Naughty Dog’s successful Unchartered series continues into it’s prime with another great release, Drake’s Deception. Did it live up to the predecessor Among Thieves? Yes. In fact it was all too similar, but I’ll resist from splurting out spoilers.
I’ll start with what Naughty Dog seem quite proud of, which is the fact that it comes across as if its an actual film. What do I mean? Most of the Characters have deep stories that you don’t explore during the game, but come up briefly whilst playing, assuring that more sequels are along the way. The way the camera pans out to see how big the cruise ship is, or some other mass landscape that shows the amazing graphics (this also featured in Among Thieves the one time, possibly as a tester); this frustrates me in a way of it’ll only pan in again if you keep moving Drake to the correct area. Normally it’s just the case of travelling in a straight line, but (for me) it pans out too far and I didn’t know which direction to take, so was stuck looking at a mass landscape with a tiny Drake running in circles for a couple of minutes. These panning scenes happen a few times too, so the effect of going “ooooooooh“ for the first time eventually becomes “Oh, another one? Is it necessary?”. There was a couple of “escape scenes” too where the camera kept moving and cutting to different angles, which really didn’t help at all and was quite a put off, but made the action on the screen look like a top market action film (if the hero doesn’t run into walls or constantly die). In the middle of the game, where Drake is in the desert, it may have been easier to make it a long cut scene instead of bit-by-bit interaction as it dragged a bit too much. I understand why it was done, to feel he’s been in the desert for ages and gets dehydrated and hallucinates etc etc. Just got boring for me, got the point pretty early on but had to keep trudging along through the dunes.
There was a couple of times during this game where I could have sworn I was playing a Max Payne game, the bit where he’s drugged up and going through dark shady areas with the bloody walls and crying child? Well it was like that, just without the bloody walls and crying child.
“Traditionally” there always seems to be a baddy that is “abnormal” or fictional, a monster baddy if you will, such as the Nazi and Spanish Armada zombie thingies in Drake’s Fortune and the big butch Avatar look-a-likes/ Goat Yeti things in Among Thieves. In Drake’s Deception however, there was only a small glimpse of a few flamey head baddies that were a bit harder to kill, but only for a tiny amount of the game compared to how big the gameplay is, which I found disappointing as I was expecting to get a bit scared at some point throughout.
The engine for this game seems to have added extra effects on it, with the movement of Drake being a lot more realistic. Imagine Assassin’s Creed engine where you walk into people or walls and your character reacts to it with either shoulder barge or hands along the wall. It improves the realism of the game tenfold.
There are a bunch of new guns included this time around such as the PAK 80 (heavy machine gun)and G-mal, with some oldies in there too (AK47, Wes 44 etc) with the variety allowing you to explore different ways of killing the pesky villains.
If you are used to the story lengths of such games as Call of Duty or Battlefield 3, then you will be in for a surprise when playing this game. Some chapters in this game can be done without in a way, but after playing those FPS’s and then getting into this game, I needed many a rest! Just like Among Thieves, the gameplay is huge, with many hours to be enjoyed along with the gripping story and witty humour and banter of the characters, You definitely get the “Just one more Chapter” disease.
The story ended in a similar way to it’s predecessor,*possible spoiler alert* running away from a collapsing historical buildings and not getting the treasure is just old news. It needed something different to finish it as that ending has been done before and will probably be done again in the future. The “Boss fight” was very poor too, in fact I’ll go and say there wasn’t one. After playing hours upon hours to finally get to the end, I expected something that was going to get me killed many times and throw plenty of curse words at the screen, but what it ended up being was anti-climatic and a bit of a let down.
The multiplayer side of it is a big improvement on Among Thieves, with the layouts and the upgrades included makes the interaction and customisation a lot better, with the added Co-op sessions too. The Co-op adventures especially are my favourite and great fun to do, as you get to play along to a story line completely separate to the main single player story with either people on your friends list or complete strangers.
Overall, the game is a great success and has a re-playable aspect to it due to treasure collecting and using different guns to collect achievements. Multiplayer really makes the game a high marker too, with more options than running and gunning like most shooting games. If its a good storyline game you‘re after, I would say Among Thieves is the better of the 3 Unchartered games out so far as Drakes Deception is just too similar to it story wise.