Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Uncharted 3's Awesomeness

What really sets Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception apart from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves are the enemies. Not the guys you shoot all over the world, but the ones in charge of those grunts.

U2 had Lazarevic, a Soviet warlord and arms dealer, who by himself was a terrifying force. He was huge physically, but incredibly smart and tactical. He had no qualms of shooting his own man if he betrayed him. Going toe-to-toe with this man was frightening, and he was nearly impossible to defeat.

U3 has Marlowe and Talbot, two folks from a super-secret organization that has operated behind the scenes of the British Crown for centuries. If they want something, they get it. Their grunts don't wear body armor; they wear suits. They mean business. Literally. While Marlow is the gal who runs the show, it's Talbot who gets his hands dirty and follows through. He is conniving and quick, but also can knock you on your ass.

It's not really what he says that gets under Nate's skin in this game, but what he does and the smug look on his face when he's doing it. In my first play-through of this game, I felt all the anger Nate felt toward this man, and that leads up to this part of the game.

(Skip up to about 3:30 to see just how much you want to punch this guy's lights out.)

Nate chases Talbot through the streets of Yemen and it really feels like you are going to get your hands on this jerk. You've seen Nate pull off amazing feats of strength and speed in the previous games, but now you see an enemy actually match, if not outperform, Nate at his own game.

Talbot is quick and nimble, and leaps his way from Nate at incredible speed (although I'm sure the game's programming has it so he is always in front of you). However, you can see that both of these guys are still human through all of this. They make mistakes, take wrong turns, and get hit by cars. But there is so much energy and anger between them that it doesn't slow down.

After almost 5 minutes of chase, you finally get to Talbot, and can take him on yourself. Talbot and Nate each take a beating (Talbot gets clocked by a 2x4), exchange blows, and Nate gives Talbot a few jabs to the nuts for good measure. After attempting to drown Nate, Nate smacks his face into the side of the fountain. That should knock a few of the man's teeth out, I say.

As satisfying as this beat-down is, just when you think you've won, Rameses comes out of nowhere to take Nate out himself with yet another chunk of wood. Sigh. We almost had him.

I admit, this has to be one of my all-time favorite moments in gaming. The intensity of the chase, the emotions of our hero, the well-matched and believable matchup between Nate and Talbot; this whole scene feels real. It's intense.

It's also probably the biggest turning point of the game's plot. Before this whole scene, Nate and crew had the upper-hand on Marlowe. They knew the location of the lost city, and Marlowe didn't. Things couldn't get better, until they got this much worse. Sully gets captured. Nate gets captured. The bad guys now have all but won. But bad news for them: they just made this whole mess personal.

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