Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception: Caravan
We will kick things with Uncharted 3 and “Caravan”. There is some inspiration here from Among Thieves‘s Chapter 21, where players leaped from truck to truck wrecking Lazarevic’s mercenary convoy. One of the reasons “Caravan” makes this list and “Convoy” doesn’t is the scenery. The desert ride is gorgeous and leads to some fantastic gameplay. Naughty Dog made riding and transitioning from truck to horse and back seamless. It was a perfect extension of regular gameplay and a lot of fun.
The other reason is that the fun isn’t over when you crash that final truck. Nate has to make one final push through the last remaining mercenaries. There is a small army of well armed thugs waiting in the dust, packing heavy weapons including two jeeps with mounted guns. As you push your way through them and find the entrance to the lost city, there is a real sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune: Race to the Rescue
Nearing the conclusion of Drake’s Fortune is the first of our top firefights countdown. Players had experienced a number of highs and lows for Naughty Dog’s new protagonist. The game had introduced a number of typical shooter enemy archetypes such as snipers, heavies, and those super effective SAS-12s. As the story approaches its climax, Nate races to rescue his allies and “Race to the Rescue” throws everything the game has got at him.
The ample amount of cover provided around the city ruins isn’t enough to get you through this chapter. Enemies are very aggressive and the waves approach from multiple places. The speed and accuracy you have honed in the last 19 chapters are key as you need to move quickly from cover to cover, not allowing the snipers to get a lock or those shotgun heavies to get to close (not if you know what’s good for you). This chapter is a tough one and puts all of your skills to the test on harder difficulties.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves: Tunnel Vision
Uncharted 2 features arguably the best opening in the franchise. Possibly one of the better openings in gaming, players are are left to speculate how Nate found himself in such dire straits and the game spends the next 14 chapters detailing both his bad luck and exceptionally good luck. Locomotion is the accumulation of that. Nate has already been on this train an entire chapter building the anticipation for players expecting this all to go horribly wrong at any moment.
The story’s tension is matched by some outstanding level design. The narrow train cars make the fights intense, and if you attempt to circumvent them by climbing the cars you will find aggressive enemies following you onto the train car rooftops. The winding tracks adds challenge to nailing those headshots.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception: Rough Seas
The four chapters Nate spends fighting pirates in the middle of Drake’s Deception are all fantastic, from climbing massive structures in chapter 12 to escaping a sinking cruise ship in chapter 15. The best firefight though goes to Chapter 13: “Rough Seas”. In an effort to rescue Sully, Nate has his eyes set on that cruise ship and a few waves or a small army of pirates will not dissuade him.
There is a lot of excitement in this chapter. Nate plows through a dozen pirates on the docks of this ship graveyard only to miss his boat. Not to worry: he can just hijack another, which he does,
Players are then thrown into a firefight with little cover and a surprising number of options for enemy ingress. The boats are riding at some speed and Uncharted 3 features a new wave engine, allowing your aim to sway and bob along with those waves, adding to the frenzy. This chapter concludes with Nate hijacking another boat and then blowing up not one but TWO more fishing boats before he leaps oh so casually onto the cruise ship.
Uncharted 3: Among Thieves: Broken Paradise
Broken Paradise” is the penultimate chapter of Among Thieves and one of the franchise’s best. It features a beautiful jungle setting and challenging gameplay centered around the game’s climax. Intense from the get-go, Nate and company have to escape their captors and are thrown violently into what is left of Shambhala. This is also the first time in the game when players have to face the Guardians without a cut scene to save them.
The level features a number of confrontations, including an epic battle between heavily armed and aggressive mercenaries and the Guardians. The enemies in this chapter are challenging and unrelenting. Players can not rely on the game’s cover mechanic, as enemies of all types will move on your position quickly if you don’t take them out first.
This chapter is also the climax of the story leading to some great character development, especially on the part of seemingly irredeemable Chloe. We see an almost complete reversal in her character, as she turns to the heroic in a section that echoes an earlier chapter in the game “RIP Jeff”. This chapter is a fitting end for the game (even if there is still a boss fight to come), with a few difficult encounters and a lot of tough enemies to get through.
There are our top picks for best firefights in the Uncharted series. There are plenty of great challenges in the Uncharted series. Honorable mention include Chapters like Uncharted 2’s Cat & Mouse & Monastery and Uncharted 3’s Settlement. The franchise has a solid history of blending engaging story and dynamic level design to create titles that leave players satisfied when they reach those credits.
What are some of your favorite levels from the Uncharted Series? Let us know in the comments.
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