I spent the last couple of nights playing Uncharted 3, and I was really not impressed with it. I got it as part of a 3/$10 used game sale (along with Uncharted 2 (which I didn't like much, but I needed a third game) and Heavenly Sword, along with Warhammer Space Marine, Lost Planet 2 and Red Faction Gorillas in another batch), and I have so many complaints about this game that I had to make a post about it. So, point by point, here's why Uncharted 3 failed me as a product.
1. The Game Isn't Finished
Probably the biggest issue for me is just the sheer lack of polish in this game. I had several game breaking glitches, including a really bizarre one that caused the HDMI signal to turn off and back on whenever the Men In Black guys spotted me on the Syria level. The game froze and crashed 6 times over roughly 5 hours of play. Some areas - especially the Syria level, which is where I stopped playing - have noticeably lower-quality textures than other parts of the game. In all areas of the game, there are ledges that you need to jump to to advance - and the game just will not let you jump to them unless you die and try again until it works. You would think that after 3 years on the market, they'd have fixed these issues with patches. Nope!
2. The Plot Makes No Sense.
Why are Drake and co. doing what they're doing? This is not really explained. Are they doing it for money? No, because the game tries to paint Drake as a noble hero, even though nothing he does suggests he's anything but a selfish git. Is it so Drake can find out his history? Maybe - but this is a new element introduced in the third fucking game, and not addressed at all in the first two. Is it for adventure? It can't be, because everything's painted so thick with drama that there's no way these brooding, moping psychopaths (more on that later) don't seem to be enjoying it. Moreover, how do the villains make sense in this universe? The protagonists ask "Who are we dealing with here?" approximately 48 times in the first hour because the player is an idiot. But in a world where a president can't keep a blowjob secret, how can an organization that apparently employs thousands of disposible thugs possible be completely invisible to society?
3. Actually, Nothing Makes Sense.
How is it that hundreds of armed thugs can have a firefight in urban England or Colombia for a good half-hour without and cops showing up? Why is a London subway station empty at any hour? The TTC subway in Toronto has people there even when the subway isn't running. Why does the Chateau in France not have spraypaint on everything? Abandoned building, no matter how remote, get broken into all the time. Where are the security guards at a major Syrian tourist attraction? Where are all the fat people; why is every person the same (extremely white!) character model? Why does this secret organization only hire brown-haired white guys? Why are all the low-class English thugs white; do the developers not know just how many black, Arab, Indian, etc. people live and work in London? Or is the secret society just not an equal opportuinity employer?
4. Drake Is A Piss-Poor Archeologist Or Whatever
How many priceless artifacts get destroyed or stolen in these games? In the first game, I recall Drake tip-toeing around certain cites to make sure nothing got broken. It tore him up inside to destroy the Nazi Gollum statue thing. By the third game, he's become a douchey teenager who destroys just as much priceless history as the bad guys we're supposed to hate. The head ornament off Francis Drake's ship? Yeah, no bigs, let's just snap that fucker off the wall and smash it on the floor. Who cares, right? It's only a relic of your supposed ancestor. No problemo.
5. Everyone Is An Unlikeable Psychopath
Gun battles in the Uncharted series have always seemed silly to me. The first game made the most sense - it's pirates. Literally, lawless people from backgrounds so impoverished that they will risk life and limb to evade the law and steal/ransom to survive. Okay. In the second game, it's a mercenary company or something? I know real mercenaries - they do it because the pay is good and because they get more autonomy. Unless these guys have some massive sempai complex for Colonel Volgin or whatever (kuwabara, kuwabara), they're not going to be quite so willing to die en masse. And in Uncharted 3? What is their motivation? Why are these guys willing to lay down their lives for a cause? Why are the gangsta thugs in the Chateau still shooting at Drake when their lives are clearly in imminent danger? At the end of the day, it doesn't matter; Nathan Drake will brutally murder thousands of nameless grunts without any mercy. In a smarter game, he would be more sly and crafty; he's be capable of beating this game without killing a single dude. But this game is not smart - it has a six-year-old's perception of action. And despite this murder spree, why aren't the authorities in all these countries relentlessly hunting for Nathan Drake: Mass Murderer? He's somehow able to hitch a flight from France to Syria, so either there are no authorities in this universe, or the game is stupid. Pro tip: The game is stupid.
6. Why Does This Have A 92 Metacritic Score?
Really, why? It's not that great. It's not even good. It's got all the problems the gaming media criticizes other games for. But it's immune? Why, because it's a killer app? Bollocks.
Moral of the story? This game sucks. I haven't gotten so angry about a game since Bulletstorm's "poopyhead" school of humour and dialogue.
Naughty Dog needs to make a new Crash game.
EDIT: Oh yeah, and the multiplayer has microtransactions. Fffffff.