It has to be said that a lot of people were wondering whether Naughty Dog would be able to improve on the superb ‘Among Thieves,’ a game that walked away with awards for ‘Best Voice Acting,’ ‘Best Graphics,’ ‘Single Player Game Of The Year’ and the biggie – ‘Game Of The Year’ in my end of year round up for 2009.
Where both ‘Drake’s Fortune‘ and ‘Among Thieves’ concentrated more on the relationship between Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher, this instalment focuses on Nathan and Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan. As a big fan of Sully that’s a plus in my book.
The gameplay is as fluid as ever although the same gripes from the second game do raise their head. The main one being when certain gameplay parts flow (such as a chase or escape scene) they *really* flow but if you fail the section and have to re-do it a few times it totally breaks the immersion for a bit.
This isn’t indicative of Uncharted specifically, any game that is scripted this tightly (for example the Call Of Duty games – in particular I had this issue with the snow sled escape in MW2. I’m sure it was amazing if you got through it in one go – not so much when having to re-do it) often have this problem but it feels so much more harsh here because the game does such a good job of dragging you in.
The banter between characters is fantastic and it is one of the few games I found myself chuckling along with. You can tell these actors have known each other a long time and worked together to build these character relationships.
The gameplay itself isn’t anything new, a mixture of climbing, shooting and solving puzzles but after the success of ‘Among Thieves’ refining rather than changing was probably the best route Naughty Dog could’ve taken.
The plot is great and throws up a few curveballs but nothing like the backstabbing double-crossing of the last game. ‘Drake’s Deception’ is the story of Nate and Sully and it was great to find out more about their relationship.
I wrote a detailed look at the multiplayer experience during the early access we had (which can be found HERE) and thankfully not too much has changed. Multiplayer really has improved from the last game and the whole experience feels a lot deeper – the medal kickbacks and power plays add a tactical element to proceedings and allow players to quickly escape a sticky situation if they’ve earned the right to.
I’ve seen some reviews of the game picking holes in ‘Drake’s Deception’ and while I admit it doesn’t have the same impact as the last game (how could it?!) Naughty Dog have done a great job on tightening things here and there to deliver a stellar title. We have been spoilt with the last two games in the series, which is why I think some people are a bit down on the game.
For me this is another complete package – the best third person multiplayer on the market coupled with a great story and the best character design you’ll see in a game. While watching the last cut-scene of this campaign I actually had goosebumps – surely the sign of something special.