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LTTP: Uncharted series

roytheone

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Feb 3, 2014
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Update 21-4-2017: Finished Uncharted 4.

Update 10-2-2017: Finished Uncharted 3.

Update 7-1-2017: Finished Uncharted 2. Look at the bottom of the OP to see my thoughts on it.

Uncharted 1: Drakes Fortune


Since I bought a ps4 during black friday, I decided to start playing through the uncharted series after hearing it being praised here for years. I have now finished Uncharted 1 and...well...while I had fun, it is a game with a couple of pretty big problems imo.

First the good: I don’t know if it is because of the remastered or not, but damn, this game STILL looks very good! If you would tell me this was a normal current gen game I would probably have believed you. Having it all run at a solid 60 fps is also great, Bluepoint did an excellent job with the remaster.

I really liked the story and characters. They are interesting and fun to follow, there is a lightheartedness to it all that is quite nice. I love a good adventure movie, and while the main story may be a bit straightforward and predictable, it isn’t bad at all.

The gameplay itself is also fine. The shooting feels nice, the cover mechanic works good most of the time, the checkpoints are never really a problem, the climbing is a bit on the easy side but not too bad. Nothing really amazing, but more than solid enough mechanics.

So yeah, sounds like a great game, right? Well…...let’s talk about the issues I had with the game:

One of the main issue i have with it is that it is just so incredibly repetitive. There is very little variation. Both in environments (jungle, more jungle, ruins, jungle, oh hey they are leaving the island, what will come ne…..oh it is another, identical island with more jungle, fun) and gameplay. There really aren’t a lot of other gameplay elements or set pieces to break the flow of combat arena, a bit of climbing, more combat arenas etc. Yeah, there is the jet ski part, but that is kinda…..meh.

That wouldn’t be a big problem, if it wasn’t for my second big issue: the encounter design is pretty damn bad. In a lot of the encounters you have VERY little options. You just end up finding a good spot to take cover from and stay there during the whole fight. You don’t need to move around, and it is often even a death sentence if you do. I can recall multiple encounters where i saw a higher up platform and thought: “cool, i will jump to that and then have the high ground! oh wait, I can’t actually climb to this :(“. This causes the encounters to become very monotonous. And even if you clear the combat arena, often there are multiple waves of enemies that come flooding in. I have had moments where i just kept my redicule on the entrance of the arena and just mowed down the enemies when they came flooding in, didn’t even have to move my aim…...While the combat basics are fine, this becomes boring pretty soon. Combined with the lack of variation in environments and set pieces, and you have a game that quickly becomes a bore. There are a few encounters that break this mold (like encounters with turrets where you suddenly have to move and think strategically about how you will reach the turret) but they are few and far between. Especially the chapter right after crashing on the second island is just one long slog of firefight after firefight without even any story cutscenes to look forward too :(

And then there is the final parts of the game, where they finally switch things up by throwing some resident evil reject enemies your way. While I originally was happy to finally have some different gameplay, that quickly turned to annoyance. These dicks can kill you in two swipes, and you have very little options to avoid them, they can even hit you while you are dodging. Not a huge problem if you are dealing with only them, but in the final encounters the game throws those monsters+ normal enemies with guns at you, meaning that one swipe of a monster + a stray bullet could suddenly kill you. Oh, and did I mention there is also an insta kill sniper taking shots at you? Yeah…..that part was frustrating as hell. It didn’t help that ammo suddenly became very sparse in those parts and you often had to take risks to get more.

And finally, there is the final boss fight against dude that has gotten a magic, insta-kill, immortal making shotgun from...eh….somewhere. This part is really, REALLY dumb. The game is very bad at hinting at what you have to do, and I ended up dying about 10 times trying to blow the guys head off, clearly hitting him but being confused about why it did jack shit. Bosses that magically become immortal for no good reason and with no good indication are THE WORST.

So yeah, all in all a game with solid mechanics, characters and story, but it fumbles on encounter design and variety.

Next up: the much praised, critically acclaimed Uncharted 2! Hopefully that game can take the solid basis of Uncharted 1 and build something a bit more interesting with it!

Uncharted 2: Among thieves


Well, I finished Uncharted 2, and yeah, that was a MUCH better game than Uncharted 1 :) It takes the pretty solid basis and great characters from 1 and then improves almost all the bad parts of it!

There is MUCH more variety in environments this time (admittedly, 2 different environments would already be an improvement ;), which really helps at keeping the gameplay fresh. The game also still looks gorgeous, and has some really amazing vista’s, again helped by the greatly improved environmental variety. This game had to be mindblowing from a visual perspective when it launched. I had multiple moments where i just stopped to admire the view. And NO, that is not referencing looking at Chloe’s ass :mad:........OK, it is partily referencing looking at Chloe’s ass, but there are also plenty of other great views!

The combat encounters are also greatly improved. I was moving around a lot more in this game instead of the bunker down tactic that was most of the encounters in 1. This time, almost every encounter can be approached from different positions, and moving between them is not only possible now, but often even needed. The game throws much fewer enemy waves at you (thank god) and when it does, it often makes them come from another side, forcing you to relocate and keeping the encounter still fresh. It’s a lot more fun.

Then there is the fact that this game actually has set pieces! And really good ones at that! The hanging train, the chase where you have to jump from car to car, the crumbling building. They were all pretty incredible and really helped with breaking up the action. It was also nice that during most of these set pieces, I still felt in control of Nathan, I was not just a spectator looking at cool shit happening, it was well integrated with the gameplay.

The characters are still very likable and the story interesting enough to follow. The villain was a bit one note though, didn’t got anything else from him except “he is just evil and wants to take over the world”, OK then (I liked Flynn better, him and Nate insulting each other when on the path to Shambhala was pretty funny). But man, the character interaction in this game can be really, REALLY good. The final cutscene with Chloe, Nate and Elena (and a guest appearance of Sully) really showed Naughty dog’s ability to make believable character interactions that makes you care about them. Some top shelf stuff there.

There were some small stumbles too though. The stealth in this game is….not great. It is really hard to know when someone is watching you and when the coast is clear. This is not a problem in 90% of the game where being spot just kicks off a combat encounter, but it made the insta-fail first area in the museum pretty tedious and frustrating. Probably the worst part of the game so I guess it is nice that you get it over with quickly?

Then there were some encounters that were….not great. The encounter in the train yard in particular. While you can move around the arena’s in the rest of the game, there you are confound in a crashed train car and forced to shoot waves of approaching enemies like a shooting gallery with no real movement options. It got boring very quickly, and having to redo it a couple of times since it isn’t easy was not fun at all. It reminded me of the worst parts of uncharted 1. The train part after that is pretty cool in the beginning, but goes on for a bit too long tbh.

And my biggest gripe with the game is that it felt like there was a pretty severe jump in difficulty around the monastery part. Suddenly I was dying way quicker and had to redo a lot of encounters multiple times. This got a bit frustrating. And then you enter Shambala itself and for some reason the game thinks it will be fun to throw some incredibly bullet spongy enemies your way. I don’t know how they did it, but they made a supernatural enemy that is even less fun to fight then those licker rejects from 1. Having to empty around 5 clips to kill 1 enemy is not fun….at all. The final boss was…..decent. Way better than mr. magical shotgun from 1 (again, not hard though), but the inconsistency in the distance those explosions would work got kinda annoying. One time it worked while he was pretty far away, and then it failed while he was right next to one.

However, these are all small gripes with individual encounters and segments, compared to my more general complaints about Uncharted 1. In the end, Uncharted 2 fixes A LOT of what was wrong with 1 and uses the strengths of that games basis and builds a MUCH better game with it. Add some very well done character interactions and amazing set pieces on top of that and you have a game that is still pretty f**** good to this day.

With what many describe as the pinnacle of the series completed, it is now time to move to the game that is often seen as a very good game, but not as strong as it’s predecessor. I will find this out for myself soon enough!

Uncharted 3: Drake's deception


Alright, completed uncharted 3, and...eh….its better then 1? But compared to 2, it is definitely a step backwards. But lets start with the good parts first:

There is still a lot of variety in environments. Desserts, Arabic cities, London, a French mansion, it may be even better then in 2! And they all still look great, again the graphics still manages to impress. Also very few repeat environments from previous games, which helps to keep the whole series fresh.

The character work is still great. The interaction between Nate, sully and Elena are interesting and believable, and you actually want to get to know these characters better. I will say that Chloe and newcomer Cutter kinda….not do a whole lot in the story. They are just kinda there. Missed opportunity.

The set pieces are still great. The plane, burning building and sinking boat are impressive and actually fun to play through, they aren’t just the type of set-pieces that look cool, but offer 0 gameplay.

I think the puzzles are actually better then in previous games. They are bigger and more involved, and actually require some thinking instead of just copying what is in the notepad. Solving them felt good instead of a waste of time like in 1 and 2. It’s unfortunate that the puzzles kinda just disappear about halfway through the game.

I like the added melee options and animations in the combat. Melee feels a lot more viable in this game with you being able to steal a gun from an enemy, pull the pin from a grenade they carry and more. You are way less often just locked in a stupid QTE that would just get you shot like in 1 and 2. Nice improvement.

And finally, the “supernatural” enemies are by far the least annoying of the trilogy. No annoying weird licker like enemies or ridiculously bullet spongy Inca's. Instead we get ghost riders that you have to kill twice.

So that are the good parts, but now on to my complaints that put the game firmly below 2 imo:

There are a LOT of bad, frustrating encounters in the second half of the game. Like the encounter in the ship graveyard where you have to fight shotgun guys and shield guys in a ridiculously small arena. Or the airfield fight where if you fuck up the stealth there seem to be a billion waves of enemies, they just keep spawning and spawning. And many encounters from the dessert on just have waaay to many shotgun dudes that take a ridiculous amount of bullets to kill. That combined with normal enemies being able to kill you VERY QUICKLY suddenly can make the game very frustrating.

The melee brawl parts were fun in the beginning, but got old very quickly. They are just glorified QTE, you have very little actual options during the fight. Some of the takedowns look cool, but…..this ain’t arkham level of melee brawls, that’s for sure.

Story wise, I thought the villains this time had a much more potential than in previous games, but the game does very little with them. I would have wanted to know way more about them and their organization. For example, the relationship between the woman and Sully came up like...once. They could have done way more with that imo. Talking about Sully, I also thought the flashback scenes showing the relationship between young Drake and Sully were very interesting, but again had more potential, I wish there was more of that in the game. Lots of missed potential in this game.

Fuck the final boss fight just being a QTE. Thats always dumb.

So yeah, all in all it is still a great game, with some great encounters, fun combat, interesting characters and impressive set pieces. Yet, compared to 2 there are very few parts where the game improves, and quite a few where it regressed, especially on the front of combat encounters. And the missed story opportunities are really a big shame.

So, now that the ps3 trilogy is done, next up is the final game in this series: GAF’s own goty 2016: Uncharted 4!

Uncharted 4: A thief's end


So I finally beaten Uncharted 4 (blame Zelda for me not doing it earlier ;) and...well...I think it actually does almost everything better than the previous games in the series except for one very important thing. But we will come to that thing later, first of all, HOLY MOTHER OF GOD DOES THIS GAME LOOK AMAZING. Maybe the best looking game I have ever seen. The faces are incredibly impressive, the facial animation best of class, environments all look amazing and the views are awe inspiring. It is a shame it is no longer 60 fps like the collection was, but not a huge issue since it is a very stable 30 with only a few drops here and there. I was impressed pretty much the whole way through. Naughty dog really are wizards on the technical front.

Then the combat. The hugely increased focus on optional stealth is a pretty big improvement. Stealth is now actually viable and pretty fun! It also helps by giving you the opportunity to scope out the combat arena before the shit hits the fan, and because you get spotted at different points, every encounter feels different. There is no encounter where you just stick behind the same piece of cover over and over again. Also, the melee feels a lot faster and useful in this compared to the original trilogy. Finally, they greatly decreased the number of shotgun guys compared to 3 (thank heaven), shield guys are totally gone (thank heaven again) and I think there is only 1 encounter where there is a reinforcement wave (thank heaven a third time). This makes the encounters a lot less frustrating, the only encounter I can think off that annoyed me a bit was the one in the collapsed tower. But for the rest a huge improvement on 3 and even on 2.

The climbing, well, it is still uncharted climbing. It seems you have more routes this time and you have to figure out how to reach something a bit more often, but all in all, it isn’t really better or worse than before. The puzzles are a bit more involved this time and actually required me to think instead of just copying what was in my notebook. Nothing mind breaking, but a nice change of pace from time to time.

Something I did found surprising and really liked was the more open area where you could drive around in the jeep, do some optional puzzles/climbing/encounters while the gang talks about stuff. It is something different than in previous games and I really liked the freedom. A good way to get some optional exposition out there while also keeping the player occupied with gameplay. I wonder if that level was a sort of test bed for naughty dog’s next game?

One thing I do think was missing a bit where the action set pieces. There was one cool one with the car chase and the rest was mostly collapsing buildings, collapsing bridges, collapsing jeeps, pretty much everything collapses. And then even the car chase was already kinda done in both 2 and 3. Wished it had 2 or 3 more big set pieces that weren’t shit falling or collapsing.

So, with the gameplay related things out of the way, on to the story. And man, the story is actually really good! The characters are not only still interesting, Nate and Elena and their relationship gets deepend a lot. The premise of them having settled down but still kinda longing for their previous lives is very well done, as is how Sam is used to make Nate realize what his obsession with finding treasures did to the people he care about. Talking about Sam, I think he is a….decent character. Not bad, his relationship with Nate is well done and he serves his purpose in the story, but he himself as a character is nothing spectacular. He also comes a bit out of nowhere since he is never mentioned at all in the previous 3 games, and I am pretty sure things were said in those games that actually contradict his existence. Not a huge issue though. The villains are….decent. I can actually understand Rafe’s reasoning for hating Sam in this game, but in the end he just turns into crazy jealous guy. Which also has an annoying boss fight that asks for completely different skillset than the previous 15 hours. I kinda hate that stuff. It is kinda shocking how a series that has nailed a lot of character work never produced a compelling villain.

The story about Libertaria is begins off kinda weak if I am totally fair. It is again a lot of “we found a map that leads to the treasur...oh wait it leads to another map and hey it points to a map that highlights a map so that we can find a map within the map when we have the map. I rolled my eyes when that happened for like the fifth time in a row. However, when you finally reach Libertaria the city itself and its backstory is MUCH more fleshed out compared to the previous games. Not only do you spend more time in it, you actually learned what happened to the city and how it fell to ruin. And that story is actually very interesting and well told. It made me retroactively disappointed that this level of attention wasn’t spent on the other 3 hidden cities.

So all in all, I would say that a lot of the individual elements in this game are the best they have ever been. Combat, graphics, story, character work, all very good. However, my one big gripe with this game is the pacing. There is just way, WAY WAAAY to much downtime where you do nothing but climbing. The climbing isn’t bad, but the other parts of the game are so much better that it is a shame climbing is by far the biggest part of the game. While 3 had too much combat, this one actually has the opposite and has not enough combat. Yeah, I know, hard to please ;) This makes it so that I still prefer 2 over 4, but 4 is a strong runner up!

Well, that's that, I am finally done with the series….or am I?

 

Croash

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Mar 9, 2014
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Clearly in 2016 (and close to 2017), Uncharted 1 has many flaws that weren't as obvious at the time due to the novelty of it all.

From what you're saying, it sounds like you had the best possible experience with this game. Loving the characters, graphics and the gameplay itself, but annoyed by glaring game design flaws and little to no environment variety?

Uncharted 2 will be as much a step up to you as it was back then. Playing this series from 1 to 4 (and TLoU) is like having a quick summary of the evolution/ambitions of the AAA game industry through 10 years.

Each game has its pros and cons, all have different merits/different kinds of memorable moments.

For instance, when I think U1, I think of the moment when
WOAH wtf when did this become a horror game?!
Some will like it, others will forget the game!


Without spoiling, I mainly love U2 for its pacing/story, U3 for its atmosphere/set pieces, U4 for its graphics and character development. And I didn't like Golden Abyss because it felt like it encompassed the series' low points rather than the high ones.
 

Sanctuary

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Feb 10, 2012
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Everything you told is the overall general consensus, Uncharted was not the biggest thing ever until Uncharted 2.

Even then it was just more of the same, but with bigger blockbuster cutscenes and a greatly improved production values.

Gameplay though? It was improved, but not to the point in which if you didn't like it in the first, you'll suddenly fall in love.
 

ActWan

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Mar 8, 2016
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Can't wait to hear what you think about 2!
The series vastly improved the encounters and levels, adding constant movement and options with every new game, 4 being the best in that regard.
 

13ruce

Banned
Aug 29, 2016
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I could not finish uncharted 1 stopped halfway through and just read the plot on a wiki lol.

All other Uncharted games are masterpieces tho enjoy!
 

benjammin

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Aug 10, 2011
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Honestly I agree with all of your complaints for the original, and all of your praise. All I'll say is that the sequel fixes just about every issue that you had. You're in for a real treat, 2 is a top 3 game from last generation for me.
 

Unknown?

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Jan 5, 2016
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UC1 did feel like a corridor shooter. Like you got done in one area and the next was another wave of bad guys. It's not bad but after beating it a few times that kinda kills the replayability. UC2 is better in making it feel less like one corridor to the next though.

I still say the first is my favorite but that may be nostalgia because of how mind blowing it was compared to any PS2 game.
 

blamite

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I'm currently a little over halfway through Uncharted 3, maybe it's because I had my expectations to high from gearing everyone raving about Uncharted 2 for years, but honestly every one of the three games had been incredibly disappointing to me. Neither the characters and story or the gameplay are particularly advice average, and all of the games have gone on at least 30% too long.
 

score01

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Dec 25, 2013
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It's all uphill from here on out op. Sound like you played and semi enjoyed the 'worst' UC game. 2 is still the best. 3 is also great but let down by story. 4 is great as well but.... different.
 
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You're playing a decade old game that has aged far worse than anything else in the franchise. Easily the worst game in the series since everything in it has aged very poorly. Fun sense of exploration, fun story and great interaction between characters can still be enjoyed nowadays though.
 

DieH@rd

Banned
Dec 9, 2006
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Just enjoy them all OP, it's a great series.

You could maybe make a refresh break with some other game after you finish U2 since U3 is very simmilar to it (but still awesome). U4 is magnificent.
 

entremet

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Dec 6, 2008
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I hate on Uncharted 4, but definitely play it. My big beef was the style differences that didn't really match the series and lackluster antagonist.
 
Jun 12, 2013
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Keep going OP, one is a bit rough around the edges (I still love it personally). Two and three are very, very good games that built of the foundation of the first game but added a lot of creative ideas. Four was disappointing in that you could tell Struckmann would have rather been making The Last of Us 2, but most people seem to love it.
 
Jun 12, 2013
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I hate on Uncharted 4, but definitely play it. My big beef was the style differences that didn't really match the series and lackluster antagonist.

All of the Uncharted villains have sucked, but I legit cannot remember a damn thing about the U4 villain.
 

roytheone

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Feb 3, 2014
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Just enjoy them all OP, it's a great series.

You could maybe make a refresh break with some other game after you finish U2 since U3 is very simmilar to it (but still awesome). U4 is magnificent.

I thought about playing the last of us between 2 and 3. Or is it better to play it after 3 based on release time? May add my experiences with that game to this thread even though it isn't an Uncharted game.
 

Blueingreen

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Aug 14, 2014
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I only ever loved Uncharted 2 it perfected blended great pacing great environments with some truly excellent encounter design when combined with the verticality of the levels. The others have been very hit and miss with me especially Uncharted 3 truly a rage inducing game.
 

Fancy Clown

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Dec 3, 2013
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Uncharted 2 takes a big ol shit on Drake's Fortune in every single way. Have fun, the rest of the series is when it gets good.
 

FlashbladeGAF

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Sep 11, 2006
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I thought about playing the last of us between 2 and 3. Or is it better to play it after 3 based on release time? May add my experiences with that game to this thread even though it isn't an Uncharted game.
Play it after 3.

naughty dog improves with each game.
 

Theslammer

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Jun 27, 2014
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Uncharted 1 was a game that got better the more I played it, but 2 through 4 were the ones I consider awesome.
 

DieH@rd

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Dec 9, 2006
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I thought about playing the last of us between 2 and 3. Or is it better to play it after 3 based on release time? May add my experiences with that game to this thread even though it isn't an Uncharted game.

You can always pick some other great game to play between U2 and U3 if you wish to stick to release schedule with ND games.
 

cftrooper

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Apr 5, 2015
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You're in for quite a ride

There is very little variation. Both in environments (jungle, more jungle, ruins, jungle, oh hey they are leaving the island, what will come ne…..oh it is another, identical island with more jungle, fun)
Yeah that's definitely not an issue in any of the other games
 

Psychoward

Banned
Aug 17, 2011
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I only played the collection of 1-3, if the shooting in those were improved I'd be scared to try their defaults.

2 is definitely better than 1 but I feel like it also had more bullet sponges.
 

Sydle

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Oct 13, 2006
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Stop at Uncharted 2. It's downhill from there.

Eh, I'd say just lower expectations significantly for 3, or just skip it, and then go into 4 expecting awesome visuals and okayish to pretty good gameplay. I think they tie for having the lowest of the lows for the series and neither comes close to the highs of U2.
 

Can Crusher

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Dec 10, 2012
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Eh, I'd say just lower expectations significantly for 3, or just skip it, and then go into 4 expecting awesome visuals and okayish to pretty good gameplay. I think they tie for having the lowest of the lows for the series and neither comes close to the highs of U2.

Disregard this man. Anybody who tells you U4 has weak gameplay probably didn't play it.