Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chart-topper

Above: There's always a guy with a riot shield.

My review of Uncharted 2 is up at thephoenix.com. (No, that post on Monday wasn't a review.) To add to the chorus: It's great. Really great. This game doesn't step wrong. Like Metroid Prime and the Half-Life games, it's so confident and assured that you may forget you're playing a game for long stretches of time.

Frankly, I think people are overusing the "cinematic" descriptor for this game. I get why they say that, but if anything Uncharted 2 shows some of the ways in which games can be superior to movies for delivering action-adventure entertainment. As for the storyline and characters, okay, those are almost good enough to be called movie-like.

And now your note of caution (okay, cynicism). Uncharted 2 is the kind of game that is tailor-made for the reviewing experience. It's not terribly long, it's linear, and it doesn't repeat itself. That's where my tastes run anyway, but it's worth mentioning. Ordinarily this isn't something I'd stop to consider, but having moved on to the more professionally challenging Borderlands, I long for the halcyon days of last week, when I could sit down and blow through a game in one sitting, reasonably certain that I hadn't missed anything important.

There will, of course, be more about Borderlands to come.

3 comments:

Sean Beanland said...

Weird. I was just thinking the other day about how review scores are affected by how "reviewer-friendly" a game is. I remember Gabe at Penny Arcade talking about Assassin's Creed and how it must have sucked for reviewers to have this crazy open world to have to blow through in order to finish their reviews on time. I wonder how many reviews of Dragon Age will be based on a complete playthrough? That game is supposed to be, what, 80 hours long? On one playthrough? With a dozen different combinations of gender, race, class, and origin? As a regular player, that's a daunting prospect. I can only imagine how reviewers feel.

Mitch Krpata said...

It's a real concern. I know I almost always feel squeezed by deadlines. In fact, I just found out I have an extra week with Borderlands, which is a godsend. But even then -- this is a game with four character classes, each of which can be developed in three different ways, and I'll be lucky if I max out just one of them. All I can think about with each choice I make is how many paths I've just closed off, and wonder to what extent that's altering my experience with the game.

It's easier with something like Uncharted to say, hey, we all had the same experience here. That's probably why the reviews have been unanimous.

Gary A. Lucero said...

Uncharted 2 is a great game. On par with the Halo games on the Xbox (and yes this does mean I bought a PS3 now that the price has dropped!).

Uncharted 2 is not perfect, and none of them are, and to me the gun play is the best part, followed by the story, with platforming a solid #3.

Is it replayable? I don't tend to ever replay action games so probably not. Do I care about multiplayer? No, not really.

So it's 8+ hours of really fun thrills and chills, and it is very satisfying with a likeable cast of characters and top notch production values.