I mentioned Simon Parkin’s “savage” and “carnivorous” Uncharted 3 review in my last post, and having several hours of the game now under my belt, I suspect it is only a kind of tactical diplomacy that kept it at eight of ten. This will be the installment where the shine comes off for many people, but for me, the inverse is true: I am wondering if the game is entirely comprised of shine.
Does it help that this game has the best shine in the business? I think so. It’s got mad vistas up in. It has the most memorable characters and dialogue of this generation. It also has platforming that is largely autopilot whenever it isn’t killing you for no discernible reason, and gunplay that entirely forgets the second syllable of the word. But what’s the alternative - not experiencing the rest of it? They’ve carved out their Dragon’s Lair 2012 niche, and they will own it forever. The second game had tremendous heart: the texture and tone of its Nepal is something I’ll remember in thirty years. It’s more Uncharted, true, but it’s also less. And that’s okay to say.
It also has incredibly stupid enemies. I don’t mean stupid in an AI way, they’re fine. I mean in a narrative sense they’re completely insane. I can (and have) come up with a reason why they act like this, because you sort of have to. But WOW.
I can tell you one of my favorite things about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword without spoiling the game one whit, which is nice. Are you ready?
Playing the game, you start to wonder how long they’ve been prototyping some of these motions. Did they have these interactions modelled already, but lacked a controller of the necessary resolution? Even individual enemies become tiny puzzles to be sussed out, creating that squirt of “I AM CLEVER” brain juice that invariably leads to a bumping of fists.
Here’s the thing I was talking about before, the cool thing. So, Link doesn’t have a default arm position when he’s holding his sword: there isn’t one in his animation. He is holding the sword whatever way you are holding the Wiimote, which you might not realize at first. What this meant was that, walking through a dark cave, Gabriel was holding his sword out in front of him - just as a scared young man might do, but he was doing it because the controller was being held out in front, at the ready! Later, it’s a tool of expression: we like to hold the sword behind us at an angle, to give it that yojimbo flair. You will decide how you like yours, also; I thought you might like to know.