Saturday, November 5, 2011
Uncharted 3's Complaints And Why I Must Be Awesome at Video Games
So, I beat Uncharted 3 earlier today after the fourth or fifth marathon session of playing it since I got it Wednesday and it was good. It was damn good. If I may, I would suggest that it is, in fact, great. Some people would not agree with that, and well, I just don't know about those people. I physically could not, at any point, picture myself playing Uncharted 3 and saying "I don't like this game." It was outside of the realm of thought, of possibility, and of reality. Of course, everyone has their own opinions and are entitled to them, but it's this sort of feeling that really drives the competitive side of us all; we all have games that we 'back' because we love them, we love the experiences they provide, and we can always speak on how the experience it provides is superior to what something else could provide.
This is what really engenders a lot of the bitterness and rage that exists in the gaming community as a whole because, at the end of the day, some people are always going to be there to explain to you why your favorite game is less good than theirs and you will be locked in a stalemate as the Dragon fighting the Tiger. Your opinion is resolute, theirs unwavering and in the end, it will simply end with saying "Well, you're wrong" and a lot of harsh feelings. And this is really why I think reviewers out there giving scores are, well, 'doing it wrong' since a score only opens this door wider and mars several games for other people. As in the case of the Eurogamer Review that gave Uncharted 3 an 8/10 and is no doubt infamous for that fact right now. Throwing a score of 8/10 on one of the more-hyped games to come out is just asking for trouble, some would say, while others take directly to the numbers and draw comparisons:
For instance, Simon Parkin has given the following games 8/10 as well: Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3, Brink, Yakuza 4, Crysis 2 and Virtua Tennis 4. One would suggest that, since they all rate the same, if you were looking for five 8/10 experiences in a row, you would simply play those which is, of course, a flawed notion. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is not Fallout 3 is not Grand Theft Auto IV (all games to earn perfect scores from various outlets), and that's the simple truth to it. At it's barest essence you cannot draw such simplistic lines to force different things into. It's akin to trying to shove the square block into the circle hole; You should know better not to do it and upon completing the task, you've certainly lost something along the way.
Beyond that, even if there were no scores to make arbitrary comparisons, we'll always have the simple arguments to go along with why game X should be considered better than game Y which will be something else to frustrate us all for ages to come. I've personally had a little experience with this aspect in seeing people complain about the tiniest technical flaws in Uncharted 3 and then in the same 'breath', so to speak, state "Can't wait for Skyrim" or something akin to that. Where Uncharted 3 will be trounced upon by the vocal minority for slightly wonked technical issues, Skyrim's technical issues (which, given Bethesda's track record will be various and difficult to deal with until consumers put the required work into a fan-patch) will largely get glossed over in favor of lauding the 'epic scale' the game possesses by having a large map that is mostly made up of inconsequential and unused land.
Is it because we're taught to expect different things from different developers and, so long as they operate within parameters, we don't mention it? Possibly. Is it wrong? Certainly. Yet we'll still do it, so I can't rail against it too much, as I'm sure several examples of my own willingness to wave off objectively bad things in favor of a 'greater sum of good' could be pointed out rather swiftly. Still, I can't help but look at these things, these complaints and these lack of complaints and feel a little annoyed at their mere existence since, as I said before, I am clearly in Uncharted 3's camp and thus destined to be contrary to those who would tout anything above it when its own flaws are so plain to the eye.
Honestly, the biggest thing that's annoyed me about the reception to Uncharted 3 is the apparent internet-proven-fact that the aiming is worse off in Uncharted 3 than it was in Uncharted 2 to a degree that means the overall product and game is bad for it. So much is this 'outcry' that Naughty Dog felt the need to address it by saying it's actually, factually improved, which frustratingly enough seems to have fallen on deaf ears in favor of claiming something to the likes of "Change is bad and this doesn't work". Not once in my playing the game had I ever stopped to consider that the aiming was in any way different, because I was too busy shooting pirates, henchmen, and other assorted types of thugs in the face to consider that I was using anything that was lesser than Uncharted 2's offerings.
I would suggest that my ability to point the crosshairs of whatever gun I'm using at the moment at the mound of digital flesh that I want to not draw digital breath any longer and succeeding in that task swiftly means I am just better at games than most people who have gone out and purchased a copy of Uncharted 3. Of course I'm being facetious, as there's no real way to type that statement out in a serious manner because it's simply a lie. Still, I have to wonder why this (and several other issues out there that are utter phantoms to me, never once appearing in my sight) is apparently an 'issue' and why I was ultimately immune to it and all the other complaints being tossed at the game.
This is the part where I state that I will in fact not be writing a review for Uncharted 3. I could press on and on and on about every part of the game that I found excellent and/or interesting and it would likely be a very long post in the process, but in the end I think any complaints I might have would just pale in comparison to the things I can hold Uncharted 3 highly for. In some ways, I'm sure that's what people want from a review; someone championing just what is good about it while still mentioning the issues with it for those to consider even if they're not really explained well enough to be anything more than mumble when compared, rather than the inverse. And in some ways, simply stating what I have already in this last paragraph is review enough for some people because it's quite obvious that I think it's a Great game with a few minimal flaws that I didn't even find big enough to bring up almost pedantically as I am wont to do.
Regardless, I did want to put this out there as it's been milling about in my mind for the last night and even more today after beating the game proper. Even now, my fingers twitch as if training themselves for my next session (which is my Crushing playthrough. To my surprise, Crushing was unlocked after a Normal Playthrough and while going from Normal to Crushing might be whispered as madness in some corners, I think I'm up to the challenge) in which I will assuredly topple many gun-toting foes with a well-placed shot from a pistol or a volley of shots from a G-MAL fired blindly from cover. Already, I'm imagining experiencing some of the set-pieces in awe, much as the first time, and already I cannot wait to crush any who stand in my path again. For Drake's path, under my supervision, was one of victory and so again shall it be.