I don't get the praise for the Uncharted-series, brought to mind by just finishing Uncharted 3. Great as they are for the moments of jawdropping actionsequences, they fail equally hard to be good games.
As experiences, they are awesome. They have some good moments, some great moments and a couple of "god damn it this is just so f'ing awesome"-moments I can't recall finidng in other games. The characters are good, allthough I find Drake himself to be a bit flat I really like Sullivan and the chemistry between the two. Elena Fisher and Chloe Frazer are more "traditional" characters with more standard roles and could have been used more, differently and more fleshed out in general
The shooting is sub-par. It's even below sub-par. Try comparing Gears of War to Uncharted - they aren't that different, they focus on fast paced shooting, moving around and taking cover. But where a normal game makes weapons fire seemingly real bullets, the triology with Nathan Drake puts peas in their weaponry. Going from Dead Space 1 or 2 into the Uncharted-games is another way of showing how not so great the series handles the shooting. Albeit the Dead Space-games focus more "in your face"-shooting and not so much taking cover behind corners, it's still third person over the shoulder camera-shooting.
The guns of Uncharted 3 felt really good, looked good and had a nice sound (just the the previous two games) - sadly, using them felt like farting in the general direction of the enemies (again, same as the two earlier titles). Sadly, shooting is becoming more and more important the higher the number on the cover, on the cost of good old fashioned problemsolving.
Melee combat also falls flat,in the lates innstalment of Uncharted it feels like unscripted quick time events with stiff animations and magnets on everyragdoll to make the action fit the picture in the game. As for stealth, it just feels off and fails to do anything but frustrate me, and gives me the impression of being an elephant in a porcelainshop.
Where's the balance between fighting, thinking and storytelling?
The enemies are a different thing. Whilst Uncharted 3 had more variation of people, they were still brothers of that red haired guy in the grey overalls in Uncharted 2.
The AI is really bad - in Uncharted 3, they were commiting suicide with their own grenades, they ran around like headless chicken or they had such great belief in their own skills of running right at me, possibly formed from their blind faith in their pea-resistant armor?
I do know they drop their nades when I shoot them (a nice little detail), I'm not talking about that.I'm talking of people blatantly throwing their explosive pineapples into the wall they stand behind, the back of the guy in front of them or just dropping it two feet ahead of themselves.
And what happens to a grenade when you miss the spot on throwing it back? Does it glue it self to the ground or what? The mechanic of throwing back the grenade is a nice little addition to the shooting giving it a more tactical feeling (and also works as a great way to get grenades when you don't have any yourself), but it falls flat when it for some reason only works if you hit triangle at the right time. It doesn't even make sense since it's possible to throw the grenade back at the time it blows up, since it depends on where you press and where the little area displaying the timing is.
All in all, as stated, I like the games. They are fresh, coloufull with high quality in most areas like voice, looks and sound, but it falls flat on the gaming-side of things, wich leaves me with this question:
How can these games get so high reviewscores mostly all over the board?