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October 04, 2013

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception ReMix Review

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is 2011 video game released for the Playstation 3.

Intro:

Sooooo, my most divisive review internally, and externally, it had the biggest case of Dissociative Identity Disorder a review could have when it came to the verdict.

But now I've finally come to a decision. And this time, the final verdict is, well, final.

Basic Plot:

Before Naughty Dog really hit the keystrokes of a masterpiece in The Last of Us, there was Uncharted. More specifically, Uncharted 3. The synopsis as follows:

Nathanial Samuel King Fisher Martin Kenzie Bob Drake III, or as the game refers to him, Nathan Drake, goes on an epic adventure to span a lifetime. Or several, based on the way he narrowly avoids death numerous times.

Anyways, in the third instalment of the Uncharted franchise, Nate sets off on a journey to find the last city of Ubar, known as the "Atlantis of the Sands", famously documented by T.E. Lawrence.

....And I will say no further. Maximum enjoyment of the game depends on no spoilers in the least bit. Let's just say that you're in for the best adventure since Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Dang, I want to watch that movie again.....)

How it Works:

Players control the main character from a third-person (over the shoulder) perspective. 

Shooting plays a big part in the game: You point the gun using one button on the controller and shoot the actual gun by using another button. You can also throw grenades, and toss back grenades thrown by the enemy by pushing a button at the right time.

Hand-to-hand combat is featured, in which players rapidly mash buttons to knock out foes, dodge punches, and unleash counter-attacks.

Climbing and exploration plays a substantial part in the game. Your player jumps from platform to platform and traverses many obstacles.

Last but not least, the game features a multiplayer and cooperative components, in which players compete and work with other players, and where the aforementioned gameplay elements play huge parts.

Release Date: November 2011.

Developer: Naughty Dog.

Publisher: Sony.

Platforms: PlayStation 3.

Genre: Third-Person Adventure Game.

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg.


Areas of Concern:






Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

In retrospect, while this game may be a tad bit excessive for its T-rating, there's nothing here you haven't seen in your average PG-13 movie. But then again, we don't judge by comparison, we judge a game on its own merits:
 
--Enemies can be shot; when this happens, blood sprays and cries of pain are depicted.

--Enemies can be punched, kicked, and headbutted; they grunt in pain as this happens. They can also be smacked by or into objects. (Being slapped by a giant fish is quite an amusing way to die.)

--You can take out enemies up close by snapping necks with a crack being hear, or your character will choke them instead; the enemy flails around for a bit, and then falls over.

Your character can also grab them from behind, give them an elbow to the throat, and then drop them. He can also jump from a height onto them, knocking them unconscious.

--Enemies can be blown up with explosives; when this happens, they collapse dead or are sent flying. No dismemberment occurs. Your character sometimes also pulls the pin on an enemy's grenade, kicks him back, and then he blows up; no dismemberment.



Storyline Violence: 

--A man is grabbed by a larger man; he is scraped along the table, hitting beer glasses along the way, and he is thrown through a window, onto a table below. He survives.

-A man is smacked by the cover of a toilet; his face contorts, and he collapses over onto the toilet, and his head falls inside of it.

--There are a few severed heads seen in jars, in the background. They appear to be old and fossilized.

--A man is swarmed by spiders; he screams briefly, and collapses dead. 

--There are several sequences where explosions go off, strewing wreckage everywhere. In one section, a boat is overturned and the carnage is depicted in detail. Later on, a plane is torn apart, with explosions being shown.

-A whole city is seen falling apart, with buildings falling over and a lot of carnage being seen. This goes on for quite a while.

--A man is shot, with a large blood spot forming on the back and front of his shirt. He dies quickly. 

A man is suddenly grabbed and thrown down into a pit.

An enemy falls into quicksand. Eventually, the enemy drowns in it, while screaming, going under, and then you hear no more screaming. 

Your character and an enemy fall onto a platform. The enemy fights you with a knife; when you are cut, your character cringes in pain. 

A man tries to slit the throat of another man. The other man bites his wrist. 

A man tries to stab a man. He is shot in the shoulder, with blood spraying. 

A man kicks another man over, and holds a rock to throw it on his head. Another man shoots him, he stands still for a while, and then tumbles over and falls into sand off-screen. 
 


Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

A man pats down another man to see if he has weapons. The man being pat down remarks: "You enjoying yourself, pal?"

A condom machine can be seen on the wall in a bathroom.

A man tells a boy he's going to call the police if he doesn't give back his wallet. The boy says that the police will be more interested in why a middle-aged tourist is following boys around.

A man talks about following crooks back to their 'hole'. Another man replies that he makes everything sound dirty.

The man later on says something about "a bird in the hand". The other guy points out it sounds dirty again.

One piece of banter people might not understand: A man says he's about to shoot a lock on a door. Another man says to make sure it's the only thing he shoots off. The previous man remarks: "I said 'Lock'! "

A man holds another man's ring. The other man jokes that the man is proposing to him. (He is not.)


Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Uses of S**t, with it's variations, (Bulls**t.) P**s, Bl***y, A*s, C**p, D**n, H**l, D**k, B*ll***s, B**ls, B***ard,

God and Jesus' name are used in vain.


Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Some people are seen smoking.

A scene takes place in a bar, with a few people taking sips of alcohol. Other times, some bottles of liquor can be seen.


Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A historical figure is mentioned to have been "seriously into the occult". This is true, the man they mentioned was an occultist. The game shows a symbol; a double triangle, symbolic for 'as above, so below."

The historical figure is John Dee.

-It shows another symbol, in an alchemist's lab; It looks like a hexagram, but it has more points. It is seen on a table, maybe an altar.

A man interprets a saying about an underworld to mean that a man conjured up spirits on the aforementioned altar. Another man corrects him, saying that it means there is a secret passage underneath.

--A group called the Secret Occult British Service, or something like that, is mentioned briefly. They actually don't play a role in the storyline, even if the villains are rumored to be part of the secret society. 

--They also mention the double triangle symbol, with a quote that translates to: "As above, so below." The double triangle is seen again, on a building.

The double triangle is used to symbolise "as above, so below" but it is the wrong symbol. Another symbol is symbolic for it.

The symbol they ACTUALLY use is this one:


Developed by famed Occultist Aleister Crowley, it is the symbol for his Order of the Silver Star.

It is not symbolic for 'as above, so below'. It is in fact used to 'channel psychic energy', and 'connect the mind to the infinite universal plane.'

The developers really made a mistake if they thought this was for "As above, so below", but the symbols are similar, so it was just a mistake.


Maybe. 

--A man tells a story of King Solomon banishing the Djinn, (Known as Genies, for those of you used to Disney.) into a city, and it is cursed because of it. This is a Muslim belief. 

Later on, when you kill enemies, flames burst out of their faces, they teleport around, growling ,and continue fighting you, so they become the Djinn and it's all demonic and stuff, right?

*Spoilers*

Turns out, it was all a hallucination. There are no Djinn. The people were just tripping on some chemical found in the water. 

*End Spoilers*

Creepy Stuff:
 
--A swarm of spiders chase you. Enough said!

-The aforementioned Djinn scream and growl at you, so they are a tad bit unsettling. 



Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

Your character is a thief. No question about that. He steals treasures and the like to aid him on his quest.

He also kills a ton of enemies, but it's mostly in self defense.

It's a so-so for the morality.


Review of Game:


In my initial Areas of Concern, I noted that I would only play the game if a friend or whomever gifted it to me.

Well, somebody did gift me this game, (Sony via their awesome PS Plus service), so I decided that a Remix Review was in order. So, does Uncharted 3 hold up to the insane amount of praise which was heaped on it back in 2011?

The answer, in short, is no, not exactly.


Overview:

"No? Kyle, how can you say that! This game is amazing!" Yes, it is. Almost. Several things hold the game back from achieving that:

First, and foremost, the story. I've particularly got a bone to pick with the story.

Its paced horridly, with the first few hours focusing on build-up, and introducing Charlie Cutter, easily my favourite character. And then later on, guess what? HE'S OUT OF THE STORY. No spoilers or anything, but lets just say that it was a huge anti-climax.

Plus, the story is cliche Hollywood blockbuster stuff. A well produced Hollywood blockbuster stuff, but still a big dumb action "game" at it's core. And that's actually fine, if it weren't for the pacing.

Only the second half of the game is really worth playing, and that's the game you're here for. Having not played any Uncharted game besides 3, I can't compare it to the rest in the series, but even in watching the Let's Plays of 1 & 2, it's fairly obvious that they have much better pacing.

Secondly, the aiming is terrible. And it's actually okay if they were going for a realistic survival game, but be honest: Uncharted 3 features a man overcoming countless catastrophic events with superhuman strength, but yet the aiming's gotta be realistic, right? No, sir, no.

Thirdly, *SPOILERS* it features your standard happy ending. All's fine and dandy, the hero gets the girl and they all walk away from the bloodbath they went through. The End. *END SPOILERS*

Fourthly, and lastly, what's up with Nathan Drake being so reluctant to kill people? He massacres literally hundreds of people during the course of the game, so why would this guy suddenly get cold feet in those cutscenes? (Which I actually had to download separately. Interesting.....)

But, at the risk of contradicting myself, the game is really not bad. It's fun, it's gleefully over-the-top, and filled with warm characters. So basically what I'm saying is: Ignore what the previous paragraphs said. This game is awesome! (Well, very good, at least.)

And just to illustrate that, let's talk about the good things for a change:

The Shipyard sequence is a particular stand-out.

Gameplay: Uncharted 3's gameplay is a load of fun. In fact, as I said earlier, it's the best adventure since Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The gameplay is a mixture of shooting and climbing, but there's where my biggest gripe with the game and the Uncharted series as a whole comes in: (I know, I already listed the negatives, but just hang in there!) It's supposed to be an adventure game, but yet you massacre countless amounts of mooks on your way to the fabled treasure.

I would have wanted combat to play a much smaller role in the game and a bigger focus to be placed on adventure and exploration, but oh well. The game is still good at what it is: An Action Adventure game devoid of any realism whatsoever.

And sometimes, you need just that.

AudioVisual: Nolan North (the voice actor of Nathan Drake) turns in another stellar performance here, along with the rest of the cast.

The visual fidelity is spectacular, but the biggest problem is that it's made for 720p TVs and we have a 1080p TV. 

For less technology orientated people: That means the game was made at a smaller size than the "Full HD" TVs, so it's a bit too small for the screen and doesn't achieve the detail it needs.

But small gripes aside, this is one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 3.

Story: Well, I've already spoken about the bulk of the story's problems, so let's speak about the good side: The story is very gripping, in spite of it's clichedness. It features a wonderful cast of characters, and it provides a look into the relationship between Nathan Drake and his mentor Sully, which should please fans of the series.

Quality Conclusion: Uncharted 3 is definitely worth your time. Not as strong as Naughty Dog's big hit The Last of Us, but very good on its own merits.

Just a bit of patience is required during the first half of the game as it takes a while to get going. After that, it really takes off.


Quality Verdict: Great (B+)


Conclusion:

I already changed the verdict once in this review, so in keeping with tradition, Uncharted 3 will have another verdict change: Mature Gamers Only.

Let me explain: When I first reviewed this, we were embroiled in a ministry full of legalism. And now that we're out of it, we can finally breathe again and make our own decisions.

But anyway, let's conclude: Uncharted 3 features standard action movie esque violence, moderate language, and some spiritual references, which was what led me to giving the game a Not Recommended in the first place.

After actually playing the game, and thinking about it, I decided that it's not such a big deal after all. The spiritual stuff turns out to be fake, surprisingly, even though this may still alarm some of my readers, who may believe that these things are real.

Which they are, but on the flipside, this is a video game. Video games contain fictional depictions of demons, and don't actually feature the demons themselves.

As always, this is still your own decision. I hope that this ReMix gave you deeper insight into the game, and I implore you to have another read-through just to let all the content sink in.

Uncharted 3 gets a:
 


Verdict: 16+






Outro:



And there you go again! I hope the review was useful. Any long time readers? Tell me what you thought about the ReMix! 

See you guys next week!


What do you think of the game? Do you think it goes too far with the supernatural references?

10 comments:

  1. Uncharted features exciting, strategic combat along with excellent visuals..I can say that after a gr8 hardwrk, this title gained an edge over other Uncharted games…
    http://us.playstation.com/games-and-media/games/uncharted-drake-s-fortune-ps3.html

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    Replies
    1. Hehe, agreed. I have watched the other Uncharted games, and I agree that it's MUCH better than the first. I dozed off a bit whilst watching Drake's Fortune. Not this one.

      Maybe I'll look at buying it. Maybe.

      Thanks for your comment. :P

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    2. I've been debating trading this in because of the use of those dodgy symbols, it's so annoying when a well-made game (except for the rubbish aiming mechanics - which were fixed via a patch though) has this stuff in it... It's not necessary, especially the crowley symbol.

      According to your rating system, I'd declare it banned for that alone... I mean it features a variation of a hexagram that was created by aleister crowley, ugh...

      It seems that the Uncharted series is becoming more esoteric with each one, and its agenda seems to be that of misdirection, eg: The last one was about the "chintimani stone" - which according to legend is a piece of the devils crown or something of the sort when he was cast out of Heaven, but in the game it becomes tree sap (yes tree sap that makes one invincible, but still...)

      And in uncharted 3 they discover that the djinn aren't real per se', but its infected water... See kids, it's all fantasy, demons aren't real... these symbols really are harmless and mean nothing... That's my take on what the game's convey if you ask me... Which is an obvious lie...

      Although one could interpret that the djinn were trapped inside that vessel under the water in ubar and that their presence caused the water to make one hallucinate I guess...

      What do you think, to trade or not to trade? I'm leaning towards trade, such a pity though, great set pieces in this game, why did it have to be ruined with all the dodginess?

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    3. Hey (Amigo)! Thanks for your comment.

      I was definitely leaning towards BANNED when reviewing this. And guess what; Strong Caution doesn't mean everybody can buy this.

      What you say does make sense. I don't think the Djinn are real in this game, THIS time around.

      Remember: Strong Caution means CAREFUL, WITH PRAYER.

      I am still leaning on BANNED at times. My rule when uploading a review is to only change spelling mistakes, so the rating stands.

      (Do you think I should change it?)

      I don't think you should trade it either way. We're not gonna get away from the perceptions of the world. Some things you have to live with. (Read on for what I think you should do if you really don't like it.)

      You'll find these symbols everywhere. In the USA, do you throw away the money because it has the Eye of Lucifer on it? Of course not. You can't.

      Now back to this game; it sounds like you are dead set on a BANNED rating. I'm interested in what my readers think, and what you say is true.

      If Jesus says you have to throw out the game, then snip it up or burn it. DONT TRADE GAMES THAT ARE SATANIC! Otherwise other people sit with problems.

      Uncharted 3 is a game I wouldn't buy, but if somebody gifts me it, I'll play it. :P I waited a while before making a decision, listened to Jesus, (and a friend of mine) and Strong Caution was my rating.

      That's my opinion. I would love to hear more of yours. :P

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    4. And I apologise for taking so long to reply. We've recently moved and I only got internet again yesterday. :P

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  2. Thanks for your reply to my message, posted as anonymous because i was too lazy to sign in etc, but I saw now you can just ad a name, so it me, anonymous/"zig".

    Anyway, I've been in two minds. The thing about trading it or burning it wouldn't make much difference to someone else getting hold of it, because there are millions of copies out there, or thousands maybe here in SA, rather, but still...

    Someone is going to play it anyway so I may as well trade it and get some cash back, hyopthetically.

    So you think I should keep it in my collection? It's hard to be a Christian gamer, and maybe I have double standards with keeping some games and not others.

    Here is my current collection:

    Conan:

    Yes it has cartoony uber violence and scantily clad/topless women... It's just such a silly and guilty pleasure, it plays like the old Golden Axe's... Should also get rid of it in theory, I guess, it has fantasy magical elements, but I wouldn't called it occult necessarily. I guess strong caution?

    Uncharted 2:

    Okay we've dealt with this one, less occult than the 3rd, but a keeper i think, but "Strong Caution"

    Uncharted 3:

    Debating to trade or not alas... Why do good games get spoiled sigh...

    Vanquish:
    violence agaisnt robots and some against humans, much swearing... Mild Caution but this seems fine.

    Mass Effect 2:

    Fantastic game, violence, language, some sexual content, does feature evolution mentioned fairly often. Caution.

    Mass Effect 3:

    Same as above basically, more mystical though.. Caution.

    Deus Ex:

    You've dealt with this one, does feature much "all seeing eyes" in pyramids etc... and seems ambigious about its stance on transhumanism... (Rubbish endings by the way lol)

    Killzone 2:

    Extreme war scenarios/combat, much violence against enemies who's face's are covered though so that dulls it a bit. Much swearing... Strong caution

    Killzone 3:

    Same as above...

    Mortal Kombat:

    Okay... How I view this is I guess it should be "Banned" but because of my childhood fondness and arcade memories its also hard to part with... Yes it features super violence and gore, and occultish elements, sorcery etc, but it is fantasy and the gore is over the top and becomes satirical and absurd...

    Mortal Kombat's fighting system is fantastic, its great to play with friends on the same skill level and it becomes very fast chess in a way... That's the problem, it plays so well and is a great social game... Just have to ignore the super violence... What you think?

    This post is not totally coherent maybe, but just getting your 2 cents... Maybe I do have double standards, I guess I'm more disturbed by real occultic elements or references than cartoon violence? What you think?

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    1. Thanks for replying, ZIG!

      I would be more concerned about Conan, Uncharted 2, and Mortal Kombat. I don't think Uncharted 3 is more occultic than 2. 2 has Hindu symbols and kabballah references. (Tree of Life, anyone?)

      Conan, topless women. I would consider that a no-no. Satan uses any way he can to attack men with lust, and because of diminishing morals in society, half-naked or naked women are the norm.

      (I'm assuming you're a man. Apologies if you're not. :P)

      Otherwise, I don't know much about the game, but I'm leaning towards a banned because of the magic.

      Mass Effect 3 only has verbal references and a brief funeral scene. I made a review and just need to edit it a bit. I may upload it sometime, but I'm more focused on the Winter game season.

      Don't know much about 2, so I can't give an opinion. :P

      Vanquish doesn't sound that bad.

      Deus Ex: Human Revolution is up to you. What I said in my comment about Strong Caution stands.

      Killzone 2 & 3 look like your typical blood and guts shooter games. Up to you.

      Mortal Kombat contains occult references and indecent depictions of women, so this may be the biggest offender next to Conan.

      I don't think you should get your money back on these things. I know it's hard to get rid of games. When we first watched House Cleaning by Tiaan Gildenhuys, bags and bags of stuff had to be thrown away, including a lot of games, and my ACTUAL favourite game of all time; Citizen Kabuto.

      Citizen Kabuto is a game I still miss, but because of it's witchcraft I couldn't keep it. So if you are a bit iffy on burning those games, keep in mind I had to do the same. :P

      (Except we just snipped them up. Would attract less attention from my grandmother who didn't understand our decisions. XD)

      And yes, there are millions of these copies, but it's more for Jesus to see you don't stand for these kind of things. I would say Conan, Mortal Kombat, and Uncharted 2 are banned.

      Yep, it's painful. But unfortunately, it has to be done.

      Uncharted 3 you can keep IF Jesus says it's okay. As with the rest. Remember; the games that aren't banned are up for you to decide about.

      Next time, pray when holding a game in your hand and on your way to the teller in order to buy it. IF you feel doubtful, it's out.

      But if you still want it, send an email to me. I'll be more than happy to help you out. :P

      Good luck, bro. Remember; don't keep those games. It's only 3 you need to get rid of, so be glad it wasn't most of your games, like yours truly. :(

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  3. You're right of course... It is painful when a game is so well made and fun, but is ruined by questionable elements, it's something that's been bothering me for ages.. If you need some extra reviews I'm keen to contribute perhaps. It's hard to find video game reviews that talk about what questionable content is present, I mean Batman Arkham City comes to mind...

    Guess I should get rid of Conan... Uncharted 2 and MK are going to be difficult ones... I still think Uncharted 3 is more questionable than 2 though, with the whole "as above so below" stuff etc...

    Cool thanks for replying, chat later.

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  4. Oh, one more thing, may I suggest you form a list of games that are okay, not banned, a safe list? and the opposite, which games have qustionable content.

    And Vanquish is mostly fine, except for one line of dialogue where a character says, "Thank God I'm an atheist..." a stupid line indeed... Also you go through a ruined city and the name of a stageplay being advertised is "eye of providence" We all know what that is...

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    1. Thanks again for replying ZIG!

      The thing about verbal references in Uncharted 3 is that they were not as bad as in Uncharted 2. Uncharted 2 had statues of Hindu gods, and Drake even prays in Tibet, which is obviously not a Christian place.

      I've never gotten around to Vanquish, and I would have loved to review it. If you want to review, send me an email. I'll explain the rules and the NEW format I switched to.

      As for the list, I will update my list of reviews to the right above so that they show the verdicts on the actual links. I want people to read the actual reviews anyway, so that they don't see Strong Caution, say "Oh so Kyle says it's perfectly okay!" and then buy it and find it that it's not without objectionable content, and come back to my site and get mad at me.

      But that's up to them. Thanks for your suggestion! I will get working on it right away.

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