Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception will release later this year for the PlayStation 3 but the series has carried varied critical acclaim. In Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune some reviewers praised its gameplay, other’s were angered by the repetitive nature. Despite this we got a sequel, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. This time there was a general consensus that the game was indeed epic. It won many awards, snagging GoTY from several publications. I myself love the game and it is up there with my favourite games of all time. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is out this year and as I did with Skyrim, I’ll voice my opinion on some “wishes” that I have for the game.
1. Dude, Where’s My Crossbow?
The introduction of stealth in Uncharted 2 was an interesting element in the Uncharted formula. Although it worked, it could have been improved. Sometimes it seemed like enemies should see you, but don’t, or shouldn’t see you, but do. If Naughty Dog means business with stealth in Uncharted, it’d be greatly appreciated if they’d beef it up a bit. Some indicators, however subtle, would be very helpful in situations when you don’t know where an enemy is looking. Uncharted shouldn’t have too busy of a HUD and in no-way am I expecting Metal Gear Solid 4 quality stealth, but I do want an improvement over their first kick.
2. Square! Square! Square!
Mêlée (or hand-to-hand combat) is an integral part of the Uncharted franchise. When the going gets tough, mêlée is many gamers go to strategy to get out of sticky situations. The previous mêlée mechanic is fine. It works perfectly and has no problems in the execution itself, but it feels lacking. Being able to do nothing but punch feels a bit underwhelming despite Drake’s over-the-top finishers. Adding at least one more button to create more combinations would be welcomed. To solve the controller real estate problems I would suggest something simple like holding one or two triggers to switch Drake to “mêlée mode”. I’m not a game designer however and I’m sure a more elegant solution could be devised.
3. Is He Dead Yet?
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, and to some degree Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, was criticized for having enemies that could somehow take buckets of bullets and yet seemingly walk it off and keep attacking you. I found the first game had this problem much worse than the second, but still present in both. Units such as bosses and other special units should take more than several shots to kill, but normal “grunts” can take a pounding much harder that the thin vests they wear should allow. Also, if this advice is taken, hopefully those bosses and special units will have some explanation or equipment visible that would explain their unusual endurance.
Free-running, the gameplay element to lose its novelty the fastest, is also an important part in Uncharted. It provides the adventure in the game’s action/adventure style. Though the free-running is sound and the places you are supposed to jump on are possible jumps, there are many areas that trick you. Some ledges and cliffs look like they are grabbable, but you could jump at them all day and will gain no success. I don’t think it would be in Naughty Dog’s best interest to allow ever edge to be grabbable because that would just lead to more confusion. Making certain spots look less like a possible destination would be the simplest of fixes and be fine with me.
5. Make George Lucas Envious
Games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have explosive single player due to the awe inspiring set pieces that turn any and all heads to attention. Uncharted 2 had some fairly amazing set pieces itself, I still think of the insane crumbling bridge moment, but not enough. I liked the pacing in the game that allowed you to turn the theoretical knob from 11 back to 6 every once in a while, but why stop at 11? Uncharted 3 should have huge set pieces at a much more generous rate while still having them blend with the story. A climax is still needed in order to make the game flow properly and they shouldn’t saturate it with arcs of flame. Still though, I like explosions.
6. Mix it up!
Remember that one enemy with bullet-proof vest? Oh, and that other guy with the bullet-proof vest? Oh, and…The point is, Uncharted 2 didn’t have much in the aspect of enemy variety. When I remember shooting at something I always think of the brown haired fellow with the gray attire and gray bullet-proof vest. Uncharted 3 should really try to minimize this recycling of units over and over again. I know that a mercenary group would have some sort of coherency, but that is a bad excuse for lacking in some extra character models. Even if they were slightly different I’d be happy, no big differences required. Maybe that one guy can have brown pants instead of gray? Just mix it up a bit.
8. On a Personal Note…
I like to add one “wish” at the end that is on more of a personal note than the others. For Uncharted 3, my personal “wish” is to have some sort of local multiplayer. I am a fan of online games, sure, I’ve fallen in the addiction that is Call of Duty, but I still value split screen much higher. It’s not as much as which mode is more fun, in reference to online versus local, but for situations. You can bet if a game has any sort of multiplayer, it will include an online mode, so that is a given. If your friends come over however, online isn’t much good. I’m always an advocate of local multiplayer and although it probably won’t happen, I’d be a very happy man. Expect this to be the ending to any future wish lists I may write.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is sure to be a smash hit. I know I for one am extremely excited for this game, and with other titles such as Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Resistance 3 relatively close to the release of Uncharted 3, it will be difficult to find time to do anything but gaming. Just like every other day.
What are your wishes for Uncharted 3? Any frustrations with the previous two installments? Can Naughty Dog pull off another Game of the Year?