Review: The 3D Mode of Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception

I began my initial run through of Uncharted 3 on the PS3 yesterday, and as usual I flipped on the 3D mode right out of the gate to see this beast would look like in the third dimension.  First and foremost Uncharted 3 looks amazing both in 3D and the 2D formats.  Naughty Dog has once again crafted a gem of a game, and their use of 3D only makes this series more engaging.  Unlike Gears of War 3 Uncharted 3 doesn’t take a huge graphical hit while in 3D mode.  The environment and surrounding textures still look surprisingly sharp, and outside of the glasses causing the screen to dim slightly, I really didn’t notice a huge difference in between the 2D and 3D stereoscopic modes.

In fact, I would almost go out on a limb and say that Uncharted 3 is meant to be in 3D.  This franchise from the beginning has always been about intense action that flows seamlessly between cut scenes and actual gameplay, which gives U3 an action movie type of feel.  Just like certain films are better in 3D I truly believe that this game’s experience is vastly improved whilst in the 3D stereoscopic mode.  The sense of depth it provides brings the world of Uncharted to life like it has never been before.  This game doesn’t need 3D to succeed, but imagine if someone offered you a choice between a Rolls Royce and a Cadillac.  Caddies are great cars to show off your flash and skrilla, but a Rolls Royce is just that much more impressive.  This same line of thinking can be applied to Uncharted 3’s use of 3D.  It’s just better and more exciting than the 2D mode.

For the first time, even more so than in Batman: Arkham City, I felt like I was playing a movie while controlling Nate on screen in 3D.  I thought Arkham City did a marvelous job with its use of 3D, but I think I have to give the edge to Uncharted 3 when it comes to the overall 3D package.  I also honestly believe that the PS3 in general does better with 3D, so I’m not surprised that a PS3 exclusive exhibits some of the best 3D in gaming that I’ve seen yet.

Unlike Batman, I didn’t feel like my eyes and brain needed to adjust to playing U3 in 3D.  They seemed to comfortably render the 3D effect without melting my eyes out of my skull.  Although, after a few hours of playing I could tell that I needed a break, but the warm up period didn’t seem nearly as long as it did with Batman: Arkham City.  I’m not knocking the Bat by any means, because it was amazing in 3D, but Uncharted 3 just seems better suited to the effect.

If I had one complaint about the 3D mode in U3 I’d have to point out the fact that every once in awhile the double image effect would creep in.  The double image effect is when you can see a slight shadow around a characters body if you’re not viewing the 3D straight on.  These instances were very few and far between, but every once in awhile I was taken out of the 3D illusion by this effect.  I guess if I had to highlight another negative about the 3D mode is that you truly do need to take a break after an hour or so of gaming.  Those warnings that 3D TV’s display while you’re turning the feature on are no joke.

There’s no such thing as long gaming sessions while in 3D.  I definitely pushed the limit last night with Uncharted 3, because at first I felt fine unlike other games, but after awhile my little squishy orbs of sight started to ache to the point where I felt delirious.  I wouldn’t blame that on the game’s 3D functionality, because it was more my fault than the game’s.  I just don’t hope I go cross-eyed one day due to my penchant for playing and viewing movies in 3D these days.

If I had to rate the 3D mode in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception I’d give it an EB 9 out of 10 Buddhas.  I’ve played 6 games in 3D now, and I think U3 has offered the best 3D mode to date.  I’d go as far as saying that it could be the Tron: Legacy, or Avatar of 3D gaming.  It really is that impressive.  Once again owning a 3D TV has paid off, because I feel that a game of Uncharted 3’s nature is better viewed with the depth that the 3D mode provides.  I couldn’t help but feel that I was playing a 3D movie, which not only showcases how solid the 3D effect is utilized, but also how awesome this game really is.

If you have a 3D TV and need a game to show off to your friends to prove once and for all that your gear is better than theirs, then I’d suggest doing so with Uncharted 3 in your PS3.  Outside of a few minor complaints and health issues the 3D mode of U3 only helps to make an already great game better.  You’ve been needing to buy into the gimmick and just get a 3 TV already…


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Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.