Monday, 27 February 2012

Is Nathan Drake just a little too good?

If I were a character in the Uncharted games I would go out of my way to ensure that my feet never shared a surface with Nathan Drake. Just about everything that man sets foot on crumbles and sends him hurtling to the floor. With all of the consecutive rough tumbles Mr Drake experiences, I’m fairly certain he has steel ribs or a pain tolerance higher than that of a fence post. How he has survived every cutscene and scripted scenery collapse is a mystery.

Having completed Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception over the weekend I can’t help but look back and think how slightly over the top and ridiculous it was at times. The Uncharted series has always been good at immersing the player in environmental peril, but the third outing may have pushed it a bit too far. It felt like every other chapter had dramatic and lively scenery that was desperate to shake Drake into whatever nastiness was below.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought Uncharted 3 was brilliant, but Naughty Dog seemed to over use the set pieces a little too much this time. In previous Uncharted adventures such occasions have really stuck out as highlights, but I can’t help but feel they tried to cram too much imminent danger into the third PS3 outing. I know Uncharted isn’t meant to be completely bound to realism, but it at least tries to pretend it follows the laws of physics.

To me there were a few too many near misses accompanying every action. It was always a case of leaping from the ledge as it crumbled or swinging from a pipe the second it detaches itself. It stopped feeling like Nathan Drake was really lucky, but instead that he might be some kind of thrill seeking god character descended to Earth for a cool-looking treasure hunting jolly. It might have featured this heavily in previous games, but it certainly felt more abundant in Drake’s Deception.

Despite this mild grievance it’s still a great game. It’s one of those titles with so few flaws you really have to criticise things that may seem a little petty. Although, as indicated in my last post, Uncharted 3 did seem a little more scripted and linear than the previous two games in the series. It was still enjoyable, but I wouldn’t want to relinquish any more control over Nate for the sake of making the game actions look more cinematic.

No comments: