Uncharted 3

I’m playing this gem for the Playstation 3 right now. Any thoughts by other fellow IF fans on this marvelous blend of action-adventure-shooter-platform game?

It does so many things right. The scripting is tight, the organic mellee combat reminds me of the best moments of Final Fight and the world is huge, while mostly linear. It also reminds me of Metal Gear Solid 4 in some moments and it obviously has a hint or two towards Infocom’s Infidel…

Actually, me and my girlfriend laugh a lot about several sticking plot-holes and the fact that some levels were obiously designed before they came up with a story.

However, it’s still one of the best titles of the genre I’ve played, and for all its shortcomings (mostly story-related), there’s something very good about the whole Uncharted franchise. And you’re right, it does many, many things right - and it’s been learning from past mistakes.

My (and my girlfriend’s) favourite (as in, the one we most like to ridicule) moment is still the end of U2, however.

Look! There’s the bad guy! He’s about to become extremely powerful! Let’s just watch as he does, disregarding the fact that we have ample time to headshot him before he becomes a huge menace!

Guess you’re one of those guys who enjoy digging for plot holes in a story more than enjoying the story itself, huh? :laughing:

It’d be a major challenge not to have any plot holes in a 13-15 hours long game, more so than in a movie. But really, it’s as good as blockbuster games go. I’m really not aware of any major plot holes sticking out at my face so far (I’m past the desert). Unless you count things like “hey, why Gandalf simply didn’t ask the big eagles to throw the ring into the volcano?” as plot holes. I say that is a plot device, not a hole… :stuck_out_tongue:

Regarding the finale of U2 did you end it at easy mode? I always play in normal mode and the bastard was pretty hard to kill, not a question of a mere headshot…

In any case, this interactive Indiana Jones is certainly one of the games I’d point Roger Ebert to whenever he says videogames will never be art… along with a few IFs, RPGs and others…

No, I don’t like digging for plot-holes, but neither am I about to ignore them when they’re thrown in my face…

If you’re past the desert, I think you can safely read these spoilers…

[spoiler]What’s the deal with those tarot cards? They crop up, they get forgotten, they have very thin-veiled cheap symbolism but exist for no other reason. Heck, how did Charlie get that tarot card on him after he broke his leg? Did he have it on from the beginning of the game?

How come that fire (in which Charlie falls and breaks his leg) is contained to that little spot in the platform? That’s wood he’s standing on.

Did you know that Chloe and Charlie were supposedly romantically involved? You wouldn’t know it by playing the game, surely.

The chase scene is cool, but come on - Drake’s got the evil lady right in front of him; Talbot’s a long way away; and she’s the one who knows everything there is to know, and she’s the threat to stop. So he decides to upheave the table and chase Talbot. Huh?

The whole pirate thing is way, way, way off. It’s a stupid parenthesis in the middle of a story just when it starts getting really good (though I will agree that the sinking ship scene is awesome). On that note, why the hell did those pirates put up a dummy Sully? Drake was never supposed to be there. It reminds me of Robin Williams on his “golf” routine: “And we put up a flag next to the hole to give ya hope!” It’s like, “Boys, if he escapes, and kills almost all of us, and manages to come all the way down there, he’s gonna be reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally disappointed! Har har har!”

And going back to the beginning, the “Long Hidden” anagram… Drake immediately leaps to the conclusion that “it’s gotta be hidden somewhere around here”. Why? Why on earth?[/spoiler]

…but maybe not these.

[spoiler]The spiders were never explained, either. They were just this game’s creepy unnatural thing.

They underexplained Helena and Drake so much, the result is a mess. Reading between the lines? I’d have to read a whole paragraph of blank lines to understand what went on there. It’s like there’s a lot of stuff that happened between U2 and U3 where I have no idea what happened, and still don’t know. Were they fuckbuddies? Engaged? Dated? Lived together? Married? For all I can tell of the game Helena could have cheated on Drake with Sully.

The “beduin of the desert” guy was severly underplayed - so much so I was left wondering why they bothered to include him at all.

I am, of course, willing to overlook the fact that Drake keeps stumbling on the bad guys, but… this game really, really stretches the coincidences to breaking point. He survived the sinking ship and washed ashore on just the right shore? He fell from the plane just close enough to a deserted city - and the deserted city just happened to be full of bad guys? He just happened to find the convoy in the middle of the desert storm?

If Drake and Sully had to go through all that trouble to open the doors of the city, I suppose Marlowe and the bad guys came later. And yet by the time we see them, their mission is practically over, they having put up a huge aparattus to pick up that thing they wanted to pick up from the waters.[/spoiler]

Regarding U2, you misunderstand. There was ample time for Drake to do something he’d been doing the entire game before it became irrevocable, thus launching him into a long and ultimately unnecessary boss fight. Ample, ample time. Why didn’t he do it? Because the designers thought there had to be a boss fight. If he’d arrived just too late, it’d have been ok. As it is? I’m left hating Drake for being slower than I’d have been.

Regarding “Games = Art”… well, I wouldn’t know about art, but I would argue that Uncharted does prove that games can have a cinematic quality to them, thus making them closer to cinema, thus having the possibility to be art. Other than that, it’s a broad discussion - I would personally consider “Ceremony of Innocence” much closer to art than Uncharted.

Personally, what I love about Uncharted is the actors. The stories are good, if sometimes flimsy; the gameplay has been getting better. But it’s the actors, their lines, their adlibs, and their acting, that I really, really like about the series. Loved Charlie, too. And Marlowe was a very good character. It’s only a pity that, overall, the stories share some of the flimsiness of some American blockbusters.

I actually though U2 was a bit deeper. U3 was a bit more superficial. Very showy, though.

whoa! Not yet. I meant I’m past wandering in the desert. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, a boss fight is good. That said, no, I don’t think there’s been ample time for Drake to do it: everytime Lazarovic is either backed by his heavy personal army or has Drake in his hands.

Either way, Drake is not a murderer, he’s a fortune hunter. They shoot him, he shoots back when needed. And indeed, he does not kill the bastard in the end.

I looked that up. From the title I would think of some Castlevania… :slight_smile:

why closer? More well-known artists? Sounds like one of those FMV-feast from back then…

Precisely.

hmm, the shole mind game Marlowe played with Drake about Sully was pretty creepy. You’re left without a partner for quite a long time and is to endure heavy gun combat all alone without knowing if Sully is alive or is to be trusted when found. I found this plot twist a leading to a more mature plot than the mostly cheery predecessor.

Yeah, I know. Don’t worry, I was careful, if you’ve heard the poem at the desert then you can read the first set of “spoilers”. :wink:

Questionable, but it’s a matter of taste, so I’ll agree to disagree.

youtube.com/watch?v=iIeMVRio9hQ Watch from 0:30. He has ample time, he has a clear shot. And you can’t argue that he can’t do it because of the army Lazarovich has with him because a) Drake’s been fighting +10 guys at a time and here there are only 3, so what’s stopping him?, and b), when he does make a move, that move is still “try and kill him”, showing disregard for the other guys. Now, if he can risk trying to kill him AFTER he’s done the deed which will make him so incredibly powerful, why the heck didn’t he risk if EARLIER? Risking and failing would have worked even better, from the story’s point of view. As it is, it’s just lame.

Tell that to the hundreds of characters he kills in each game. And to the veritable arsenal he wears (not to mention his proficiency with it). I understand what you mean, but Drake is just a fortune-hunter like Indiana Jones is just a professor of Archaeology.

Like anything I’d consider good art, I find it impossible to describe, and unfortunately that little gem is unplayable in anything but Win95 (maybe Win98). Let’s say that it’s a deep, moving story between two people, unfolding between their correspondence - two people sharing a strange link… and that the link is not the most important thing, but rather the characters - like all good gimmicks, it’s a starting point to the discovery of Griffin and Sabine.

But hey, I can name others. I think Gabriel Knight 2, while not exactly art, is a sort of gaming historical-thriller; that Dreamfall achieves, in its ending, a very emotional state which I consider the product of art; that The Longest Journey, and other games which involve the PC growing up and maturing in a physical/spiritual/metaphorical/whatever-o-rical journey have something very artistic, regardless of whether they achieve their intent or not; that Bioshock is not artistical, but it does provoke thought on player agency the same way that a book might provoke thought on the world around us; that The Dark Eye is a brilliant adaptation of the works of an artist; that Bad Mojo is visceral and irreverent as some art is; I can say without a doubt that Cosmology of Kyoto is artistic, though whether it is art per se is open to debate; I can say that Grim Fandango is as much art as any work of Noir; that Exhibition is an artistic tour-de-force, and All Alone a gut-wrenching experience; that the first half of Fahrenheit, and a lot of Heavy Rain, offer a depth equaled by many great films and novels, and that Blue Ice is probably the closet that games ever got to surrealism; that Amnesia: The Dark Descent invokes such feelings of fear and discomfort as, it is said, only great art can, even if it is just a gimmick and an end by itself; that The Last Express is, indeed, art within the field of gaming, by its visuals, by its complexity, by its capacity to suprise and move; that Bliss, despite some faults, does place a heavy burden in the hands of the player who, as he realises what he’s done, will be disgusted and ashamed and incredibly guilty.

Uncharted? So far, it’s the equivalent of The Mummy (but better, IMHO). Good entertainment? Oh yeah. Art? I can’t really see it.

Yes, it was good, and it’s only a shame that the bit which you then play is completely nonsensical to the main story, leaving you (well, leaving me, at least) wondering when the heck we’re going back to the good stuff.

And yet, when you play U2, there’s a sense of it being deeper than U1. It’s more character-heavy, for one thing - lots of emphasis on the characters. It also tries for a more ambitious and cohese storyline, where U3 went for a spectacular and ambitious storyline. The latter’s fun to watch, but I always prefer the former.

BTW, finished this masterpiece yesterday, so I can comment more properly.

I didn’t even remember the tarot cards, but as far as I can tell, it’s some minor plot device.

It takes a while for wood to burn, you know?

I was able to figure out in the part where the four get together into that empty garage. When the 3 guys go inside the tunnels, Charlie says “She’s best driver in the business” and Nate goes “So I heard.” My take on it is that Charlie was just as unaware of their previous connection as that scumbag Harry Flynn. Cool enough. Nate dismissed Chloe in favor of Elena in the end of the second game anyway…

He was not chasing Talbot, he was running away (there was a pirate and who knows more together with Marlowe) and chasing the bastard while at it.

[spoiler]In that part of the world, pirates mean good business. :slight_smile: You got a bunch of crooks doing despicable things. An association with pirates leading to mutual good crookery is not far off.

Nate from that point on was all about getting Sully back in one piece. He goes great lengths to it. The pirates know it and fool him. But yeah, in the end, it’s there just for the thrill of it. What would the pirates get from fooling him if he does not know the location? We as players on the other hand, got one hell of a thrill. Quite easily one of the most impressive game levels ever… :mrgreen:

Your pirate speak and laugh is spot on. :slight_smile:[/spoiler]

He had his own suppositions in his diary from even his early years. It simply had to be there.

[spoiler]Sure, though I at first supposed the drug they used were taken from their poison or something.

They deserve less of a WTF however than the Shambala warriors disguised as yetis in Uncharted 2. Why would they do that? Though perhaps not quite so WTF now that I think about it: perhaps in Uncharted legendarium yetis were after all just Shambala warriors wooing away adventurers…[/spoiler]

In the end of U2, they get together and in when they met in this one, he asks her why she’s still wearing the ring. From that I can infer they got married after U2 and thereafter parted ways. I thought it was a good ending, it both symbolically comunicates his will to put adventures aside in favor of a more normal life and also he gets back an important ring he can use as he’ve been using the one from Francis Drake before, in a collar.

[spoiler]He’s there mostly to remind us U3 is an interactive reimagining of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. :slight_smile:

Though the parts when he’s drugged almost turn him into Temple of Doom’s bad Indy. :slight_smile:[/spoiler]

It’s a game, you should have some opposition. Besides, they are all running towards the same goal.

After drinking that water, Drake hallucinated and ran amok. How long did it really take for him to come to his senses? Unreliable narrator, you know?

I didn’t even remember the tarot cards, but as far as I can tell, it’s some minor plot device.

So the fact that you can dismiss them as “minor plot devices”, without attaching to them any importance whatsoever, doesn’t ring any warning bells? Things thrown in “just to be cool”, left unexplained, hurt a story more than they help it.

Well, they’re there for a pretty while.

I was able to figure out in the part where the four get together into that empty garage. When the 3 guys go inside the tunnels, Charlie says “She’s best driver in the business” and Nate goes “So I heard.” My take on it is that Charlie was just as unaware of their previous connection as that scumbag Harry Flynn. Cool enough. Nate dismissed Chloe in favor of Elena in the end of the second game anyway…

Good heavens, that was enough for you to jump to a romantic relationship between Charlie and Chloe?

He was not chasing Talbot, he was running away (there was a pirate and who knows more together with Marlowe) and chasing the bastard while at it.

Suit yourself. WHen I watch youtube.com/watch?v=oOiqJgxPKio (7:00), I see him upheaving the table (distracting the pirate well enough to take action, if he wanted to) and going straight for Talbot. I don’t see him running away - I see him running towards, and running towards the guy who, for the past scene, did nothing but stand there and watch while the person right in front of him pushed all his buttons.

Oh yeah. They knew he was going to kill them all and hijack that ship and make it all the way down to below decks, so they put a dummy there.

He had his own suppositions in his diary from even his early years. It simply had to be there.

Did it? In the headquarters of the bad guys? Why? He knew it’d been long hidden; he knew by who. But as far as he knows, and as far as we know, it’s halfway around the world; he’s jumping to the conclusion that it’s around him based on the existence of nautical stuff around him, he doesn’t even know those things belong to the guy who hid the thing.

[spoiler]Sure, though I at first supposed the drug they used were taken from their poison or something.

They deserve less of a WTF however than the Shambala warriors disguised as yetis in Uncharted 2. Why would they do that? Though perhaps not quite so WTF now that I think about it: perhaps in Uncharted legendarium yetis were after all just Shambala warriors wooing away adventurers…[/spoiler]

You never, ever, ever give something so much importance if you’re not ready to either explain it away or acknowledge that it’s not going to be explained. Those things were just forgotten - after they’d become a major part of the story, cropping up everywhere. U1 had some supernatural elements, and so had U2, but those were explained or easily figured out. These things were just a cheap distraction.

In the end of U2, they get together and in when they met in this one, he asks her why she’s still wearing the ring. From that I can infer they got married after U2 and thereafter parted ways

If only I could see any of that. I see nothing about them to suggest that they were married. It’s not like a one-night stand - it changes people. But they react to each other almost like they did when they met again on U2.

[spoiler]He’s there mostly to remind us U3 is an interactive reimagining of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. :slight_smile:

Though the parts when he’s drugged almost turn him into Temple of Doom’s bad Indy. :slight_smile:[/spoiler]

So you agree.

It’s a game, you should have some opposition. Besides, they are all running towards the same goal.

Hey, I’m all for suspension of disbelief. But there’s a limit to how far I can stretch it.

After drinking that water, Drake hallucinated and ran amok. How long did it really take for him to come to his senses? Unreliable narrator, you know?

He wasn’t alone. Drake might not have noticed, but Sully would. That’s a huge, noisy operation.

Not every minor detail in any fiction should be explained. It’s so minor I can hardly recall it. It seems you’re making something huge out of nitpicking.

Far less than it takes my barbecue to get ready.

That and the fact that she got out of scene with him.

He was running away and towards his next best prey. Should he punch the lady, force her to confess whatever?

Nate is not a killer, nor he beats women. :wink:

He goes after the bastard, then.

who are after the very same thing as him and gathered a respectable collection of Sir Francis Drake’s goodies.

As soon as they meet, he asks her why she’s still wearing the ring and she says something to the effect that it merely helps her in that part of the world. He even goes on to comment about it with Sully. From that I can infer they married after U2 and divorced.

I suggest next time around you take your time to enjoy the story rather than enjoy nitpicking minor details or seeking minor plot holes. :wink:

What makes you think Sully didn’t notice? When they get back together, Sully too seems to be battling it out against the foes…

Nitpicking? I hardly call introducing a supernatural-ish, vaguely-defined antagonist - that also, might I add, interferes with the gameplay in areas where the balance between light and dark becomes very important - as “a minor detail” that, to be frank, I’m amazed you’ve forgotten. It’s possible you’re just the intended audience for the Uncharter franchise, where I expect a bit more of the games I play.

Yes, indeed, all those things point inequivocably towards a relationship - an offhand comment and the fact that they left the scene together.

He is a killer in that he kills people. I do know what you mean, mind you, I’m just stressing that the words mean something.

I won’t debate this further because, obviously, you’re satisfied with it, and I’m obviously not. I still laugh about it with my girlfriend.

Yes, and all the things they collected are branded “SFD” so that Drake instantly knows it’s Drake’s stuff. Seriously, that stuff could be anything from anywhere - we’re talking about the room decorations, NOT about things left on a table filled with other Drake stuff (incidently, there was a spider in a jar, foreshadowing future events and drawing even more importance and attention to a “minor detail” you can hardly remember). Even having established that it WAS all Drake’s stuff, solving the anagram and going “It’s got to be around here” is a major jump - it could have been anywhere, and it might even have been on a museum; a collector’s house; at the bottom of the sea. They were all after the same thing, yes - Drake’s ring and Marlowe’s funky secret decoder - but none of them had any idea that it would lead them towards an item, much less an item of Drake’s.

I mean, I’m particularly pissed off because this is so sloppy - a simple line spoken by Drake along the lines of “I know this, Drake used this for a figurehead” or something would have been enough. Without that, all we’re left with is a huge leap.

I didn’t infer anything, but I did wonder, and I left myself open for whatever came next. Nothing did. Their interactions were exactly the same as in the previous games. If you’re satisfied, feel free - I prefer more meat; if people were married and divorced, it shows on their subsequent behaviour.

EDIT - Besides, a proposal + marriage + marriage problems + divorce are pretty major things to happen between games, completely off the screen. I felt like I was in one of those plays where everything happens off-scene. Except that in those plays, they actually tell you what happened.

I suggest you up your standards a bit.

Because Sully noticing and not saying anything to Drake as soon as they meet up makes even less sense.

Mind you, I will agree that, even since the Tomb Raider games, villains have a long history of easily getting into places the player had to really sweat for - and sometimes inexplicably turn up in rooms locked for centuries which the PC had just opened - but in U3, it was just one thing too many, on top of everything else.

And I believe I’m done in this conversation. You were obviously satisfied, are not going to be swayed by my arguments, and have even suggested that I’m “nitpicking” and going out of my way to find holes in the game. At the risk of sounding conceited, I simply have better things to do with my time than to discuss what would otherwise be an interesting exchange of opinions; which it can’t be because, as is amply evidenced by our stance regarding the spiders and how they should be approached in terms of story and even of their impact in story and gameplay experience, we have different expectations and set the bar at different levels. There’s a fundamental disparity that will make any further argument useless - pretty soon we’ll just be butting heads.

Fair enough.

I was not talking about the spiders, we agreed already they are creepy stuff thrown in to make it cooler. By minor detail I was referring to the tarot cards, wedding rings etc.

And I don’t think most Uncharted players turn out to also enjoy interactive fiction, so I’m not sure I’m part of whatever intended audience you think Uncharted caters for. I just think it’s an utterly technically competent mainstream game which also happens to have an engaging story and script, which is why I asked for opinions of others IFers who may have played it. Everyone is entitled an opinion and while ours are in disagreement, it was fine reading someone else take on it…

I suppose we did - sadly, they are “just creepy stuff thrown it to make it cooler”. And therefore their value diminishes immensely, and what could be a genuinely chilling creature becomes a cheap thrill.

The sort that would value some things above others - which is true for any game and/or film. Some gamers will prefer adventure games, others platformers. Others prefer story-heavy games, others prefer games heavy on the action. Uncharted players will, I suppose, be the sort of people that love the latest blockbuster films - and I’m not saying anything bad about blockbuster films. I happen to enjoy watching Blockbusters once in a while. But they’re lighter entertainment, and this is what U3 feels like - a light blockbuster, which will be particularly enjoyed by people who liked The Mummy and its ilk.

So as not to end on a sour note: I agree on all of the above, regardless of my issues with the game.