Review Summary: Greg Edmonson's music is one of the key aspects that really makes this touching tale hit home.
From the beginning, one of the biggest aspects of the entire Uncharted franchise is how it really makes use of its implausible situations. Whether it be the undeniably tiny grips Nathan Drake constantly climbs with ease or the amount of bullets the man dodges, everything about this video game just reeks of “impossible situations” on the surface. However, if examined on a deeper level, the other force that really drives this franchise home is the interactions between all of its lovable characters and its breathtaking music. Their sympathetic personalities really makes the player care about their ridiculous fight the save the world from predictable evil. The thing that separates Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception from the other two games however is how Nathan’s obsession with the hunt for Francis Drake’s lost treasures is revealed and how touching his relationship with the only father figure he has ever known becomes. Beneath Drake’s cocky and confident exterior is a broken man with a troubled past filled with death and abandonment, but the only person that was ever there for Nate has always been Sully. He’s stuck by him ever since he meant him at the age of 14 and even when Nate’s ludicrous hunts for lost treasure becomes deadly, he never left his side despite the danger and his older age. The type of story this cinematic game tells needs the proper soundtrack to reveal the gravity of the situation at head and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t provide the solid foundation for this compelling character driven story. Driven by swelling strings, Middle Eastern instrumentation and subtle yet touching ambience, the third Uncharted’s music really sells the tale exceptionally well.
Right from the start of the game’s epic introduction, the soaring strings and brass instruments provide the foundation for carrying the story. Every fist fight and every shoot out is accompanied by epic bursts of compelling string arrangements and spectacular use of brass. While the intense moments of the game showcase engaging explosions of arranged orchestras, the quieter moment such as Drake’s sorrowful struggle to survive in the desert is accompanied by gentle pieces filled with subtle Middle Eastern style play and quiet moments of ambiance to create a touching atmosphere. The flashback where Drake meets Sully for the first time is touching and powerful alone, but when the gentle music is added in, it only enhances to effect of their blossoming father/son relationship. To top it all off, the chilling vocalizing coupled with exceptional use of an ethnic atmosphere really sells the struggle going on in Drake’s mind as he desperately tries to save Sully from impending doom and escape the past that was forcefully brought up again.
Greg Edmonson essentially managed to craft one of the key reasons to actually care about what’s going on in Uncharted 3. The impossible story being told has been done time and time again, but his breathtaking music along with Drake and Sully’s touching relationship really makes the tale hit home. In Uncharted 2 his soundtrack was fantastic, but it sometimes managed to sound extremely over the top, but in this masterful game his music actually is one of the key elements that carries the story and it's for this reason that the player simply will not want the game to end. Hopefully Greg will be returning for Uncharted 4 to bring this epic story and father/son relationship to a close.