Why Does Uncharted 2 Have to Be... So Lame?
First off, that title is only there to get all of you Uncharted 2 fan boys interested. Right off the bat, I loved Uncharted 2. Thoroughly enjoyed it. A gift to my eyes, ears – and skin in some cases (I’d sweat profusely during the difficult bits). However there’s just one thing which bugged me, and that has bugged me since the day I completed the little gem… so many moons ago…
Why is it so generic? The gameplay and visuals are perfect; I genuinely cannot find a single fault in that department. Where I feel let down is in the narrative. Sure – it’s Uncharted, the genre is that of action adventure! The exact point is the fact that you play as Nate-Dawg, running around exploring and solving mysteries in foreign locations! But why? Why can’t developers recreate games like this… that are original?
It’s fair to say we all loved Indiana Jones, and when it comes to nerdy, socially-inept, spunk-filled teenage boys – Tomb Raider was a sparkling diamond in the rough. Naughty Dog whipped all these ingredients up and served, nice and hot, audiences the crème de la crème of video game goodness on a plate! But as I ventured through the strange lands of Tibet and Shambahla, I felt myself thinking ‘God… the storyline for this is pretty crummy isn’t it?’ I say crummy to be polite, what I actually mean is ‘God… the storyline for this is frakking crap isn’t it?’
The ending – OH THE ENDING! After experiencing hours of innovative, accurate and wonderful gameplay – I come to the ending expecting a world of love and satisfaction. That’s not such a tall order is it fellow readers? I mean – the game has surpassed any of my expectations up to this point! But as I watch Nate fight the enemies for one last time, in the sort of binary-oppositional, good guy vs. bad guy routine, I start to see just how plain this game is underneath.
No game is perfect. We let titles such as COD 4 get away with “unfair killing and glitching” online, and football games passing to the wrong player in key moments. We appreciate the efforts of the developer, and as nations we settle for what we consider strong attempts at defining, or refining a genre. At heart, BioShock (and sorry that I always refer to this, but you must know it is my one true love) is like your every other shoot-em’-up. Lovely on the eyes and good on the guns. Sorted. But what really separates BioShock from every other shooter is the fact that there is a story! Not just any old story either – but a genuinely emotional, engrossing and intelligent story that you as a player feel extremely responsible for completing. Would it have been half the success it was if it had a generic story? Balls would it!! Reviewers would just state “Trying too hard to be an artsy/horror Call of duty”. And what would you be able to do but agree with them? So here we have an interesting situation. Is Uncharted 2 the opposite of this? Yes, it’s got the lovely visuals, good on the guns and gameplay – but has it no story?
The dialogue is witty, intelligent and thoughtfully considered, however you’d be naive to say that the story is stupendous! It’s just like every other artefact-based adventure game. No amount of clever one liners or lovely character development can hide that. You’re playing it for the characters and for the gameplay, and with all these review companies circulating, allowing the game to jizz all over their faces, I realize that there is no focus on the narrative anymore. They let that fly out the window due to the stellar characters, controls and set pieces.
Guys, I don’t know about you, but to me – without an innovative story, it can only ever be half brilliant. A lovely looking pie with no filling. A secure shell with no substance. Uncharted 2, sadly, is only half brilliant.
Thanks for reading.