Unpopular opinion. Am not a fan of Naughty Dog gameplay loop

Nov 4, 2018
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#1
well as we all know ND is touted as one of the best developers out there, and have been for over a decade really because of their work on Uncharted and TLOU for the most part. other games too but those are the recent ones


I have actually tried playing Uncharted 1 and 2, and TLOU. and to be quite frank am not a fan of the gameplay in these games to the point where I didn't finish it, first off let me say am not a fan of the more realistic story telling of stories. I like my games to have a touch of fantasy or quirkiness. I don't like them to be very serious. but I'd play a game that has an awful story any day of the week if the gameplay is fun and the world looks interesting visually.


the entire loop of naughty dog games revolves around cover based shooting, your typical walk behind this rock stealth sections. and follow the waypoint to click-to-do sections and then exit-go there do that. there isn't really much else to it. and then there are the set pieces that are a combination of the above. there are some puzzles in Uncharted for example but they are just like the ones in Tomb Raider really

the gameplay is too grounded to realism, and so is the story, yes I guess zombies aren't real but thats besides the point thats the theme. thats one of the reasons I never enjoyed tomb raider either when I was young I never really played it despite being a very popular game. and even Resident evil for that matter, I barely played it, the gameplay is very grounded. but not as much as the other ones really in some of the RE games you have a bit of variety.

the uncharted series to me feels like its a human based platformer on earth with guns and without all of the cool visual elements actual platformers add. and TLOU is literally a Quantic dream game with gameplay. its like a long level of an uncharted game with the puzzles replaced with inventory management and collecting resources.


but the gameplay is just not varied really. the games are not fun to play for a person thats looking for a good challenge to my fingers but a great visual feedback on the screen that keeps me interested in the game as a game you know, not as a movie knock off.
 
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Aug 20, 2008
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#2
Perfectly fair opinion.

I mostly have fun with it. And to be frank, I mostly play those type of games for the story, characters, set pieces, graphics and atmosphere more than the gameplay.

I don’t care much about gameplay in those type of narrative-driven games as long as it’s not broken or frustrating. If I want pure gameplay I’ll go play a fighting game, Tetris, Nintendo games. In those types of games I’m just there for the narrative mostly and just need some at least ok gameplay to keep it interactive and immersive.
 
Aug 7, 2018
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#4
well as we all know ND is touted as one of the best developers out there
By the mainstream gaming media: yes (IE: metacritics) but I already learned enough they is actually unofficial PR division of gaming developer/publisher with hidden political agenda so I already don't care about them anymore.
The only gaming media, I still care enough for gaming review is some local japanese gaming blog like 4gamer, Neogaf, several youtuber and famitsu.
 
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May 10, 2018
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#7
Same here... I could never finish an Uncharted game, fortunatly for me i just borrowed them from friends ^^
The gameplay loop is too mainstream and play a bit too much by itself imo.

Meantime i bough and enjoyed The Last of Us for his directing and very cinematic gamedesign, but was also bored at some point... I think the story kept me motivated to play.
Still i remember having to play in the most highest difficulty, and to disable the ingame wallhack to find the gameplay decent..

I'm wasn't looking much for TLoU II, since i think the first was enough and didn't require a sequel, the E3 trailer with the SJW stuff was even more deterrent.
 
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Oct 13, 2014
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#9
What gameplay does it right, though? I see the point for Uncharted, but I found TLoU more versatile in the gameplay, because you had some encounters that were optional, you had to manage resources and just couldn't pick any weapon and kill people – there were plenty of options of how to do it: throw stuff at them, then engage in melee or shoot the stunned enemy; enemies could be distracted by Ellie; you could distract them by yourself; you could lure zombies/clickers into fire; you could stealth kill them; you could outright shoot them; you could avoid some altogether; compared to Uncharted, exploration actually gave you gameplay advantages because you found resources and could upgrade weapons and your character; some enemies only allowed for specific approaches to kill them, e.g. melee combat against clickers was off the table.

In regards of Uncharted, it is, gameplay-wise, your average shooter – nothing compared to more sophisticated ones. It also needs to be played at normal or even lower difficulties because then you don't have to play it like a lame cover-based shooter. Then, it is actually way more fun. You run around, shoot and punch people in a pretty cinematic style. Nothing special but I also don't see a problem here, unless you really play it like a cover-based shooter, which I can't anymore after games like Max Payne, Vanquish, and Quantum Break. Basicially, I shouldn't after FEAR, but these other three games really showed that non-cover-based shooters still work in this generation's games and the next to come. Whenever I play Uncharted, it is on Easy difficulty. Everyone who have problems with the combat, should try it at least.
 
Aug 17, 2012
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#10
I enjoyed the first three. Last one shits on Drake legacy for being a white colonizer.
Wait, Uncharted 4 pushes that agenda?

And on topic: i've played TLoU as my first ND game (past PS2) and i loved it! But then i bought the Uncharted collection and i saw that it was the same game, only without wall jumping. Jesus, some of the "hold the chain i'll block the door" sections are literally the same.
I think i'll pass past Uncharted 3 and seriously think aboutbuyibg TLoU 2 as i'm getting bored eith the pretty shooting galleries with a sob-sob story
 
Nov 30, 2012
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#11
Since i'm one of those weirdos who don't care much about the story in games and i don't like most cinematic games at all, i'm not a fan of Naughty Dog in general.
 
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Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Mar 22, 2017
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#12
TLOU is literally a Quantic dream game with gameplay. its like a long level of an uncharted game with the puzzles replaced with inventory management and collecting resources.
I never understand how people can think this after playing it survival difficulty but then again people here also think new God of War plays exactly like Last of Us because of over shoulder camera even tho there is nothing about gameplay remotely similar to TLOU.
 
May 29, 2017
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#13
The stories are excellent and the only reason I play them through, but the gameplay does indeed suck and why they do get referred to as visual games or just movies if you're trolling. The combat leaves a lot to be desired but the constant circle of getting ladders down and finding another path around while we have the whip still attached that we use for this exact same scenario is what annoys me most, the padding out of hours of gameplay for no real reason just to make the game seem longer I guess. I find Tomb Raider has more interesting puzzles in that regard that take more thought to, even if the story is weaker.
 
Jan 26, 2018
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#16
Don’t feel alone OP. I respect Naughty Dog games from a technical standpoint. They have achieved some amazing graphics. But I never enjoyed their games much. Jak and Daxter being the exception. But never been a fan of the Uncharted series. And I still think that The Last Of Us is one of the most overrated games ever made
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#18
Naughty Dog is no different from many western game devs. All spectacle, no substance. Naughty Dog like most western devs, hide behind their massive budget and production quality.
Japanese game devs still remain king, that’s because they put gameplay, mechanics and controls, level design, boss fights above everything else. Seriously, which western game this generation comes close to Bloodborne in terms of gameplay and level design?
 

KRAai

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Dec 3, 2018
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#19
Tlou has my favorite stealth implementation in any game i have played and it actually delivers on promise of having valid alternative option for time when everything goes shit so nah i enjoy gameplay a lot and other stuff like mindless ladders stuff and calm walking simulator moments are fine with me as they serve well story and world building
So yeah i would strongly disagree but reading this thread it seems like my opinion is the unpopular one not op's :messenger_dizzy:
 
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Jan 17, 2006
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#20
I loved the hell out of Uncharted 1 and 2, thought Uncharted 3 was also good but not great. I haven't played the 4th game yet.

I'm actually playing through the first 3 games at the moment as I recently bought Uncharted 4. Going through them again I can certainly understand why people don't like them. The cover system in the first 2 games feels very loose in comparison to, say Gears of War for example (I'd like to replay that series again to reassess though). They seemed to have perfected the cover system by the third game but then it became it bit too much of an "interactive movie" game, there are countless scenes where you are literally just pushing up on the left analogue stick, like after you are drugged in Yemen and also the desert scenes.

I do not have any complaints about TLOU though, that game is brilliant all the way through.
 
Jun 12, 2007
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#21
Fortunately for OP they only release a game every 2-3 years.

Personally I hope ND stay the course and keep making games thier fans like to play. Instead of trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
 
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Jun 20, 2018
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#23
i am kinda the opposite i love it couple of minutes cutscene, half hour climbing/puzzle to calm things down and slowly get the tension going followed by crazy set piece, half a hour of combat and back to cutscenes/climbing/puzzles to calm down things. It really works for me even after i "get it" really good pacing.
 

Y2H

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Apr 28, 2013
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#25
I feel the same. Games like Uncharted and The Last of Us are fun to play through the first time when the story is new and you go along with the set pieces and enjoy the ride. On subsequent playthroughs though you want to experiment more with the game but find there isn't much to do as you're being funnelled down corridors with waist-high walls and forced to sit through the tedious set pieces again. They are very much one and done games. Thankfully Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter exist, proving Naughty Dog can make fun gameplay but prefer to appeal to the lowest common denominator with 3rd-person shooting that hasn't evolved since Gears of War.
 
Mar 21, 2013
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#26
My problem is that since Uncharted 2, every game they've released has become less 'replayable'. The encounter breakout is a really good idea, and kudos to whoever had it, because having to go through all those meandering scenes to get to the actual gameplay is tedious. Obviously, great the first time round or playable because it's new but it's not 'fun' to go back. I do think their puzzles have improved as well (generally and relatively speaking), and they have decent designers there. The Lost Legacy was the best uncharted game after 2 I think and it will be interesting how it will unfold if VASG take the reigns. Uncharted 4 was hopefully the blueprint to move away from wave encounters completely, but I'm still not sure the arena's are the best fit for TLoU2. Have to see. Technically and artistically one of the best studio's out there, but in focusing on trying to prove this in every game has cost some of the organic magic in their titles I feel. The stories are not really that great either. I don;t know why TLoU is classed as a master story? The presentation in a game certainly is, but the actual underlying concept is quite cliche.

The games are like Stephen king books, ultimately really good but you don't really want to re-read them until a good portion of time has passed because they are ordeals and have lots of rambling/artist indulgence in some places that their 'editors/publishers' don't reign in because of the respect they command.

I'm still buying TLoU2 though.
 
Apr 19, 2018
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#27
You are not alone. Gameplay was always jank.
It was fine for PS3 era where cover shooters were all what people played but since then world moved on.

But it is hard to really put such linear story into anything other than linear cover shooter.
 
Jan 15, 2018
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#29
Neither am I. I think their gunplay is kinda shit. People complain about rdr being over animated... that’s how I feel about nd games. It feels like it plays itself.. especially in melee combat situations.

Naughty dog just hits off blockbuster gaming checkboxes — throw in some blatant pandering and undeserved award nominations.

Even tho the PS4 is my favorite game console ever.... I say that happily having avoided every nd game post last of us. That game sucked — basic linear garbage game design that felt a decade old when it cane out.

The tomb raider reboot series is far superior.
 
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Mackers

Neo Member
Sep 3, 2018
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#30
Perfectly fair opinion.

I mostly have fun with it. And to be frank, I mostly play those type of games for the story, characters, set pieces, graphics and atmosphere more than the gameplay.

I don’t care much about gameplay in those type of narrative-driven games as long as it’s not broken or frustrating. If I want pure gameplay I’ll go play a fighting game, Tetris, Nintendo games. In those types of games I’m just there for the narrative mostly and just need some at least ok gameplay to keep it interactive and immersive.
100% this. One of the absolute best things about videogames as a medium is how vastly different they can be, and there's room for everything. Sometimes I want to kick back and chill out with a simple, narratively focused game. Other times I want a challenge and to be 100% focused on what I'm playing. I happen to be a fan of ND games, especially tLoU, but I'm well aware that it's a case of the sum being greater than it's parts.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#31
I agree somewhat OP. Naughty Dog games feel to me like wash, rinse and repeat. There cinematics and graphics are great, but they are hardly games in my opinion.

A while back, I was really wishing they would try something totally different with their next game and then Uncharted 4 came and TLoU 2 was announced.

Boring, but money talks, I guess.
 
Sep 4, 2018
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#34
While I agree that Uncharted gameplay is simplistic and at times boring (the shooting specially), TLOU gameplay is freaking great. Never understood people complains over that one tbh.
 

rəddəM

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Feb 8, 2018
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#35
They aren't considered one of the best for nothing.
They put effort in the game side of it as much as the movie/storytelling.

Although some (climbing/crate pushing) aspects of it can get repetitive in a 20h+ game, I never found it to be boring or bad to the point of compromising my enjoyment of it, ESPECIALLY when their animation team makes everything look and feel responsive, agile, dynamic and fun.
For me, Naughty Dog kind of takes the fun out of the other games because they don't look and play that ND level of good.

Nothing is perfect though and can always be improved upon, proof of it is Uncharted the Lost Legacy, their best Uncharted yet in my opinion.
 
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Mar 21, 2013
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#39
Suggestions:

1) Play them on the highest difficulty.
2) Play the MP.

Easy/Normal isn't going to impress hardcore gamers.
Neither does 'crushing' to be fair, being able to take ten bullets to the chest is just daft. I find the difficulty fine generally though. Not too bad to platinum and I always play them on normal -> crushing. I always thought the multiplayer aspect was really undersold as well. UC4 MP was really fun and well done.
 
May 2, 2017
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#40
They make mass market interactive entertainment not deep gameplay first games; so gameplay suffers in service of story, production value, fun factor, etc.

Whether you like it or not depends on what you are looking for. Interactive entertainment allows you to hop in with virtually no effort and gives you an expensive story to keep you engaged. Actual deep gameplay would make it less effective as interactive entertainment, in fact.
 
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Sparda

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#42
So another pointeless thread. you say the same things over and over. we understand your opinion. you don't like action cinematic games. it's ok.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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#43
So another pointeless thread. you say the same things over and over. we understand your opinion. you don't like action cinematic games. it's ok.
yeah, why would anybody post here at all? What is this? A discussion forum or what?

Regarding the OP: I think their games are usually a enjoyable fun ride, but not especially known for their substance. Play through it once, enjoy the ride, shelve the game. These are my feelings regarding their games. I highly highly doubt their games would create such a fuss if they where not exclusive to the playstation platform.
 

DonF

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Jul 10, 2017
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#44
Not really an impopular opinion. Uncharted 4 bore me to death. I had to force myself to finish it. At least I got it for like $19. The last of us I really liked, but as others have already stated, I played that in grounded and without that visual hearing mode, and it was awesome.
 
Aug 20, 2008
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#45
100% this. One of the absolute best things about videogames as a medium is how vastly different they can be, and there's room for everything. Sometimes I want to kick back and chill out with a simple, narratively focused game. Other times I want a challenge and to be 100% focused on what I'm playing. I happen to be a fan of ND games, especially tLoU, but I'm well aware that it's a case of the sum being greater than it's parts.
Yep. Though I'm close to dropping challenging games period. I'm 40 and stressed and tired all the time. I just don't have the energy for them. I really need to cut back on gaming and spend more time outdoors and more time on passive/relaxing things like movies and books as well.
 
Nov 4, 2018
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#46
Oh, a Naughty Dog bashing thread? Sweet! Count me in.

Ok, here it goes:
They haven't made a decent game since Crash Team Racing.
i thought the first jak game was decent idea. then they fucked it up in jak 2 and 3. which where really horrid video games and had almost no platforming and poor mechanics in general.

but after that yeah basically what my thread talks about
 
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Jul 26, 2017
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#47
I don't think it's actually that much of an unpopular opinion, i'm sure most people would agree that modern Naughty Dogs' games are more about great narrative, characters, writing and setpieces rather than more-than-serviceable gameplay.

I don't mind their formula itself, since it can be pretty enjoyable when it's well-balanced, look at TLOU for example: it offers an almost perfect mix of cutscenes, shooting, walking sections that actually feel like worthwhile exploration, stealth and well-excecuted story-driven interactive setpieces (something that a David Cage game can only dream to accomplish).

The problem is when that balance gets effed up: while Uncharted 4 shooting sections are enjoyable enough, it really pushes the walking simulation angle way too hard.
I'd rather have ACTUAL platforming and exploration rather than some boring, one hour long on-rail fake gameplay borefest poured all over the game.
 
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Mar 16, 2009
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#48
Is there a singular naughty dog gameplay loop? I enjoyed the shooting in uncharted whereas I changed difficulty to easy in The Last of Us because I only enjoyed the story and exploration. Writing does carry their games and set pieces are very hit and miss but I think Lost Legacy showed improvement on the gameplay front. Unfortunately the story there was a bit dull
 
Oct 17, 2011
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#49
Perfectly fair opinion.

I mostly have fun with it. And to be frank, I mostly play those type of games for the story, characters, set pieces, graphics and atmosphere more than the gameplay.

I don’t care much about gameplay in those type of narrative-driven games as long as it’s not broken or frustrating. If I want pure gameplay I’ll go play a fighting game, Tetris, Nintendo games. In those types of games I’m just there for the narrative mostly and just need some at least ok gameplay to keep it interactive and immersive.
This is why when it comes to the naughty dog games of recent, I just watch let's plays of them. The gameplay just doesn't seem fun enough for me to warrant wanting to buy and play them myself, but I'll watch someone else play them.
 
Aug 24, 2016
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#50
Gears of War was popular at the time so they added badly implemented shooting sections to Uncharted 1 to fill space and it worked, especially with the sequel.

However,t hey have never really improved the mechanics, sometimes they only changed pieces of it. If naughty Dog actually took the time to improve the TPS gameplay they can make some great titles but they never do.

Heck this has been an issue since Jak II as they wanted a third pillar to the game world and through in tossed in shooting mechanics that weren't really that much improved in Jak 3 and were busted in Lost frontier and it's bee a thing since then. Only difference is Uncharted added cover mechanics to add more angles to the TPS gameplay and just like Jak several Uncharted and a TLOU later and nothing has been significantly improved except the visuals and cinematics AROUND the gameplay.