The latest installment of Uncharted is a wonderful game. If you don't mind things like redoing the same jump a few times until you do it the way “the game wants you to do it.” After a while, in a few areas of the game, the retreading made me incredibly annoyed. As I was playing the game for review, Most of these fell off toward the end; mostly due to me getting used to the game's logic. Not because the game was doing a better job of conveying where it wanted me to go. I do remember having a few little issues with this sort of thing in Uncharted 2; but nothing evening approaching this level of annoyance.
Uncharted 3 has amazing voice acting, incredible set pieces, and some of the best facial animations since L.A.Noire. Plus, considering the game is supposed to be ripped from the pages of something like Indiana Jones; the story is wonderful and fitting even if parts of it are ridiculous and others are predictable.
Of course, Uncharted 3 continues Uncharted 2's tradition of great puzzles. Which is unusual in the world of video games. Usually the puzzles are either incredibly esoteric as you would need to look them up online or so stupid that they barely qualify as puzzles. Uncharted seems to have found the sweet spot, for which I am grateful. Strangely these were things that many games tend to have problems with that Uncharted seems to do consistently well every time. Even the first Uncharted was pretty good at the story, setting, characters, etc… It was the mechanics and scripting that the game got wonky.
There are certainly a few small advances here in the areas of lighting, water animation, facial animation, and some of the set pieces are pretty incredible from a technical standpoint as well as from a gameplay standpoint. But when one boils down Uncharted 3 down to the game's core; Uncharted 3 is a very uninteresting, badly mechanically put together game. Just one long corridor that you run down and jump when the game tells you to jump. Nathan Drake is an explorer and treasure hunter after all, I would have just liked even the illusion that I was exploring or treasure hunting. Rather than finding my way through a very pretty maze to the next cutscene.
With a relatively short campaign, the developers have pointed to multiplayer as the reason this game will have staying power. Because when you have a thrill ride, on rails single player, your going to need something for replay value. However, the multiplayer isn't that deep and the customization options while better than the previous game are nothing that are going to stand up in a couple months. In fact, there are probably people who will max out their characters in the first couple of weeks of play. Especially those that got a multiplayer jump start with the beta.
While there are some definite bright spots in the multiplayer like moving maps and a kind of illusionary progression through those maps which certainly should be copied by any and all developers who make multiplayer games. These innovations are just not enough to put this game in a class that it's multiplayer would be taken seriously. Or be essential enough a part of the experience that would deem it necessary to have an online pass to access it. I played around 15 hours of Uncharted 3 multiplayer and I really don't see this mode standing up in a marketplace that even PS3 only: has Resistance 3, Battlefield 3, and Modern Warfare 3 in it.
As much as I liked Uncharted 2. I have to say that this game probably is more like Uncharted 2.5 than Uncharted 3. Which is probably all right, except they want the player to pay exactly what they did for Uncharted 2 just for some more of the same. But maybe this shouldn't be about money.
Maybe it should be about the expectation everyone had when Uncharted 2 won every critical award the year it came out. I think everyone assumed that this game would be another bar to set all action games against yet again. Instead, they couldn't even quite reach the bar they set the last time. So maybe it isn't a matter of feeling ripped off and it's more of just a feeling of disappointment that one of the best franchises on the PS3 isn't going to set the world on fire this year the way Uncharted 2 did when it came out. 8/10
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