I guess I really enjoyed it. And given that Uncharted is a linear, hold-your-hand kind of game, doing a five hour jag with it on the very first boot-up is a compliment.
I know this game is a year old now, but it's new to me so I'm going to talk about it. Couple really nice things to mention.
The game is super-smart about checkpoints. Only in a few areas did I feel it was setting me back just a little too far after dying. Most times the auto-checkpoint was literally only a few feet behind me.
There's a concerted effort to avoid HUD clutter, thanks to the "life meter" manifesting as a black-and-white screen filter. As you take damage, things start going noir, which is pretty cool. And to heal back up, you just need to go hide for a bit. No herbs or medipacks.
For most of the game, it feels like a real world adventure. Like, this could actually happen. In other worlds, you aren't jumped by mythical eight foot spiders as soon as you set foot in the abandoned Aztec temple. And even though Uncharted takes place in a jungle, there are no long lost dinosaurs.
ALTHOUGH: notice I said "most" of the game. There is a stupid twist near the end that introduces a fantastical element, and I will never forgive the game for doing that. I was really digging the Discovery Channel show vibe up until that point. So guess what this means for Uncharted 2: eight foot spiders and long lost dinosaurs.
A reasonably non-predictable plot. Yeah, I called some of the bits early on: Friend Dies. Then Friend Is Not Dead. Girl Loses Precious Item. But the game does manage to avoid the other genre tropes I was expecting. For example, Not-Dead Friend Betrays You, Girl Finds Lost Precious Item, and Bad Guy Becomes All-Powerful Mummy Monster For Boss Fight Purposes Only. Nice work, guys.
Some of the best facial animation ever. Whoa. There are moments where the actual face animation is so good, that the overbaked script can drop a line or two because the expressions say it all. Like, lead character Drake does the "don't look at me" face in response to a question from one of the other characters. In a lesser-directed game, the character would squinch his mouth and say "Don't look at me!" Happily, all cutscenes can be replayed later.
And you'll never believe this... but you can also re-play specific chapters of the game. Hey Grand Theft Auto, take a note.
There's also a wealth of bonus material. Making-of videos, production art, silly junk, etc. I love that stuff. Makes a game classy.
For me, the worst bit was the relentless linear path. It just gets stupid. Hey, how can I get inside this ancient mossy gray castle? I know, I'll use the only white bricks as a ladder. Everything in the Uncharted world, from underground temples to flooded city streets, exists only to provide a logical line for Drake to follow. It's the most convenient catacomb system the Aztecs ever designed.
Oh, and Sir Francis Drake's corpse has really great hair for being dead for four hundred years.
I was a big Tomb Raider fan back in the PS1 days, and obviously Uncharted is the modern, non-sucky version. (Although I hear Lara has been getting back into form lately.) So it was cool to have that experience again, even if you feel like you're being led around by the nose the entire time. It's short enough that I wouldn't mind doing it again. Or even watching a pal play through it on some future weekend gaming visit.
Uncharted: $30 at Target, red-tagged on one of their random electronics endcaps. Right alongside EA's Facebreaker, which I believe is already down to under $15. Duh-whoops.