Tag Archive: Puzzle-Platformer


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My Darksiders hype train keeps on a-rollin’ with this new dev diary from Joe Madureira the creative director at Vigil Games. Lots of badass content here to get you excited about the game as well shows just how large and epic the game is.

I actually just pre-ordered Darksiders and can’t wait to get my hands on it. Look out for a review of it hopefully as well. Are you guys hyped about Darksiders?

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Systems – PS3

Publisher – Sony Computer Entertainment

Developer – Naughty Dog

Genre – Action/Adventure

I never really got aboard the hype train for Uncharted 2 when it was announced. Even when I played the game at PAX I was even more confused at why people were so hyped up about the game. I really enjoyed the first Uncharted but never really thought it would become the large, much beloved franchise it has turned into. After playing this game I can understand the hype better, yet I believe it’s not quite as good as people claim.

As soon as the game kicks off you know what it is, the action movie equivalent of video games. It’s mostly about the flash and bang with loads of high-octane combat and amazing set-pieces. But as soon as the game goes for a long pause you realize what it really is. Pretty silly and dumb.

In the beginning of Uncharted 2 you find a mortally wounded Nathan Drake hanging off a train suspended over a precipice. And as you make your way back to safety the game utilizes flashbacks to show you what happened to Drake and how he got into this dire situation. It’s a fantastic way of kicking off a game and really keeps you pressing on to find out what happened, but in the end it comes off as anticlimactic as you find out what happened to Drake and the cheap copout Naughty Dog pulls.
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And that’s mostly the theme you’ll be dealing with throughout Uncharted 2, from amazing moving set-pieces to highly intense ‘boss’ fights with helicopters and tanks. And then when the game takes pause to tell the story or to throw some puzzles at you, you’ll be in a downer until you get back into the next shooty-bang section.

Concerning the story, there seems to be something missing from it. In Uncharted 2 you get caught up in an adventure concerning Marco Polo and his lost ships that seems like something ripped out a potential Indiana Jones movie. But ultimately the story seems almost aimless most of the time compared to the determination and focus of the first game. For most of the game you’ll be wondering who you’re chasing after, and if Marco Polo’s mysteries even matter anymore.

Comparing this game to its predecessor again the characters seem to be more tired and worn-out this time and much less interesting. Drake is less entertaining and funny, the romantic relationship between him and new female character Chole seems awkward and unbelievable, and there’s a lot less interesting banter between characters this time. Compared to the last game which was filled with a compelling adventure and likable and fun characters, this game just doesn’t have any of that.

Also the first game had way more puzzles than the second game, which would’ve been forgiven if the puzzles were interesting and entertaining, but Uncharted 2 keeps the first games old sin of just outright telling you how to solve the puzzle. When you approach a puzzle Drake will say “HEY, I’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE!!11one!” and the game will flash a journal icon telling you to open it, which then tells you exactly how to solve the puzzle before you. It seems like Naughty Dog can’t design smart puzzles because they have to come outright and tell you how to solve them.

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One of the most obviously great things about the game is just how good it looks, and damn does it look good. Sometimes I felt like my brain couldn’t handle just how much work had been put into making the game look amazing with such careful attention to detail. And thankfully the campaign takes advantage of this by taking you to many different environments. The animations of Nathan Drake are also amazing, which are incredibly realistic and well-implemented into the situation Drake happens to find himself in.

One much improved feature of Uncharted 2 is the gun and mêlée combat, guns actually have a weight to them and enemies go down way quicker, with head shots that actually do something this time.  And mêlée combat seems to have been improved to becoming something more than mashing on the Square button, including counters and environmentally aware combos.

The game also tries to introduce stealth combat where if an enemy is unaware of you, you can silently approach them and take them out without anyone else noticing. It’s incredible simplistic, and ultimately useless as the shooting is so awesome that you just want to mess fools up that way.

Unfortunately the cover system still hasn’t been improved too much, and it’s still hard to get out of cover and move to different pieces of cover. To a point where the cover system was hampering my experience as I was getting killed over and over again because Drake was so fond of the chest-high wall he was hiding behind that he would ignore me when I tried to get him out-of-the-way of grenades.

And here’s a brief mention of multiplayer, it’s good and more then the tacked-on feature people were expecting. It’s a progression system that every multiplayer has where you’ll get perks and such to improve your dude. It’s solid and fun, something that’s a nice bonus for people buying the game and worth checking out.

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Uncharted 2 as an action game is incredible and outstanding, but as a successor to the first Uncharted it’s almost a disappointment. The puzzles are – still – way too simple and makes you feel even stupider when the developers try to tell you exactly how the puzzles need to be solved. And the cover system is still broken and gets in the way of the excellent combat. On that note gun-combat is fantastic, mêlée combat is fun, and multiplayer is good and worth checking out.

In the end though it’s the characters and story that take the biggest hit, which is a great shame as Uncharted 1 had amazing character interaction and banter with a driven story that this game lacks. But the end cut-scene of the game made me smile and instantly reminded me of Uncharted 1, this convinced me that the Uncharted series has potential to regain what it lost in this game, and makes me hopeful for the future.


Clank

Log on PSN today and you’ll get a little surprise, the Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time demo is up! Well, one of them anyway. Since the word is Clank and Ratchet will be rolling separately for most of the game Sony decided this calls for two demos!

Yes, today you can download the neat little Clank demo which shows off how his side of the story will play out, lots of time-manipulation puzzles and platforming. I was on the fence about if I should rent or buy this game, but this demo has pushed me a little over to the ‘BUY’ side.

Since the Clank demo was released this last Thursday, I feel like it’s a safe bet we’ll see the Ratchet demo this coming Thursday, maybe sooner if Sony wants to get it out before the game releases October 27th.

What did you folks think of the demo? Are you going to buy the game? Or just rent it?