It’s no secret that Uncharted is one of, if not the, biggest franchise on PS3 at the moment. Coming out of the gate in late 2007, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was met with success. Not amazing success, but success. The action-platformer gameplay was a breath of fresh air, but drew unavoidable comparisons with the likes of Tomb Raider, or Indiana Jones. Still, the game was a well-built, solid, fun experience. As you can imagine, I happen to disagree with that position.
Beginning with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, the game’s flaws are noticeable right off the bat. The graphics are nice, sure, and pretty. But the platforming is entirely hit or miss, and you’ll often become very frustrated, because there’s only one way to get through each platforming area. If you don’t do it their way, you’ll do it no way. There’s also a chronic shortage of ammo, and while I can see this as realistic, it forces you into spontaneous fist fights using the game’s atrocious melee system. Who designed this? Button mashing? Are we 3 years old? And last, but not least, you’ve got the living dead making a cameo appearance. I’m not sure just what type of crack the writers were smoking at this point in the game, but as they learned the hard way, “Zombies!” doesn’t instantly improve everything (contrary to your typical 15-year old PS3 gamer’s opinion).
Things were an improvement with Uncharted 2, but with those improvements came a mess of new problems. First, the game was clearly directed by Michael Bay. Explosion after set piece after explosion after destruction. Good god, can we get a moment to breath? The game relies too heavily on unrealistic action sequences to build tension. I also love how Nate gets riddled with bullets, but Jeff (RIP) gets shot with one and bites the dust. And don’t worry, there are no zombie-wait. Too soon. There’s mutated humans who have devolved into primate-like warriors wielding crossbows. Sigh. Do they ever go online? You also get an unnecessary multiplayer component that’s far inferior to the single player, and gets repetitive within 2 matches. The story is better this time around, but is far too unrealistic, yet again.
And finally, Uncharted 3. The epitome of action adventure, for some fans. Sorry, but this one is the worst of all. We get useless twists (Nathan Drake isn’t his real name, etc), cheap drug segments meant to stretch out gameplay, oh, and best of all, we get to play as a teenage Nathan Drake! That’s right! We can now loot your favorite museum as a teenager! And this segment adds absolutely nothing to the story, aside from showing how Sully became Nate’s lackey! Again, the writers find horrid ways to push the tale forward, the end boss is a joke, and the game really drags during the desert segment. It’s still directed by Michael Bay, though to a slightly lesser degree than its predecessor. The ship sequence is crazy (and not in a good way), the combat is marginally improved, but in the end, this is the same as Drake’s Fortune, just with a new, 2011 coat of paint.
So, there you have it. Now, let it be said, I don’t hate Uncharted. I find it enjoyable. Just not as enjoyable as the internet community, it would seem. I think all 3 games are flawed, and don’t satisfy nearly as much as they should, but they’re fun. Be sure to comment below!