Words: Michael Anjos
Playing ‘Uncharted 3’ is like watching a really good film but, every ten minutes or so all of your neighbours run in and bludgeon you with deck chairs. It’s not that it is bad; in fact, it’s actually quite good. Just after a while I got the distinct impression that it wanted to be a film and not a game, and worst of all that it resented me for it. So when it did begrudginglybecome an interactive experience I would find myself being punished by swarms of heavily armed, although not so bright, NPCs with a niggling habit of pumping me with enough lead to power a Duracell warehouse.
As the game’s combat sequences are primarily cover based shooting, I figured shooting from behind cover would be a pretty safe bet. But as it turns out, the enemy soldiers have some sort of pre-arranged death pact, in which they have asserted that the pros of killing me far outweigh the cons of not breathing anymore. This results in a fairly nonchalant attitude as they stroll over to my small cubby hole eating their weight in ammo as they go. Sure, I’ll take down a few of them, but it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets close enough to stick his 12 gauge up one of my nostrils and redecorate the wallpaper with the squishier parts of my brain
I can’t really blame them though, I’d probably saunter over to my enemies too if I had 300 tonnes of re-enforced steel armour on my face. I fondly reflect on the many occasions where I would fire a well aimed rocket propelled grenade at an NPC’s head, only to have him shrug it off with a sort of Devil-may-care attitude and proceed to punch several holes in my daddy sack.
But as I said before, the shoot outs don’t really do anything for the game besides distract from the well crafted story sequences and make me want to punch small animals. What really makes the game are the puzzles, which maintain the balance between challenging enough that I feel some sort of pride after working it out, but not so complex that I throw my control at the cat after my fourth aneurism. My only hang up about the puzzles is the “helpful” hinting the characters deem necessary whenever you appear to be stuck. It’s like they’re saying “Yes, alright you’ve had your fun, can we get back to the story now?” I remember one incident where I was in an old castle and had to use a pair of binoculars to spot a hidden symbol across the courtyard. One of my accomplices felt the need to remind me to “look inside the castle” every thirty seconds, which wasn’t exactly the most helpful advice seeing as there’s fuck all else to look at. Even with my team mate’s constant pearls of wisdom, it still took me about ten minutes to find the symbol and needless to say, by the time I put down the binoculars, I was already looking up ways to give my friend an impromptu colonoscopy with them.
All my nit-picking aside though, ‘Uncharted 3’ is still very enjoyable, although it follows the usual trilogy pattern of not being as good as the last two, it still manages to sit comfortably in the category of “not completely terrible”. The story is well paced and enjoyable, and at times it’s hard to tell when the cinematics end and the game begins, which, more often than not, resulted in me standing idly by as a group of unseemly looking gentlemen played operation with my abdomen and a rocket launcher. But again I’m just nit-picking, and once you get used to seeing the Game Over screen every five minutes the combat sequences become almost tolerable, so all in all I give it an 8/10 because I wanted to give it 7 but everyone else gave it 10 and I don’t want the other reviewers to make fun of me and take my lunch money.