The Uncharted franchise has delivered various memorable characters and over-the-top setpieces since its inception. From its humble beginnings as a third-person shooter to its genre-defining sequel 14 years ago, the IP has become an icon of PlayStation’s library.
Twelve years ago, Naughty Dog delivered Uncharted 3, its last PS3 game for the franchise. This entry sought to take everything that the studio had learned up to this point and dial it up to 11.
The result produced one of the boldest and most action-packed PS3 exclusives at the time.
Why it matters: Uncharted 3 was an important entry for Naughty Dog as it proved that the franchise could continue to iterate and capitalize on the momentum from the 2009 release.
It's been 12 years since Nathan Drake's spectacular crash landing in the desert. ✈📦🏜
Happy anniversary to UNCHARTED 3: Drake's Deception! What is your favorite moment from this globetrotting adventure? pic.twitter.com/hZ6PJjZi1g
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) November 1, 2023
This entry took the protagonist to locations like the tombs of Syria, the crowded markets of Yemen, and the incredibly intimidating Rub’ al Khali desert.
As the third entry in an already successful franchise, Uncharted 3 played it safe in the gameplay department. Naughty Dog offered an experience that was grander than the previous game but didn’t break away from the existing formula.
However, this allowed the team to focus on a more personal story for Nathan Drake. The studio explored the character on a deeper level, further fleshing out his relationship with the supporting cast.
Uncharted 3 attempted to provide a backstory for Nathan Drake and Sully, explaining how the two became close allies twenty years ago. Iconic characters like Nathan Drake’s wife, Elena, also returned, leading to another memorable adventure for the treasure hunter.
As a franchise known for its explosive action, Uncharted 3 did not disappoint, delivering one of the most memorable set pieces in the series.
Having quietly boarded a plane at one point, Nathan Drake is eventually discovered and forced to fight his way through an open plane as crates fly out into the desert thousands of feet below.
This setup leads to an exhilarating segment, where players are forced to climb their way back to the plane, using the falling crates to catapult themselves away from harm’s way.
The sequence culminates in an epic climax, with the protagonist hanging on for dear life as the plane and everything around him crash lands into the vast desert.
While Uncharted 3 may not be as fondly remembered as games like Uncharted 2 and 4 today, it outsold its predecessors and paved the way for Naughty Dog’s future success. The studio would then follow up with The Last of Us in 2013, and the rest is history.
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Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.