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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some minor plot and location spoilers for Uncharted 3

Butch:

Well, the wrists cooperated so I got some in, until they didn’t and I stopped.

Caught Talbot, got abducted, talked to the pirate that I think I was supposed to recognize but didn’t (who IS that guy? Is he from a different game?), dudes were fought, and did the rusted ship level up to where I got to the tower and had to zipline, tried to zipline, realized I was tired, stopped.

Not much story, besides us seeing he still does care for Sully.

But I kinda loved the ship level. Adding water was such a cool touch. I mean, first all that water, then all that hanging in cover….really well done.

Feminina:

Yeah, I don’t know who that pirate guy is. He definitely had a sort of “haha, at last I have you in my clutches!” thing going on, and I was just like “…hi? You seem cheerful?”

He’s probably like Nick Valentine, and Drake is Eddie Winter, who killed his pirate fiancee years ago and then forgot all about it. Jerk. (Drake would totally have done that, too, only probably with even LESS thought than Eddie Winter, since Eddie Winter did intentionally kill Nick’s fiancee, and Drake probably didn’t even notice another person in the wave-after-wave of people trying to shoot him. Although to be fair, the pirate’s fiancee would have been trying to kill Drake, since as far as we know Drake doesn’t kill civilians–the only reason he can sleep at night, I expect–and Nick’s fiancee was presumably innocent.)

I loved that level too! That vast ship graveyard with all those rusting hulks…it was visually amazing as well as being fantastic for the climbing and ducking underwater and all that.

I like the next big location coming up, too. Great environment design.

Butch:

He used a name, though! It was like “Francesco” or something. He said “It’s me! Francesco or something!” like we were supposed to get that. I didn’t get it.

Yeah, good level. You know, one knock I’ve heard on this game was that it didn’t really cohere as a game. It was disjointed, a series of levels that might be good on their own, but that didn’t fit. And I’ve been nervy about that twice: Once when they were all “One’s in France, One’s in Syria,” cuz, uh oh, I expected, like, Versailles followed by Petra, and again when I came out and saw all those boats. Drake and I both said “Where am I?” at the same time. Like, boats? I was downtown and now boats?

But, that said, then the levels were cool and I didn’t mind. France and Syria weren’t jarringly different, and the ship level fit (even though I still don’t know how we got there).

Yes, this game does have more than its share of convenient conveniences, even more than the first two, which had their share. Stumbling on the well, Elena being in Yemen, etc. And yes, there is a large degree of asking the game “And we’re here doing this because….why?” and the game saying “Because….um…..well…..isn’t this level cool?” And if the levels were LESS cool I might not be as forgiving, but DAMN this level was cool.

Would this next location you like be the cruise ship? Or is that shorter?

Feminina:

Yeah, the cruise ship…they do some fun stuff with the cruise ship. I guess I can see the complaint, It does jump around a hell of a lot. But all the places it jumps to ARE pretty cool! Maybe it’s a series of set pieces, but they’re good set pieces!

Butch:

I don’t really mind. I actually sort of prefer this to the same, or similar, environments over and over and over. Got tired of snow in 2. And 1 was pretty much the same until you were underground, and then you were underground.

Plus, this mixed up the gameplay with the water and the climbing, but did something rare: Made a lot of it optional. If I had HAD to do a lot of diving and swimming and looking and all, fuck that. I hate swimming. But to be able to use the mechanic how and when you wanted, or even not at all because there was lots of cover and such, THAT was a neat trick. There were a million ways to approach that level, and, in a linear game, that’s rare and awesome.

Feminina:

I agree, the ship graveyard felt very open and flexible–dive underwater! Or climb all over! Off just stay near flat surfaces! Whatever you want!

And the jumping from place to place didn’t bother me, though as you say there was occasionally this feeling of “OK, so what are w doing here again?”

It did also sometimes feel maybe more like a goofy scavenger hunt than the first two, which were slightly more geographically consistent: it was very much “find puzzle that leads you to next place, find puzzle there that leads you to next place,” and maybe the fact that the next place is halfway around the world rather than, I don’t know, further up the same mountain, kind of underscores the implausibility of someone having managed to set up such a vast worldwide series of clues and then none of them having been buried by earthquakes or something in the intervening years.

Not that this is the sort of thing that should bother us.

Butch:

Sometimes, maybe oftentimes, great level design isn’t just what the game does, or what it makes you do. It’s giving you options.

Though let’s not touch that a lovely cruise ship seems to be docked next to something out of an end of the world movie. That would certainly harsh my enthusiasm for a cruise.

Are you pulling strings? ARE YOU?

Feminina:

Well, you know…it’s like those “ghost tours” of old cities. A “ghost cruise”! Obviously it would swing by a ship graveyard.

Or else pirate Francesco-or-whatever pulled off a SPECTACULAR grab and took over the entire cruise ship, then successfully hid it in the middle of a ship graveyard. It could happen. Remember the Achille Lauro?

And then he set aside a lot of time to grab Drake and take him there. As one would.

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