3 things that Uncharted gets wrong
- Posted July 26th, 2012 at 13:44 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 21 Comments
Before I get all Victor Meldrew on you lot, let me just state that in my opinion Uncharted is unequivocally one of the best new IPs to come out of this current crop of home consoles. The lush locations, stellar dialogue and sumptuous set-pieces have set the bar for action-adventure games on PlayStation 3 (and other formats, for that matter) and the visuals are one of the few examples of Sony’s hardware being pushed to its limits. Not only that, but Nathan Drake has become one of the most iconic and recognisable gaming heroes of the past half a decade, with his cheeky chappie demeanour and witty one-liners resonating with gamers across the globe.
However, Naughty Dog’s acclaimed franchise isn’t without its faults. In fact, if I’m being honest, I find myself somewhat flabbergasted that over the course of three games – not to mention a handheld prequel – Uncharted still manages to boast the same irritating flaws that could quite have easily been ironed out on day one.
With that said, here’s 3 things that Uncharted gets wrong.
- - - - - - -
Dull, repetitive enemy types
Uncharted’s combat pretty basic but perfectly functional, marrying tight controls with a decent amount of strategy. However, Drake’s foes are dull as dishwater, and lack variety. Sure, there’s the occasional glimmer of originality – without spoiling anything, usually towards the end of the game – but aside from that, our wise-cracking hero spends all his time capping endless swarms of pirates and mercenaries. Boring. With all the exotic locations up for grabs, why not give us some pugnacious wildlife to combat. Tomb Raider 1 came out in 1996, and yet the first level alone packs more enemy types than the whole of Uncharted. It’s crazy, and to be honest at the end of each game I was sick and tired of all the monotony that came with dispatching the same generic grunts over and over again.
Climbing is ridiculously easy
Drake’s precarious platforming is a joy to watch, but in terms of execution it’s almost insultingly simple. Unlike Tomb Raider, there’s very little incentive for those meticulously-timed jumps, with Drake’s path pretty much laid out in front of him – as such, you never quite feel you are taking any risks. This niggle is further compounded by the fact Drake can’t go anywhere the game doesn’t want him to; if you can climb something, he’ll grab it, but if not, he’ll just grasp at air. It’s all incredibly restricting and linear, eliminating any degree of freedom a game such as this could potentially hold. How much better would it be to have Drake taking a daredevil shortcut rather than the simple route, or at the very least have him fatigued by his actions rather than swinging about like a monkey on crack?
I’m not about to suggest Uncharted should become an open-world affair; far from it, in fact. As Naughty Dog has pointed out, going down the sandbox route would prove detrimental to the series trademark blend of linear, cinematic storytelling and tight pacing. However, Uncharted is perhaps too linear for its own good. It wouldn’t hurt opening up the environments just a little bit more, giving gamers not only the chance to soak up those stunning locations more, but more importantly make those hidden treasures even more difficult to sniff out. Rarely in Uncharted do you get to wonder off the beaten track as it were to hunt for items and explore the world around you, and I for one think it’s a crying shame given the attention to detail that has gone into the game world. Give Drake a chance to stretch his legs a little more, eh Naughty Dog?
Don Oliveira | Other_
- 2:07pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
You know, it's sad but true.
- 2:19pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
When I first skimmed through and saw the last sub-heading, I thought "don't make Uncharted open-world, ever!", but having read the entire article, I kind of agree. These faults aren't glaringly obvious at first, but as the franchise ages, they certainly become apparent.
- 2:35pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
It does get boring the climbing is boring and so are the crappy puzzles
- 2:45pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
irrelevant, irrelevant, and irrelevant...criticize something that needs crtiticism. Hipsters
- 2:45pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
Tomb Raider climbing is always more difficult because for easily over 80% of the games in the franchise, Laura controlled like crap. I do agree with the lack of variety in the enemies though. Also I couldn't give a rat's azz about the diffuculty in the puzzles. To be honest, I cant stand exploration puzzles anyway. Yes it feels good to complete them but its nothing short of frustrating most of the time and then after you complete it there usually isnt any replay value to them since you know the solution. I'd much rather they keep focusing on improving the combat and perhaps add more animations to the climbing.
AaronSOLDIER | AaronSOLDIER
- 2:58pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
- 3:17pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
Uncharted is about story. Not about how fancy you can get with the enemies and puzzles. The story is what draws me in to the game. Not about how varied the enemies are or how hard a puzzle can be.
- 3:19pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
I agree with all three points and I'd like to add a fourth: puzzles are insultingly simple, they should be a bit more complex. This is another aspect where the TR series was always superior.
Kajeto | Sora__87
- 3:21pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
@3 the puzzles in UC3 were better i thought.
I think this article is the general feeling about all FPS this gen being honest.
- 3:38pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
It is also rediculously easy to survive in the desert in the game. You also don't get killed when you get shot in the face, which is clearly wrong.
Also, reloading is rediculously easy. So is shooting.
Would it hurt them to make the game more realistic? There is no way Drake could have these adventures!
- 4:24pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
Seems like these would be great as unlockables as you played through the game or for the second or harder play through... I always wondered how cool it would be if on the second play through, on something like dead space especially, they could just simply make the enemies jump out at different times and different places just to vary the surprise factor... would be way cool.
- 4:42pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
@9 Uncharted is not an FPS.
Logamus_Prime | Logamus_Prime
- 4:51pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
These are individual nitpicks. I never questioned these things because the game is so suberb. We as gamers have come a long way. Easy climb? I never noticed. I played too many games to ever feel like I could fail. We gamers have grown and not alot feels difficult
mystarke | Jrodd87
- 7:34pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
upon reading the article and the comments, I can't help but wonder what kind of article would be written and what kind of comments would be posted if the developers took all this into consideration and implemented these changes in game. My opinion, I think that people would be complaining about how hard the game is and some may even say it's a waste of time to play because of it. @10, the reloading and shooting is fine, why do u want more realism in a game like this? videogames are supposed to be more unrealistic, that's why they are videogames.
as far as the article...the only thing I agree with is the enemies. I do feel like they should have made them a little more unpredictable, although, on the harder difficulties, they did become a little bold. @7, I agree with you completely. the Uncharted series is all about story and that's how it should be. the games are great..I personally have platinumed the first two, still waiting to get the platinum on the third, and the only reason why I have done that is because the game is perfectly laid out. GREAT JOB Naughty Dog!
- 10:16pm EDT - July 26th, 2012
uncharted isn't all the good tbh. I got the PS3 when xbox started getting boring and got all the big name exclusives that were supposed to me amazing uncharted 2 was the first game I played and I have to say I am disappointed. the honest to goodness truth is the game gets real boring real fast.
- 9:33am EDT - July 27th, 2012
Sure naughty dog could do all these things. All they would need is an unlimited budget and more powerful hardware. Why don't you supply them if you're going to whine so much? Or better yet, why don't you create a game from scratch and see how it turns out.
- 12:20pm EDT - July 27th, 2012
Nice article. I love the games but these are some good points. I think Golden Abyss improved a little on the linearity, although perhaps that was just because it was packed with so many hidden items and treasures to find.
Kajeto | Sora__87
- 12:47pm EDT - July 27th, 2012
@12 Well, shooty games, whatever, it was 3am.
Facelord | Facelaud
- 1:09am EDT - July 29th, 2012
#19 Yeah, when I go onto sites with titles like "Playstation Universe" I expect to not have to put up with Xbox nonsense. I have literally zero interest in the Xbox consoles until they make Xbox Live completely free and stop focusing on stupid, broken Kinect(oh, and more exclusives would be nice). If it ever feels like I'm being "punished" by not getting a Playstation Plus subscription I might just move back to Nintendo's side, as long as they stop cutting as many corners as possible on their consoles' production. Anyways, I don't wanna hear about Microsoft or Nintendo's crap on this site, unless it really has an impact on the Playstation brand.
- 1:26am EDT - July 29th, 2012
Having played played Tomb Raider since the start I have to admit I just don't get the hype over Uncharted.Don't get me wrong the games look stunning but good graphics dont equal good game in my book.Also I felt off putting when you jumped over even a small pillar,almost like the game took over for a second.
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