What's not to love?
So anyway, this time around we get the same incredible looking cut scenes, lovable characters, a butt load of colors, top of the notch acting and the lip sync.
It is still kind of hard to expect that same "wow" factor that we've all had when we started playing Uncharted 2. So if you've played Uncharted 2, you're unlikely to have many of those initial moments of awe. That's just how psychology works. It goes kind of like this: Naughty dog made a huge leap from the first game to the second, in fact the leap was so huge that there was little distance left between the second and the third games.
Moving on, once again almost every square yard of the game is treated with care, respect and detailing. A lot of love went into making this game. Every action scene is meticulous and once you again the environment gives you guidance on how to proceed even without quest arrows and hints, you just "know" where to run and how to act without having to bump into dead ends and die often.
The game is also heavily scripted just like the previous two games. You often won't be able to pull out a gun or run whenever you want. So it is safe to say that Naughty Dogs stay true to the "If it ain't broken, don't fix it" concept. However, if you jump off that ledge that is 1-2 feet higher than the ledge you are supposed to jump off of then you will die, it's a familiar annoyance.
The AI. Oh well, yes they do take cover but they throw grenades less often. Sometimes they get obsessed with killing you so much that they will come after you without regard for their own life since one of your partners is right there shooting at them. But I don't think Uncharted was ever about the A.I. for the most part.
No improvement went into polishing the jerky animation when it comes to almost falling off a ledge when your character all of a sudden reverses himself or herself and grabs onto the ledge. You know what I am talking about, the temporary suspension of physical laws in mid air moments before you manage not to fall down, but it's ok I guess.
As for the gameplay, well it's been improved. The aiming has been changed and a dot has been added to increase realism in a sense of making a sharp turn and not being able to have perfect aim, i.e. the dot has to align itself first in the middle of the cross hair. There's also more recoil now, especially when it comes to assault rifles, and I greatly welcome that. Anyone remember the nonexistent recoil in the first game? The second game kind of got it right and this one improved the recoil even more, although this time you aren't going to run out of ammo as often. Plus every time you shoot a bullet your aim is displaced instead of going back into the original position. However, what I did notice is that the pistol fire rate has been reduced for some reason which in my opinion adds sluggishness to the gameplay. Plus, the aiming is still not fast enough for me even though I turned the sensitivity all the way up.
In singleplayer, the occasional Tarantino-like off focus camera changes is a nice touch I think. This technique adds more immersion and makes you think that you are an invisible objective observer of the story.
Graphics-wise, we get the same great rendering of the good old Havoc engine as in the second game. The eye-candy vistas and environments are still there to be enjoyed.
As mentioned before, the multiplayer is bugless and the shooting technique is more refined than in part 2. If the hosts leaves in team deathmatch, then a new host is going to be assigned within seconds and the match will resume. All multiplayer maps have something going on in the background or on the map itself that is going to alter the way match is going on. Although I do miss some of the maps from part 2 and I hope they add them later on. Unfortunately, there is one thing that will ruin the multiplayer experience for many just like in Uncharted 2. That game had a perk called "Situational Awareness" whereby one could see through the walls and locate the enemy. That just plain broke the multilayer for me, so whenever I saw someone use that perk I would wait 90 seconds to be booted from the game without penalty and attempt to look for another game that would not contain anyone using this cheating perk. I can see that this game has something as sinister, but perhaps not as annoying and easy to get. When you reach level 60 and when you collect 17 medals in a match (either by killing enemies or looking for chests) you get to be an unstoppable swarm of spiders devouring everyone in your path for 20 seconds. If you ask me, it's pretty idiotic but at least you unlock this kickback medal at level 60 and not level 45. So enjoy fair competition while it lasts. It is also nice to see how the losing side in a deathmatch can have a chance of turning the tide when the 30-second bonus of dealing twice the damage and/or being able to see the shades of enemies through walls kicks in.
There are 4-5 pistol types, shotguns, 6 long guns all with different variations and a couple of other new weapons.
There are also plenty of vanity apparel to unlock by advancing in levels and by spending your hard earned money. It's a nice touch if you want to express a bit more individualism and care about how your character looks.
The co-op system within multiplayer has been drastically improved. Now if you want to stay close to your buddy whom you play with all the time, you simply need to pair up with him prior to the match and then spawn right next to him every time you die, so now there's no reason to look for him or her on the map whilst getting killed in the process. You can thus coordinate your tactics better and this proved successful on many occasions in my case.
Also, for some reason, the multiplayer has online pass this time. If you want to play online I guess you have to purchase a new copy of the game online, or am I getting this wrong? Or maybe you can get a used copy of the game later on and then buy the online pass off of PSN. I don't get it and I see no reason for this. This is not PC, so piracy should not be a problem here.
I also didn't find much innovation with acquiring of trophies. They are pretty much the same as in part 1 and part 2. And there are only 2 online trophies so platinum should not be that hard, not that this game should be played for getting the platinum. I found myself again soaking up and enjoying every square foot of the game.
Overall, this is still a great game of great artistic value and is a solid addition to the franchise, I even got myself the collector's edition in the last moment of hesitation. I am also happy to know that this is not the end of Nathan Drake since we will be seeing him again on Vita next year.
I was so psyched I even decided to wear the collector's edition ring of Drake around my neck to work.