Favorite Games of All Time #9: Uncharted 3

Number 9. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is a pretty fantastic game and also the goofiest one out of the quadrilogy (or tetralogy for some of you) but it’s the goofiness in the combat and small, intimate moments in the story that I value above all. I’m not saying Uncharted 3 is the pinnacle game in the series, just my favorite.

The third person combat in Uncharted 3 is nothing new or anything to write at lengths about, but what Naughty Dogs adds to “enhance” the combat is. Being able to punch an enemy and have their gun fly in the air for Nate to catch it always garnered a smile from me. The improvements to the hand to hand combat in general made me want to spend less time hiding in cover and running up to someone and punching the hell out of them. I love those moments, everything in the game just screamed Indiana Jones ripoff.

The music, my lord the music is also phenomenal. I never really paid attention to the music in the series until the collection on the PS4. I noticed that the music in each game perfectly encapsulates the theme, the locations where Nate’s adventures take him.  Uncharted 3 truly sounds like a trek through the desert. And of course Nate’s theme is just as beautiful, triumphant, and stunning as always.

I’m a fan of the story when it comes to the moments in between the set pieces, the bits that focused on his friendship with Sully and Elena. We get to see just how Nate and Sully met when Nate was a youngster as see as how far their friendship goes. We also learn very, very small details about Nate’s family (of course with a glaring omission that appears in Uncharted 4) from the menacing Kate Marlowe.

Then there are the moments with Elena. Easily the backbone and the physical embodiment of a reality check for Nate. I dare not spoil moments from the game, I know there are people who haven’t played the series but the consistent narrative throughout the series really captures the moments of the hardships a couple can and possibly will go through. Before the infamous airplane scene, the cutscene between the two of them is outstanding. Uncharted 4 carries a sequence that rivals it, but boy did it blow my mind.

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Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is by no means a masterpiece. It has some pacing flaws and an underused villain or two but, the game is still a high mark for storytelling in video games. I can’t think of another game that handles a relationship as well or as natural as the Uncharted games.

There you have it, #9 is Uncharted 3. Want to know my ranking of that series as a whole? 3>4>2>1. I couldn’t finish Golden Abyss but hope to rectify that one day.

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