The first instalment of the Uncharted game series, Drake's Fortune, set the bar for visuals and third-person gaming on the PlayStation 3. Among Thieves, the sequel, did nothing but improve on that and was named 2009 IGN Game of the Year.
Two years have passed since then and Naughty Dog, the games developer, have worked hard and efficiently to bring out Uncharted 3 – and it is magnificent. Envision platforming in a capsized cruise ship, surviving a cargo plane crash and throw in a mix of locations, from the desert to ice-laden mountains. Uncharted 3 goes a long way to rebuff the complaints that Among Thieves was too similar to the first game, to the contrary, Uncharted 3's greatest strength is its unpredictability.
Our handsome and witty hero Nathan Drake (Nate) and his seasoned mentor Victor "Sully" Sullivan do not disappoint in their growth. Character development throughout this installment of the series is perfectly constructed, even including an engaging mid-game conversation between villainess Katherine Marlowe and Drake that literally redefines a pillar of this franchise.
Setting aside previously formulated betrayal storylines in the first two games, Uncharted 3 focuses on Nate and Sully's relationship and takes you to a precipice of what you might be expecting of the game, letting you stare at them, and then veers you off in a completely different direction.
Though the game play still revolves around climbing walls and shooting bad guys, there is a refinement found in the mechanics of this game that were missing previously. In the opening bathroom brawl scene, a new form of melee combat is introduced and for the first time we can use the words "fun" as well as "useful" for these fights.
The game play and storyline are merged so well in this game, and the pacing is brilliantly timed. Running through levels and taking cover doesn't get old as everything is made to look absolutely breathtaking the entire way through. In the end, the buttons you hit to manoeuvre Drake around the settings becomes nothing more than a pathway into an adventure, that you could easily forget you are not entirely centred in. Calling it a game sells Uncharted 3 short. This is an experience, a complete package.