Staff Game Of The Year 2011 – #1 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

David Howard

David Howard


on December 23, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Editor’s Note: So it’s that time of year again, where the team take into consideration all of the games released this year, and select the ones that stood out the most. Unlike a review, our Game of the Year winners will likely be more subjective, so this won’t be a list of our most highly rated games, but instead those that we enjoyed the most.

So, starting several weeks ago, a comprehensive list of over two-hundred games that were released this year was compiled, with each staff member here at MediaKick voting for their top ten in order of preference. Using the same algorithm I devised for our most anticipated games of 2012 list – which takes into account both increased preference and number of votes, we ended up with a clear top five which we will now bring to you in order.

Unlike last year, where we just had an overall Game of the Year, we’re doing a top five this time around as we’ve grown considerably in terms of staff numbers, and can therefore have a more well-rounded and fairer outcome. It also helps to highlight the games that we felt were really fantastic, but not quite the very best.

A few things to note, to be eligible, a game must have seen its first current generation release in the West this year. Therefore if it was out on a previous console before this year clocked in, it is ineligible; likewise, a release in Japan last year does not affect an entry, not does it allow one if it was released this year.

Be sure to check our the previous winners in our Game of the Year, including Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Batman: Arkham City, Portal 2 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

It’s that time. Last year, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood took our most prestigious award having been crowned our Game of the Year; twelve months later and it’s the turn of Nathan Drake and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

What more is there to say? Naughty Dog created a title that not only wowed the staff more than any other as we declared it our Game of the Year, but swayed the public vote of our community, to see it romp home with four awards. It’s not only the Best PlayStation 3 title this year, or just the Best Action-Adventure game; Uncharted 3 brought a visual punch worthy of the Best Visual Appearance award before walking away with the top prize – the Community’s Game of the Year.

It impressed me so much when reviewing it back at the end of October that I awarded it our highest grade, an A+, as it set a new standard for cinematic experiences within the games industry: “It’s an unrelenting adventure that is equally thrilling as it is captivating, showcasing some of the finest storytelling the medium has ever seen – something that’s immeasurably assisted by the brilliance of the voice-acting, the superb animations and quite incredible pacing. No level feels too long or too short, no puzzle too challenging, no room of enemies too drawn out or frustrating. There is no padding, no filler, no scene that is out-of-place or underwhelming; it’s a gaming experience that simply cannot be matched.”

There are few series’ that match the Uncharted franchise for both the technical ability on show and the epic experiences they provide. The tremendous work that Naughty Dog did with Uncharted 2, cementing the game as one of the all time greats with well over one hundred Game of the Year awards to its name, has been improved upon immensely. It may not have been quite the leap that Among Thieves was from Drake’s Fortune, however, Drake’s Deception is a clinical masterpiece that excels in everything it does.

“Hollywood has always been the home of the cinematic experience, bringing the big, impressive action sequences to the silver screen,” read my review. “Well it’s time to move over, as Naughty Dog has created not just the most overwhelming, flawless experience a gamer could have the pleasure of playing, but one that outstrips anything a movie could offer.” Words I still standby, as Uncharted 3 provides an experience like no other.

It’s a franchise that has shifted over 13 million copies now, with 3.8 million of those on day one for Uncharted 3. It brings new players to the PlayStation platform, and should be the first purchase, alongside a copy of Uncharted 1 and 2 of course, for any new PS3 owner.

Naughty Dog have said that the transition from old console generation to new is “terrifying”, but if this is the standard they can produce, there is nothing to fear. I hope this is not the last we have seen of Nathan Drake, other than the soon to be released PlayStation Vita title Golden Abyss, as the witty adventurer surely still has plenty to give.

It was my personal Game of the Year, the staff’s overall Game of the Year, and the Community’s Game of the Year, but what do the staff actually have to say about Uncharted 3?

Ryan: “There is one reason I hate Uncharted – it made me wet myself. I’m not the most masculine of males and I really don’t like being made jump, hence why I don’t watch or play anything in the horror genre. I turn into a little baby when faced with dark dungeons corridors or hidden German bases that contain the remnants of a lost Spanish colony turned into blood thirsty mutants. Thankfully, for me, that ‘horror’ portion was toned down in Among Thieves and Drake’s Deception with set pieces becoming increasingly more ambitious. It helped create a wonderful cinematic experience with terrific storylines and great gameplay.”

Harry: “Presentation, storytelling, sound and entertainment value; these are all areas in which Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception excels. It’s a beautiful, engrossing, pitch-perfect experience in both its stellar campaign and absorbing multiplayer. Here’s a game that punctuates the PlayStation 3’s potential and defines a gaming generation: we’re talking about a sequel that betters its peers and predecessors and a game that ranks right up there as the best of the current crop. Stunning, simply stunning.”

Igor: “The wonderful Uncharted series has gone from strength to strength with each installment. Drake’s Deception continued the trend of marvelous story telling, beautiful technical design and thrilling set-piece segments. Drake’s Deception is a testament to continual progression and Naughty Dog’s fantastic development team deserves full credit, as their title is definitely PlayStation 3’s Game of the Year.”

Phil: “Naughty Dog, masters of PlayStation 3 development, have shown once again why the anticipation of a game from them is warranted. Uncharted 3, for me, is the pinnacle of gaming excellence this generation. Its narrative and characterisation are second to none, with the interplay between Nate, Elena and Sully showcasing some of the best narrative design we have ever seen. Not to mention that the game is simply gorgeous. From the gorgeously realised London, to every individual grain of sand, the game is a visual showcase. I could have done with a few less gunfights, that is but a small gripe against my personal game of the year, and indeed the generation.”

Liam: “Gorgeous and pure Hollywood. A fantastic story with loveable characters that deserves a nomination for best ever game, let alone Game of the Year. Full of action and very enjoyable cut-scenes, always keeping you on the edge of your seat and treating your eyes each and every corner you pass. Genius.”