Uncharted 3 Mini-Review
Posted by Alex Jordan on
I spent MLK weekend dogsitting a canine that was fond of pooping six times a day and howling at 3am and waking the neighbors. As a thank you/apology, the owners bought me a PS3 for my troubles. So, hey, here's an Uncharted 3 mini-review!
I should clarify that I know full well the worth of bloggers who review popular games months after everyone has already beaten them, and that I mostly do this to organize my thoughts on good and bad design choices.
Things I Liked
- It looks gorgeous and takes you to amazing exotic locations.
- The characters are (mostly) great and all have excellent voice acting and line delivery
- The shooting mechanics are really good, and I really enjoy the seamless segway from gunplay to hand-to-hand combat.
- The game has an honest-to-God difficulty curve that proves very challenging towards the end of the game.
- The horse chase scene is Goddamn amazing. "Hey! My horse came back!"
- The game is often funny. "Oh yeah, I had to top off my minutes. Contract plans are a ripoff."
- Some simply amazing level ideas. The ship graveyard and how open it was turned out to be my favorite section.
Things I Didn't Like
- A lot of the stealth sections are too rigid and only allow for one kind of come-from-behind takedown of enemies. There's not enough of a margin for error, and engaging in supposedly quiet hand-to-hand combat with an enemy (who is himself alerted, but has not loudly warned his buddies) often leads to an automatic alert that brings everyone down on you.
- Not enough variance in tougher enemies. Guys carrying riot shields offer a neat tactical challenge, but they disappear halfway through the game. Helmeted guys in body armor are tough at close range but mostly hang back and pelt you half-heartedly with a shotgun. The heavy armor machinegunners from Uncharted 2 only appear once in the entire game. And the series-favorite "supernatural enemies" aren't really supernatural, and show up for only five minutes.
- Instead of tougher enemies that pose tactical challenge, the game institutes way too many enemies that can kill you in one shot, which I find terribly frustrating. Especially when we're talking about a guy with an RPG around a blind corner. That's not "challenging" so much as "infuriating".
- Speaking "infuriating", the designers should never, ever put the player in a killbox... unarmed... with no flanking possibilities... facing a squad of heavily-armed men. That's not fun. It becomes trial and error to just survive for 20 seconds.
- Enemies are way too aware of your position, usually making flanking irrelevant.
- I don't actually know what "Drake's Deception" refers to.
- Didn't Cutter shoot Talbot at one point? And then Talbot reappeared fine? After having apparently disappeared into thin air earlier in that same level? It suggests that something supernatural is going on, but it's never explained.
- Fighting the whirling dervishes while in that drug-induced haze really sucked and was not fun.