In which I discuss the Eurogamer review “controversy” and also mention the hamster in Maniac Mansion.
Does the fact that a game isn’t your kind of game, or the kind of game you expect, make it worthy of criticism? And how valid is that criticism, if so?
That seems to be at the heart of a recent review of Uncharted 3 over at Eurogamer. I’m sure you’ve read it. If not, give it a quick once-over. I’ll wait.
Welcome back. Now, while the reviewer makes some valid points, much of what he seems to be criticizing is Uncharted 3′s failure to be a different type of game altogether.
Uncharted 3 isn’t an open world game with tons of freedom. What it is, on the other hand, is a heavily cinematic, fast-paced, Hollywood-style romp. I’m sure you’ll get no argument there from the
But does this make it less of a game? That is to say, is it an 8/10 game?
Let me play a bit of devil’s advocate before I tell you what I believe. Think back, if you will, to a title that’s still near and dear to many today: Full Throttle.
A classic. Arguably a masterpiece (I’d certainly say so.) And yet… how much freedom did Full Throttle allow?
Not much. The game essentially forced you into a set series of static screens that you had to defeat so that you might proceed. Logic didn’t always enter into it. (Brute forcing — waving your cursor and ever item in your inventory over every inch of on-screen real estate –frequently did.) Navigation options were highly locked in; there was no deviating from the road or from the few possible paths the developers mapped out of each screen. In short, Full Throttle essentially funneled players into a straightforward adventure where they had little choice.
Yet we call Full Throttle a masterpiece — and rightly so. But clearly, not for the level of user freedom it allows.