I admit that I’ve not been a fan of strategy guides that Piggyback Interactive has written in the past for various reasons. I won’t get into why here–because you should have read all of them in the past–as they have nothing to do with the Uncharted 3 strategy guide. What I mean to say is that the strategy guide for Uncharted 3 is the best guide I have ever seen from Piggyback Interactive. In fact, the guide is downright PERFECT.
Yes, you read that right. PERFECT.
To start with, the guide incorporates Piggyback’s usual art book design, but it’s done in a way that doesn’t impede upon using the guide. It’s so rare to find this in guides. Usually they are able to be artsy at the expense of being a guide, or they just choose certain pages to be artsy with that are free of guide content. The Uncharted 3 strategy guide is designed to appear as if the pages were something out of Drake’s own journal, but they don’t come off as cluttered as the last strategy guide did.
The walkthroughs are clearly laid out, and all collectibles are both mentioned in the walkthroughs and separated from them. In other words, the walkthroughs mention the collectibles, but the guide to find them are in separate call-out boxes on the page. The guide does the same for the platforming “puzzles,” which I greatly appreciated, because sometimes I had trouble discerning where I needed to jump and climb, especially while getting chased.
In case you are wondering just how well the collectible portions of the walkthroughs are, I’ll just say this: I found all 101 collectibles in my FIRST playthrough. That’s a miracle, people. I was able to do the same with Gears of War 3, but there weren’t 101 of anything there–except for maybe enemies to kill at one time.
The Uncharted 3 strategy guide also contains fabulous tips for Trophy hunters. One of the back appendices lists every Trophy, and where applicable, it describes the best places to attempt the Trophy acquisition. For example, for the RPG Trophy, the guide suggests replaying a particular scene in the desert a couple of times for easy acquisition. Every guide should do this, and I develop a soft spot for a guide every time I find one that does instead of simply explaining what the Trophy is. I can see what it is when I turn on my PS3, thanks.
I also really, really enjoyed the game developer commentary that was strewn throughout the book. It was fun learning about the origins of the names of the Trophies, where developers got inspiration for certain scenes, or what their overall goal was with depicting a certain moment this way or that. Little extra touches like these really make the book come together and feel like it’s more than just a strategy guide, and therefore, worth the money.
Well done, Piggyback Interactive and Prima Games. The Uncharted 3 strategy guide is definitely one of the best strategy guides I have ever come across. I look forward to seeing future strategy guides from these companies being just as polished, if not as perfect.