really. Large fish. There are other things you can beat people with but I prefer the fish.

    • Something that does bug me quite a lot are the brutes. Big guys that can only be taken down with melee.

      I had one come up to me, I had a shotgun handy. I tried to shotgun him in his face and it just didn’t work. Nice idea and all, but really, seems unnecessary.

    • I played a good 4 hours yesterday and i was really ready to stop at the end of that 4 hours.
      i literally did uncharted 2 is a single sitting as i couldn’t pry myself away.

      the story is great, it definitely is an Indiana Jones story and i am really enjoying it. however the controls and camera are pissing me off.
      i understand that they spent a lot of time with animations so that Nathan will lean on and touch things as he walks past them but it sometimes feels like they deliberately made the controls stupid so that you cant avoid bumping in to stuff to show off his animations (i realise this is unlikely).
      and the sudden camera angle changes are great for dramatic effect but just before a jump, or while balancing on a narrow beam, or when escaping shit blowing up on roof tops where a wrong step is death, bloody hell those bits are annoying and there is one every 30mins or so.
      i do not want to die because to pass a section i need to memorise the camera shifts.

      i’m still enjoying it, i just cant understand why it is frustrating me so much, i don’t remember this frustration from uncharted 2, maybe it was there and i just don’t remember because the rest of it was so brilliant but i’m just not getting in to uncharted 3 as much as #2 and it definitely is not a 10/10 game. not that it isn’t a great game its just definitely not perfect

  • Great fun, but yeah, I think UC 2’s set pieces were a bit more wow-y.
    Not to say it’s comparatively bad or anything.
    Camera angles as previously mentioned sometimes get a bit annoying.
    The weekend article about enemies being jerks is spot on.
    But really, those two are my biggest gripes, and they’re not too bad usually.

  • I finished it this weekend just gone. there are heaps of throwbaks to indy. its fantastic. my friends and I did it in one sitting almost and all I kept saying was this is Indy the game. you should get it finished Mark.

  • I finished it yesterday and then went back and replayed some of the EPIC chapters in 3D and on my DTS system (instead of my PX5’s)…
    It is fantastic. It’s the most cinematic experience I have had this year across all entertainment platforms.
    Drake is so bloody lovable and he often says the things I am thinking to myself (SPOILER EXAMPLE … when the ship level is semi capsized I was thinking “wow, this is disorientating” and Drake suddenly says “sheesh, this is disorientating”)
    I don’t care for the shooting mechanics too much, but I remind myself that this not a shooter, the same way Mass Effect 2 is not a shooter.

  • you can’t start the game similarly to uc2….the bar brawl was great way to kick off what is an extraordinarily awesome game, found myself at times after watching a cutscene just letting drake sit there and realizing shit i’m supposed to be playing

  • I’m not enjoying it quite as much as 2, but I think part of that was the wow factor of that being my first Uncharted game. It started out slow, but it’s just kept building and building.

  • Apart from the wacky aiming, the game was really good. great set pieces, good story moments and a really great end sequence.

    Though I was really hoping they would tone down the stupid difficulty spikes that have always plagued the series. nothing more annoying than replaying the same section over and over again.

  • Finished it last night (about 10 hours on normal) & I can only say that it continues the trend of spectacular set-pieces of an epic scale, more so than UC 1 & 2. But sure, other games have big set pieces, but what I really like about the Uncharted series is how the characters are so well written. Nobody in this game is an invincible super hero. Every character has their flaws, and yet, is still remarkably likeable.
    For example, the newly introduced character of Charlie, I liked his rough charms, and while he is only a supporting character, I actually found myself panicking whenever he was in a particulary dangerous situation (which happens to all characters frequently).

    Still on the story side of things, the final act in particular has a moment that actually had me feeling shocked, and is a scene that I will stay with me for a long time.

    The set pieces themselves are insane. Just when I thought things couldnt get much worse for Drake & co, the game ups the ante & more than once, I had to think ‘holy shit, thats insane & freaking awesome at the same time’

    The difficulty spikes are the only complaint that I can think of. On normal, when waves of mooks & heavily armored tank soldiers with potentially insta-kill shotguns, supported by three snipers & a bloke with an RPG… Yeah, you’ll die a lot in parts like that. And scenarios such as that one pop up 4 or 5 times throughout the campaign, & yeah, its hard, and maybe frustrating at times, but very rarely feels cheap.

    Havent yet tried the multiplayer component, so I cant comment.

    If you liked the first 2, play this. Now.

  • I actually uploaded my own little review of Uncharted 3 on my blog on Friday if anyone would like to have a read:

  • Im a little dissapointed with Uncharted 3. I already finished it, and it was alot shorter than 2. Also the locales, set pieces and story were far better done in 2. I think its been seriously overrated.

  • Completed it on Hard, then played a half-dozen hours of multiplayer. Liked UC3 more than UC2 because:

    a) it had less dumb “pixel hunting” moments where I had to spend ages hunting for the place to climb or the next brick or branch;

    b) it didn’t have a stupid gimmick boss fight at the end

    It’s like watching a half dozen great action-adventure movies in a row, basically. Naughty Dog are doing it better than Hollywood at the moment, for my money (and seeing as I have bought two Uncharted games, and I hardly go to the movies anymore, it is LITERALLY for my money).

    Not Game of the Year only because of lack of longevity. I have Deus Ex: Human Revolution as my GOTY so far, but Uncharted 3 and Portal 2 are in a close fight for runner-up.

  • Loving the plot and the visuals, really like the platforming. Hate the combat. I think they’ve re-“balanced” all the guns and changed the controls to be better for multiplayer. I feel like the game is annoyed at the fact that I’m there, trying to play it and failing because I’m apparently terribly bad at it.

    The way that every combat area has multiple waves of respawning enemies is incredibly annoying. You clear out an area and suddenly there’s people there again. At one point for example, I’m on a small boat. I kill the guy standing up at the top, sniping me, and run around the back to where the ladder to get up there is. Head up top, no one there. No cover, so I go back down. Take out a few guys from the bottom of the ladder and suddenly someone’s shooting me from above, and it’s a guy who has magically appeared from nowhere in the place I just cleared out.

    Even worse is when you’re in cover at a decent vantage point, take some guys out, and it spawns enemies right on top of you and there’s no way in hell they could have up gotten to where you are without you seeing them. Plus they’re aggressive as hell, like to flank & charge you and throw grenades, or start annoyingly long fistfights with you while their buddies gun you down.

    I wouldn’t mind the combat so much if there were fixed numbers of enemies in an area, or it had a more intelligent respawning system or something. At least, if there’s a new wave coming in, I want them to come in from a logical place. Send them in a door, crash in through the windows etc (but please don’t take control of the camera and zoom in on that mid-combat for a Cinematic Moment!). The current way they just reappear takes me right out of the game, because it could only ever happen in a game, and it also feels like it’s just extending the difficulty and padding out the length of the game for the sake of it. Especially when if you die, you get set right back to the start of the combat. In the end the combat feels like a chore you have to do to play the fun parts of the game.

    I also wish some puzzles were a little more elaborate than they are. The solutions are always so obvious, and often your diary basically spells the answer out for you anyway.

    I suspect I’d have been more impressed with the game if I hadn’t just come off Batman, which hasn’t got a lot of these problems. I’m far more interested in Uncharted’s story than Batman’s, but I enjoyed actually playing Batman a lot more.

    Note: in no way am I saying that Uncharted 3 is a bad game by any stretch. I think it’s not as good as it should be.

  • Alot of people say that would like Uncharted more if there was less shooting and I think the opening to the game does this very well, the game is a slow burner for literally the first half of the game. Even then you have a burning Chateau, Syria by night and also a chase through Yemen.

    The ride begins at Chapter 12 and just keeps going, which I loved, so many games blow you out of the water at the beginning and fizzle towards the end, Uncharted 3 is one game that does it the right way.

    Even though the game has batshit insane set pieces, this adventure certainly feels the most grounded of the trilogy and certainly something I really enjoyed.

    I’ll admit that I was sucked in big time with Chapters 21-22, at first I was thinking “What the hell?”, then once the penny dropped, it was more like “Naughty Dog you magnificent bastards”

    Honestly, it’s not a perfect game but it’s certainly an Uncharted game. The change from U2 to U3 isn’t as big as U2 was to U1, I think this is what is hurting the game, with many expecting so much more. Even though the story is self contained, I wished that some stories were more developed and an Epilogue would have been perfect to finish this game.

    With a patch on the way for the aiming issues (it does take a while to get used to), it still lived up to my expectations, I loved every minute of it, even when I was getting my ass handed to me in the Ballroom and one of the last rooms in Chapter 21 (you know which one if you have finished, fast buggars!).

    Whether or not Naughty Dog continue with the series remains to be scene, there is an engine there that another team could pick up and continue the series, so if Amy Hennig can continue to produce quality stories for the characters, then I’m happy to keep playing them.

    • Chapters 21 and 22 were magnificent storytelling. I knew there would be a twist, every player must expect a twist, but I still got blindsided (and yet it made complete sense in hindsight). Very well set up throughout the game to misdirect the player (can’t say more without spoilers).

      Chapter 21 and the last fight before it are my main concerns with trying a Crushing run. That and the ship graveyard fight.

  • I rented this on the weekend and played up until about Chapter 14. I didn’t bother renting it for a 2nd night.

    It’s a good game, don’t get me wrong, but I found it pretty dull really. It felt like I’d played it before… a couple of times. The story isn’t anything to write home about, go here, get something, go somewhere else. That said, I enjoyed the brief backstory chapter where Drake and Sully originally meet.

    Early in the game, the enemies seemed dumb as dog shit. They would break cover, run across the screen right in front of me to get to cover on the other side.. for no apparent reason. Or just break cover to stand right in front of me, not shooting, just waiting for me to take them down. They did seem to get smarter, or maybe just harder, as the game progressed.

    The hand-to-hand combat resembles Arkham’s, but ends up being a button mashing mess, which, using the PS3 controller, gives me sore hands pretty quickly. And how come when I’m fighting one of those really big dudes, can’t I just pull out my gun and lay them down? Why do I have to hand-to-hand them all the time?

    Then the enemies just get too hard. They’re almost exactly like Army of 2 (2), grunts, shield guys, guys with armour and shotguns where you have to shoot their helmets off before you can kill them, guys on mounted guns etc, but they take sooo many bullets, it just gets kinda boring for me.. and that’s not just because I died so much…

    Finally, I got so sick of constantly having everything falling down around Drake. Almost every single thing you jump onto, or grab onto, falls apart/down. When it happens now and then it’s cool and interesting, when it happens constantly, it just gets dull. It got to the point when I would loudly exclaim to my wife if a handhold or something DIDN’T crumble beneath Drake’s weight! That chapter where you have to escape the burning building ended up driving me nuts! I couldn’t wait for it to be over!

    I didn’t complete the game, but in the time I spent with it, I felt that for all the polish and shine, the actual underlying game is pretty shallow. There certainly doesn’t seem to be anything groundbreaking, or that would encourage me to buy this, even though I bought the first 2 games.

  • Loving it, about half way through i think.
    I have had trouble logging into the multiplayer side, came up with a network error and it shutdown after trying to bring up the online user agreement.
    Anyone else having trouble like this?

      • yeah, my thoughts too. I assumed that it was just the servers being hit by so many user, just needed that verified, which you just did 🙂 Thanks

    • Multiplayer is pretty broken at the moment, the party system fails on a regular basis, so so so sick of getting put into a game while it leaves my friend out and then having to wait 2 minutes before I can leave and we can start looking again -.- Plus I get the loading screen hangs, and I’ve had a few straight up glitches like spawning inside walls. Really need some patch love for it.

      Personally while I mostly enjoyed the single player, I think I’ve had my fill of the Uncharted series, story sequences aside I was exceptionally bored of the run here, same shootout, run here puzzle, There were also some straight up cheap fights, I’ve beaten U2 on crushing and I got extremely frustrated with this one even on normal, so over the enemies aim with grenades in these games

      • I loved enemies throwing grenades at me, throwing grenades back is pretty easy and saves a lot on ammo. I remember that on the exit from the Syria sequence, which includes a bunch of guys carrying riot shields and no heavy weapons to speak of, being able to throw enemy grenades back at the shield guys made it a lot easier.

  • Wow.

    Finished it (normal) this past weekend, and had a great time playing it. Some amazing sequences – a non-console-playing housemate of mine was mesmerised just watching it as if it was a movie for a good chunk of the central chapters.

    I have not touched multiplayer or coop so far.

    I found myself using guns as little as possible and mainly resorting to ye olde fisticuffs if possible in most situations… anyone else do the same? Maybe I’m just too stingey with ammo 🙁

    Summary: more of the same, which for many of us is “a good thing(tm)”. Pretty much the best graphics in a PS3 titles I’ve seen. Probably not too much replayability in the main campaign, but I can’t speak for coop or multiplayer – places where replayability traditionally exists.

    • No me too. Every time I was one on one or was protected by cover from people shooting but one person was near by I would go into an Indiana Jones brawl. The melee is cool and freshens things up being the third game in the series and all. Plus ammo runs out sooner so It’s a great way to save.

  • Hmm, jury’s still out.

    Coming straight from Mafia II, the opening sequence looked downright cartoony, which was a surprise, because I always thought Uncharted was on the cutting edge of graphical excellence.

    But somehow the graphics have gotten better.

    I’m on chapter 11. There’s only been one setpiece so far that’s got my vote for AWESOME, and that’s the SPOILERS ***burning French chateau*** /SPOILERS

    It’s a very good game, but unsure whether it measures up to UC2 or to expectations at this stage.

    Not the 10/10 masterpiece that IGN claimed, but so far, it’s a solid 8.5

    • you will find in a couple of chapters is just keeps building up and up and up with story and set pieces. You will change your opinion to a 9/9.5 I reckon. Expecially if you pick up on all the old school Indy and the like references they put in on purpose.

  • Something with this game didn’t click with me. Didn’t like the first Uncharted, lurved Among Thieves, but this game just seemed the same with a worse story and less omgoodness moments. Shooting is still horrible and climbing isn’t as fluid as the Assassins Creed series. Midway through I had to force myself to continue. To its credit it still does set pieces better then most games on the market and visually looks the tits. 8/10

    • Totally agree. Definately felt like a lesser rehash of Among Thieves. Wish it had been more of its own thing and had a better story/better setpieces. But yeah, its still better than most games out there.

  • Bought it on Friday afternoon, finished it just after midday Saturday. It’s a great game, though I think it has less impact than UC2. Multiplayer seems substantially improved and does some really clever stuff.

    It’s pretty much more Uncharted. I am fine with that.

    The additions aren’t totally negligible; kudos to naughty dog for finally making a game where throwing back grenades is possible but needs some degree of skill. Also melee is pretty fun, I found myself brawling enemies just for the hell of it.

  • I bought my PS3 purely based off of recommendations form friends to play Uncharted 2, purchasing Uncharted 1 while I was at it. Having played through all 3 games now I am awestruck at the amount of love Naughty Dog puts into their games, and it is no surprise that “Nathan isnt done yet” and that we can expect to see Uncharted 4 and perhaps even 5 and 6 released in the coming decade.

    Having said that, I sometimes felt awkwardly out of place in some of the scenes in Uncharted 3, certain plot lines were never really explained or didnt present the opportunity to resolve themselves, such as the Talbot mysterious ‘powers’ or Marlowe’s Tarrot Cards. I think the 2 year Development cycle really did not do justice to this third title in the Uncharted series and while I enjoyed my time playing it, I cant help feel like I missed something going on in the background story of these characters.

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