Friday, 9 March 2012

Drake Escape

Uncharted 2 is finished - well, I might do a little more trophy whoring, there are a few more easy ones I can get just by shooting a few things with different guns. What do you mean I'm shallow? Anyway, I enjoyed it all the way until the end...where it all went a bit wrong. It seems to be a bit of a common theme amongst developers; have the whole game play one way and then change it at the end to something completely different and annoying. And it wasn't even the final boss battle here - big bad guy went down in a few tries without too much pain, but then it was time for the cinematic "escape from the collapsing building" moment...every game/film has to have one. It's just running along a bridge jumping over gaps, it can't be that bad, right? Right?

Wrong. Whereas the game so far has all been about control, looking for pathways and following them, this last section is all about blind panic - no great problem there, we're running away from a collapsing building, of course there's going to be some blind panic - but the big problem here is that the control lets us down. It's only running along a straight section of bridge, but the jumping mechanic flies out the window (that sounds like Mario's garage-based brother leaving an aeroplane, but you know what I mean!). All of a sudden, jumps that would have been easy normally become ridiculous as you press forward and jump and Drake flies off 10 meters to the side and drops to his death...again. I guess some of this might be to do with the 'dramatic' camera angles that switch from behind the character to in front of him, but still it's inexcusable. I've just killed the bad guy and saved the world, don't make me die 25 times and throw the controller in frustration because I can't make a seemingly simple jump on my way home. What you probably can't see in the image here is Drake tumbling down into the abyss and me screaming on the sofa. I guess I should be thankful for the checkpoint saves here, though. A few years ago dying at a point like that would have meant being forced to do the level and the boss fight all over again, and that would have really driven me mad. Small mercies and all that.

So, next game up on the randometer is....CyClones - a first-person shooter made by SSI (them who used to have the D&D license and made all the great gold box games). Looks like it's running on Doom age tech and should be a fun little blast. Current count is 185 completed out of 2957, or 6%...still a long way to go.


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