CRank: 5Score: 65590

Lets face it, uncharted is a mediocre series.

Look, i already know what you're thinking, but at least let me get my point across. This is NOT a flame/fanboy post, just so were clear. Im not here to bash uncharted as i like and soundly enjoy the series myself, but at its core its a game filled with mediocrity. Amid the masses of praise its hard to give a critical opinion of something thats generally enjoyed without having your own words twisted and skewed which has lead me to this topic.

Im probably alone on this idea, but thats fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and views and I stand by mine. Like i said, i enjoy the uncharted series. Uncharted 1 was one of the first games i played upon buying my ps3 slim. I thought it was outstanding and i honestly couldn't put it down. The same could be said for uncharted 2 as i even went as far as getting the platinum which i throughly enjoyed. I thought both games were great and played them extensively without ever really looking into the praise and reviews for both games. At the time I was fairly new to ps3 and i just sort of played what looked fun. So when i stumbled across varies articles and posts stating that uncharted was quite possibly the best experience on the ps3 i felt as if it was almost a typo of sorts. I mean the games are enjoyable, but the best? Well no, not by a long shot.

Uncharted as a series that does a lot of things right. They even go above and beyond all my standards and views of what makes a great game, yet that overshadows its faults morphing them into near perfect games. Which, technically speaking, they are. No screen tearing, no framerate issues, no sort of latency problems or lag, i mean these are things that a lot of my favorite games fail to accomplish. Yet thats sort of the problem in its own right. Naughty dog is able to achieve a graphical and technical level unmatched by just about any other console game, but sadly the gameplay suffers which is more important than any technical or graphical benchmark.

Uncharted is a one time game with virtually no replayability. Its so overly cinematic to the point that it becomes mundane. The actual way the game is paced and plays out is down right boring. The first playthrough is fresh and engaging, but once you return for a second pass you quickly realize how repetitive it can be. Now i know many gamers have played through both games tens and tens of times which i have as well. All the little bits of unlockables are hilarious and is something i much appreciated. Although, thats when i started to become acquainted with the game. It looses that element of surprise so to speak. The guards or enemies will always be in the same areas, scenes will always play out the same way and so on. Its becomes a go here, do this, sort of affair with less player control and more automated actions. After a while it becomes a glorious animated movie and less of game. Of course you can change the difficulty for a different result, but the game is virtually broken on higher settings. This really isn't an uncharted flaw as this is problem with most shooters, but it slows uncharteds pace to a crawl. You become restricted to only performing certain actions to get by which in turn makes the experience far more linear than it already is.

From the awkward guns to the hold X platforming its basically a mess. There are a lot of games out there that are beginning to copy from the uncharted franchise only to be bashed for the same faults that encompass both games. I dont see where the double standard lies. Case in point, enslaved. Enslaved was a great game that had potential, but feel a little flat in a few departments. It borrowed heavily from uncharted and they both turned out to be similar games to me. One of the biggest complaints of enslaved was the highlighted, button press platforming. The platforming in enslaved was far to easy and it became a jump by color code sort of situation. Yet, the exact mechanic is in place in uncharted and, for the most part, received virtually no criticism. Same exact mechanic just dispersed in 2 different games. One of which is praised and one of which is deemed as to easy or hand holding. Now of course uncharted didn't highlight every item, but i noticed they do have a sort of color code scheme to let you know were to go in certain areas. Not as noticeable, but virtually the same thing. Yes of course you could die from platforming unlike enslaved, but the risk is minimal. Hold up, hit x and watch your character jump. If he does not make it you are reset until you complete the task across various obstacles. If you dont make the jump in a certain direction you know you are not going the right way. Its like an invisible wall that is always out of reach to keep you on your path. This is a downfall not a note worthy game feature. Its more of a step back than something that should be included in a next gen game. With the likes of uncharted and assassins creed, who would of thought cinematic platforming would have taken hold? Its almost hard to say that the games include platforming when they have become so watered down. Let us, the players, make the jumps as we dont need cut scenes to do the job.

Everything i have talked about so far has not been a complaint nor am i nitpicking. Basically, what im saying is the game isn't some perfect game that is above and beyond criticism. Any time anything negative is mentioned towards uncharted the person becomes swarmed with angry fans and i understand that. Yet, this is an honest opinion for a game i love cause as it sits i dont believe uncharted is any where close to a 9 or 10. Its a solid 7, but has room for improvement. The graphics are phenomenal, the animations are unreal and its about as smooth as you can get on a ps3 game, but we need improvements to the core of the game. I wont let the shiny graphics or pretty animations pull me in to something that its not. So please dont take this as an outright bashing of the game as that was never my intention or goal.

It excels in a technical and visual way, but as a game its extremely lacking in all other areas. It has yet to reach this sort of next level status that some gamers hold it to. I say this because, as i mentioned, many games are starting to borrow from the uncharted franchise. Which is something that is doing more harm than good. There is a time and place for everything and not every game needs to be on an uncharted level. Uncharted removes a lot of control from the actual player and in return you get cinematic experience. Im fine with that, but i rather not see that standard take hold in other games. This also brings up a good point. I remember see an article about how uncharted is setting the bar for adventure games, which if thats the case, is something i fear. We dont need an abundance of hand holding, linear adventure games so i hope that uncharted would not be the top bar in that category. There are great games in every category, but that doesn't necessarily mean that has to be the standard for others. Uncharted is no exception.

Please feel free to point out where im wrong, ill informed or just plain missing the point. Im always up for discussion and as always, thanks for reading.

Rrobba4426d ago

Well written, but I completely disagree.

thorstein4425d ago

As the saying goes, "Those who can, do. Those who can't criticize."

WrAiTh Sp3cTr34425d ago

It's not mediocre. I can see how someone playing the game late, after all the games that have come out since then, would think it's over-hyped, but not mediocre. What I don't get, is how people think the story is amazing...that baffles me. Amazing stories go to games like Half-life, Metal Gear, Mass like that. But then again, I find UC fanboys to be zealots amongst zealots...

-Alpha4425d ago (Edited 4425d ago )

Not mediocre but definitely wasn't a 10/10 or an "11/10" as some people claimed either IMO. In that regard, it is overhyped if anything. There is way too much of an attitude that UC2 is untouchable and above criticism but calling it mediocre sounds like an exaggeration no different than the one others make in favor for UC2

IMO, the problem with "cinematic" games is that they sacrifice and ease up on gameplay to favor a streamlined, seamless experience. This is why I found Demon's Souls to be a much better game overall for 2009.

People overpraise the writing, humor, and story IMO. All three of these things were better in Portal 2 but because it was multiplat it was swept under the rug. Portal 2 is just as much a great game and got the same high praise, yet fan reaction was considerably lower. Not because it wasn't enjoyed but because it wasn't exclusive. As always, I never trust the user opinions of exclusive games as they are almost always voiced through console bias and exaggerated.

Great game, the gameplay was solid and the game was polished very well. I consider a 5 score to be mediocre and UC2 is definitely not a 5. I think that you are underselling it the same way others overcredit it.

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SageHonor4425d ago

I disagree with the replayability part. I think the second game has alot of replay ability. Mainly because it has some of the best voice acting and motion capture and cinematics you'll ever see in a game. I do think this game is OVERTALKED ABOUT when it comes to PS3 users. Here are my criticisms of uncharted 2

~ Forgettable story.. The adventure was good but the overall story was ehh

~ Nothing really special about the shooting. It was the environment factors and the verticality of the environment that made the shooting less repetitive

~ The platforming was .. Well you described that already

~ the multiplayer is okay when playing with some of my good friends. Otherwise i deal with Situal awareness, corner shooting, and other stuff like that

If it wasnt for the last couple chapters In wouldnt have liked Drakes fortune. That game was... lets not even go there. Uncharted 2 however is a HUGE improvement over the first game

Bonobo123454425d ago

I flip the world to replay the game, it makes it fresh, you should try it..
I agree it's not a flawless game, but is deserved of a higher score than 7 most definitely.

As for its linearity, that's a sign of the technology boundary, you are not going to get the same experiences as Uncharted from an open world game this gen (as far as the release of U2) It's just not possible on current consoles.

It seems you are expecting more that what is possible to provide..

Good read though..

christheredhead4425d ago

i dont wish for uncharted to turn into an open world game in that sense, but if they had multiple paths with various enemies and choices for each it would be nice. it wouldn't really fit for a lot of the scenarios that they try to portray, but if you're just running to "point A" let me climb the building, blast through the checkpoint or sneak around. something like that would be pretty neat and can be accomplishable by naughty dog. i mean it does have the potential to do those sorts of things but instead doesn't. nothing wrong with that, but i find it far to linear.

Biggest4425d ago

You need to learn what "mediocre series" means, Mr. Hyperbole.

christheredhead4425d ago (Edited 4425d ago )

if you read the entire post im sure i stated why i thought it was medicore. linearity is not the defining factor holding it back for me. guns are awkward to control and feel weird, the platforming is cinematic, its more of a movie than a game, little player control, its a go here do this game, i find it repetitive and of course the linear "hold up" aspect doesn't help. bad game? no way, its awesome. just not next level awesome like its portrayed is all im saying. it exceeds just as much as it fails. uncharted strengths are also equal to its weaknesses and its just an ok game. far from a top game in my opinion.

Biggest4425d ago

That's what I mean. What you describe is not mediocre. Even with all of the short-comings you express, the game is no where near mediocre in your words. The word mediocre is being used by you for hyperbolic effect.

christheredhead4425d ago (Edited 4425d ago )

thats what you mean, but i have no idea what you actually mean haha. what i described IS medicore, how is it not? i dont think im misusing the word for just a hyperbolic effect. it has mediocre qualities that aren't taken into account because the bar is set so high in all other aspects that encompass the game. the guns need tweaking as they're mediocre. we should be able to control the platforming, not just hit x, which is mediocre. i mean i hope i dont have to list everything with a minute explanation to the word mediocre in every sentence, i can if needed, i just dont feel its necessary.

Biggest4425d ago

Since you gave examples I can now explain how they are not mediocre.

Guns: There are not many TPS games that emphasize the feeling of guns. The only aspects that can be relayed "properly" are damage, accuracy, and look. All three are arbitrary markers set by the game developers. You may feel that they are less than average, but that is only your feeling.
Platforming: What more control is needed in your opinion? You have a button to control movement. It has ALWAYS been that way and will probably always be that way. Who has set a different benchmark for platforming that would render a movement button less than average? You can control the direction and accuracy of movement with the thumb stick. That is how platforming is done on a 3D plane. The movement during platforming is a set path. It would make no sense to "go your own way" in any situation. If you were climbing a rock in real life it would be the same. There is a right way and a you're dead way.

You're minimizing the actual gameplay to fit your argument. When I said "That's what I mean" I was referring to your uncanny ability to misunderstand your own words.

You said: "it has mediocre qualities that aren't taken into account because the bar is set so high in all other aspects that encompass the game."

You also said: "Lets face it, uncharted is a mediocre series."

You say that some of the gameplay elements are less than outstanding, which is fair enough. You also say that the game sets an extremely high bar in all other aspects. Therefore you can NOT claim that the series on whole is mediocre, which is what you claim with your headline. A thing can not be both ordinary or barely adequate while also being able to "go above and beyond all my standards and views of what makes a great game, yet that overshadows its faults morphing them into near perfect games." <--Your words


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LightofDarkness4425d ago (Edited 4425d ago )

I enjoyed them as well, but I agree with much of what you said.

Uncharted was a solid 8 for me. Uncharted 2? I found the game to be utterly forgettable. I sort of blazed through it, and when I was done, I couldn't really recall much of the game.

Uncharted's presentation is great, but the story and gameplay are pretty "meh." Now I know this is an unpopular opinion here, but I also know it's one shared by many whom I know personally. I really wanted to love Uncharted 2 unquestionably, but I couldn't. I had purchased Demon's Souls in the same transaction, and once I'd moved onto that game I found it to be the better of the two, personally.

I feel the problem is the lack of any genuine control. It all looks pretty, but the environment feels static. The shooting lacks any weight or satisfaction, you feel as though your guns are impotent most of the time. The platforming sections essentially play themselves, "hold the right direction and press X" isn't a challenge, nor is it engaging in any way. All of your actions feel so utterly scripted that everything may as well have been a cinematic.

Story-telling is obviously one of the game's strongest points, but the stories themselves are not particularly captivating. Perhaps it's because we've heard them before (Uncharted 2 borrows much from an old book called "Lost Horizon", which has heavily influenced adventure stories since) in various incarnations.

Anyway, flame on :p