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Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Hands-on with Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

12:30 PM on 10.06.2011 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
  @CTZ

Uncharted is undoubtedly a huge franchise for Sony and I know a lot of you just can't wait to get your hands on Nathan Drake's latest adventure. We're officially less than a month away from Drake's Deception hitting stores and developer Naughty Dog wanted to give us one last tease before the game's release. 

I went hands on for the first time with the Chateu and cargo plane level and even got to check out the reveal of a brand new section, which you can watch for yourself above. 

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3)
Developer: Naught Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release: November 1, 2011 (US) / November 2, 2011 (EU, JP) / November 3, 2011 (AU) 

I first went hands-on with the Chateu level. This was the very first bit of gameplay Naughty Dog showed press late last year so it was nice to finally get some hands-on with this section. Basically, the main villian and her gang of thugs trap Nathan Drake and his BFF Sully in a French chateau by setting the entire place on fire. Nathan and Sully have no intentions of getting roasted alive so the duo make their way through the inferno as goons swarm from all over attempting to slow the heroes down. 

Interestingly enough, I found myself enjoying the puzzle exploration aspect more then the gunplay. Usually I like it the other way around but the cinematic action feel that Naughty Dog does with the Uncharted series lends itself better to non-combat sections, in my opinion. So since the chateu is on fire, a lot of the structures Nathan and Sully have to get past falls apart on them almost every time. Floors are coming apart, fixtures on walls get pulled off as soon as Nathan puts his weight on it and so on. It's a really tense experience that kept me pretty excited. 

As for the gunplay, it's pretty much your standard affair as the past games and, well, most third-person shooters really. Use cover to avoid enemy fire while shooting back at your foes. The combat does get mixed up every once in a while when enemies rush Nathan and get into a fist fight. Here, a combination of the Square button for punches and timed presses of the Triangle and Circle buttons (as they appear on the screen) are needed to knock your enemies senseless. 

A quick aside: You can just go find out what the gameplay is like yourself right now through the Subway promotion that's going on all this month. Buy a large drink of flavored syrup and you'll be given a code to download the full Uncharted 3 multiplayer. All your stats will even carry over to the full game once it's launched. 

The next section I played was the cargo plane mission. It first starts off with Nathan and Elena Fisher sneaking into an airport. Nathan, fearing for Elena's safety, convinces her to take off while she still can. Once Elena leaves, the player takes control of Nathan and makes his way for the cargo plane that he needs to get on board of. I get spotted by the guards almost instantly and my direct path to the plane gets cut off by an armored vehicle with a mini-gun.

So I take Nathan through an alternative route and after taking on some guards, have a clear path to the airplane. There's just one problem: The plane has already started moving and try as I might, Nathan just can't run fast enough to catch it. Lucky for him, Elena comes barreling down the runway in a jeep she stole and gives Nathan a lift. Nathan is riding on the hood of the jeep and once close enough to the front wheel, Nathan jumps onto the plane. 

The next section is basically the above video. Of particular note, the mini-boss fight was a little frustrating. All hand-to-hand fighting has some elements of quick time event prompts integrated and it gets really annoying. Every time I would go to punch, the Triangle button prompt would pop up thus making the game think I pressed the wrong button and gives the boss the upperhand against me. It's easy to recover, but it's just irritating trying to figure out what, if anything, made the prompt come up. I started holding back my punches waiting for the prompt and just when I finally decide to go punch, the prompt comes up. I died a couple of times from this, but the game is very forgiving at least and spawned me right back to the point before the fight starts. 

Obviously the coolest part of this section is hanging off the box of crates as they dangle from the airplane. I laughed out loud when I pulled off the enemy who was also hanging off the crates and enjoyed watching him plummet to the sand dunes below. 

Thanks to all of Nathan's shenanigans, the plane gets destroyed and crashes into the dessert. Naughty Dog then takes control of Uncharted 3 to show off for the very first time a new section of the single-player that picks up shortly after the plane crash. You can see everything that I saw in the gameplay video at the start of this writeup. 

At this point, I'm sure most people are pretty decided on picking up Uncharted 3. Personally, I've never gotten into the series, but I can see why people love it so much and I genuinely did have fun with the sections I played through. 

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