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Due to its nature as a sequel, spoilers for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

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"All men dream. But not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to realize it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men. For they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. This, I did."
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Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is the third game in Naughty Dog's Uncharted series. It was originally released on November 1, 2011 for the PlayStation 3.

Since starting his career, Nathan Drake has carried a ring from Sir Francis Drake around his neck, which he believes will help unlock a great secret. Finally offered the opportunity to put his quest into motion, he gathers a team of his associates, including Sully, Chloe, and newcomer Charlie Cutter to aid him in the prospect, but along the way he comes into conflict with an enemy from his youth who seeks the same end, and stumbles upon a centuries old conspiracy in the process.


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This game provides examples of:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: The scene of Elena and Sully trying to convince Nate that Iram isn't worth it, a sitdown with Marlowe where she infodumps Nate's past, and Nate's return to Elena after his cruise ship escapades, illuminating Nate's choice between the fake identity he's built around being Sir Francis's heir and the life he could have with Elena and Sully.
  • Action Prologue: The game opens with Nate and Sully fighting their way through an English pub's worth of Mooks to escape after a deal gone bad.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom:
    • Drake and Sully have to escape a tomb full of ravenous spiders during their trip to France.
    • Drake has to outrun a water torrent to escape a sinking ship.
  • All for Nothing: Nate fights his way through a massive shipyard and a ship in order to rescue Sully, only to find out that Sully was never actually in captivity at all.
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  • Apothecary Alligator: There is a taxidermized crocodile attached to a balcony in the library below London. There is even a trophy for standing on it called "Ride the Crocodile".
  • Arc Words: "One Shot at This" or words to that effect are repeated throughout the game by Nate many times, and by Elena near the end. It's also the title of one of the chapters.
  • Artistic Licence - Geography:
    • The vista after climbing to the roof of the dingy pub in the prologue implies it's somewhere in Southwark. Rather than being a rundown neo-Dickensian slum, it's one of the most multicultural, and more importantly most expensive, areas in London. The chances of finding a dive like that, which openly breaks the smoking ban too, are slim.
    • The abandonned section of the London Underground is a bit of a stretch, since not only is the actual Tube network not that extensive south of the river, a lot of what’s there is far more modern than as depicted (The Victoria and Jubilee line sections south of the river are both post-1950) and in extensive use. The closest part of the network to what is depicted would be the Aldwych branch, a complete section of tunnel closed in 1994, which is north of the river.
  • Automaton Horses: Horses can not only keep up with, but go faster than, a convoy of trucks for more than ten minutes.
  • Bald of Evil: An almost absurdly high number of the mooks Drake encounters are all bald.
  • Bar Brawl: The game opens with Nate and Sully fighting a gang in a London bar.
  • Bathroom Brawl: The bar brawl in chapter 1 eventually makes its way to the bathroom where Drake has to fight a Giant Mook.
  • Bedouin Rescue Service: Actual Bedouins rescue Drake from Marlowe's agents in the desert, although the scenario is different from the norm (they are initially hostile towards Drake until he puts them at ease that they're both interested in the same goal).
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: There are spiders the size of your hand that attack in swarms and can only be repelled with light (and later, a decent amount of shotgun blasts). They show up multiple times throughout the game after Nate finds certain artifacts. One of them is found embalmed in a jar in Marlowe's hideout, implying that they were bred specifically to keep out intruders.
  • The Can Kicked Him: Drake takes out a Giant Mook with a toilet tank lid.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Sully grabs an propelled torpedo grenade gun near the ending. Drake uses it a few minutes later to destroy Marlowe's crane.
  • Circling Vultures: Downplayed. After escaping Rameses' ship, Nate finds a vulture waiting for him on the shore. He tells it to clear off.
  • Claustrophobia: Charlie Cutter has a fear of small spaces. It's what finally causes him to snap and attack Drake while under the effects of Talbot's mind control drug.
  • Continuous Decompression: A plane gets a hole blown in it in and decompresses for almost half a minute. To make things even worse, the cargo ramp had been open just a few minutes earlier, with no decompression and, apparently, no equalization of pressures.
  • Convection Schmonvection: During the burning chateau level, Nathan and Sully hold their hands up to their faces to ward off the heat, but otherwise act as if the fire isn't there - including walking through very small walls of fire with no ill effects.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: During the flashback to Cartagena, young, defenseless Nate is about to be gunned down by one of Marlowe's agents, only to be rescued with one shot by Sully. Inverted at the very end of the game, when the player must have Nate deliver his own conveniently timed shot to rescue Sully from Talbot
  • Cutscene Boss: A variation. The final fight is a series of quick-time-event mini-cutscenes, but they're context-sensitive and mixed into a normal gameplay fistfight.
  • Continuity Nod: Sir Francis Drake's journal is still present, and the bullet hole from the first game is still there.
  • Controllable Helplessness: After the plane crash in the desert, you control Nate as he wanders helplessly through the desert for three days.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Played with in a cutscene that was shown at an E3, where Drake headbutts a high-rank mook during his Evil Laugh, disarms him, grabs one of his grenades, throws it at a flammable barrel, then fires two shots at a Mook on the other side of the room, missing by a country mile. Played straight in the game proper where after stealing the mook's gun and grenade he puts a round in the chest of pirate captain with one shot.
  • Determinator: Drake's push through the desert after the plane crash takes course over a couple of days with little supplies.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title refers to both Sir Francis lying about where he went on his voyage, and Nathan lying about being Drake's descendant.
  • Escalating Brawl: Sully and Nate have to fight their way out of a bar. It starts with them just finding a few guys in the backroom and escalates to them having to fight everyone in the bar, in a brawl that spans from the backroom to the bar counter to the bathroom to the back alley.
  • Evil Brit: The antagonists are Catherine Marlow and Talbot. Both are British, have pronounced accents and are very sadistic. Subverted by Nate's new ally, Charlie Cutter, however.
  • Filler: The sub-plot centered around Nate being captured by Rameses' pirates takes up four whole chapters, yet has no connections to the main plot. Drake's main drive is to save Sully, whom Rameses is holding captive, but it's later revealed that the pirate never had Sully and was just bluffing in an attempt to make the hero cooperate. Nate himself lampshades that this entire adventure was a waste of time.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: The hero team does this on some maps if they win in the multiplayer.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In chapter 6, Nathan jokes about Sully smoking and warns him to not set the building on fire. In the following chapter, the villains do exactly that in an attempt to kill both the heroes and the spiders that plague the castle.
    • In chapter 11, after activating a mechanism, two images of a brass vessel and a demonic face in fire appear in a wall, representing the vessel containing the Djinn from the story that Salim tells Nathan at the end of Chapter 19.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The 'Chokers' from the Co-op/Multiplayer wear gasmasks.
  • Giant Mook: Brutes, who are clearly a lot bigger than the usual mooks; you only tend to get one per major gunfight. They tower over Nate, and take several hits or gunshots to go down. There's also usually one of these per fistfight, and it takes some effort to subdue them.
  • Guest Fighter: A Capture Trooper from Killzone 3 appears as a DLC multiplayer villain.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Queen Elizabeth I apparently sent Sir Francis Drake to the Middle East to find the brass container that tainted Ubar's water so that she could use it to gain power over her enemies. Drake made the wise decision to ditch that mission when he found out what he was after.
  • Jump Scare:
    • After defeating some enemies in a tower at the citadel, the fresh silence eases you into comfort...then you start climbing a staircase, only for a big hunk of stone structuring to suddenly crash down right in front of you out of absolutely nowhere.
    • In chapter 21, Nathan is hallucinating after drinking Ubar's tainted water. When he stares at his reflection in a small pool, the image suddenly comes to life and attacks him.
  • London Gangster: Nate and Sully's first meeting with Talbot takes place in a London pub full of these. When negotiations go sour, the gangsters start attacking Nate and Sully. Charlie Cutter is only pretending to be one of them, though.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Unlike the previous games, where you are shown exactly what causes the "magical" phenomenon, this game never reveals what is in the vessel that tainted Ubar's water supplies. All the player gets to see is the brass container covered in magic seals, before Drake blows up the crane holding it and it sinks to the bottom of the cavern. It's not even leaking.
  • Madness Mantra: Anyone affected by the tainted water inevitably ends up spouting gibberish that at least makes sense to them. This is the clue that something's not at all right with Nate in Chapter 21 of the game: he eventually starts mumbling to himself about "demons of smokeless fire" while fighting hallucinations of the same.
  • Meta Twist: The previous games have humans transformed into monsters by the artifact. At first, Deception also seems to have them, but Drake's just hallucinating.
  • Mushroom Samba:
    • While under the effects of Talbot's drug, Cutter comments that he sees floors and walls melting. When Drake is injected with the same substance later on, we get to see its effects from his perspective: his perceptions and sense of reality get distorted, with people becoming two-dimensional flat figures as Nate wanders through narrow alleys.
    • Chapter 21 is an extended hallucination sequence where Drake witnesses Sully's death, runs through the streets of Cartagena while being pursued by spiders, is attacked by flaming demons, and sees himself being strangled by his own reflection.
  • Mythology Gag: Young Nate's shirt is the same one that he was supposed to have in the original concept for Drake's Fortune.
  • Nostalgia Level: The first co-op mission takes place in Borneo from Among Thieves, only during nighttime and with the pockets of C4 being replaced with crates of artifacts. The boss fight against Lazarevic's second-in-command (which was originally at the end of the train level) takes place at the end camp.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Nate gets to wander around the Rub'Al Khali desert, trying to find his way through one of the most inhospitable places in the world. He has no idea where he is in relation to anything else, he can't navigate by the stars because he has no experience doing so, and he has no food or water. There are no enemies to kill. The sequence is frightening for how delusional he gets over the course of three days.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Nate flies into an Unstoppable Rage when Sully is killed. Luckily, it's just a hallucination and Sully is still alive, because seeing the charming, affable Nate lose his temper like that is terrifying.
  • Optional Stealth: There are sequences where you can sneak up and dispatch enemy soldiers, but there are always a few soldiers near the end who cannot be killed without being detected, at which point more soldiers appear. The end result is that being stealthy is rarely worth the difficulty, and can be very frustrating if a player is trying to play through these sequences perfectly, not realizing that it can't be done. It is sometimes possible to use exploits to stealth kill the remaining guards, but this is complicated, requires a lot of luck, and is clearly not the game designers' intention.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The relics, but only on your first playthrough. One of them, the Antique Wax Seal Stamp, is found in Chapter 6 near a waterfall. The tricky part here is that there is a one-way drop just a short distance along the path, and the game autosaves after the drop, so if you miss this one and go too far, there is no way to go back and get it. That is, until after you finish the game and unlock the ability to load up any chapter at any time, so you can always go back and get things you missed.
  • Put on a Bus: After Charlie breaks his leg in Syria, Chloe takes him to a hospital and neither of them are heard from again. What makes this use of the trope special is that they actually used a recently commandeered bus to get to the hospital.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Weirdly zigzagged at Ubar. Lots of the buildings are falling apart. The incredibly complicated machinery still works just fine.
  • Random Events Plot: Drake's Deception is the most digressive of the four games and jumps around a lot before reaching its central plot. It starts in London, flashes back to teenage Drake in Cartagena, returns to the present in London, moves to France, then Syria, and then Yemen and an extended section in a Ship Graveyard that digresses from the plot entirely only moving to the finale, the Rub' Al Khali Desert and the City of Ubar in the final few sections. The other games spend far more time in the location of the treasure and MacGuffin with a greater sense of place and mystery. Likewise, the other games had a single Posthumous Character (Drake, Polo, Avery) who inspires Nate to the MacGuffin, whereas this game switches between T. E. Lawrence, John Dee before returning again to Drake.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Cutter was supposed to appear though the entirety of Drake's Deception, but the character had to be written out when Graham McTavish landed a role in The Hobbit.
  • Replaced with Replica: Nate and Sully were going to sell a counterfeit of his prized ring to Marlowe, which turned out to be plot-important. When she stole it and tried to use it with the Ciper disc, it didn't work.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In an uncharacteristically brutal scene for Nate, Sully's apparent death sends him out after Talbot, slaughtering soldiers on his way through Ubar, screaming and swearing to kill them all. Luckily for Nate's sanity, it was all a hallucination.
  • Save the Villain: Marlowe falls into quicksand, and Nate attempts to save her. In the end he is unsuccessful.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Rameses, in an attempt to kill Drake, shoots the window of a sunken portion of his ship and is killed when the area floods
  • Shown Their Work: The Colombians actually speak the Colombian dialect of Spanish (one of the dozens of dialects of Spanish).
  • Sinister Subway: One of the Big Bad's hideouts is a long abandoned station in the London Underground.
  • Spider Swarm: The castles in France and Syria- and the underground chamber in Yemen- are infested with massive swarms of hungry, hissing, gigantic spiders that swarm over Nate and his friends in droves if they can't get out of the way fast enough. Thankfully, Nate can deter them with torches or Sully's shotgun.
  • Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly: Enforced. Barring the use of exploits, it isn't possible to finish most of the stealth sequences without being spotted. The airport one is one of the exceptions, and can be done entirely undetected if you have the silenced pistol.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: While Among Thieves was a mild step down in difficulty from its predecessor thanks to improved gun handling and better melee and stealth systems, Drake's Deception ratchets the difficulty way up, with much more aggressive enemy AI that seems hellbent on forcing you into melee combat whether you like it or not, more and bigger Giant Mooks sprinkled liberally throughout the levels, and additional enemies wielding heavy weapons in just about every firefight. Most players can expect to die about 50% more than they did in Among Thieves, despite a shorter playtime.
  • Tarot Motifs: Recurrent partly because Marlowe's organization deliberately plays up the symbolism. One journal has three tarot cards pinned inside it: The Tower, The High Priestess, and The Magician. The last two are labelled "Marlowe" and "Talbot" respectively, and the cards are indeed excellent representations of the characters, being an older woman who guards hidden knowledge and a man of mysterious power born of trickery.
  • Thirsty Desert: Part of Drake's Deception takes place in the Rub' al Khalinote , one of the largest and most inhospitable sand deserts in the world. And Drake has no idea where he's going or where he is, and he has no supplies. The sequence makes very good use of Nothing Is Scarier, as the only thing trying to kill Drake is the unforgiving sun, freezing night and his own increasing desperation-fueled mirages.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The con at the beginning naturally goes off without a hitch.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: The game opens with Drake and Sully falling into a trap by the bad guys and being shot dead. Turns out it's a Batman Gambit so they'll lead Team Drake back to their HQ where they have another MacGuffin our anti-heroes want.
  • Villain Team-Up: In Chapter 5 of the co-op campaign, Lazarevic, Flynn and Eddy Raja team up to fight Drake, Cutter and Sully. Not that it helps them any. Cutter, who was only introduced in the third game, is understandably confused and asks who they are.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The pirate-infested ship graveyard in the Indian Ocean. The entire thing could have been excised with no effect on the main plot or character development, not that that stops it from being one hell of a sequence and set piece.
  • Wedding Ring Defense: Employed by Elena while in Yemen.
    It helps in this part of the world.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The huge similarities between this game and the third Indiana Jones movie are probably intentional. Plot-wise, both involve the Crusades and a secret hidden in the Middle East. Character-wise, both feature a flashback to the hero's teenage years and an exploration of their relationship with their father/father figure. Even some of the set pieces are the same, such as an escape from a burning castle and a horseback assault on a desert caravan. The climax also features the hero watching his father figure get shot although in Drake's Deception's case, this is a hallucination.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Talbot has the East End thugs set fire to the Chateau to kill Nate and Sully, only to lock the entire gang inside.
  • Zerg Rush: Hordes of human-head-sized spiders chase you through the various ruins.

Alternative Title(s): Uncharted 3, Drakes Deception

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