Friday, May 4, 2012

T&T: Uncharted 3

Tips & Tricks: Beating Uncharted 3 on Crushing Difficulty
Written by Philip
Dedicated to my brother and his wife, two people who believe that you CAN use "Team Deathmatch" and "date night" in the same sentance.

Looking at the trophy list, Uncharted 3 seems a bit daunting to try and platinum. But the truth is by the time you beat the game on Crushing Mode you'll already have 70-80% of the trophies. And trust me, the hardest difficulty has a mean bark but not much bite.

Don't let the name fool you. While Crushing can cause you to curse and throw your controller through a window or two, it's probably one of the easiest and fastest games on the highest difficulty I have played. 75% of the game is climbing and puzzles, which are the same in any difficulty and you can breeze through. But when the firefights start, especially near the end, that's when things get ugly. So here's a couple tips to help you make it through with your dualshock intact.

Ah, another case of Couldnt-handle-Crushing-itis.
1. Not Your First Rodeo
Even if you're an Uncharted 1&2 extrordinaire, it's wise to play through Drake's Deception on Normal first. This gives you a good idea of map layouts and it also gives you a chance to practice with the new melee system in hand-to-hand combat (see next). Not only that but the game has an awesome story and it would be a shame to have it inturrupted by you dying 81 times.

2. When in Doubt, Press Triangle
In every other difficulty a prompt will appear on screen to counter a melee attack, but this prompt is removed on Crushing. This is why you should play through on Normal so you can get the idea of what it looks like when Nate's about to get his face punched in. Then when the time comes, press triangle a few times just to be safe. The nice thing about the prompt is that it isn't as stingy as a QTE or Guitar Hero where you have to hit it at the exact moment (and only hit it once). No, it gives you a good full second to hit triangle at any time. So if you think you might be forcibly fed a knuckle sandwhich, press triangle. It doesn't hurt you if you're wrong. This is especially important in the very last fight of the game where one missed triangle could kill you.

3. The Silencer is Mightier than the RPG
I know it takes "longer" to do levels stealth-ily 'cause you have to slink around in the shadows, but going through once quietly is quicker than dying in a firefight over and over and over and over and over and over and over.... you get the idea. The problem is that the stealth mechanics are a little shoddy and if you crack someone's neck too loudly then suddenly every Brit in the game thinks there's free tea and crumpets in your rib cage and are all racing to get it out first. So I suggest using a silencer pistol. In chapters like "One Shot at This," you start the level with one and you can save yourself nearly an hour of frustratingly long and impossible shootouts if you just conserve your silenced ammo and take out the guys one by one in the dark.

Shhh... be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting Bwitish.
4. Don't Save for a Rainy Day when it's Already Pouring
Throughout the game you'll come across heavy weapons (RPGs, Dragon Snipers, Hammer, Pak-80, etc) and you should definitely always pick them up. On Normal I would sometimes avoid using these because of their limited ammo, but on Crushing they could save your life. Use them to thin out the stronger baddies with a good couple of explosions. Arm Micros and AKs will be all over the place so you'll always have something else to shoot when you run out. But there are no boss fights and your weapons don't carry over to the next level, so sometimes saving the Pak-80 for a special occassion could be a waste.
If you're still a conservationist then throw back their grenades to save your own. Also hand-to-hand combat can save ammo but just a heads up, when fist fighting, you are still susceptible to gun fire and it makes you a sitting duck.

5. Headshots are Best
Self explanitory. I know Uncharted isn't really known for it's hit detection, but more often than not it respects the headshot. Just pretend the heads of the guys with shotguns and helmets are pinatas, and instead of candy coming out you get brains and you don't die. Tastes good huh? Has a Now'n'Later ever saved your life? Thought not.  

I don't know how to tell you this Nate, but you have diabetes. Probably from all the Now'n'Laters.
6. Cover Up! No this isn't an admonition from Chloe's father. When moving around always stay in cover whenever possible and even use the double-tap circle move to jump from cover to cover without getting turned into Uncharted swiss cheese. Only break away if the coast is clear or if someone tries to flank you. Truth be told though if someone gets that close to you in Crushing you're probably already dead.

7. Specific Level Tip
SPOILER FREE: Close to the end of the game you'll encounter some baddies that have essentially two lives and can teleport so they can pop up right behind you and "shoot Nate's stupid 90's hair-do right off his douche nozzle mid-wisecrack" (compliments of Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw from Zero Punctuation). To make matters worse they stick you in a courtyard where they surround you with these guys and give you "circular cover" making impossible to have all the enemies on just one side of you. Headshots and melees are useless here, not only do they not work on these guys but they don't hold still long enough to do it anyway. So as soon as you enter the arena head left for the only good cover there is. Work your way up the left wall and there you'll find a Hammer that should help you take out most of the guys. As they get ready to teleport to another part in the room they can't be hurt so save your precious ammo and hit them as soon as they stop moving. They get to use heavy weapons too so stay low and keep moving. But until you get past this section get used to the death sequence music 'cause you're going to hear it... a lot.

Follow Philip on Twitter @LinksALefty or email him at

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