10-28-10 - Game Review - Uncharted 1

After about two hours of jumping around on rocks and running through jungles and shooting brown people in the face, running around picking up their ammo, it all grows rather repetetive. Climb around, shoot brown people, climb around, bleh, this again?

The one sentence Hollywood style pitch would be "it's Tomb Raider, but instead of playing as a scantily clad hot chick, you play as a smug douchebag". Brilliant! Green light that concept!

There's some mildly bad game design in that the world is not at all a "simulation", but they also don't make clear the gameyness - like there are tons of things in the world that you should be able to interact with that you can't, but then they also don't make it clear at all what things you *can* interact with, and they add new ones all the time to make the "puzzles" (which are not so much puzzles as stand around mystified until the narrator gives you hints, or randomly walk around until you trigger the cinematic, or randomly press triangle until you find the interactive piece that looks just like all the non-interactive pieces).

The combat is not very well designed, you feel like you don't really have choices or much cleverness you can use in dealing with enemies, and it's not very varied. It makes me feel like the difficulty comes from me fighting the controls, not the enemies. On the plus side, the basic platforming/climbing controls are really good, it's the first game I've ever played where I can do cliff climbing and it just does what I want it to, I don't feel like I'm fighting the controls all the time (as in most ledge-hangers like Ico, PoP, etc).

There are some nice kind of cinematic moments where you transition in and out of cut scenes nicely, though it all feels a bit too "Dragon's Lair" , like I'm just pressing A to watch a movie, and the opportunity for beauty is ruined by the monotony of the environments.

But the real problem is that Nathan Drake is a huge douchebag. He's obviously modeled after J Rubin (real life douchebag extraordinaire), and I just don't want to play as a douchebag. It's not my escapist character roleplaying fantasy to be a self-satisfied smug wisecracker. Any time it went into dialog sequences I'd just be like "groan, eye roll, I hate you".

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