Tag Archives: Uncharted 3

The uncomfortable truth about “Uncharted 3” (updated – I’ve beaten the game)

I am a fan of Nathan Drake.  Despite his confusing, almost binary, bisected personality – half-charming modern-day Indiana Jones adventure hero, half-terrifying serial killer – I genuinely look forward to each instalment of his PS3 adventures.

His games – from the hugely gifted developer Naughty Dog – are single-player cinematic adventures which knock most latter-day action-adventure movies for six and reward multiple play-through sessions.  The “Uncharted” series has blistering set-piece action, genuinely funny character dynamics, glorious game environments and a difficulty curve which allows you to gradually pick up skills, apply them and progress smoothly through the game.  If you’re not great at shooting, you can usually blag your way through the carnage to get to a puzzle section or some energetic platform sequence which stops you from feeling the game’s design is actively working against you.

The same is unfortunately not so of the latest game in the franchise – “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception”.

A frustrating blemish on an otherwise splendid game.

Games forums are positively awash with anguished forum threads about the third game’s perceived shortcomings – mostly centred around what feels like an unaccountably broken aiming and combat system which makes every gunfight on normal difficulty or above into a patience-sapping, fury-inducing ordeal which only appears to end sometimes when the game realises that you’ve been stuck in the same combat arena for an hour and show no sign of being able to emerge and progress in the story.

Yes, I too am finding the mechanics of “Uncharted 3” shooting sections to be unrewarding, infuriating and apparently designed to extend the life of the game in your PS3 tray by making it so fricking impossible to finish that every completed gun fight is beaten only by bloody-minded, focussed attrition.

It’s gotten so bad that on Sunday, after trying to beat the second part of the (SPOILERS) airfield battle (SPOILERS END) for something like ninety minutes, I dropped the difficulty down from normal to easy.  For reasons of gamer ego and trophy/achievement-hunting I have never had to do that before.  The only reason that I did is because this section was preventing Mrs Rolling Eyeballs and I from enjoying the game’s story – which is a key reason that we love the series.

If you’re spending an hour and more trying to beat a section because the antagonists can – no word of a lie – take 96 bullets from an AK-47 at point-blank range and STILL NOT DIE, I would submit that the game may have fundamental issues relating to its shooting mechanic.

Naughty Dog‘s community manager has been proactive in responding to this internet disquiet – indeed ND held an event at their California HQ last Friday, attended in part by some NeoGaf members, which worked with gamers to see if aiming could be tweaked for an apparently imminent patch – but it really would have been nice for the game to work well in the first place.

I don’t consider myself a hardcore gamer, nor am I a n00b – I’m somebody who plays a lot of games but doesn’t have preternaturally lethal FPS reactions – and I’m really quite disenchanted by “Uncharted 3” to date.  The good points – the story, some of the set-pieces, the characters – are presently outweighed by the teeth-grinding, hair-tearing shortcomings of the gunplay.

UPDATED!

After an hour or three of pushing through the campaign on ‘Easy’ difficulty, it turned out that I was a punch, a jump and a volley of pistol fire away from beating the game entirely.

Now that I’ve done that, I think that I’m able to say with some certainty that I really enjoyed the game overall – pain-in-the-butt difficulty spikes and combat difficulty notwithstanding.

The set-piece which finishes the game was a hell of a lot better than the ones which finished the first two games in the series – if Naughty Dog are going to continue the series, they could do a lot worse than to follow this model for concluding stories in future “Uncharted” games.

I really enjoyed the concluding cut-scene and found it cheered me up so much that I then decided to go back to my saved game and try to complete the game ‘normal’ difficulty from the point at which I abandoned it – and do you know what?  I managed to get through the gun battle by using different tactics, concentrating like an S.O.B. on the shooting and using a (SPOILER) silenced pistol (SPOILERS END) on the bad guys.  I’m now going to keep going until I beat the game with a view to going back and trying to beat it on ‘Hard’, because I’m a glutton for masochistic, illogical punishment.

Wish me luck.

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“Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” getting great reviews.

In some respects, this is a crap time of year to be a gamer.

Every week from now until the end of November, and into the beginning of December, sees two or three huge games franchises on release, with so many titles jostling for not enough space in the hearts of games fans that it comes as no surprise when some major series or a high-profile new IP fails to get its moment in the sun.

I’m slightly worried that this fate might yet befall “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” when it comes out next week.

How can you resist the awesome? You can't!

Sure the reviews will help  the game’s cause, but it’s a PS3 platform exclusive, so it doesn’t benefit from any 360 or PC sales to bolster the Sony’s sales in this quarter of the year.  It’s out the week after “Battlefield 3”, and has a very limited amount of time before “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” comes out, and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” crashing through the window and stealing the hearts and minds of most gamers until some time next spring.

Where does this leave games like “Uncharted 3” or the new “Need for Speed: The Run” in the run-up to the festive season?

Logically, I feel sure that the PS3 massive is going to be out in force to support this game, but there’s a part of me that worries that the same treatment which befell the apparently awesome “Resistance 3” might affect this game.

I’ve pre-ordered it – have you?

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“Uncharted 3” gets a short film…directed by Ed Zwick

Ed Zwick is a proper director.  He made waves on television in the 1980’s with “Thirtysomething” and graduated to film thereafter.  There’s a chance that you’ve seen his work – his catalogue includes “Glory”, “Courage Under Fire”, “The Last Samurai” and this year’s “Love & Other Drugs”.

So, it is with some surprise today that I read on Empire Online that Zwick has made a short film to help promote Sony’s upcoming PS3 action sequel “Uncharted 3”.

Not because it’s the kind of thing that he should be above – Neil LaBute also did something similar when “Heavy Rain” came out in 2010 – but it is an interesting example of the ways that entertainment is mixing, melding and coming together in intriguing ways.

A darker, more sombre outing for Nathan Drake?

There’s some commentary in the piece about EbertGate – the venerable film critic Roger Ebert had issues with games being perceived as Art and got a volley of righteous internet rage for his troubles – and Zwick is appropriately circumspect in dealing with the issue of gaming – he doesn’t – and games as art – why not?  As he points out, there were misguided souls who used to think of animation as an illegitimate art form and look how misguided that line of thinking looks like now.

So, what are we taking away from this?  Games are attracting interesting people from outside the culture inside to talk about them, Sony have deep pockets (or great relationships with film makers) and “Uncharted 3” is going to rock my proverbial socks off.

Sweet.

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Quick Geek News – Friday 21 October 2011

It’s far too early in the morning (5:51AM, to be precise) to write anything coherent – time for some quick geek news, wouldn’t you say?

All very well - can we have a "Gaunt's Ghosts" movie now, please?

Den of Geek reports that a fourth movie in the “Starship Troopers” universe is on the way.  Rather than going the live action route with this latest direct-to-video offering, the fourth film is going the full CG animation route, akin to the “Roughnecks” cg animated series from the late nineties.

The film is set to focus on Neil Patrick Harris’ scary nazi psychic Carl Jenkins, whose disappearance whilst on a mission spurs the action – I’m pondering whether this means that the project is aimed at an older audience than the original animated series was, as I’m not sure that alien bug mind-reading fascist Übermensch are the stuff of family fun.

Unless your family is different to mine, of course.

This fourth installment is being directed by anime veteran Shinji Aramaki, who recently directed “The Package” in the “Halo Legends” collection.

I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but the insanity is priceless – Harrison Ford has filmed a Japanese commercial for the forthcoming release of Sony and Naughty Dog’s upcoming video game “Uncharted 3”.  Topless Robot has you covered.

 

Play these games. Worth buying a PS3 for. Trust me.

Harrison Ford.  “Uncharted 3”.  There’s some kind of passing the torch thing going on, but I’m not sure how to process it.

In ‘Why is this happening?’ news, Bryan Singer’s long-gestating “Battlestar Galactica” film is back on the agenda – he intends to be moving forward with it after finishing his “Jack & The Beanstalk” movie.

It probably won't look like this.

This isn’t a ‘Johnny-come-Lately’ effort – Singer was actively developing a “Battlestar” reboot before the celebrated Ron Moore re-boot – but it does seem a little odd.  It’s a bit like developing a modern-day “Sherlock Holmes” tv series after, say, a successful British re-invention of the premise and characters…

Finally, if you’re looking forward, like me, to being traumatised by David Fincher’s upcoming remake of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, you might be interested in this piece, unearthed by SlashFilm – Super 8-style footage of the bridge accident from the film.

Keep it nerdy, peeps…

 

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Breaking news – “Uncharted 3” for £32.99!

If you go over to Sainsburys Entertainment today, you’re sure of a decent pre-order price – “Uncharted 3” is £32.99 for today (Friday 7 October) only.

Nathan Drake's, personable mass-murderer, scourge of faceless henchmen...

Why are you still reading this?  Go – now!

 

 

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