The only people you ever hear complaining about Uncharted are those who don't own a PS3. In other words, it's hard to actually play a Nathan Drake adventure and not fall in immediate love with every breath-taking, death-defying, wise-cracking moment. Can the franchise really be improved, then, or is "more of the same" more than enough in this case?
Well, close to perfection is still just that – "close." Here are 13 things that Uncharted 3 needs if developer Naughty Dog hopes to raise the stratospheric bar set by Uncharted 2.
Got suggestions of your own? What do you want to see in Drake's Deception? Tell us in the comments below.
He's charming. He's clever. He's afraid of clowns.
After two games and a comic book, we know plenty about Nathan Drake's personality… but what about Nathan Drake's history? How did such a lovable everyman end up in the mercenary treasure hunting business? Where did he learn all the skills necessary for such a dangerous pursuit, like fighting, shooting, map reading and precarious ledge dangling? When did he first meet Sully, and Chloe, and Harry?
While we definitely do not want a prequel – or a flashback mission with Boy Scout Drake riding a circus train – we would appreciate some back story. Perhaps the "deception" hinted at in the title is a mistake from our hero's past, returned to haunt him in the present.
Remember waaaay back in the last entry? We said we didn't want a flashback? Yeah, well, that rule applies to every character except Victor Goddamn "Sully" Sullivan, who has spent so much of the previous two games bragging about his younger, nimbler exploits that we're now dying to experience a few of them for ourselves. Hell, the tiny glimpse we had at his artifact-stuffed living room in Among Thieves was enough to inspire a thousand tales.
So long as they served the overall narrative, these missions could be an amazing opportunity for Naughty Dog to bring Uncharted's gameplay to a different time period. And since Sully would be in his more physically fit heyday, the character's capabilities (as well as animations) wouldn't have to diverge much from Nate's. Imagine that mustache in its prime and tell us we're wrong!
Just because she was the eventual loser of Uncharted 2's love triangle doesn't mean that Chloe Frazer should sit out the action of Uncharted 3. Her character (and voice) is far too appealing to waste, and with the same treasure-hunting thirst as our protagonist, there's no reason to believe that she couldn't show up on the same trail searching for the same items… but this time as a friendly and flirty competitor. No kissing Sully, though, please – no one wants to see that.
Will they? Won't they? No, they did. Nathan and Elena were clearly a couple again during their final cutscene, and to have them mysteriously separated or feuding at the start of Uncharted 3 would both repeat what happened after the first game and negate all the careful relationship rebuilding in the second game. Chloe was a test – Nathan and Elena passed. Now they deserve some happiness, and fans deserve to witness that happiness on screen.
Of course, they should still bicker. They should still poke fun at each other. And once we've gotten used to watching them together, Naughty Dog should surprise us with another love triangle. Only the third participant should be male.
You've had it easy so far, Nate. In the original Uncharted, your closest rival was an obnoxious pest whose puny stature and loudmouthed swagger made you seem all the more dreamy by comparison. In the sequel, your foil was almost as handsome and likeable as you – until he transformed into a snivelly, jealous coward just a couple missions later. And Jeff the cameraman? Don't make us laugh.
If Nathan Drake is to continue growing as a character – and if the story in Among Thieves is any indication, Naughty Dog has no interest in a stagnant, predictable mascot like Mario or Lara Croft – then he needs a legitimate challenger to his crush-worthy crown. Someone equally dashing, daring, and devastating to the ladies. Someone equally adept at heroic exploits and clever quips. Someone equally worthy of Elena's attention, even. Why should Nathan enjoy the focus of every love triangle? It's his turn to be on the outside, fighting to prove his worth and convince a woman that she should choose him.