This is not to say everything is the same in Deception as it was in Thieves, just that the changes are more subtle than substantial. The biggest addition is that Drake is a bit more of a brawler this time around, and can give bad guys the old one-two if they get too close. He’ll even get creative when the opportunity presents itself, whacking guys with nearby beer bottles or slamming their heads into walls, tables, banisters, doors, and any other hard surface. Granted, this doesn’t have a deep combo system of a dedicated fighter, and it actually feels a little sluggish at times, so it’s not as good as similar systems in such games as, say, The Bourne Conspiracy. But all things considered, it gets the job done.
What’s annoying is that they didn’t fix some of the previous game’s more irritating bits. Drake still runs like a spazzy kid who just heard an ice cream truck, while the camera is similarly a bit too loose. Most egregiously, you still have to pick up ammo for a gun you’re holding, instead of just doing it automatically, which means all the difference between surviving a hairy fire fight and dying repeatedly because you ran out of ammo and died while grabbing more.
Ironically, though, some of the series’ greatest strengths once again cause its greatest weakness. For if this wasn’t so smartly written, if its dialog wasn’t so fitting and funny, and if it wasn’t delivered so expertly by its voice actors, we might never have noticed just how blah the character of Elena can be, especially when she’s standing next to the feisty Chloe. Who, if Naughty Dog had any sense, would be the star of the Uncharted 4: Chloe’s Choice.
It’s also really distracting that Nathan’s pal Charlie is voiced by actor Graham McTavish, since he previously played the main villain in Uncharted 2. Yet another problem you wouldn’t have in a badly written/voiced series.
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