Finally, someone who shares my opinion on the Uncharted games...

 
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...and has more eloquently put their thoughts into words.

YouTube


Great channel, highly recommend watching some of his videos if you like game design and/or Naughty Dog in general.
Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 01:44:06 PM by Snake


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I think I watched that. Is that the guy complaining it focuses on story too much and just has standard gameplay instead of innovating?


 
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I think I watched that. Is that the guy complaining it focuses on story too much and just has standard gameplay instead of innovating?

I doubt you've watched it because you can't tell he doesn't like the game until the end. It's very well done. There isn't a singular reason he doesn't like the game, he just goes into the game's design in-depth and then states his opinion at the end of the video.


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Yeah, I still don't get him complaining about the cutscenes saying they may as well make a movie. You have like 10 hours of gameplay with 2 hours of cutscenes. Same with TLOU. Now some games do overdo it, like MGS4.


 
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Yeah, I still don't get him complaining about the cutscenes saying they may as well make a movie. You have like 10 hours of gameplay with 2 hours of cutscenes. Same with TLOU. Now some games do overdo it, like MGS4.

He explains that. He says that the main draw of the Uncharted games are their characters and the excellent writing, and you yourself said that there's only 2 hours of cutscenes (which is a highball to begin with) and over 10 hours of primitive and uninteresting gameplay. They may as well make a movie when the only reason the extremely meh gameplay exists is to highlight the characters and writing.


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Yeah, I still don't get him complaining about the cutscenes saying they may as well make a movie. You have like 10 hours of gameplay with 2 hours of cutscenes. Same with TLOU. Now some games do overdo it, like MGS4.

He explains that. He says that the main draw of the Uncharted games are their characters and the excellent writing, and you yourself said that there's only 2 hours of cutscenes (which is a highball to begin with) and over 10 hours of primitive and uninteresting gameplay. They may as well make a movie when the only reason the extremely meh gameplay exists is to highlight the characters and writing.
Well I guess, I just have to disagree. The gameplay is fine. It's fun to me. And story is always important to me. Though, I'm meaning more along the lines of RPG games. I want it to have good gameplay, but I want it to have a lengthy and in-depth story too. Shit, you could argue Mass Effect did the same exact thing as Uncharted except it was a bit longer and you have a dialogue wheel.


 
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Well I guess, I just have to disagree. The gameplay is fine. It's fun to me.

The point he makes is that it's extremely well-refined but it doesn't work well in-tandem with the enemies, level design or anything else; it just feels very generic and barebones with little thought put into the relationship with the rest of the game.

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And story is always important to me.

All Uncharted games (I haven't played 4) all have bad "stories" though. They can pretty much all be summed up with the exact same synopsis. Granted 3 actually shakes it up a little but it's still the same structure.

The main appeal is the set pieces, the characters and the writing, all of which shouldn't really be the focus in a video game.

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I want it to have good gameplay, but I want it to have a lengthy and in-depth story too.

Uncharted doesn't do that, though.


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Well I guess, I just have to disagree. The gameplay is fine. It's fun to me.

The point he makes is that it's extremely well-refined but it doesn't work well in-tandem with the enemies, level design or anything else; it just feels very generic and barebones with little thought put into the relationship with the rest of the game.

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And story is always important to me.

All Uncharted games (I haven't played 4) all have bad "stories" though. They can pretty much all be summed up with the exact same synopsis. Granted 3 actually shakes it up a little but it's still the same structure.

The main appeal is the set pieces, the characters and the writing, all of which shouldn't really be the focus in a video game.

Quote
I want it to have good gameplay, but I want it to have a lengthy and in-depth story too.

Uncharted doesn't do that, though.
I was referring to RPGs with that last part. Like Baldur's Gate or Divinity Original Sin, should those not be considered good games because you're reading half the time? And yeah, Uncharted doesn't have good stories. I've always enjoyed them though, because besides RPGs, the stories are a bit above average compared to other games.


 
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I was referring to RPGs with that last part. Like Baldur's Gate or Divinity Original Sin, should those not be considered good games because you're reading half the time?

Well, no, because presumably those games do something engaging beyond simply reading half the time that justifies being included in the medium.

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And yeah, Uncharted doesn't have good stories. I've always enjoyed them though, because besides RPGs, the stories are a bit above average compared to other games.

Again, how? They simply don't tell "a bit above average" stories. They rely on good writing and characters to make a mind-numbingly generic and pedestrian story somewhat engaging.


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I was referring to RPGs with that last part. Like Baldur's Gate or Divinity Original Sin, should those not be considered good games because you're reading half the time?

Well, no, because presumably those games do something engaging beyond simply reading half the time that justifies being included in the medium.

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And yeah, Uncharted doesn't have good stories. I've always enjoyed them though, because besides RPGs, the stories are a bit above average compared to other games.

Again, how? They simply don't tell "a bit above average" stories. They rely on good writing and characters to make a mind-numbingly generic and pedestrian story somewhat engaging.
Well. Take Destiny for example. Great gunplay. Amazing gunplay in fact. Some of the gameplay systems are good, others not so much. The story? Literally what story, there wasn't even an attempt to make one. It's just vauge dialogue spread few and far between. And that brought the game down, way down. Any COD story is pretty bad too. Most don't even have interesting characters to me. God of War? Not that cutscene intensive, but HIGHLY linear. Very scripted. Again, not an amazing story, and the gameplay isn't innovative. But it's fun, and the story is interesting. That's all I'm saying.


 
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Well. Take Destiny for example. Great gunplay. Amazing gunplay in fact. Some of the gameplay systems are good, others not so much. The story? Literally what story, there wasn't even an attempt to make one. It's just vauge dialogue spread few and far between. And that brought the game down, way down. Any COD story is pretty bad too. Most don't even have interesting characters to me. God of War? Not that cutscene intensive, but HIGHLY linear. Very scripted. Again, not an amazing story, and the gameplay isn't innovative. But it's fun, and the story is interesting. That's all I'm saying.

So because Destiny and Call of Duty both a) exist, and b) have below average stories, Uncharted tells an above average story? I wouldn't say that at all. At best the Uncharted stories are the definition of average, executed with style (actually that's a pretty consistent theme throughout these games that Novacanoo brings up: absolutely basic necessities for the genre, executed with style). Like I said earlier, all 3 games can virtually be recaped as such: Nathan Drake competes with a vastly more powerful/wealthy/ruthless villain to be the first to find a lost treasure. At the beginning of the third act, Drake discovers that the treasure will grant the villain supernatrual powers which could change the world for the worse, so Drake's motivation becomes stopping the villain rather than claiming the treasure for himself." U3 adds a little more thankfully but the second game is just as guilty of that.

By far the most interesting aspect of Novacanoo's video is the introduction of the axis of game traits. A chart is divided into four sectors to [loosely] categorise every game ever made: Good Gameplay/Good Story, Good Gameplay/Bad Story, Bad Gameplay/Good Story, Bad Gameplay/Bad Story. It looks something like this:



In the "Good Gameplay/Good Story" sector we have games like The Last of Us, MGS3, etc. For the "Good Gameplay/Bad Story," you have games like MGSV, Bayonetta and BOTW. Pretty self-explanatory, nothing revolutionary here.



If we cross off the "Bad Gameplay/Bad Story" section because who gives a shit about games like The Order 1866 or Sonic '06. . .



. . .all that's left is "Bad Gameplay/Good Story" which he divides further into two categories: "Bad Gameplay/Bad Story - Most of your time is spent on Story" and "Bad Gameplay/Good Story - Most of your time is spent on the gameplay". For visualisation, this is what it looks like:



On the "Most of your time is spent on story" you have games like Telltale's Walking Dead and Danganronpa. In these games the gameplay is so scarecely involved in the experience that you can just sit back and absord the media like you would a book or movie.



And on the other side is where he believes Uncharted falls.



According to https://howlongtobeat.com/, the average person beats Uncharted: Drake's Fortune in 8 and a half hours on their first playthrough while Uncharted 2 takes 10. Being generous, these games both have about 2 hours of cutscenes if you include the walking/talking story sections where you """interact""" with the environment. See the problem here? If you're going to waste about 6 hours of your time playing a game for its story then the story you're telling better be absolutely incredible, and Uncharted's simply isn't. It's about as "incredible" as the game's inspiration, Raiders of the Lost Ark. The difference with Raiders and Uncharted is that Raiders just so happens to be only 2 hours long and doesn't require the additional 6 hours of effort that Uncharted does to experience its story; it can be passively experienced, like all film.

But then you may say something like "The games are worth playing for the character dialogue," which, no, they're not. The games' dialogue often get compared to Joss Whedon's Firefly and his other works, but if you wanted a lesson in how to write quick dialogue, you could watch every single episode of Firefly and Serenity to cap it off and still have 5 hours to spare compared to the 18 hours you would spend playing Uncharted.

The point he's trying to make here is that the characters and dialogue are only impressive because they've been plopped into a game, where (for good reason) emphasis hasn't normally been placed on cutscenes and character interaction before. The thing is, though, that dialogue has NOTHING to do with gameplay. Nothing. Games are not "games" when they're showing a cutscene, and having good writing doesn't push games forward in any meaningful way whatsoever. With Uncharted, Naughty Dog sacrifices everything at the altar of presentation, but if you want to push games forward, you have to push actual gameplay forward. Mechanics, rules, interaction. Why praise a video game for meeting par with film when it does absolutely nothing with the inherent strengths of video games as a medium.

What's the difference between filming these actors in front of a green screen and gearing them up in all these mocap suits to animate it? The answer is thousands of man hours, millions of dollars and the claim of "pushing games forward." All you're doing here is creating a CG mocap short film and splicing it throughout a barebones cover shooter. This doesn't elevate video games, it elevates the parts of an interactive product that has nothing to do with being a video game. These games are lauded for trying to make the game feel like a movie because movies are somehow considered superior as an art form.

Unfortunately Uncharted is pretty hard to criticise because unlike other games where you can step back and objectively look at how a game functions, Uncharted is a barebones game executed perfectly. It also bears mentioning that a lot of the people who enjoy the Uncharted games are considered "Busy Gamers" in that they don't have the time or inclination to get invested in a game with more depth than Uncharted, nor do they have the experience to notice that the game is masterfully controlling every set-piece interaction while trying to convince you that you're being the badass Nathan Drake is on your own. The Uncharted games represent everything I dislike about games today, and even with the improvement Naughty Dog makes in TLOU, I really hope after TLOU2 they drop the adventure third-person cover shooting shtick and move on to something a little more risky.

Sorry for the rant but it's quite cathartic to get something like this into words. Considering the praise ND gets for what I consider to be a step backwards from games like Jak and Daxter, the ability to effectively convey why I don't like these games after so many years is a gigantic relief.
Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 04:17:38 PM by Snake


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I get your point. It's just not for everyone. I was actually talking with a friend about Point and Click Adventure games the other day. He despises them. I enjoy them though. TellTale games are kinda watered down compared to older ones though. They don't really make Adventure games anymore. One old one is called Grim Fandango if you've heard of it. That game got like perfect scores across the board nearly. So these games focusing heavily on story are nothing new IMO, not after seeing all these 90s Adventure games.

And I agree. I want to see ND do something different. An RPG would be great. Preferably open world. What's your opinion on Mass Effect since it's got a lot of cutscenes and you're stuck in a dialogue wheel a lot. The Witcher 3 does that too.


 
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And I agree. I want to see ND do something different. An RPG would be great. Preferably open world.

I wouldn't mind seeing an expanded version of what they did with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, where exploration is the primary motivator for gameplay and a game world is designed to both a) tell a focused narrative but b) also be non-linear. Kind of like how Jak II and 3 give you a couple of missions to run in whichever order you want before giving you a chronologically-important story mission.

Ditch that "realism" nonsense though and return to something a little less restrictive.

I am against seeing them try their hand at an RPG, though. ND excells at contained perfectionism, I just don't think it's a realistic goal to even attempt.

Honestly, I'm cool with anything they try now as long as it's different, but Druckmann and Straley need to fuck off with their Oscar-bait bullshit. They're not going to achieve anything greater that that of TLOU.

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What's your opinion on Mass Effect since it's got a lot of cutscenes and you're stuck in a dialogue wheel a lot. The Witcher 3 does that too.

I haven't completed either games, but Mass Effect bored the hell out of me and I don't really like some of the artistic choices CD Projekt Red makes. I respect their business model though and it's evident how much pride they take in their work.


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Yeah, I highly respect CDPR. Can't wait for Cyberpunk 2077. Straley left ND. TLOU 2 will be just as good as the first I'm sure. I honestly don't see them changing up anytime soon though. If we're lucky they'll make Jak 4. Heck, they might make Jak 4 like Uncharted and TLOU lol...


 
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Yeah, I highly respect CDPR. Can't wait for Cyberpunk 2077. Straley left ND. TLOU 2 will be just as good as the first I'm sure. I honestly don't see them changing up anytime soon though. If we're lucky they'll make Jak 4. Heck, they might make Jak 4 like Uncharted and TLOU lol...

I was excited at first to hear that Druckmann was directing TLOU 2 independently because he's one morbid fellow but TLOU was an excellent stand-alone game that ended perfectly and any follow-up just ruins it, in my opinion. The beauty of the ending was in the ambiguity of Ellie's response to Joel's lie. There's no way of getting around that without actually giving us an answer in the sequel. Additionally sequels this far into the PS4's life just feel lazy. ND really needs to do something new. I don't really even want Jak 4, just give me something fresh.


 
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will watch the videos when i have time, but my opinion on the uncharted series is that they're basically just summer block busters in video game form.


 
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What's your opinion on Mass Effect since it's got a lot of cutscenes and you're stuck in a dialogue wheel a lot. The Witcher 3 does that too.
Shoddy gameplay drags both of them down. As much of a meme as it is, playing Witcher feels like a chore after Dark Souls. Same goes for ME. Bit too boring for me.


 
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What's your opinion on Mass Effect since it's got a lot of cutscenes and you're stuck in a dialogue wheel a lot. The Witcher 3 does that too.
Shoddy gameplay drags both of them down. As much of a meme as it is, playing Witcher feels like a chore after Dark Souls. Same goes for ME. Bit too boring for me.

uh, he was only asking me.

typical belgian.


 
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What's your opinion on Mass Effect since it's got a lot of cutscenes and you're stuck in a dialogue wheel a lot. The Witcher 3 does that too.
Shoddy gameplay drags both of them down. As much of a meme as it is, playing Witcher feels like a chore after Dark Souls. Same goes for ME. Bit too boring for me.

uh, he was only asking me.

typical belgian.
Wow, fucking rude. Don't talk to me or my gatortag ever again.


 
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Well. Take Destiny for example. Great gunplay. Amazing gunplay in fact. Some of the gameplay systems are good, others not so much. The story? Literally what story, there wasn't even an attempt to make one. It's just vauge dialogue spread few and far between. And that brought the game down, way down. Any COD story is pretty bad too. Most don't even have interesting characters to me. God of War? Not that cutscene intensive, but HIGHLY linear. Very scripted. Again, not an amazing story, and the gameplay isn't innovative. But it's fun, and the story is interesting. That's all I'm saying.

So because Destiny and Call of Duty both a) exist, and b) have below average stories, Uncharted tells an above average story? I wouldn't say that at all. At best the Uncharted stories are the definition of average, executed with style (actually that's a pretty consistent theme throughout these games that Novacanoo brings up: absolutely basic necessities for the genre, executed with style). Like I said earlier, all 3 games can virtually be recaped as such: Nathan Drake competes with a vastly more powerful/wealthy/ruthless villain to be the first to find a lost treasure. At the beginning of the third act, Drake discovers that the treasure will grant the villain supernatrual powers which could change the world for the worse, so Drake's motivation becomes stopping the villain rather than claiming the treasure for himself." U3 adds a little more thankfully but the second game is just as guilty of that.

By far the most interesting aspect of Novacanoo's video is the introduction of the axis of game traits. A chart is divided into four sectors to [loosely] categorise every game ever made: Good Gameplay/Good Story, Good Gameplay/Bad Story, Bad Gameplay/Good Story, Bad Gameplay/Bad Story. It looks something like this:



In the "Good Gameplay/Good Story" sector we have games like The Last of Us, MGS3, etc. For the "Good Gameplay/Bad Story," you have games like MGSV, Bayonetta and BOTW. Pretty self-explanatory, nothing revolutionary here.



If we cross off the "Bad Gameplay/Bad Story" section because who gives a shit about games like The Order 1866 or Sonic '06. . .



. . .all that's left is "Bad Gameplay/Good Story" which he divides further into two categories: "Bad Gameplay/Bad Story - Most of your time is spent on Story" and "Bad Gameplay/Good Story - Most of your time is spent on the gameplay". For visualisation, this is what it looks like:



On the "Most of your time is spent on story" you have games like Telltale's Walking Dead and Danganronpa. In these games the gameplay is so scarecely involved in the experience that you can just sit back and absord the media like you would a book or movie.



And on the other side is where he believes Uncharted falls.



According to https://howlongtobeat.com/, the average person beats Uncharted: Drake's Fortune in 8 and a half hours on their first playthrough while Uncharted 2 takes 10. Being generous, these games both have about 2 hours of cutscenes if you include the walking/talking story sections where you """interact""" with the environment. See the problem here? If you're going to waste about 6 hours of your time playing a game for its story then the story you're telling better be absolutely incredible, and Uncharted's simply isn't. It's about as "incredible" as the game's inspiration, Raiders of the Lost Ark. The difference with Raiders and Uncharted is that Raiders just so happens to be only 2 hours long and doesn't require the additional 6 hours of effort that Uncharted does to experience its story; it can be passively experienced, like all film.

But then you may say something like "The games are worth playing for the character dialogue," which, no, they're not. The games' dialogue often get compared to Joss Whedon's Firefly and his other works, but if you wanted a lesson in how to write quick dialogue, you could watch every single episode of Firefly and Serenity to cap it off and still have 5 hours to spare compared to the 18 hours you would spend playing Uncharted.

The point he's trying to make here is that the characters and dialogue are only impressive because they've been plopped into a game, where (for good reason) emphasis hasn't normally been placed on cutscenes and character interaction before. The thing is, though, that dialogue has NOTHING to do with gameplay. Nothing. Games are not "games" when they're showing a cutscene, and having good writing doesn't push games forward in any meaningful way whatsoever. With Uncharted, Naughty Dog sacrifices everything at the altar of presentation, but if you want to push games forward, you have to push actual gameplay forward. Mechanics, rules, interaction. Why praise a video game for meeting par with film when it does absolutely nothing with the inherent strengths of video games as a medium.

What's the difference between filming these actors in front of a green screen and gearing them up in all these mocap suits to animate it? The answer is thousands of man hours, millions of dollars and the claim of "pushing games forward." All you're doing here is creating a CG mocap short film and splicing it throughout a barebones cover shooter. This doesn't elevate video games, it elevates the parts of an interactive product that has nothing to do with being a video game. These games are lauded for trying to make the game feel like a movie because movies are somehow considered superior as an art form.

Unfortunately Uncharted is pretty hard to criticise because unlike other games where you can step back and objectively look at how a game functions, Uncharted is a barebones game executed perfectly. It also bears mentioning that a lot of the people who enjoy the Uncharted games are considered "Busy Gamers" in that they don't have the time or inclination to get invested in a game with more depth than Uncharted, nor do they have the experience to notice that the game is masterfully controlling every set-piece interaction while trying to convince you that you're being the badass Nathan Drake is on your own. The Uncharted games represent everything I dislike about games today, and even with the improvement Naughty Dog makes in TLOU, I really hope after TLOU2 they drop the adventure third-person cover shooting shtick and move on to something a little more risky.

Sorry for the rant but it's quite cathartic to get something like this into words. Considering the praise ND gets for what I consider to be a step backwards from games like Jak and Daxter, the ability to effectively convey why I don't like these games after so many years is a gigantic relief.
no mames


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Uncharted 2 is the shit. I wish every game was as good as UC2.


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Uncharted 2 remains my favorite. Snake you should give 4 a chance. You can really tell it's made by Neil. There are no supernatural elements. And it's more of an adventure game. Hardly any set pieces compared to 2 or 3. It felt more character driven too. And overall the story was more grounded and less silly.


 
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No thanks. Druckmann had nothing to do with Uncharted 3 and that's the best one I've played.


 
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Goodness gracious, great balls of lightning!
BRING BACK DOUGHNUT DRAKE


 
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will watch the videos when i have time, but my opinion on the uncharted series is that they're basically just summer block busters in video game form.
That'd be Call of Duty

Summer blockbuster usually means it's fun while there but forgettable the moment you leave, and have a bunch of explosions left and right usually

Uncharted's main strengths are riding the characters to bring out an otherwise generic story, and the conversations between them that actually feel real instead of something off a script.

Granted, Uncharted can have some of that blockbuster crap (and who can forget the ever cliche line in Uncharted 2 between main villain and protag where he goes "we're not so different, you and I!", but I always felt the writing via dialogue made it a bit more respectable.
Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 05:50:08 PM by Luciana


 
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Uncharted 2 remains my favorite. Snake you should give 4 a chance. You can really tell it's made by Neil. There are no supernatural elements. And it's more of an adventure game. Hardly any set pieces compared to 2 or 3. It felt more character driven too. And overall the story was more grounded and less silly.
I don't have a PS4 so I'm watching the 6 hour (ugh) movie form of it. It's actually pretty enjoyable. I rolled my eyes with Troy Baker getting the job but he does a decent job masking his voice so it's not just Troy Baker voice acting as himself.

Though getting Laura Bailey in as the key woman is another eye roll. Why does every prime time woman have to be Laura Bailey? I love her voice but damn, give other people a chance.


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Excuse me, I'm full of dog poison
will watch the videos when i have time, but my opinion on the uncharted series is that they're basically just summer block busters in video game form.

Basically this. Immensely rewarding though.


 
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Talk no Jutsu specialist.
will watch the videos when i have time, but my opinion on the uncharted series is that they're basically just summer block busters in video game form.

Basically this. Immensely rewarding though.

How


Dietrich Six | Mythic Inconceivable!
 
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10,208 posts
Excuse me, I'm full of dog poison
will watch the videos when i have time, but my opinion on the uncharted series is that they're basically just summer block busters in video game form.

Basically this. Immensely rewarding though.

How

As a one off playthrough it's a thoroughly satisfying romp. The set pieces, ludicrous story, and solid dialogue make for a fun romp.

Not a game I would purchase, but one I enjoyed immensely.