|Dev: Naughty Dog|
|Release: November 1, 2011|
|Players: 1, 2 offline, 3 online co-op, 12 online versus|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Uncharted 3 is yet another game that is succumbing to the FPS craze of rewarding players with multiple loadouts and gun mods. Want a more accurate AK-47 or a faster firing pistol? Just tweak your gun to your exact specifications and you are good to go. Loadouts also include "boosters" which are basically player perks for your character. Boosters award you with things like increased speed, HP boosts, tweaks to the two-player team formula, and one-time use skills that destroy the area around you. If you've played Uncharted 2's multiplayer, many of these boosters will be familiar, while there are some new ones in the mix as well.
Most of the pieces of your loadout are bought with cash, which can be earned during any gameplay mode. However, as you play multiplayer matches, you obtain medals, a different form of currency that can be found in treasure chests or obtained by completing certain objectives. Medals can be spent immediately on "Medal Kickbacks," abilities that further customize your character. Some Medal Kickbacks allow you to do strange things like vanish in a puff of smoke, jam your opponents' guns, or throw three grenades at once. Each kickback costs a different amount of medals to use, but you can only bring a limited amount of kickbacks into combat. Put all these system elements together, along with an in-depth character creation system that lets you tweak Drake's and Sully's appearances, and no two-man team will be quite the same.
But there's so much more to the multiplayer than just that. There are still locations where guns spawn on each map, and you can pick up guns from downed enemies. The environments are interactive and destructible. Many environmental hazards, such as bomber planes or out-of-control trucks, will attempt to kill you even as you try to kill your opponent. There are new modifiers called "Power Plays" that change the game rules or even game type during big blowouts. Power Plays greatly increase the amount of cash you earn, so losers can catch up or winners can strengthen their lead. Some of these power plays are as simple as sudden death or overtime, but others involve things such as airplanes that spray the field with gunfire. There are treasure chests to open, mini missions to complete for extra cash, unlockable items, customizable emblems, traps, ambushes, and much more.
Even the maps themselves are cinematic in nature. Two maps have been revealed thus far: Airship and Chateau. Airship starts with players on the back of trucks that are trying to chase down a huge cargo plane. If they reach the cargo plane, they can fight inside it as it takes off and eventually lands in an airfield where the battle continues. Chateau takes place inside a burning building which crumbles as time passes, offering fewer safe areas to fight. Outside the burning building you'll find turrets, treasure chests, and sniper perches, as well as pathways that let you assassinate your opponents from behind.
Even if you don't consider the spectacular graphics—which once again show just how strong a piece of hardware the Playstation 3 is—Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception looks to be an action game with great gameplay and a phenomenal story. Once again, Naughty Dog proves that they can make games about things other than spinning marsupials. (A bandicoot is a marsupial right?) Now the only question is: how can they possibly outdo themselves this time?
Angelo M. D’Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer