Another rip-roaring adventure that’s equal parts Indiana Jones and DaVinci Code sees everyone’s favourite smartmouth adventurer (and descendant of Sir Francis), Nathan Drake back doing what he does best: brawling, shooting and stealing his way through another historical-themed mystery. While Drake’s last outing saw him scaling the icy heights of the Himalayas, this time around he’s following in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia through the deserts of the middle east in the hunt for the Atlantis of the Sands.
Well, he’s also exploring ancient passages beneath London City Centre, surviving a veritable army of would-be assassins in a rural French chateau and flashing back to his childhood in Cartagena, but the majority of the action sees our fleet-footed hero going eastern, as he bids to unlock the secrets of an ancient, and very dangerous, Hermetic Society.
He’s aided and abetted in his exploits by a host of characters, some familiar (like good old partner-in-crime Sully) and some new, like Cutter (a cross between Phil Mitchell and Ray Winstone), while the chief villain this time is the extremely nasty Kate Marlowe, an ice queen that makes Cruella DaVille look cuddly by comparison.
The plot has more twists and turns than the road between Tralee and Dingle, and the action is relentless: one minute you’re embroiled in a full-on bar-fight in east London, the next you’re diving from a burning mansion in rural France or taking out heavily armed bad guys in an ancient Syrian palace. The graphics are top notch, the voice-acting and cinematic score are stirring, and the frantic gameplay rarely lets you stop to catch your breath, apart from the plot-enabling cut-scenes and semi-frequent puzzles.
The addition of a co-op mode is most welcome, and great fun, but it’s the online multiplayer modes that will see players coming back to Drake’s Deception time and again, even when they’ve completed the single player campaign. The variety of game types is impressive, including three-team deathmatch, co-op adventures and the co-op arena, where survival is your only goal. Highly recommended.