A few thoughts on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Drake’s Deception will surely go down as one of the Playstation 3’s most beautiful games.  Along with its predecessors, the game offers stunning visuals, amazing details, and a cinema-like experience other games only wish they could emulate.  The story is top-notch and the voice acting is amazing.  Simply put, this game is the strongest argument to be made against those who would like to characterize video games as “not art”.  And yes, I’m highly self aware that many, if not most, of my reviews are overwhelmingly sunny, but I suppose I can self justify that all away by claiming I only buy good games (or lack the cynicism required to be a typical bitter internet dweller, sent to complain about things solely because the memes I post on facebook don’t get as many likes as they do upvotes on reddit.)  But I guess I ought to digress.  I won’t touch on the finer details and points of the game because I was drunk during the majority of it, but there are a few things I’d like to point out.  First, let’s talk about Nathan Drake himself:

This ole sour eye.

Nathan Drake doesn’t look like our typical shooter character.  He’s not uber-military, he’s not really gruff or even all that mean looking.  The creators of the series stated that they based his appearance on Johnny Knoxville, Harrison Ford, and the heros of various pulp magazines.  He actually speaks, which is a huge advancement from the multitudes of silent protagonists we play as every day.  He jokes around, he has personality, and he’s extremely relatable, which is a reason this game is so much fun to play.  But it can also be deceptive, as it makes it easy to forget Nathan Drake is basically a mass murderer and a spree killer, a violent international criminal, and most likely on INTERPOL’s top ten list.  He trudges to various remote places on earth, soaking his hands in gunpowder to the extent paraffin tests would show up positive years later,  killing natives and hijacking all manner of internationally bound vehicles.  I’m not complaining, but it struck me as unusual as I was playing this third installment.  It is interesting to note how the atmosphere of this game reduces the reality of what is going on.  The jokes, the silent adversaries, the over-the-top action, it plays out more like a movie than like a realistic endeavor.  Whereas some shooter games (which I wouldn’t strictly classify Uncharted as a shooter) seek to immerse one in the blood and guts reality of war, this game includes all the same violence without any of the grittiness.  Once again, not complaining, but it is something to consider when analyzing how atmosphere can change the impressions one get from what amounts to the same actions.

Which does bring me to my one complaint.  I grew up around guns and have shot guns all of my life, so just like many of you, I understand just how damn loud and powerful a gunshot can be.  And certain games are able to accurately, to the best of their ability, emulate those effects in order to add a level of realism.  But Naughty Dog decided to go a different route, instead using the sounds of what I can only imagine to be pages flipping to create their machine gun sounds.  Opening a carbonated drink is the pistol sound, and using the air-filling machine at a gas station to make the explosion sounds.  It is bafflingly underwhelming, and subtly begins to make each gun fight seem more like a game of laser tag.  If we’re going to include such copious amounts of violence, let us at least feel and hear the violence!

Pew! Pew! Pew!

The game is rated T for Teen by the ESRB, which is fine.  I honestly love an M title simply because I know it’ll be closer to real life, at least in the sense that people wont be afraid to say fuck and actual blood will accompany an actual murder.  But the game still does an amazing job at doing what it set out to do, which was to be fun!  And in that sense, it accomplished more than I could have ever imagined.  The puzzles are great and actually pretty difficult, which gives you that Portal 2 satisfaction upon completion (maybe a little less, so back off Valve fanboys).  Overall, if you have a Playstation 3, this game is a must get.  I’m not sure what I set out to do with this article, but I finished the game last night and I figured a stream of conciousness would be the best approach.

Check back soon, I’ve downloaded Papo & Yo and I begin it now!


3 Responses to “A few thoughts on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception”

  1. Nice article. I’m personally more a fan of Among Thieves, but this was a great game. I think the game can justify the copious amounts of violence put forward in a rather unrealistic way the same way that for example Star Wars can have tons of fights involving blaster pistols used to slay Stormtroopers with not a drop of blood to be seen. It’s pure pulp fiction, and the gunplay is a means to an end, and made for the entertainment of the player, rather than trying to reflect a serious, real-world tone.


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