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Labor Day: Uncharted Frustration


I know choosing to call this game work as opposed to play will likely turn me into a pariah on this site but I canít help but for me the one game that felt more like work than like play is Uncharted: Drakeís Fortune. I likely could have discussed the sequel and using the psychic powers the third one and the one coming out for the vita but the requirement for this topic is that I persevered which I can only say about the first one.

I went into Uncharted expecting a great game. The opinions I heard about the game were overwhelmingly positive with the exception of one friend that I know is a 360 fanboy and zero punctuation. I was expecting a lot from this game but it was described as a must own for the PS3 so I donít feel like my expectations were unreasonable. What ensued when I played the game was a long arduous grind.

I am not intending this to be a review of the game in any way but I would like to touch on a few of the more aggravating points in the game and how those devolved the game into a chore as opposed to a fun exciting game. I will be focusing on the things I didnít like but the game does do some things well which you can find out about in any of the reviews about the game.

The biggest problem I had with the game was figuring out where I was supposed to go and what I was supposed to do most of the time. This was a result of two separate problems the first being that the game chose a setting that looks very open and is pretty enough to make that openness look real, and the second is the way the game addressed jumping. The game takes place primarily in a jungle, an environment with a lot of trees, vines and narrow paths. The game did a beautiful job at recreating that jungle environment but very often I found myself rubbing up against every inch of wall until I either found the way to go or the game pointed me in the right direction. The fact that that happened in several rooms in succession in this game really caused the game to drag because there wasnít any challenge doing on and the game was just testing my patience.

The jumping mechanics in this game caused similar issues as the jungle environment. The fundamental problem I have with the jumping is this game is that when, where, and how far you can jump is so scripted that it is confusing and turns any jumping puzzle into a guessing game. When you arenít supposed to be able to make a particular jump you do this little skip and grunt thing but when you are supposed to be able to make the jump you can jump extraordinary heights and lengths. My first encounter with the jumping was at the beginning of the game and Nathan Drake did the skip and grunt thing but it gave me an idea of what his jumping capabilities were. Later in the game I ended up in a dungeon of some sort and the way to go required me standing on a tiny platform and jumping up to a platform that looked completely out of reach based on what Iíve seen of Nathanís jumping(I got a screenshot of that room coming up). The end result of this is that whenever I saw a platforming area I had to convince myself that I could jump that distance if that is what the game wants me to do which devolved the game into guess work that forced me to restart an area each time I guessed wrong.

Zombies?!? Why does every game I play now have to have zombies in it in some capacity or another? I know that when the game was released we didnít have that many games with zombies in them for it to be a clichť but I only played the game recently so seeing zombies in the game just made me groan because up until that point the game seemed to be fairly grounded in realism with only human enemies to fight. Adding zombies to a game really detracts from the fun of a game for me but I decided to keep going because at that point I must be close to the end of the game.

I know this was covered in Zero Punctuationís review of the game but it bears repeating that the way the game handles quick time events is incredibly frustrating. I went into this having seen the Zero Punctuation review and knowing that there were a handful of quick time events scattered throughout the game so early on I was on my guard for them but the first one is introduced in the game so late that I forgot about them. This is the worst possible handling of a QTE possible. There are very few and theyíre introduced mid way through the game a way that is sure to cause deaths forcing the player to slog through the area from the last checkpoint to the event a second time.

After all that complaining I suppose the natural question to ask is why I kept playing the game all the way to the end if I couldnít stand it so much and the whole process felt like work rather than play and the reason has nothing to do with the game itself. I played a copy of the game I borrowed from my cousin and when I asked to borrow it he said he may as well lend me both Uncharted 1 and Uncharted 2 so I wanted to play through the first one to know what was going on in the second which I figured has got to be better as it was even more well received than the first. When I ended up playing the second one it turned out to be the exact same game as the first and I stopped once I saw I was running through a jungle again shooting at mercenaries.
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About mada7one of us since 8:18 PM on 08.30.2009