"Uncharted: Drake's Fortune"
Since the sequel is coming out next week, I figured now would be
a good time to give "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" a roll...but, I
didn't want to buy it. Enter Meg Cooch, who told me earlier
this year that it might be wiser to start renting games now,
since save for a couple of major titles, I usually play a game once
and then leave it on the shelf.
So, we joined GameFly and made "Uncharted" our first delivery.
The game was good, not great, and was only really spectacular in one
area--the game is flat-out gorgeous on a big-screen TV and it moves
without a hitch and with zero load times for its entire
ten-hours-plus running time.
The game follows Indiana Jones-like treasure hunter Nathan Drake,
who heads off to South America in search of El Dorado and the Lost
City of Gold. Some other things happen along the way, and
thanks to better-than-average voice acting and all of the Hollywood
twists-and-turns you expect from big-budget video game adventures,
"Uncharted" is at least interesting during its cut scenes.
But, in breaking down its three main game elements--cover-infused
"Gears of War", puzzles and death-defying wall climbing--none of
the three elements wows even if all areas are adequate or slightly
- Action: this is one of those games where you walk into an
open area where there just happen to be ten statues, eight low
walls and, say, an old bus, and then 20 bad guys show up
announcing their presence by yelling things like "There he is!!"
and then firing at you, allowing you to take cover, fire from
cover, and move to more cover. The enemy AI at least
always has bad guys doing the same thing, so taking out bad guys
is satisfying, but not exactly fresh. Weapons are standard
and limited ammo at least makes you think on your feet.
- Puzzles: sadly, the PS3 has done puzzles poorly, but
"God of War" and
"ICO" on the PS2 had great puzzles so the puzzles in
"Uncharted" really suck. Worse, they are so easy that even
my sorry ass got through them in seconds. Worse than that
is the fact that apparently in the sequel, there are even less
- Wall climbing: I don't think you can really do
half-assed wall climbing; because of how this is set up, there
are sequences where you have to guide Drake through a series of
"jump up to that ledge, then jump to that vine, then swing to
that pipe" exercises that no sane human being would ever
attempt, even under duress. There were times that I was
actually laughing while this was going on; it just didn't feel
right for a guy to risk his life to get to an open window, but,
there you are. "Prince
of Persia" on PS3 did this so well that it puts the wall
climbing in "Uncharted" to shame, even if it also made no real
sense for a guy to swing from place to place to risk his life.
As a rental, "Uncharted" was still fun, and here's to hoping that
the sequel comes up with some fresh ideas.
Feedback? Comments? Salma Hayek's digits?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience