+++ Great Characters
+++ Outstanding environmental variety
++ Co-op multiplayer is much improved
++ Moderately difficult
++ Djinn/Tripping/Rub’al’Khalil sequences
+ Competitive multiplayer is slightly improved
+ Best looking console game, period
+ Improved melee system in single player
-- Middle act is completely irrelevant to the storyline
-- 4 hours shorter than Uncharted 2
- End “boss” kind of sucks
- Most of the best sections are only 5 minutes long
Amid Sequel frenzy 2011 Uncharted 3 was perhaps the game most deserving to be made. Uncharted 2 remains a wonderful linear game and is pretty long relative to most others. 12 hours of Nolan North and humorous clichés alongside very entertaining combat sequences. Uncharted 3 isn’t really all that far off from 2 either. Personally I don’t think similarity to another good game is a bad thing, and Uncharted 3 does do enough to diverge from the previous game.
However, Uncharted 3 is about 4 hours shorter than 2 and it’s the content gap that hurts it the most. Maybe somehow they could have come up with some reason for the pirate section to exist with another few hours of gameplay. Or they could have extended the plane sequence so it wasn’t just a really cool minute or two. Sure it doesn’t make that much logistical sense, but if you can outrun trucks with horses and transfer truck to truck why not give Drake a grappling hook to transfer between planes. Think about it.
Unlike Uncharted 2 this game can actually be fairly challenging at spots, which is always nice. Additionally the “Crushing” Co-op modes are often insanely hard if you really want to play a hard version of a typically easy game. The enemy AI is much improved. They move less predictably and the heavy machine gunners in particular are much more agile than they were in Uncharted 2. Simply being able to move about the environment freely adds a tremendous amount of replay to multiplayer and co-op in this game.
Almost every 3rd game is worst than the 2nd in the sequel trend so for this game to be just a bit worse is fine by me. It’s one of the few games I’ve actually purchased at full price near release, and I didn’t feel gipped in the slightest. I look forward to whatever Naughty Dog decides to do next, as long as it’s not a 2.5 D Platformer. Nolan North may be overused but I still love that bastard.
Final Score: 9/10