Despite the positive consensus that this title is receiving, I was prepared for a bland overhyped game:
- Leaves, plants, and dirt People rave about the graphics. I’m sure this game has all the latest in bump mapping, HD textures, and fancy 3D features, but it’s freaking leaves and dirt! How exciting can it be?
- They Shop at the Gap I’m as tired of bald space marines as the next guy, but these characters are so bland it’s offensive!
- Dude Raider Tomb Raider bored me to tears (I only played the original). If anything can get my heart racing more than the leaves, the dirt, and the middle-america clothing fashion, it has to be tired cliché game mechanics. Let me guess: linear “exploration”, shooting bad guys, and jumping puzzles.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
- Graphics and Presentation I expected a bunch of boring rocks and plants with fancy shader effects, but this game is actually a lot more exciting than that. Most games have levels that feel like they were churned out from a level editing tool. In this game, the environments feel like actual living places, and all the traps and surprises within them work well. This game has a variety of cool visual elements and effects that are better seen than written about. Suffice it to say, that this is the most visually impressive title that I’ve seen. And with competition like Ratchet & Clank and CoD4, that is no small achievement. Don’t judge this by the screenshots alone, you really have to see this game in motion to appreciate it.
- Dialog, Characters, and Narrative While the characters look boring, they are surprisingly interesting. All of the dialog scenes and cut scenes are fun to watch and the story keeps you immersed in the experience the whole way through the game. The dialog and overall narrative are fairly typical pulp adventure fiction, but it’s very easy to get into and just plain fun. I’d peg this as par for a good Hollywood movie and amazing for a video game.
- Playing a Movie The core strength of this game, is you actually feel like you are playing an Indiana Jones style movie from beginning to end. To clarify, you don’t feel like you are watching a movie, which is a trap that many other games fall into, you really feel like you are playing the movie. While this game is completely linear, the game mechanics are elaborate and flexible enough to avoid feeling scripted. Also, the game moves along at a very brisk and exciting pace from beginning to end. The game never slows down, or hits dull filler parts, or excessive repetition. You always feel like you are doing something different, finding a cool new environment, and moving the story along.
Uncharted really nails the movie-like pulp adventure game that the developers were going for. However, while I love this game, and I think most people reading would agree, I know this game isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I’m going to try to list the things that would tip that group of people off. This is more a list of what the game is not, rather than nitpicks of what the game is.
- No Multiplayer
- It’s very “pulpy” Why did these ancient civilazations build all these elaborate and fun giant stone puzzles that work so well hundreds of years later? Why are there hundreds and hundreds of mindless pirates that are so easy to kill? You need to practice judicious “suspension of disbelief” to enjoy the experience.
- Limited replay value I enjoyed this enough, that I will definitely play through a second time, which is rare for me, but that’s it. This is a linear single-player movie like experience so expect to play through once or twice at the most and be done with it.
Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear it in the comments…