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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some plot spoilers for Uncharted 3; numerous speculative assertions about villainous financing

Butch:

Had one of those sessions where I played what felt like a ton and it was 2%.

Had the big sorta sneaky (in that I killed, like, four dudes stealthily and then got seen) fight, found the storeroom (that made me chuckle) “Maybe it wasn’t a storeroom 1000 years ago….”, did the thing with the scope, did the NEXT fight, did the cutscene with Cutter, opened the door, I’m holding a torch.

So that thing with Cutter…..

Yeah…..that…..

I’m….not sure how I feel about that. I mean, yeah. That was certainly the first prospector moment for sure. Mystical mind shit, he sorta disappeared, etc. But….it was from a bad guy. Or a main henchman of same. No zombie, no yeti. I mean, ok, nice change. We’ve already done the “Eurobaddie isn’t REALLY the baddie cuz zombies/yetis.” Indeed, we’ve done that twice. But….hmm. I mean, I did speculate that Evil Helen Mirren is really old. But…this…. I dunno. This felt weird. And I mean weird in the sense of awkward narrative, not just “weird mind shit.”

I’ll give it a chance, but right now it’s leaving a funny taste behind.

Feminina:

Yeah, I played for a good while last night but mostly it was just climbing rocks. Which is good fun, don’t get me wrong, but the story did not particularly advance.

Ah, the mind control. Mind control is an interesting issue in this one. And as you say, no yeti or zombies, just–apparently–a guy with a drugged dart. A guy working with a centuries old royal order, yes, but still a guy.

Is this a shift towards a more ‘mature’ perspective (bad stuff is mostly normal people, there’s going to be a rational explanation) as Drake himself gets older? Zombies and yeti are kid stuff…true evil is just people acting like jerks?

Butch:

Well, that’s fine that you’re just climbing rocks, as I’m not even at 50%….of the THIRD game. So take your time.

Yeah, but now I’m doubting if Talbot’s really just a guy. I mean, weird as all that was, he, seemingly, disappeared. So he’s either super wacky stealthy, or something’s up.

You know, one string that you hate me pulling that I wonder if it’ll be explained: These dudes have been around for centuries, yes? They know all sorts of shit, yes? They have a damn army, yes? So why didn’t they a) find Nathan sooner and b) just take the damn ring? Why the whole money thing, why so easily conned? Etc. Pull pull pull.

Perhaps it’s moving to a more naturalistic explanation…..if this is JUST a person acting like a jerk, of which I am not convinced at all.

Feminina:

Yeah, you should just leave the bit about why they didn’t find him and take the ring earlier alone. No narrative good will be served by asking.

They didn’t because…um…they were very busy with other important projects! This is the first time Evil Helen Mirren had room on her busy Calendar of Dastardliness.

You have no idea how hard it is to schedule a big meeting with your stealthy henchman, recruit an army of indistinguishable non-bleeding dudes, and get management’s buy-in all in the same fiscal year. And if you don’t get it all on the same budget line…let’s not even go there.

But more seriously, they arguably didn’t actually know Drake had the ring. They knew some kid ran off with it, but they didn’t know his name. Maybe the first they’re hearing of the ring since it disappeared is him offering to sell it.

This kind of falls apart because they somehow didn’t connect Sully, who they did know, and this random kid he started hanging out with, but maybe the two of them lay low for a few years…avoiding attention, doing small non-mysterious jobs in boring locations…I dunno, man, that’s the best I can do.

So stop pulling threads!

Butch:

But….but…..that’s what we do! We analyze! Criticize! YEARS (well, two, anyway, that’s enough for the plural) we’ve been doing this!

Now that you mention it, that library did have a ton of stuff. They’ve been busy. Probably, 20 years ago in Columbia, she was like “Ah, shit. Next week’s that meeting about Atlantis, then there’s the whole Bermuda Triangle thing, I’m already three months late in submitting my budget for the Loch Ness Monster project… when am I free…hmm…TWENTY YEARS? Shit.”

Budgets–I know, right? I mean, federal funding’s been drying up for the last few centuries. Used to be, grants were simple. 972 helicopters and a train? SURE! Now it’s all “Do you really need body armor? I mean, you’re already spending money on suits…do you need both? Can you go with Paras instead of Mags? Maybe cut the AK budget by 27%?” I mean, shit. They can’t even get working radios! Nothing but static and dying batteries. I mean, last night, they only said “Find him!” Then switched off for a while, saved juice, waited a few minutes and said it again. Can’t even replace the radio charger that Kevin lost a few weeks ago. At least I think it was Kevin. They all look so similar……

And now that you mention it…..how did that sale of the ring even happen? I mean, DID Drake put an ad out? One oldassed mystical ring? In order to draw them out? Doubt it, as he didn’t seem to know who they were (at least not really). But he said “They took the bait.” Was it a con? Was it on Craigslist?

I WILL NOT STOP PULLING!

Feminina:

You’re right. If we don’t pull threads, who are we?

No one I want to know. I take back my protest.

Not knowing who lost the charger is a big downside of intentionally recruiting indistinguishable dudes and then dressing them all alike.

But as you say, in the old days it didn’t matter. Secret Order budgets were flush! We could just replace the charger! I’m telling you, the current government has really been rough on our secret programs.

Butch:

We gotta be true to ourselves, dude. Even if it means harshing on a game we like. Has to be.

It is a downside of identical dudes. Every single time Evil Helen Mirren is all “Ok, who left the seat up?” 100 dudes all just point at each other.

No one ever gets the blame.

As for cuts, well, when the El Dorado thing and the Shambala thing didn’t pan out, sacrifices had to be made.

Feminina:

It’s true we haven’t had a lot of dramatic successes lately, but Secret Ordering is a long game! You have to fund a lot of exploratory projects that don’t immediately pay off, knowing that these add to our store of knowledge and the EVENTUAL ability to control the world or whatever it is we’re trying to do.

Damn bureaucrats don’t understand this, always trying to make everything contribute to the bottom line. All “treasure and mind control NOW!” No sense of the value of a long term search for glory and power. Bah.

Butch:

That and you have to waste so much time just doing the stuff to GET the grants in the first place. I mean, old maps? Treasures are gone. Zombie bodies? So two games ago. But, of course, the paperwork is ALWAYS how many maps do you have? Have you managed to obtain zombie bodies? They’re SO living in the past! Who cares about zombie bodies by the third game? No one! So here we are. In suits. With pistols. And nary a helicopter to be found.

Feminina:

And then they have the gall to complain that we don’t get more done.

Maybe we would have gotten to Shambala before Lazaravic if you’d given us some damn helicopters! We can only accomplish so much with stealth and mind control darts, you know.

I swear, Evil Helen Mirren is just counting the days until retirement at this point. Sure, she’s trying to beat Drake to this mysterious thing here, but is her heart really in it? I think not.

In the old days she’d have been right there shooting mind control darts herself, but now she’s got so many reports to do, she had to hand it off to Talbot. Another hard working evil mastermind reduced to paper pushing.

Butch:

I did play another two whole percent just now. Busy this morning, and the damn Lyme seems to want to make a comeback.

Told you that Talbot was weird.

I’m about to drag Cutter through bad things. Don’t know why. Didn’t end well for the cameraman.

Didn’t do well with the spider room. Found the glove puzzle cumbersome. Too tired for this.

Feminina:

Oh man, come ON Lyme. This is no way to face rooms full of spiders!

I do think it’s interesting how they’re perhaps playing on our memory of things that happened in the last game: we lugged Jeff the cameraman all over creation and look what happened to him!

Or maybe that’s less intentional, given that most people probably didn’t play these games two days apart. Anyway, yeah, the return of the spiders was not terribly welcome (and what’s the deal with those spiders, anyway? Did Francis Drake introduce the species everywhere he went or something? Those are not normal spiders, and even if they were, you would not probably expect to find them in two such different environments as France and Syria. Talbot isn’t the first sign of the prospector in a sheet, the spiders are!).

And that ominous exchange between Sully and Charlie: “you wouldn’t really have shot me?”

“Like a rabid dog.”

Which, well, Charlie was killing Drake. But then, he didn’t mean it in his right mind, so did Sully saying that create the betrayal they’re afraid of by making Charlie think they don’t care about him?

Awkward.

Butch:

This is no way to to anything. I keep thinking I have it beat, or I am, at the very least, making headway, and then I’m not. Today: All I needed to do was a) go to Wegmans (A big store, yes, but hardly a workout), b) get Baby McP a haircut and c) get Butch Jr. a present to bring to a bday party tomorrow. That’s it. I did these things, and I put the groceries away, even, and I could go to bed. Somewhere between the dairy section and the deli I had to actually sit down.

And what’s really shitty is I felt pretty good this morning. I felt like I had this. I felt I could do all this and more and nope. One of those teases where you think you’re healthy.

I know, though! I don’t want to lug Cutter!

Now that you mention it, the spiders are the first prospector appearance. Especially as the first time we see them, Talbot’s there, and HE was wierded out. It certainly wasn’t a wicked witch “get him my pretties” moment. He had no idea WHAT those things were (besides, I mean, really gross spiders).

It was an awkward moment there when Cutter was strangling Drake. And it underscored a) Sully’s loyalty to Drake and b) no one’s loyalty to anyone else. Or maybe not even Sully’s. I mean, these are ALL not nice people. They’re thieves and killers. All of them. You get a sense that, ok, sure, they like each other. Sully and Drake are buddies, sure. Drake and Chloe are/were sleeping together. But they’re also using each other, too. No doubt “use” will trump “like” between Sully and everyone but Drake, but I STILL doubt that Drake’s immune. Or Sully will be from Drake.

Hey, I thought Sully WAS gonna shoot him.

Feminina:

Damn, man. That’s only a few steps from debilitated. I am seriously never setting foot in the underbrush again. Stupid ticks.

Yeah, the spiders clearly don’t work for anyone, except perhaps the mystical spider-wrangling people who originally hid these clues to the location of Atlantis of the Sands. Which presumably was not ALL Francis Drake. I mean, he didn’t build all these puzzles himself.

Butch:

Dude, seriously. Avoid the brush. This is bad. I am not enjoying this. Now my joints hurt. Especially my knees. Guess I don’t need those to play, though.

You know, I wonder what happened to all those treasure people. You think that there are some people today who are out there training spiders and hiding shit behind rather easy yet expensive looking puzzles? I mean, what are gamers 200 years from now to do?

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