I wanted to like it more
Uncharted looks great, there is no denying that. The story is also decent, and the gun play is functional, so why don't i like it more?
Uncharted, for those who don't know, is Gears of War meets Tomb Raider meets Indiana Jones. The influence from Indiana Jones is in the story, and that bit is really well told. Nathan Drake is a great action hero and Nolan North really brings him to life. I also ended up actually liking the obligatory love interest and the villains are suitably evil. There is one late game plot twist that I felt was pretty bad but otherwise it's a great story.
Tomb Raider supplies the platforming, I have no real complaints here. It's reasonable forgiving and flows well, i only ran into problems a few times. Actually I have one complaint, the environments are beautiful but they are also very busy and occasionally I found my self trying to grab something that apparently wasn't a ledge. This is a minor issue and if you chose to play this game it will not hinder your enjoyment of it.
Speaking of the environments, it's worth mentioning again how good they look. This game has a lot of greenery and it all looks very alive. The ruins and temples you go to also look great, they look like actual ruins and not like jumping puzzles. There is also the water effect which are possibly the best I've ever seen. The water flows realistically and when Drake dive in it his clothing actually gets wet.
The animation is also excellent. Drake has this habit of waving the arms in the air when he jumps and seems almost relieved when he lands. These animations manage to somehow enhance Drake's character. Everyone else is pretty decent too, it's obvious that a lot of effort went into this game
Sadly however the combat is what drags the game down. It' s standard gears of war style shooting and seems functional enough. The problem is the game balancing, this game is hard and not in the fun way. Enemies take about half a clip in the body to die and most take about two or three shots in the head. It doesn't help that the enemy ai is actually pretty good, it take cover regularly, will attempt to flank you and can aim at superhuman levels. They also come in multiple waves, do not run out of ammo, and a swear the regenerate faster than i do. Drake is very weak by comparison. There are also a lot of instant kills. Getting hit with a grenade launcher the second you turn the corner is not fun. I've never played beyond normal and had to turn it down to easy in order to finish the second half of the game, god knows what crushing is like. I'm all for a good challenge but this was just frustrating.
As far as replay value goes, there are rewards, collectibles and trophies, but i don't think I'll ever play it ever again.
I did get into the story enough to finish it, that might mean something, but with the frustrating combat and the fact that uncharted 2 answers all of my complaints (if the beta is anything to go by) make this game difficult to suggest.