Uncharted 3 reviews

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Feb 25, 2008
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Arne-

Before someone reads my post and thinks I'm trolling UC3, I just want to reiterate that I love UC3, and it is my GOTY. However, the game isn't without its flaws and ND needs to take a long look at their next game. Nevertheless, here's my take-

1. My biggest problem with UC3 is the clunk.

a. The psuedo-QTE, nine hit, jam the O button, watch the stiff animation, repetitive- melee system needs to die a horrible death. UC2's melee system served its purpose, and it did it well. This is where ND is venturing into Insomniac territory where they have something good, but fuck it up by imitating others (Halo/COD in their case, Batman in yours).

b. Shooting mechanics have been given recoil which is completely unrewarding. If a seasoned veteran like me is having issue with killing someone, than imagine how the mass market reacts. I've watched two of my friends play the game where they both have exclaimed, "Why aren't I hitting the guy!!?"

c. Some of the animations are stiff and over the top. Without spoiling, Chapter 2 really comes to mind. I understand that ND prides itself on animation quality, but some of the animations were half baked and led me to seriously question why you would even put a. them in the game.

d. Platforming needs a nice coat of paint. I find myself wanting Nathan to jump to a specific area of the level, yet he is hung up on geometry and moves his hand to an area I don't want him to. Its awfully irritating.

2. The visuals are top tier, and UC3 is the best looking console game, however, no one can deny, there should have been more polish in many scenes.

a. Trying to be as spoiler free as possible, but
Young Drake, Marlow, and Talbot look disappointing compared to ND's standard
.
Marlow and Talbot
had almost no facial detail. Also, the way characters' mouths move when they talk is strange, especially looking at teeth that make them look like vampires. Drake, Chloe, Sully, and Elena all look outstanding.

b.
Syria, Chateu (the forest's floor), and some of the underground segments
had some terrible texture work in places. Both of these areas needed more time in the oven.

3. I love the way narrative is handled in Uncharted 3. However, I'll agree with most people and say
the desert
was a little too much hand holding. I don't mind having my hand held, however, I want to feel a sense of gratification for it.
 
Aug 24, 2005
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arne said:
it's not that they are invalid, which again I've been very careful to point out that I don't feel these criticism are invalid, or that the reviews are erroneous.

it's a combination of factors. one of which is why is U3 being called out for these things that other games are not. what can we learn from that perception or how others are handling the same challenges we face? another is, which you answered a couple of pages back i think, the "why now" when we've established what kind of games the uncharted series is. why not before. heck i mentioned i had this particular criticism for U1 (which was also echoed by fans and press i think). and so forth.
People know what the series is, they just want more after two games. I want to feel like it's my experience, not that I'm just playing through a story, because however great you think your story might be, that's not why I'm playing it.

Not that it should be open world, but there's no reason you couldn't make levels a little less linear or even add in some free-roaming parts where you just talk to people and explore around a little dusty town or something (yes, like the town in UC2, but... more).
 
Mar 12, 2007
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Jarmel said:
People don't care about Gears of War being limited because the story and gameplay mechanics re-infornce you going through narrow corridors.
Thats it? So its off the hook that easily? If you create a bald space marine shooter you are judged less harshly is what I'm beginning to believe in this industry. Why would publishers choose to create anything else.
 
Jan 9, 2008
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MW2's metacritic is a little higher than it probably should be in fairness, but I think it was partially rewarding just the iteration of a game that had already started changing competitive game design.

UC2 was very good, but it wasn't evolutionary or progressive for gaming, just for the franchise, and a further iteration on that same model is just more taxing it seems. Even still, the metacritic is still very high.
 

arne

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BruceLeeRoy said:
I believe his argument is that COD does the exact same thing every year and gets to be called original and re-defining!

i'm not limiting it to COD, which is why i didn't call out a particular game. that's but one example. the thing is, this is about uncharted, and not the merits or um non-merits (?) on one particular game (to me or us).
 
Sep 17, 2005
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Lion Heart said:
Thats it? So its off the hook that easily? If you create a bald space marine shooter you are judged less harshly is what I'm beginning to believe in this industry. Why would publishers choose to create anything else.
How is it off the hook?

Gears 3 is universally rated lower than UC3

It also saw a similar drop off in prestige from Gears 1, which was the right place at the right time with innovative ideas. From there it became a bit derivative, and while the scores never became bad they were lower than the first game

I honestly can't think of any high-AAA game that has managed to do the same in its sequel by being formulaic.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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arne said:
but i guess that's tangential to part of my question/point - how come this practice is ignored as a criticism elsewhere, or how come limited environments are okay, and for us, we've gotten to the point where it's not okay for us to proceed that way?
arne said:
it's not wrong. and reviewers have the latitude and agency to mark down any game, including ours, for whatever reason i valid.

but this is the third game in a series that has established itself as being linear. wouldn't that have been discussed the first time around, and then when the second game continued that format, why hasn't the discussion/criticism moved on to discuss whether that's a successful format or if we achieve the goals within the linear format.

i mean that's just personal opinion. i just can't keep letting go that this exactly thing is rarely mentioned for other titles that do the same, but they do for us. and in my head, what are they doing right with being linear and scripted that we aren't so that it isn't as big an issue.
Honestly I feel like a lot of it is because Uncharted is the big dog now. There's this plateau effect that happens with certain series. Uncharted 1 was this new game that was solid to the gaming industry but not necessarily the 'Gears killer, omg hype' etc. kind of thing.

Then UC2 came around, you guys showed the E3 presentation and jaws dropped. Now Uncharted 2 was the underdog, people in the industry desperately wanted to play this and watch it succeed because it looked so much more impressive than the first game. It seemed like everything from the first was enhanced, more environments, multiplayer etc. it was just a huge jump within 2 years. Then you guys have your own unique interesting funny characters, Indiana Jones-esque storylines etc. it's stuff everyone loves.

But now you're at the top of the pleateu (in the eyes of the reviewing industry or whatever) and the only place to go now is down (generally speaking). People want to find flaws now because UC2 was so great. They don't want to appear like they're mindlessly praising Naughty Dog (because that's what everyone did after UC2) so they need to find strawman arguments to try to appear non biased or whatever. If they all said omg UC3 is amazing so much better than UC2 etc. then they may be accused of following the hype rather than reviewing the game for what it is. (And maybe they are who knows but this happens a lot with games in general). It's like reviewing and the game industry has it's own set of politics and unwritten rules regarding hype, how big series get, how you should grade them based on that etc. it's really silly.

So tl;dr version: The reason they're bitching about linearity now is because they have nothing else to complain about. They didn't complain about it with UC2 because Naughty Dog were underdogs (no pun intended) and everyone wanted UC2 to succeed. But now you guys are on top so they're afraid of another GTA4 fiasco where reviewers are punished years after if they overrate a game that didn't deserve it. They'd probably rather give UC3 less than what it deserves instead of be chastised later on for overrating it.
 
Dec 28, 2010
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Angry Fork said:
Honestly I feel like a lot of it is because Uncharted is the big dog now. There's this plateau effect that happens with certain series. Uncharted 1 was this new game that was solid to the gaming industry but not necessarily the 'Gears killer, omg hype' etc. kind of thing.

Then UC2 came around, you guys showed the E3 presentation and jaws dropped. Now Uncharted 2 was the underdog, people in the industry desperately wanted to play this and watch it succeed because it looked so much more impressive than the first game. It seemed like everything from the first was enhanced, more environments, multiplayer etc. it was just a huge jump within 2 years. Then you guys have your own unique interesting funny characters, Indiana Jones-esque storylines etc. it's stuff everyone loves.

But now you're at the top of the pleateu (in the eyes of the reviewing industry or whatever) and the only place to go now is down (generally speaking). People want to find flaws now because UC2 was so great. They don't want to appear like they're mindlessly praising Naughty Dog (because that's what everyone did after UC2) so they need to find strawman arguments to try to appear non biased or whatever. If they all said omg UC3 is amazing so much better than UC2 etc. then they may be accused of following the hype rather than reviewing the game for what it is. (And maybe they are who knows but this happens a lot with games in general). It's like reviewing and the game industry has it's own set of politics and unwritten rules regarding hype, how big series get, how you should grade them based on that etc. it's really silly.

So tl;dr version: The reason they're bitching about linearity now is because they have nothing else to complain about. They didn't complain about it with UC2 because Naughty Dog were underdogs (no pun intended) and everyone wanted UC2 to succeed. But now you guys are on top so they're afraid of another GTA4 fiasco where reviewers are punished years after if they overrate a game that didn't deserve it. They'd probably rather give UC3 less than what it deserves instead of be chastised later on for overrating it.
Agreed... You may be onto something, even though no Uncharted games is without flaws.
 
Mar 3, 2010
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Lion Heart said:
Thats it? So its off the hook that easily? If you create a bald space marine shooter you are judged less harshly is what I'm beginning to believe in this industry. Why would publishers choose to create anything else.
So every game has to be open world or something of the sort? GeOW as a franchise is horribly stale and gets flak for it too however you know what to expect going in. The goal is to specialize at what you're good at but also implement improvements to other fields and new techniques that can fundamentally change gameplay.

Anyway going back to the original topic, Arne I would look at possibly adding in completely new mechanics while still polishing the combat. The best way of course would be to tie the new mechanics into the older ones such as improved platforming affecting combat more.
 
Feb 15, 2007
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arne said:
it's not that they are invalid, which again I've been very careful to point out that I don't feel these criticism are invalid, or that the reviews are erroneous.

it's a combination of factors. one of which is why is U3 being called out for these things that other games are not. what can we learn from that perception or how others are handling the same challenges we face? another is, which you answered a couple of pages back i think, the "why now" when we've established what kind of games the uncharted series is. why not before. heck i mentioned i had this particular criticism for U1 (which was also echoed by fans and press i think). and so forth.
reality is listen to your fans, work based on your guts :).
 
Jul 29, 2010
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Lion Heart said:
Thats it? So its off the hook that easily? If you create a bald space marine shooter you are judged less harshly is what I'm beginning to believe in this industry. Why would publishers choose to create anything else.
1. Gears isn't a bald space marine shooter

2. 90% of what you're doing in Gears isn't shallow or heavy in its use of hand-holding, unlike Uncharted where the weighting of combat vs shallow stuff is more even.

If Uncharted was 90% combat and 10% adventuring, the shallow adventure elements wouldn't be as relevant to the experience as a whole and I honestly don't think they would get ragged on nearly as much.
 
Oct 19, 2010
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arne said:
it's not that they are invalid, which again I've been very careful to point out that I don't feel these criticism are invalid, or that the reviews are erroneous.

it's a combination of factors. one of which is why is U3 being called out for these things that other games are not. what can we learn from that perception or how others are handling the same challenges we face? another is, which you answered a couple of pages back i think, the "why now" when we've established what kind of games the uncharted series is. why not before. heck i mentioned i had this particular criticism for U1 (which was also echoed by fans and press i think). and so forth.
I am so happy you are speaking the truth on this.

Nearly every freaking game we play these days is scripted in some manner. Even a game like Red Dead, which is held up as the example of not scripted, is heavily scripted. Yes, you can go off and hunt animals, but you want to advance the story? Well, you're going to have to hit that next story icon to see what happens. Want to advance further, you had better kill that baddie, or you'll go no further.

I just finished Arkham City yesterday. Again, scripted all over the place. This is the accepted manner for storytelling in videogames right now, but suddenly a reviewer thinks he's going to look clever and point out how passé this has all become, with Uncharted 3. What a noble thing to do!

And then everyone who had no interest in Uncharted to begin with jumps in to proclaim how honest and respected this review should be viewed. Yeah.
 
May 11, 2011
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arne said:
it's not that they are invalid, which again I've been very careful to point out that I don't feel these criticism are invalid, or that the reviews are erroneous.

it's a combination of factors. one of which is why is U3 being called out for these things that other games are not. what can we learn from that perception or how others are handling the same challenges we face? another is, which you answered a couple of pages back i think, the "why now" when we've established what kind of games the uncharted series is. why not before. heck i mentioned i had this particular criticism for U1 (which was also echoed by fans and press i think). and so forth.
You guys are the king of the hill so expect to be called out when there is such a high level of scrutiny levied on your games. Also both U1 and U2 were trend setters, U2 was a revolutionary experience, it is possible (I haven't played U3) that the criticisms are coming into light now that the format has been laid out and well established and the honeymoon is over for some gamers. That doesn't mean you should deviate from a winning formula but sometimes the reason why you liked a game might be enough to hide what you didn't like, but if you rinse and repeat that formula opinions could change.
 

arne

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Angry Fork said:
Honestly I feel like a lot of it is because Uncharted is the big dog now. There's this plateau effect that happens with certain series. Uncharted 1 was this new game that was solid to the gaming industry but not necessarily the 'Gears killer, omg hype' etc. kind of thing.

Then UC2 came around, you guys showed the E3 presentation and jaws dropped. Now Uncharted 2 was the underdog, people in the industry desperately wanted to play this and watch it succeed because it looked so much more impressive than the first game. It seemed like everything from the first was enhanced, more environments, multiplayer etc. it was just a huge jump within 2 years. Then you guys have your own unique interesting funny characters, Indiana Jones-esque storylines etc. it's stuff everyone loves.

But now you're at the top of the pleateu (in the eyes of the reviewing industry or whatever) and the only place to go now is down (generally speaking). People want to find flaws now because UC2 was so great. They don't want to appear like they're mindlessly praising Naughty Dog (because that's what everyone did after UC2) so they need to find strawman arguments to try to appear non biased or whatever. If they all said omg UC3 is amazing so much better than UC2 etc. then they may be accused of following the hype rather than reviewing the game for what it is. (And maybe they are who knows but this happens a lot with games in general). It's like reviewing and the game industry has it's own set of politics and unwritten rules regarding hype, how big series get, how you should grade them based on that etc. it's really silly.

So tl;dr version: The reason they're bitching about linearity now is because they have nothing else to complain about. They didn't complain about it with UC2 because Naughty Dog were underdogs (no pun intended) and everyone wanted UC2 to succeed. But now you guys are on top so they're afraid of another GTA4 fiasco where reviewers are punished years after if they overrate a game that didn't deserve it. They'd probably rather give UC3 less than what it deserves instead of be chastised later on for overrating it.

oh, I, and we, expected to not get the reception we did because we and uncharted is no longer the underdog.

i think the part of my debate starts to go awry is that it can be easily taken that I'm asking why we didn't score higher. which i'm not. i'm asking okay we are now being criticized for certain things that aren't new criticisms (we've been a linear game since the beginning) or are overlooked in other games, therefore what are "they" doing right that we're not doing "right"?
 
The Xtortionist said:
1. Gears isn't a bald space marine shooter

2. 90% of what you're doing in Gears isn't shallow or heavy in its use of hand-holding, unlike Uncharted where the weighting of combat vs shallow stuff is more even.

If Uncharted was 90% combat and 10% adventuring, the shallow adventure elements wouldn't be as relevant to the experience as a whole and I honestly don't think they would get ragged on nearly as much.
90% - 10%? Really?
 
Jan 9, 2008
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I disagree it's anything to do with ND's status, it's just series fatigue. Halo Reach is way better than Halo 3, it scored three points lower. When you've already played it, and it's not bringing as much new to the table as previously, it's of less value. It could be every bit as good as UC2, or better, but with essentially the same formula it was always going to be received a little worse, and rightly so I think.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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Ricky_R said:
Agreed... You may be onto something, even though no Uncharted games is without flaws.
Yea I know I didn't necessarily mean that, but I think it's silly to have 'too linear' as a bad thing when the first 2 games had the same thing.

And if they say it's because standards change or whatever then you should level that same criticism to COD games, or Gears etc. but they don't get hit the same way UC3 has.
 

arne

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kneePat said:
You guys are the king of the hill so expect to be called out when there is such a high level of scrutiny levied on your games. Also both U1 and U2 were trend setters, U2 was a revolutionary experience, it is possible (I haven't played U3) that the criticisms are coming into light now that the format has been laid out and well established and the honeymoon is over for some gamers. That doesn't mean you should deviate from a winning formula but sometimes the reason why you liked a game might be enough to hide what you didn't like, but if you rinse and repeat that formula opinions could change.

sure, but the second part to that statement i made is the most relevant part of that question: what can we learn from that perception or how others are handling the same challenges we face?

there HAS to be something more constructive than "that's what you get for having released GOTY 2009"

right?
 
Apr 23, 2008
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BruiserBear said:
I am so happy you are speaking the truth on this.

Nearly every freaking game we play these days is scripted in some manner. Even a game like Red Dead, which is held up as the example of not scripted, is heavily scripted. Yes, you can go off and hunt animals, but you want to advance the story? Well, you're going to have to hit that next story icon to see what happens. Want to advance further, you had better kill that baddie, or you'll go no further.

I just finished Arkham City yesterday. Again, scripted all over the place. This is the accepted manner for storytelling in videogames right now, but suddenly a reviewer thinks he's going to look clever and point out how passé this has all become, with Uncharted 3. What a noble thing to do!

And then everyone who had no interest in Uncharted to begin with jumps in to proclaim how honest and respected this review should be viewed. Yeah.
I don't think Uncharted is really being criticized for storyline linearity.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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arne said:
sure, but the second part to that statement i made is the most relevant part of that question: what can we learn from that perception or how others are handling the same challenges we face?

there HAS to be something more constructive than "that's what you get for having released GOTY 2009"

right?
You need a series reboot. Uncharted: Origins. ;)
 
Jul 29, 2010
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arne said:
sure, but the second part to that statement i made is the most relevant part of that question: what can we learn from that perception or how others are handling the same challenges we face?

there HAS to be something more constructive than "that's what you get for having released GOTY 2009"

right?
Either de-emphasize the more shallow elements (platforming, exploration) or make them deeper/more challenging/more involving.
 
Apr 26, 2010
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arne said:
There's an interesting thing concerning the criticism to U3 (and the Uncharted franchise) that's been interesting to notice during the past week-plus

it's almost like one of our core gameplay philosophies - that of that we want to take full control away from the player as little as possible, is working against us (as far as reviews).

it's like we give you a little bit of control where traditionally we may not (escaping from a wall of water, walking through the desert) and then you, as a game player, want more. it opens the door to the question: why am i being "pushed" through this sequence when i should be given more freedom?

there's something about what we do in the game, through gameplay, that seems to make people want uncharted to be an open world game or a much more open world game. and it makes it hard to ignore our linear, scripted moments, compared to other titles that do very similar things.

i personally don't know how to take it sometimes. we can do what we do because it's such a tightly paced, controlled, linear experience.
Arne, please wait to ask for feedback. I don't understand why you are even concerning yourself with this now - especially since the game has stellar reviews and 90% of your biggest critics don't even have the game yet. Please get some rest sir - you've earned it. We'll let you know tomorrow I promise. Right now you should be proud of yourself and your team - posts like this are a little deflating and take the focus off the excitement myself and others have to finally play the game. I know you do it for the sake of discussion and I love how you engage us as a community, it just bums me out to read this on the eve of launch day. I'm pretty sure 24 hours from now none of this stuff will matter anyway, so why make it such a point of contention at this time? Let the game defend itself tomorrow.
 
Sep 17, 2005
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arne said:
oh, I, and we, expected to not get the reception we did because we and uncharted is no longer the underdog.

i think the part of my debate starts to go awry is that it can be easily taken that I'm asking why we didn't score higher. which i'm not. i'm asking okay we are now being criticized for certain things that aren't new criticisms (we've been a linear game since the beginning) or are overlooked in other games, therefore what are "they" doing right that we're not doing "right"?
Restrictive linearity is not a feature, it is a flaw. Same goes for shallow elements and automated platforming. At least that is how many see it. Why should reviewers observe that it is simply a trait of the franchise and not expect it to improve?
 

arne

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PaddyOCanager said:
Arne, please wait to ask for feedback. I don't understand why you are even concerning yourself with this now - especially since the game has stellar reviews and 90% of your biggest critics don't even have the game yet. Please get some rest sir - you've earned it. We'll let you know tomorrow I promise. Right now you should be proud of yourself and your team - posts like this are a little deflating and take the focus off the excitement myself and others have to finally play the game. I know you do it for the sake of discussion and I love how you engage us as a community, it just bums me out to read this on the eve of launch day. I'm pretty sure 24 hours from now none of this stuff will matter anyway, so why make it such a point of contention at this time? Let the game defend itself tomorrow.
dude, wario64, jett and irish have it. i think our biggest critics have the game. :p
 
Jun 12, 2010
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arne said:
oh, I, and we, expected to not get the reception we did because we and uncharted is no longer the underdog.

i think the part of my debate starts to go awry is that it can be easily taken that I'm asking why we didn't score higher. which i'm not. i'm asking okay we are now being criticized for certain things that aren't new criticisms (we've been a linear game since the beginning) or are overlooked in other games, therefore what are "they" doing right that we're not doing "right"?
arne said:
sure, but the second part to that statement i made is the most relevant part of that question: what can we learn from that perception or how others are handling the same challenges we face?

there HAS to be something more constructive than "that's what you get for having released GOTY 2009"

right?
Exactly I completely agree and it's sad but the only thing I can say to this is maybe the industry needs to grow up and get better reviewers. I mean I could imagine this happening to Dark Knight Rises. TDK was like the Uncharted 2 of the Batman series in terms of blowing everyone's expectations away and now TDKR is going to be under huge scrutiny and if it doesn't do the same people might complain and find little bits to bitch about. (Or maybe it'll be disappointing who knows, just saying)

For me personally and many in general Uncharted is more ambitious than many other series in the industry (most even). I think for that reason alone it gets more scrutiny too. It's like everyone looks up to Uncharted now as the big set piece, interesting, charming etc. thriller action game. If Gears 3 did the same things as Gears 2 it wouldn't really get that much heat because 'yay more Gears'. But when people see Uncharted they say 'yay more Uncharted' and 'fuck I can't wait to see what happens next, omg can they top UC2' added to it.

It just seems like a victim of your own success in this case. I really think whatever reviewers complained about linearity should be talked about and cast aside though because it's just a really silly thing to complain about. Especially since this'll likely be the last Uncharted for PS3. It's a game where you expect it to close out that 'trilogy' of games. Why would reviewers except something so different? I just don't understand it.
 
Oct 31, 2006
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I made a U2 thread at one point bringing up the disconnect between Drake being a funny "normal" guy and having to kill 8000 people through the course of the game.

The only reason that this stuck in my head at all after playing the game was because Uncharted 2 was so amazing otherwise. When you make a game that's got incredible levels of polish, storytelling, character, voice acting, and gameplay fun the tiny nit-picky things stand out a lot more.
 
Apr 30, 2009
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The Xtortionist said:
Either de-emphasize the more shallow elements (platforming, exploration) or make them deeper/more challenging/more involving.

Yes, also, try to make scripted events go in a couple different directions. A game based on "Wham!" moments loses a lot of its luster on the second playthrough. If it's possible to make it so ledges or walkaways break at different points depending on the playthrough, that would give it more replayability.
 
Sep 17, 2005
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ItWasMeantToBe19 said:
Yes, also, try to make scripted events go in a couple different directions. A game based on "Wham!" moments loses a lot of its luster on the second playthrough. If it's possible to make it so ledges or walkaways break at different points depending on the playthrough, that would give it more replayability.
Games should not be judged on replayability
 
Jan 9, 2008
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arne said:
sure, but the second part to that statement i made is the most relevant part of that question: what can we learn from that perception or how others are handling the same challenges we face?

there HAS to be something more constructive than "that's what you get for having released GOTY 2009"

right?
People are tolerant and understanding of the difficulties with building games, they knew first time around you had to build all the technology for a new console and establish the franchise's world and characters, that comes at a price of development focus, and no MP was of course not a big issue, but second time around you had all the time for that stuff, cleaned it up technically, made the scope of the single player much larger, added all the multiplayer and stealth stuff.

Maybe people didn't specifically know they wanted more freedom, but they knew they wanted another advance of a similar level, freedom would almost certainly have been a big enough diversion that it didn't feel like Uncharted 2-2. I also don't think it helped to show him in a desert, a place where you would assume a great deal of freedom, people will say that's stupid now, but there was plenty of talk on GAF at the time with people claiming we'd get more freedom. Given the progression of NDs last IP that wouldn't be all that surprising really.
 

lowrider007

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Yoboman said:
Restrictive linearity is not a feature, it is a flaw. Same goes for shallow elements and automated platforming. At least that is how many see it. Why should reviewers observe that it is simply a trait of the franchise and not expect it to improve?
But his not asking that, his asking why it seems that it is not called out in other games, by his logic and it's quite sound if you ask me, if all reviewers treat games equally in terms of critique and other games are not getting called out for it then then he is assuming that they must be doing something right, something that Uncharted isn't getting right.
 
Oct 19, 2010
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ItWasMeantToBe19 said:
Yes, also, try to make scripted events go in a couple different directions. A game based on "Wham!" moments loses a lot of its luster on the second playthrough. If it's possible to make it so ledges or walkaways break at different points depending on the playthrough, that would give it more replayability.
No game is going to be the same experience on the second play through. This is not unique to Uncharted.

Some of you guys are really splitting hairs at this point.
 
Mar 9, 2010
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Ra1den said:
What you seem to be describing is a way to perhaps get better review scores, but not necessarily better games.
Could be the case, but either way I (or no one person) don't influence this so I can't take the fault for the inconsistencies with the gaming media. I'm only reading the situation as it is, I'm not advocating it.

The only thing I am advocating though is that, ideally, median scores should not allow games like Machinarium (as great as it is I have to admit) to compete for as many accolades as Uncharted 3.

And I am relatively well satisfied that gamerankings provides for something like this. Do I have complaints of my own? Sure. ALL games have too high a reception.

I mean I really don't want to see PlayStation 9 games what with their living breathing cities, true to life A.I.'s, amazing physics in addition to including current staples such as great story and amazing pacing, to be measured anywhere close to equal footing as today's games.

With these matters I look at the bigger picture and think: what is healthy in the long run? And my conclusion is that more scoring headroom needs to be available so that the media can more effectively encourage advancements in game design sooner. If Uncharted 3 with all its design shortcomings (according to reviewers) stood today as the highest rated game ever, is that a status quo that is acceptable?

Arne scratching is head over what to do next to 1up in future products is ultimately a good thing!
 
Oct 23, 2010
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Combichristoffersen said:
A Jak game running on the UC2/3 graphics engine could end up looking glorious.

Oh, and Jak > Jak 3 (never played Jak 2 or Jak X)
I can definitely see why people prefer the original Jak to the sequels. Jak and Daxter is my favorite traditional platformer of all time, even more so than Mario Galaxy. However, while I love platformers, my personal preference just leans more towards action games, so the sequels get a bit of a boost for me.

But yeah, a Jak game running on Uncharted graphics (naturally with a more toon-like style) would be godlike.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Yoboman said:
Restrictive linearity is not a feature, it is a flaw.
He didn't say restrictive linearity, but linearity. Are linear games bad? Most games are linear, so that's a claim that will need some real backing up.

Is the problem that the game hides its linearity? Should they be more blatant about funneling people through a given path? On the other hand, the most acclaimed of the CoD games had a mission where if you strayed off the intended path you'd drop dead suddenly from 'radiation exposure', so maybe it's just an issue of people being tired of the linearity? Are tastes in games finally shifting? (I don't think so -- vocal minority and all that.)
 
Mar 20, 2011
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Yoboman said:
Restrictive linearity is not a feature, it is a flaw. Same goes for shallow elements and automated platforming. At least that is how many see it. Why should reviewers observe that it is simply a trait of the franchise and not expect it to improve?
Pretty much. Linearity can be done well and not so well. Classic platformers like Crash and Spyro were linear to a degree, and were not open world games. They had the right balance between freedom and a linear game.

What has happened now is the industry has divided itself into totally linear experiences like Uncharted or COD and totally sandbox games like GTA.
The middle ground has disappeared from the industry for the most part.
It's possible to tell a linear story while still allowing for player freedom and choice

The last semi-open ended game I remember playing was Halo Reach, but that franchise has always been known for combining a linear storyline with open design.

It's fine if you want to guide the player towards an objective, but you really should give them the ability to reach an objective in more than one way. When theres only one specific set of platforms or ledges that can be used, and the rest are all restricted by invisible walls, it really leads to the gaming experience being degraded. When you have to kill some amount of spawning enemies to get past a point, there is a problem with game design.
 
Apr 23, 2008
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The Xtortionist said:
Either de-emphasize the more shallow elements (platforming, exploration) or make them deeper/more challenging/more involving.
Exactly. The lack of real exploration due to the linear nature of traversal is just a constant reminder that things could be more, well, adventurous. Similarly, if you're going to have platforming in there it should be more than just an excuse to try out some different camera angles and show off different parts of the environment.

There should be some gameplay there, but it tends to be so safe and guided that you just feel like you're moving along an automated route instead of actually platforming. You're basically pressing a button to let the character know it's okay to proceed with the next bit of animation. It goes back to the Eurogamer review where Parkin was saying that it's like you're in the narrative's way and it just waits on you, instead of feeling like you're driving the narrative forward.
 
May 11, 2011
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sp3000 said:
It's possible to tell a linear story while still allowing for player freedom and choice
this.

I love when games let me play at my pace, and with a game like Uncharted sure it would be at fast pace but still at my pace. Uncharted didn't really suffer from this because I was entertained the whole way through but there were sometimes that I'd wanted to go back and check out what I'd missed for sure.
 
Dec 28, 2010
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Angry Fork said:
Yea I know I didn't necessarily mean that, but I think it's silly to have 'too linear' as a bad thing when the first 2 games had the same thing.

And if they say it's because standards change or whatever then you should level that same criticism to COD games, or Gears etc. but they don't get hit the same way UC3 has.
I understand that you didn't. It was more of a general comment towards the Uncharted franchise and every other game for that matter.

I agree with your whole post.
 

lowrider007

Licorice-flavoured booze?
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Zeliard said:
Exactly. The lack of real exploration due to the linear nature of traversal is just a constant reminder that things could be more, well, adventurous. Similarly, if you're going to have platforming in there it should be more than just an excuse to try out some different camera angles and show off different parts of the environment.

There should be some gameplay there, but it tends to be so safe and guided that you just feel like you're moving along an automated route instead of actually platforming. You're basically pressing a button to let the character know it's okay to proceed with the next bit of animation. It goes back to the Eurogamer review where Parkin was saying that it's like you're in the narrative's way and it just waits on you, instead of feeling like you're driving the narrative forward.
Do not want, seriously, your playing with a formula that currently sells millions, we make recommendations in terms of how we think the game could be better but I think we are playing with fire, atm ND have a successful formula, I personally don't want a more open experience, in fact I don't think I've ever completed an open world game in my entire life, apart from some old school rpgs.

I want a cinematic experience with as much interactivity they can give me over my character as possible without ruining the cinematic scope of the game, I'm not saying I want it to be qte'd up like Heavy Rain, that was an interesting experiment but one that I wouldn't like to see most games following, I feel as I've said before that ND hit the peak of interactivity and cinematics, any more or less emphasise placed on either of the two and it wouldn't be the game it is today.
 
Dec 28, 2010
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The Xtortionist said:
Either de-emphasize the more shallow elements (platforming, exploration) or make them deeper/more challenging/more involving.
I can also agree with this. Wouldn't really hurt the franchise or the main design.

I wouldn't change a thing, but I would also welcome change if it's healthy for the franchise and if it doesn't mess with the basic formula.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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I wish the linear restrictive review crew would come in this thread and explain rather than have gaf guess their reasoning.

Basically 1. explain why UC3 linearity is bad but UC1 and UC2 weren't and 2. explain why criticisms of other big sequel series like COD, Gears, etc. are largely non existent in comparison.

sp3000 said:
It's possible to tell a linear story while still allowing for player freedom and choice
I'm honestly not so sure about this. There's no way I get more emotionally invested in a GTA story than in Uncharted. Even ones like Deus Ex:HR I barely remember a lot of the story but I remember the incredibly fun open ended/choice oriented gameplay.

You can still care about a GTA or Fallout-esque story but I don't think you'd be as emotionally involved as a tight, scripted one. Portal 2 is another example where the developers having more control means you get the better experience (in terms of story and feeling, it's different if you don't care about story and just want gameplay).
 
Nov 12, 2007
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I agree with BruiserBear; some people even criticized Batman: AC for being open world, saying they preferred a more narrower focus like AA. Now U3 focuses on the formula that the series started with, and it's a problem. I think it's a lot of crap personally, and ND seems to be victims of their own success. When you become very popular, some will try to tear you down, and demand something different.
 
Apr 9, 2011
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sp3000 said:
It's possible to tell a linear story while still allowing for player freedom and choice
Of course it's POSSIBLE. The question is, how much more are you able to achieve when you devote all of your resources into one linear route instead of trying to add in open-ended things? The answer is: a very large amount. If a game is linear anyway, I want it to really take advantage of this to the fullest extent possible. Giving players the illusion of choice in a linear game serves little purpose, as it is still linear, but now the developers have spread themselves a bit thinner than they needed to, and the narrative experience is weaker.
 
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