Sunday, November 25, 2007

UDF #2

I just finished a fairly long section of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. I'm more impressed than ever before.

- The animation really is top-notch.
- The next Tomb Raider team better be taking some good notes. Drake is smoother than Lara in her last two games, and he's doing many of the same moves.
- As a side note, Drake is scripted kind of like Lara, but so far I haven't feel constrained by it. That is, I haven't found a situation where I wanted to do something natural and the scripting (i.e. magic) kept me from doing it. I think this really is a bit closer to the simulation than Tomb Raider Legend and Anniversary were.
- Game starts with gunplay, but then I played for probably a good hour without a single shot being necessary (except one or two places where you can use it for a puzzle). Lots of exploring.
- I can't tell if I think the little hidden treasures along the way are a bad idea or not. It does take me out of character because I don't press ahead with the story's implied urgency...instead I loiter around and look for special stuff. I think I'm going to stop doing that and enjoy the story.
- Speaking of the story, it's great. And the dialogue and characters are entertaining.

"I'm in the captain's quarters [in a ruined ship]. And the captain's still here."
"What does that mean?"
"He's dead. And it looks like he was ripped to shreds. A bad way to go."
"That's too bad. [brief pause] Check his wallet!"

- Got a bit of the ol' Tomb Raider vertigo while playing. Very happy.
- Playing the demo made me a good combatant in the game. I'm suspicious that I'd've not liked the game so much had I not practiced so much on the demo. (I beat it four times, twice on hard.)
- That said, once you get the gunplay down, it really does become quite enjoyable. You think about where and how you're going to use cover, reloading on the run to save time, switching between your two weapons (nice can only take your pistol and one of shotgun or AK-47) as the situation warrants. No other 3D third-person action game with guns has been this fun for me. (God of War is great, but doesn't use guns.)

Feeling like GOTY. We'll see if it keeps up.

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