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Jaffe's thoughts on the 'controversial' Uncharted 3 review

Nov 10, 2010
34,172
1
0
Atlanta GA
Fucking love the way this guy writes and talks =)

http://davidjaffe.biz/

Eurogamer's 'controversial' review* of Uncharted 3 reminds me of why I love that site's reviews.

I also loved their fair and insightful criticism of Calling All Cars back in the day; how they sussed out the specific reasons for the lack of depth in our game. God, how I wish I had been able to articulate and even realize that flaw during CAC's development! We coulda made some simple changes that would have resulted in a much better title!**

As for U3, I've yet to play the campaign mode, but I played the beta over the summer and really liked it; I enjoyed it more than 99% of human based shooters on the market. And I'm sure I'll love the U3 campaign when I pick it up next week (just as I've loved the earlier Uncharted games).

BUT…

…Eurogamer's conclusion/criticism about games that are super heavy on the 'experience' at the expense of the 'play' (like they claim Uncharted 3 is and like- by my own admission- GOD OF WAR 1 is***) is wonderfully thought out and presented and the only reason it's been labeled 'controversial' has nothing to do with the review itself and everything to do with the sad state of game consumers who have been so effectively conditioned by a number of the gaming press/gaming PR machines that these gamers leap to a title's defense-not that this gem of a game needs defending- without even being open to the reviewer's criticism (be it valid or not). That's tragic. What's even more tragic is I would argue the games medium itself has been damaged by this practice. Irrevocably? No. But it has taken its toll for sure.

So there's that.

BUT…

Besides having some great insight, what's great about the Eurogamer review is that it manages to be both positive and critical at the same time (Garsh! Wonder of Wonders! How'd they do that?!?!)

It doesn't bash U3 at all (for to do so would just be trolling for hits since it's clear there ain't a thing in U3 that is bash worthy) and it clearly sings the game's many wonderful praises and achievements. But it does call out what some people consider a fundamental flaw in many of today's console titles where making 'cinematic experiences'**** seems to have become a more important goal than making games. And it's nice to see that level of criticism and insight in games journalism, especially with a game as hyped and anticipated (and as amazingly great) as Uncharted 3. How refreshing that a great, hyped, and soon-to-be much loved game can be praised while at the same time intelligently and non mean-spiritedly criticized for what a reviewer thinks (agree or not) are genuine issues. Wow, that's just like big boy writing! And I love it! :)

David

*Amazing this review is the one being called 'controversial'. To me, the 10/10 review that either mentions the flaws of the game and still gives a perfect score OR the review that doesn't mention the flaws at all (an even worse crime, assuming the reviewer thought there WERE flaws) is the true controversial review. Gamers that don't see this as a problem need to wake up to the PR machine cause the Matrix has you.

** A lot of people think I bash Calling All Cars at every turn. I don't. I am actually and super proud of the team that made the game, I'm proud of my contributions, and I love playing Calling All Cars in split screen to this day. I just hate that it didn't succeed more and I place that blame squarely on my shoulders (and I've written about that before). I love the game we made but I think it needed more stickiness and more depth (not always the same thing although many will tell you it is), not to mention a more commercial theme. And I kick myself that I didn't push (myself or others) to address these issues.

***A lot of people ask me if I'd ever make another GOD OF WAR (assuming that opportunity was offered) and I always say the same thing: if it were GOD OF WAR meets something like ZELDA (formula wise), then yes (aka Darksiders, right?)…But if it were GOD OF WAR using the current formula, I would not. For me- and this is just me PERSONALLY (I get and respect not everyone shares this same thinking)- directing GOD OF WAR made me realize that as a game designer (and certainly as game director) I want our games to serve the gods of GAMEPLAY first and foremost. My and then team's desire to tell a story/make a movie may or may not get to be fulfilled (depending on the game) but if we do tell a story, it will never come at the expense of the gameplay (the thing that makes our medium matter and special). Games can have story (and many should, such as God of War) and most games- even pure play games- should have strong world and IP. But working on God of War made it clear that- for me- if we have to cut a set piece or bit of spectacle because of our desire to put play first, then so be it. Ideally, the BEST games are those that do both.

But what is really interesting/telling, is that as much hype and fan love as the cinematic experiences get, it's the game-y games that sell and sell and sell. Look at Guitar Hero, MW3, Angry Birds, Farmville, Mario, Madden, Wii sports, and on and on and on. Hell, even GTA sells to MOST folks because they just like to fuck around in the world (the game part). I think hardcore FANS of games love seeing our medium push (successfully or not- YMMV) into the medium of film and utilize techniques from that medium (sometimes surpassing film, as it seems U3 does via the cargo plane sequence alone- Michael Bay simply DREAMS of such a cool scenario!) And I think these fans dig this stuff because it shows off the tech we love (and paid a lot of cash for), it gives us the stunning art our eyeballs crave and the energy/adrenaline our guts respond to, and perhaps (not for all but certainly for some) because it presents what is- to me- a false hope/desire (and a very real display of desperation) that AT LAST our geeky habit is now COOL and RELEVANT and MAINSTREAM! End of the day tho, look at the top of the charts: the GAME STUFF sells buckets when it's themed right and executed well. The EXPERIENCE STUFF sells well too but not near as much as the GAMEY stuff and the EXPERIENCE STUFF costs a hell of a lot more to make in most cases.

****I use the word 'experience' in 'cinematic experience' as shorthand cause ya'll know what I mean. Ironic tho since the whole point the Eurogamer review makes is that the player's actual INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE is many times relegated to second class status in order to present the player with a more controlled VIEWING experience.

Sigh. People tend to get heated up with these numbers eh?

Also everyone's favorite game journalist/talking hair Patrick Klepek also wrote something on GB about the same thing.

http://www.giantbomb.com/news/when-a-mostly-positive-review-becomes-controversial/3764/

People like breaking down the whole game dev process, but it's equally fascinating (for me) when it's the other side of the coin as well.
 

Chairman Yang

if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
Sep 14, 2005
7,314
74
1,730
He's right. Anyone who blasts the Eurogamer review is an indefensible fanboy, IMO.
 

distantmantra

Member
Jun 9, 2004
25,818
0
1,520
Seattle, WA
*Amazing this review is the one being called 'controversial'. To me, the 10/10 review that either mentions the flaws of the game and still gives a perfect score OR the review that doesn't mention the flaws at all (an even worse crime, assuming the reviewer thought there WERE flaws) is the true controversial review. Gamers that don't see this as a problem need to wake up to the PR machine cause the Matrix has you.

Best part.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Jun 18, 2009
62,408
10
1,115
Amazing this review is the one being called 'controversial'. To me, the 10/10 review that either mentions the flaws of the game and still gives a perfect score OR the review that doesn't mention the flaws at all (an even worse crime, assuming the reviewer thought there WERE flaws) is the true controversial review. Gamers that don't see this as a problem need to wake up to the PR machine cause the Matrix has you.
Great quote
 

Nemo

Will Eat Your Children
Sep 10, 2007
18,377
1
0
To me, the 10/10 review that either mentions the flaws of the game and still gives a perfect score OR the review that doesn't mention the flaws at all (an even worse crime, assuming the reviewer thought there WERE flaws) is the true controversial review. Gamers that don't see this as a problem need to wake up to the PR machine cause the Matrix has you.
10 shouldn't mean a perfect score.

Or a game with zero flaws
 

cajunator

Banned
Nov 16, 2010
74,396
0
675
Lafayette, Louisiana
I like my games structured, with a decided path. Uncharted is like that. It's fine. no need to change it. It tries to be a cinematic experience, and it partly succeeds because of that structure.
 

Smellycat

Member
Jun 12, 2011
9,095
10
0
That Eurogamer review is one of the best reviews I have read in a while. It is not afraid to criticize a high profile game, but it also doesn't discredit it. It is about time for someone to call out games for trying to become something that they shouldn't be. I don't want videogames to be replicas of movies. Yes, having cutscenes and other cinematic aspects in games is not harmful, but it shouldn't be affecting gameplay to the point where you are just there to press X, in order to get to the next cutscene.

I am afraid that the day will come when the "best games" are considered the ones that have the most cinematic aspect to them, and the ones that you basically play in order to get from cutscene to the next. That is just the death of gaming.
 

TacticalFox88

Banned
Feb 13, 2009
22,562
2
0
GAF showed it's true colors and fanboyism when that review came out. You're going to play it regardless! Stop using the scores as a dick measuring contest. It's beyond fucking stupid.
 

Chairman Yang

if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
Sep 14, 2005
7,314
74
1,730
cajunator said:
I like my games structured, with a decided path. Uncharted is like that. It's fine. no need to change it. It tries to be a cinematic experience, and it partly succeeds because of that structure.
Then the Eurogamer review should be perfect for you. It clearly states that if you like the type of linear, scripted game it is, you'll be happy. At the same time, it questions some of the fundamentals of Uncharted for people who might not be as happy.
 
D

Deleted member 81567

Unconfirmed Member
Most sensible people already know this.
 

snap0212

Member
May 9, 2006
5,653
0
1,315
*Amazing this review is the one being called 'controversial'. To me, the 10/10 review that either mentions the flaws of the game and still gives a perfect score OR the review that doesn't mention the flaws at all (an even worse crime, assuming the reviewer thought there WERE flaws) is the true controversial review. Gamers that don't see this as a problem need to wake up to the PR machine cause the Matrix has you.
Jaffe should read up what the 10 on sites like IGN actually means. Hint: it doesn't mean the game is without flaws.
 

Tucah

you speak so well
Feb 27, 2008
9,202
0
0
Great write up.

And I would play the fuck out of a Zelda-like GoW made by Jaffe. MAKE IT HAPPEN SONY.
 

slaughterking

Member
Jun 4, 2006
10,628
0
0
twitter.com
Raitosaito said:
Metacritic is part of the problem.

It's a leech in the movie industry, and it's been much worse for the gaming industry.
Movie reviewing culture is about a millions times more mature than the gaming equivalent, though.
 

plagiarize

Banned
May 24, 2006
41,130
1
0
The Eurogamer review was the one that convinced me to get the game. A well written review highlights the flaws in such a way as to let a reader figure out for themselves if they'll be bothered by those same issues.

I read it hoping for information on how well the game works in 3D (cause that's a big part of why I want to pick it up), and when it didn't tell me, I went into the review thread here to see if anyone else had talked about 3D, and I found a shit storm over that same review.

Jaffe and I have butted heads in the past, but not this time. I hope this opinion coming from him will help wake some people up.
 
K

kittens

Unconfirmed Member
Right on. 10s should be like top tier, legendary, revolutionary, and redefining. An industry game changer. U3 will be amazing, but I doubt it will blow my mind.
 

wenis

Registered for GAF on September 11, 2001.
Aug 22, 2007
37,456
0
0
Chairman Yang said:
Then the Eurogamer review should be perfect for you. It clearly states that if you like the type of linear, scripted game it is, you'll be happy. At the same time, it questions some of the fundamentals of Uncharted for people who might not be as happy.

for which at least I am quite glad they did. The uncharted series came up in discussion about thread bare gameplay, but amazing spectacle during a conversation at GDC. Eurogamer is the first publication to actually touch on it in a review so hopefully their ideas start to spread a bit more and gets other developers to question their ratio of gameplay to spectacle. It's one that really does need a looking at from the production stand point.


slaughterking said:
Movie reviewing culture is about a millions times more mature than the gaming equivalent, though.



It really isn't, but ok. They've just had enough time to cultivate figures within the community to elevate to a higher status than other reviews. They have the same flaws as any other writer, they just happen to be taken much more seriously within (and outside) their communities.
 

V_Arnold

Member
Dec 5, 2008
15,304
0
950
Hungary
Jeffe is right. And I do not even like his games. But it does not matter.
He is right.

The cure for this disease is Dark Souls, btw. Makes you appreciate REAL things.
 

andymcc

Banned
Dec 17, 2007
14,908
4
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slaughterking said:
Movie reviewing culture is about a millions times more mature than the gaming equivalent, though.

i think it's the good writing that tends to set it apart.
 

plagiarize

Banned
May 24, 2006
41,130
1
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Franklinator said:
Yeah, most movies get average reviews, like in the 30-60 range
i have to chuckle that you've gone right to talking about scores. we need to stop being so score centric. the obsession with rotten tomatoes and meta critic et al is very unhealthy.
 

DMeisterJ

Banned
May 15, 2008
24,639
0
0
Wilmington, DE
I agree with his statement, but it'll be funny to revisit this topic with his thoughts on Eurogamer's review of Twisted Metal this winter if they ream it and give it a five or something.
 

spwolf

Member
Feb 15, 2007
16,282
0
0
plagiarize said:
The Eurogamer review was the one that convinced me to get the game. A well written review highlights the flaws in such a way as to let a reader figure out for themselves if they'll be bothered by those same issues.

I read it hoping for information on how well the game works in 3D (cause that's a big part of why I want to pick it up), and when it didn't tell me, I went into the review thread here to see if anyone else had talked about 3D, and I found a shit storm over that same review.

Jaffe and I have butted heads in the past, but not this time. I hope this opinion coming from him will help wake some people up.

problem with that review is that same reviewer gave same grade to Gundam game. End of story right there.
 

Ploid 3.0

Member
Jun 6, 2004
28,300
4
1,510
CozMick said:
Twisted Metal - Eurogamer 6/10 - Jaffe goes apeshit.

Oh wow I was just reminded about Twisted Metal. It would have almost been out by now I think. :(
 

Franklinator

Member
Jun 14, 2011
5,745
1
0
Kentucky
plagiarize said:
i have to chuckle that you've gone right to talking about scores. we need to stop being so score centric. the obsession with rotten tomatoes and meta critic et al is very unhealthy.

You're right. I was just pointing out that movie reviews aren't as inflated as video game reviews

Edit: Actually, I should have just said movie reviews are far more critical than video game reviews
 

plagiarize

Banned
May 24, 2006
41,130
1
0
CozMick said:
Twisted Metal - Eurogamer 6/10 - Jaffe goes apeshit.
unlikely given that he praised their critical review of calling all cars.

which Leadbetter gave 6 out of 10.
 

Nemo

Will Eat Your Children
Sep 10, 2007
18,377
1
0
chogidogs said:
That's the problem right?
Yes and no.

If you have the 10s being given out it means the bar has been raised, which is good because it drives the industry forward. If the 10 was such a rare score which meant perfection in almost every conceivable area of the game it could be a nice thing to have in theory. However the actual practice of it being given out all the time means it's way too late for that and of course then there's the big ass elephant of subjectivity which you can't possibly universally agree on with video games. This factors in major things like genre, platform and tolerance of the degree of certain flaws (be they technical or artistic)
 

marathonfool

Member
Sep 4, 2008
4,465
0
0
Will games be criticized as effectively for not creating a polished, guided, and tightly produced gameplay narrative? Even games that has no intention of doing so?

That to me is not so much a review, rather than a thesis on what interactive entertainment is defined or expected. The Eurogamer "review" is a Grade A discourse, but it is short on the content of reviewing the game. Hardly any mention of multiplayer, 3-D, or Co-op.
 
Oct 19, 2007
11,854
1
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Aw snap
Jaffe too? I haven't read the Uncharted thread but I imagine 90+% of reactions to the "controversial" review are just joking or trollish

I mean if someone is sitting in a cubicle all day and whats to stir up gaf (and apparently the internet as well since everyone is commenting) for some entertainment then more power too them

Seems like they were extremely successful in pushing buttons. Expect the message board reactions to be amped up for what ever big game is next. Jaffe and Patrick for uncharted? Their new goal is to drag Vinny into the fray
 

StuBurns

Banned
Jan 9, 2008
69,534
0
0
While I think the response from certain gaffers to the review was fucking embarrassing, why Jaffe and Klepick feel it's worthy of a blog is pretty baffling.
 

Bit-Bit

Member
Jul 24, 2006
7,383
4
0
***A lot of people ask me if I'd ever make another GOD OF WAR (assuming that opportunity was offered) and I always say the same thing: if it were GOD OF WAR meets something like ZELDA (formula wise), then yes (aka Darksiders, right?)…But if it were GOD OF WAR using the current formula, I would not. For me- and this is just me PERSONALLY (I get and respect not everyone shares this same thinking)- directing GOD OF WAR made me realize that as a game designer (and certainly as game director) I want our games to serve the gods of GAMEPLAY first and foremost. My and then team's desire to tell a story/make a movie may or may not get to be fulfilled (depending on the game) but if we do tell a story, it will never come at the expense of the gameplay (the thing that makes our medium matter and special). Games can have story (and many should, such as God of War) and most games- even pure play games- should have strong world and IP. But working on God of War made it clear that- for me- if we have to cut a set piece or bit of spectacle because of our desire to put play first, then so be it. Ideally, the BEST games are those that do both.

This part is really great to me. It says exactly why I still think God of War 1 is the best God of War. It was the one with the most variation on puzzles and combat. All of the other God of War seems to just go from set piece to set piece without a good puzzle part in between.

I also hope they bring Jaffe back for a reboot of God of War. Make it like Zelda with wand controls. It would be awesome.

I'm leaning towards Asian gods and goddesses in order to have a fresh take on the series.

Make it happen David!
 

Kayo-kun

Member
Feb 5, 2010
1,525
0
0
I agree with Jaffe and I hope more sites dare giving a proper and credible reviews like Eurogamer review of Uncharted 3. I hate seeing reviewers that do not dare to state the negative aspects of a games and form their reviews to please their fanbase and hand out 9:s and 10:s for the big budget mainstream games.
 

Emitan

Member
Jun 26, 2008
39,757
2
0
Amazing this review is the one being called 'controversial'. To me, the 10/10 review that either mentions the flaws of the game and still gives a perfect score OR the review that doesn't mention the flaws at all (an even worse crime, assuming the reviewer thought there WERE flaws) is the true controversial review. Gamers that don't see this as a problem need to wake up to the PR machine cause the Matrix has you.

The UnchartedGAF, read this, please.
 

BruiserBear

Banned
Oct 19, 2010
15,960
0
0
Teetris said:
10 shouldn't mean a perfect score.

Or a game with zero flaws
This.


Also, let's see how much Jaffe enjoys tough reviews when Twisted Metal racks up 6's and 7's next year.
 

shintoki

sparkle this bitch
Oct 9, 2007
29,351
0
1,200
spwolf said:
problem with that review is that same reviewer gave same grade to Gundam game. End of story right there.
Yup, end of story. Close down the thread. They reviewed a Gundam game the same as Uncharted.

So did you ever play said Gundam game by chance? Or even Uncharted 3?