You maybe surprised to learn that I’ve been playing “Uncharted:The Lost Legacy”. As if a connoisseur of this franchise wouldn’t be engaged in another exhilarating exhibition of wilful genocide?! The provocateur of many dangerous expeditions, demolisher of precariously constructed structures, eradicator of rare mythological antiquities and hoarder of every Uncharted Platinum. It’s good to be back! Espousing the wretched deeds of a man with the sheer tenacity and fortuity to destroy every last archeological city/ruin/ship he’s ever discovered. Despite this concentrated level of callous destruction Nathan Drake remains an endearing, if accident prone rogue with all the charismatic distinction that made Nate him such an affable protagonist. Sadly with the retirement of Drake into matrimonial domesticity the Uncharted franchise has pandered to the aspirations of feminist vocation, further diminishing the influence of modern masculinity by replacing Nathan Drake with Chloe Frazer. A women. The inferior gender with none of the rugged strength, intelligence or flatulence that makes man a much more viable option for heroism. And it’s glorious!
I’ll miss Drake, of course I will but Chloe isn’t merely a replacement but a necessity. She has always been one of my favourite supporting players so to see her in a more prominent role is deeply gratifying. Her omission in “A Thief’s End” may have been necessary, but it was a glaring absence that betrayed her more illustrious presence in Uncharted 2. Here she’s as sharp as she is wryly. Focused and unyielding yet compassionate and vulnerable. The abrasive dynamic between Chloe and Nadine infuses their tentative relationship with a fluctuant chemistry never explored in the series before. They argue and bicker yet support one another to achieve their mutually independent goals. I’ve yet to finish Lost Legacy, so I’m reserving further analysis until then. But for my money, not that I have any, this could be the start of something new. Nathan Drakes tenure as Uncharted’s chief architect is over, his personal fortune found. But Uncharted itself may have discovered a whole new legacy to commence.
It’s rare for my girlfriend to acknowledge my habitual need to game. She possess a limited capacity to care for such juvenile endeavours and a frequent nonchalant reaction to my rare moments of triumph. Gaming is treated as more of an intervening distraction as apposed to a domestic liability in our relationship. A regular activity tolerated rather than accepted. But she has always been moderately intrigued by the Uncharted series, primarily the infatuation she harbours for the honourable thief, that has dismissed more organised militias than Alan Sugar has apprentices, Nathan *swoon* Drake. So I wasn’t entirely surprised by her eagerness to partake in his most recent adventure, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. But it was with conditioned trepidation that I accepted her request as her skills as a gamer could be described as marginally more adept than that of a arthritic sloth. But I concluded that with enough guidance, a healthy supply of beer and some concentrated retention to my advisory instructions that eventually repetition would breed familiarity. Who knows perhaps the exposure to my favourite past time could evoke a further marital bond between us, hurling us into carnal abandon. I was wrong. In fact it’s been rather painful, like watching an Olympic diver mess up their routine and belly-flop from the top board with an echoing thud! Forgive me Nate, forgive me.
Watching my girlfriend play Uncharted is a bit like observing my Nan trying to change the channel with her glasses case. You feel compelled to intervene, if only to spare Drakes mangled diaphragm. And you’re completely helpless in preventing the incessant suicide of Drake, as the infrastructure of some venerable cliff cracks, the jutted remains of some decrepit architecture crumbles into the sea below, swiftly followed by Drake plunging into the abyss in total disillusionment like a disabled lemming. The discernible look of contempt etched across Drakes face is evident as you yourself begin massaging you’re temples to leverage some kind of sanity. Not even the incremental dosage of alcohol could assuage the numbing frustration I developed watching her play this beloved franchise. She has the spatial awareness of a blind fish. No sense of direction. It’s like watching a snail getting it’s shell hooked on a nail, as it slowly figures out that it’s not actually going anywhere! Her puzzle solving skills are as astounding as a toddler trying to put variously shaped blocks into the corresponding holes, but instead sticking them up their rectum! Even the most self explanatory functions seem to allude her like shooting, jumping or basic movement. She is also about as receptive to direction as a monkey in its own simian porn movie. For example, this is just one innocuous incident that occurred a couple of hours into her play-through….
Blasé girlfriend: How do I do that?
Mildly irritated boyfriend: You just did it a minute ago?!
Blasé girlfriend: I can’t remember that!
Mildly irritated boyfriend: You’ve got to hold L1 and then press….
*Drake plummets to his death*
…..down. What did you do that for?
Blasé girlfriend: I pressed the button!
Irritated boyfriend: Yeah, the wrong one.
Blasé girlfriend: No, I pressed that one *points to the circle button*
Irritated boyfriend: Yeah; the wrong one. You’ve got to press the first left shoulder button and then down on the left stick.
Blasé girlfriend: Which one is the shoulder button?
Very irritated boyfriend: That one on the top left. The smallest one!
Blasé girlfriend: I thought you said I had to press L1?
BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL?!
But I guess that from her perspective even the most basic of controls are rather complex for someone that hasn’t dedicated the better part of three decades getting acquainted with every generation of console controllers. I guess a more patient and decorous manner might inspire a natural development and perhaps generate a dormant skill set absent from her formative deficiencies. Mercifully she appears to be grasping the simple steps necessary to ensure success in combat and it is satisfying to observe her steadily progressing. Yeah she still requires gentle persuasion, and sometimes vocal coercion to help nudge her in the right direction. She occasionally insisted on scaling vertical surfaces with no clefts to leverage, which made Drake look like a cat on a scratching post. She would swing across perilous ravines only to again fall to her death like a Tarzan with Alzheimer’s and she did utilise aim assist, but you could tell that she was beginning to adhere to the structural principles of any game. She began to understand which doors can or can’t be opened. That the camera is pointing in the direction of a specific objective. That punching thin air is suggestive that the enemy you were fighting is probably subdued. That a linear game means you can only go forwards or backwards. And that you should always heed the advice of your much maligned, though charmingly modest partner. Well perhaps not so much the latter….
What’s the best way of dealing with a partner that doesn’t share your interests? Or worse, tries to understand them! Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
Multiplayer, in any of its various incarnations can be a very polarising experience. One minute you’re eradicating everything in you’re path. Bathing the environments in the coagulant blood of your vanquished foes. Anticipating every conceivable disputant. Manoeuvring quicker than a 70’s television personality dodging rap allegations. And then there are the matches that completely pass you by. You’re efforts are minimal. Every procedure you try to actualise fails and you spend the majority of the match searching for teammates that have abandoned you. Before long you’re alone, isolated by the team, with the accuracy of a blind storm-trooper. By the end you’re being derided by a teenager as he boasts about banging you’re mother while his friend is “popping and locking” over you’re slowly decaying carcass. Surviving competitive multiplayer certainly requires a degree of restraint, patience and a fortified resiliency to the puerile commentary of its users and multiple cases of getting you’re butt well and truly kicked. So it’s important to consider what role you will play within any given team. You’ve probably already observed what you’re own strengths are just through simple trial and error. Having an identifiable role within a squad of diverse players could be the difference between winning and losing.
You see before I had accepted my limitations, that I’m just not a very good online player, my agitation at being repeatedly foiled by mobilised contingency of high pitched enclaves would evoke a particularly profane retaliation. I would verbalise my frustrations with all the venomous intensity of Gordon Ramsay burning his hand on a tray full of chicken nuggets, which wasn’t being interpreted as ambitious fervour. More a measure of my mental volatility and juvenile proclivity to emote with a creative flurry of vocalised threats, directed at no one and subsequently gnaw on the controller like an agitated rat. I have a natural aversion to anyone better than I am, which is practically everyone. I’m not, nor will I ever be the most proficient player on anyone’s team, but I contribute enough to be regarded as a valuable asset amongst a more illustrious contingent. Providing substantial ancillary support that produces vital amenities most players choose to ignore. Such as requesting backup from a sniper, healing downed confederates or isolating enemy locations. Granted I’m only supplying modest kills but assisting in areas in addition to the overall cause of killing or assisting in “scoring one more goal than the other team” you’re randomly generated opponents that equates to increased adhesion within the team, with us as a unit becoming the beneficiary of each individuals contribution. From my own cursory experience one exemplary individual will get annihilated by a team that works together. Covering, assisting, communicating; these are all invaluable commodities within a group. Exceptional quality can only achieve so much before its stunted by even the most average of cohesive teams, symptomatic of a team deprived of focus. It is beneficial to acquire the skills of great individuals with all the efficiency, penetration and accuracy of Eddie Murphy’s sperm, but not essential.
My measurable expertise in assisting superior players has resulted in a number of favourable wins simply by keeping them alive, much to the chagrin of the opposition. Of course you’ll on occasion going to have to deal with an erratic, selfish debutante who thinks their Rambo, with an exceptional penchant for rash/stupid manoeuvres that will see them die and resurrected more times than Jesus at Jigsaws work shop, but even that can be nullified by a well organised team galvanised by interpreting whichever deadly situations arise. Even perennial mediocrity can produce incredible feats of valour if the team works together to cover each other. As good as Lionel Messi is, he wouldn’t win any matches without the continued support of his team.
It’s taken me some time to adequately summarise my opinions regarding Uncharted 4. It’s more than likely going to be the last Uncharted game I’ll ever review so I wanted to treat it with the utmost significance that it’s expiration deserves. I needed to make absolutely certain that every subtle detail, every mild irritation or emphatic set piece is addressed with regulated neutrality. That every conceivable disputant is equally judged. Bias is a difficult thing to subvert, requiring processes that can generate adaptive, analytical persuasions, allowing you to perceive distinctions without preferential mandates. For me it’s like saying that my daughters smile is the most heartwarming moment of my day (and it is!) without it sounding biased. Hopefully my views will contain a resonating parity, rooted in admiration and passion for a project I’m firmly beguiled by. Not a sceptical cynic or an obliviously ignorant fan who will not listen to any negativity levelled at Uncharted. In any case I have conveniently separated my review into accessible, less congested portions consisting of game-play, story, a comprehensive overview, a special anonymous segment reserved for later and today’s topic; graphics.
Do you remember the ring Drake wore around his neck, carved with the inscription “sic parvis magna”, which when translated means “greatness from small beginnings?” That’s an adage that perfectly illustrates Uncharted 4’s visuals. When you compare this to Drakes Fortune it’s like comparing Leonardo Da Vinci with Banksy. One dedicated their effort into concealing every brush stroke, conveying a visible subtlety of the person depicted. The other uses stencils, defacing public property with vaguely defined political agendas. I’m sorry, but there are far more talented graffiti artists that don’t generate half the recognition this charlatan does. The environments, the atmosphere and characters in Uncharted 4 are laced with such resplendent decadence that its almost pornographic. It’s luxurious settings are so rich and vibrant, with even the rippling oceans glimmering with radiant obedience. The trees and foliage swaying as if an actual elemental force is encouraging movement. Even the mud and the versatility of the brick work on a building is exquisite?! It’s any number of descriptive, wholly pretensions words you can formulate. It is utterly STUNNING! I want to own the concept art, frame it and just stare at it for days. It’s remarkable. I want to lick it! It’s like ocular cocaine, you’re just addicted by the enthralling beauty that reconciles the visual parity between console and PC. And I know you PC elitists will rebuke that and you’re probably right, but this is a demonstration of a developer utilising every sliver of information at there disposal to create the best looking game possible. And a company at the peak of its creative stride.
Because of the exquisitely rendered locations the environments feel extensive, granting a sense of exploration in an otherwise linear setting. Though exploration is confined to deceptively restricted fixtures it always felt much bigger, malleable, with tangible structures that could conceivably be hidden in some far reaching wilderness, as well as a world that can be traversed, adding new and exciting tactical variation to combat. The only thing more captivating is the character animations. Every blemish, every scar even the pores on the skin are visibly genuine. The authenticity of characters facial reactions, the subtle inflections, the way they emote is done in a way you’d expect a human being to react, not an automated representation imitating human emotions. It’s like the characters have been sculpted by God himself/herself that provides much more depth and credibility to the emotional interactions.
In short the graphics are astounding. The locations are so generously sumptuous that it’s impossible not to smile just thinking about it. The characters don’t just look like farcical representation of people, they look and most importantly feel REAL. I can totally imagine the likes of Drake, Elena and Sully inhabiting our world somewhere, living happily in some kind of converted bungalow in New Delhi. NaughtyDog haven’t just set the bar high, they’ve done away with it and said “don’t even try”.
It’s a difficult proposition to rank the Uncharted games. There’s a subtle diversity to the tone and sometimes quality of each individual entry, making separation a rather benign convention. But my admiration for this series deems such objective analysis a worthy arbitration, for the simple fact that I get to talk in depth about my favourite subject. And just because I love this series, that shouldn’t precipitate that it is exempt from criticism. This list will consist of only the 4 primary entries in the series so sorry to those two “Golden Abyss” fans. I’m sure many of you familiar with the series will contest my views, I’m not even sure this list could be considered definitive even to me, but it is as it is, for better or worse. So in ascending order is my list of the best Uncharted games.
#4. Uncharted: Drakes Fortune.
No surprises here. Drakes Fortune is a solid if patchy entry, that lays a suitable foundation for the more polished sequels. The search for El Dorado is arguably one of the more compelling plot devices used in the series, even if ultimately the city of gold is relegated to merely a cursed artefact embellished by sustained historical falsity. It contains many of series core mechanics still retained today, and does a great job of introducing characters that only become more enduring as the series progresses. Drakes Fortune is probably the series most measured affair, that belies it’s organically compounded dynamic utilised in latter entries. You’ve also got to remember that Drakes Fortune was being developed under intense public scrutiny and a great cost to NaughtyDog both financially and to their credibility. It was a huge gamble considering the endearing success of “Crash Bandicoot”. Without Drakes Fortune this list would feel much lighter, so it deserves a great deal of respect. But ultimately it is a forgettable romp, filled with largely irrelevant villains, expeditious conclusion, innocuous and borderline irritating vehicular sections and a rather jarring finale.
# 3. Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception.
A visceral, yet crucially venerated plot disguised as a intimate psychology of the mind of Nathan Drake and the vaguely hinted demons that inhabit it. This thinly veiled premise did a stern job of introducing some beautiful, albeit erratic smattering of locations that creates a sense of adventure, as you embark on treacherous excursions that’s conclusion is unclear. Nathan Drakes obsessive determination to find the lost city is supposed to be something of considerable pertinence to him. Something he, as well as us should feel as personally invested in. Yet this endeavour didn’t resonate with any more significance than the search for Shangri La. This, from my perspective at least felt like the first entry that really struggled to retain fluency. It felt more like a series of scripted instances, randomly generated demonstrations that illustrate NaughtyDog’s whimsical imagery, compiled together to form an amalgamation of dynamic events, as though NaughtyDog worked the story around the epic set pieces. It reminds me of Shaun in “Shaun of the dead” when he is trying to make a comparison between team and meat pie. “There’s no I in team, but there is an I in meat pie.” You understand that they are trying to make a point, but you’re not entirely sure what it is? There is however more depth and definition to the primary cast.
The characterisations are still enthralling, especially between Drake, Elena and Sully. Drake is more reckless in his approach, relying on sheer will. Elena has matured, advancing her career without risking life and limb to achieve this. And Sully has progressed from the money driven, morally repressed mentor into a more wizened, paternal father figure for Drake. Though many of the overarching conversations between them are a little more tender, this exposed sentiment really helps to elevate each and every character. The same cannot be said for the rest of the cast however. Though Katherine Marlow is a formidable foil, her subordinate Talbot is redundant. His involvement with Marlow is never really explained, neither are his vaguely defined prophetic abilities. Chloe is reduced to crew member # 4, with Cutter (crew member #3) a completely disposable confederate, merely enabling Drake to escape one of the most anti-climatic deaths scenes since every Marvel movie and giving Drake someone to converse with that is slightly more interesting than a brick wall. The biggest problem is that many elements of Drakes Deception suffers from a curious case of repetition.
We’ve seen this all before. The mystical creatures, even if they were delusions feel overused after the previous entries used them with such vigour. And when you get down to it, all of these dramatic feats, shoot outs and death defying stunts is to find a lost city, again. A city deserted because of the Arabian, supernatural entities known as the “Djiin”, which is a direct result of a demonic oppressor from the very depths of Hell! Oh wait no; it was a vase. An evil vase. An evil vase that poisoned the water of this exalted city, driving everyone insane. Well at least it culminates in a epic showdown between Drake and Talbot, locked in a brutal encounter that…no, wait. No, it’s just a series of QTE’s. Huh? Having said that Drakes Deception is more than salvaged by the incredible set pieces, with many of the stories or game-play’s incoherence instantly forgiven due to the fact that it’s such a blast to play. You could almost feel the heat emanating on the screen as you attempt to escape the burning château, the incredible sense of isolation as a dehydrated Nate staggers through the expansive desolation of dunes in the Rub Al Khali desert. The disorientation of shooting you’re way off a slowly sinking ship as it Sunday wrenches starboard.
Drakes Deception relies heavily on theatrical dynamics, it’s penchant for the dramatic and uses every conceivable excuse to ignite the highly volatile scenery rather than portraying a compelling or even competent story. Yet it’s ceaseless volatility makes it one of the more captivating and exciting entries to play.
#2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
I was so close to putting this top. In fact I’m still conflicted as to whether I’ve made the right choice, but on reflection I don’t think Among Thieves deserves to be considered the top spot. In many respects it’s still the best in the series. It’s high octane, introducing some of the most theatrical, sometimes breathtaking set pieces I’ve ever experienced. The entirety of the Helicopter chase is hypnotic! For the most part you’re clinging onto the controller, praying that the collapsing building doesn’t squash you into a Drake sandwich. And the train, oh my god the train! I had by ass clenched so tight trying to navigate my way from the back, to the front carriage that I couldn’t poop for 3 days! Watching helplessly as Drake clutches onto the back of the carriage as the disconnected portion of the train comes hurtling towards you like a rogue rotisserie. “It’s not going to hit me, no. No? No! Drake! Pull yourself up its going to hit you! Drake! Drake!!! Agghhuuuhhgggbt! Oh god I need….air!” These were moments the series has never adequately replicated with the same intensity, despite subsequent attempts. But Among Thieves is well aware of the limitations of explosions by just toning things down to a more austere pace as they did with the Tibetan village. There’s a vast distinction between Drakes Fortune and Among Thieves. The disparity between the two is discernible, whereas the difference in quality between Among Thieves and Drakes Deception is negligible. Among Thieves is such a bigger, better, bolder game. It created this sense of hyperventilating anxiety, as if you were always on the cusp of losing control. Every shifting ledge, every explosive reverberation even the slightest environmental alteration had you on edge. It’s like Grandpa in the Simpsons indiscriminately pointing at different people and hysterically yelling “DEATH!” That’s how you feel trying to negotiate through war torn cities, jungles, mountains, ancient civilisation’s or any environmental hazard that “will” try to kill you!
Among Thieves was captivating and at times creepy. The moment you descend into the hidden sanctum replete in the skeletal remains of Marco Polo’s crew, each with unexplained blackened teeth and traces of blood all across the floor as if they’d all killed each other still creeps me out. The relationships are more refined than in Drakes Fortune too. The chemistry between Drake and Elena resonates with such intensity here, particularly with the addition of alluring temptress Chloe Frazier contributing additional dimension to Drake and Elena’s strained romance, with Chloe enabling Drakes reckless endeavours. It also features one of my favourite exchanges between Drake and Elena, where after sustaining serious almost mortal wounds Elena asks Drake on a scale of 1 to 10 how scared he was that she was going to die, where Drake glibly replies “4”. Elena, further trying to clarify what constitutes as a 10, Nate, without hesitation affirms that “clowns” are top of that distressing pyramid. Uncharted 2 features all the elements that truly define the series. The environments, the combat, the exploration and the characters. So how could such a seemingly perfect game only procure the silver medal in this contest? Well two crucial reasons.
The first being Sully’s primarily and largely absent participation, relegated to mere subsidiary observer for much of this entry, casually leaving early on. But easily the biggest crime is the horrendously asinine villain; Lazarevic. A derivative caricature of a villain he’s intentionally portrayed as this deranged, snarling, psychopathic killer, snuffing out members of his own inventory simply because they don’t warrant consideration. His motivations are solid enough; he wants to find Shangri La to gain immeasurable power so he can, you guessed it, take over the world. He’s heavily accented, is bald and has a pronounced scar on his face. Seriously Lazarevic couldn’t of been any more of a generic antagonist if he were sat in a swivel chair stroking a white cat demanding sharks with laser beams?! Every time he was on screen he irritated me, just devolving into this laborious plot device rather than an actual human being. Now Flynn, now that’s an antagonist. Not villain, not interlacing his fingers and exclaiming “excellent”, but a fully formed, intent antagonist with progressive motivations and context. The verbal jousting between Flynn and Drake is only further escalated when they become enemies, intensifying the collaborative dissonance between. It’s also incredibly enjoyable to watch.
Perhaps I’m being overly critical and unfairly biased to vilify the entire game based solely on these two proprietary errors. But I really do value this game despite the economic use of Sully and stereotypical antagonist. In a few years, properly motivated, a revised list may well have Uncharted 2: Among Thieves at the top of this list. But for this one it will have to settle for the silver medal…..
#1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
So how and why has this ascended to the top of the thrown, usurping Uncharted 2 which many consider the unequivocal focal point of the series? Well you’re have to wait for my review, which I have decided to separate into various categories for ease of use. Basically because I waffle on for extended periods and by reducing the review into segregated portions I can at least focus on specific points with expeditious leniency. Plus you shouldn’t get as bored. It’s a subject I have much to discuss, and also one I want to be entirely sure I discuss with salient clarification. This could very well be the last Uncharted game I’ll review and I just want to get it right.
So what is your’e favourite game in the series? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
I’ve been patient. Very patient as it happens. Applying a rigorous discipline to my naturally agitated mindset. Enduring years of resigned vacuity, two delays and possessing enough games in my library to play so I wouldn’t be thinking about so much until finally, FINALLY, Uncharted 4 was mine! But I’ll admit that’s it’s release coincides with my own self doubt about its credentials. I’ve been complacent with my quality control before when it comes to purchasing new games, estimating something great and getting Destiny. Anticipating a unique new IP and getting Watchdog’s, taking a metaphorical dump in my PS4. There are multiple considerations that go into concluding whether or not to purchase a game. Stylistically does it meet you’re specific requirements? Is it a genre you’d feel comfortable participating in? Does the developer have a good track record of producing exciting, compelling games? Is it developed by EA or Ubisoft? In which case let’s mock and jape their squandered self respect. But from a consumer perspective you don’t want to have to research every conceivable facet. Posturing the distinguishing characteristics, calculating the differentiating variables that roughly determine the ratio of good and bad. If we did that then buying games would become more convoluted than the previous sentence! It’s difficult to evaluate a games quality without diminishing the mystique of an unreleased game. The unknown variables that determine whether or not a game is a good, surely that’s part of being a gamer?
Uncharted 4 is a game I would’ve purchased regardless of general critical consensus. It could’ve been lambasted to the seven circles of Hell and it still would have received my financial backing. It’s a pretty ignorant (and hypocritical) philosophy to have I realise, to buy something regardless of it quality. It’s the one issue I believe consolidates all of the acrimony distributed by major developers, who fail to produce worthwhile content because people such as myself will routinely buy it despite everything to the contrary advising you not too. This kind of preferential prejudice is indicative of people who just want to play something good, something they hope a developer has dedicated time an effort to coordinate a game of substance. And you can’t blame gamers for being passionate and wanting a game to be good. But developers ignorance is a discussion for another time, this is about my fears for Uncharted.
I deliberately initiated a separation between myself and any commercial endorsements, trailer’s, previews, reviews, fan speculation or coverage of any kind as much as I possibly could. Not easy when so many people are discussing it. I’ve had exposure to very non specific sequences that really only clarify how exhilarating the games excerpts are, the overall structure of the narrative and the tension the game is looking to evoke. At the same time I’ve derived my own conjectural theories, constructing inaccurate hypothesis concerning the recipient of the suggestive “Thief’s End” title for one (I’m hoping its still a reference to Drakes ancestor, Sir Francis. But now that I’ve played it, or at least a portion of it I can say with absolute certainty that my fears were completely baseless. From the diverse environments, the rich engaging dialogue, the self referential nostalgia, characterisations and even a very unexpected, inception like reference to Crash Bandicoot, or “Drakeception” if you will–that had me cackling like my drunk mother at a family barbecue, Uncharted 4 is everything I could’ve wanted. The game is a little more mature than previous instalments, yet retaining much of the levity and gratuitous cinematic fluency that has made it so endearing to fans. The thing is is that I’m invested, I’m concerned and I truly care about these characters. I’m always concerned for their welfare. The anxiety I felt was so potent though that it prevented me from playing it for a whole 5 hours after obtaining it! Which really is a credit to the creators for constructing a game series of such immeasurable pleasure, that I genuinely feared that I was going to lose some of my best friends. I’m only about half way through, currently pillaging a Scottish cemetery but can already tell this is going to be one emotional journey, one that I know I’ll finish and go right back to the start to play all over again.
2014 was a particularly fallow year, providing isolated pockets of quality in an otherwise bland and fragile period. It’s tenure rooted in the fertile provocations of commercialised gratuities, with Destiny’s conceited coverage ravaging the proprietary distinction of gaming’s credibility. Well, perhaps that’s an exaggeration but the remonstrated emphasis on expressing discontent with the current state of the industries flagrant, money grabbing predilections has only expedited gamers resentment for the dearth of any sufficient quality. 2015 suffered with congenial hindrances affiliated with 2014, with The Order 1886 a discordant agitation for me personally. Yet despite an adequate retinue of assets 2015 has been a ratification for the emphatic purity of interactive storytelling, striking visuals and shockingly of all; functioning games?! The likes of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Rocket League, MGS 5 and Bloodborne may not be advocated examples of creative ingenuity, but considering the multiple questionable motivations perpetrated by isolated sections of developer’s and media, games of these ilk will endure in spite of the derivative themes pilfered from less formidable authorities. Accredited with engaging moments of levity absent from the previous year, 2015 prompted me to be appreciative of what games I own and which ones I want. It’s been a year of tuition, reflected in the adaptive transitions applied to both personal solidarity and strangely games purchases. There’s been considerable volatility applied to my exerted frugality, with domestic censure restricting my frivolous capacity for game ownership, as I only procured 7 new additions to my diminishing collection (minus the free content downloaded from PlayStation store). Rescinding all consumer spontaneity is for like living in a chocolate factory and being allergic to Cocoa! So making the right decision on a game becomes an exercise in resolute application, requiring purposeful often painful concessions, whether you like it not.
Applying calculated frivolity has endowed a rather unexpected benefit though. With diminished opportunity to retain permanent utilities, an auteristic approach has hastened the advances of supplementary parameters, with games now requiring a protracted algorithm to suitably diversify my purchases. Now instead of merely relying on conscious appraisals I have to account for any number of irregular variables. It’s often cost, with Uncharted being this year’s singular exemption from such restrictions because, well, it’s Uncharted. I didn’t say I always conformed to my wizened calculations?! Critical reaction is a certified formality, but one based purely on the credentials of the participating reviewer as opposed to the publication they are writing for. You can typically tell whether a review, even by a publication with scrupulous creditability is published in earnest. It’s an active precaution of just how lucrative critical consensus is, especially considering the consensual formalisation of social advertising and embargoes. The size or indeed length of the game is also a factoring consideration, though perhaps not in the way that you’d imagine. Formally if a game could be comfortably completed within 10 hours it would be instantly dismissed as a potential successor, but as time readily intervenes with much of my recreational activities I have to sample anything I can. A more discretionary game that can be sporadically participated in over the course of a number of sequential days/weeks/months/years! Is immeasurably beneficial, considering how quickly a game of The Witcher 3’s environmental enormity can supplant basic geographical understanding. Ultimately the aggregation of various numeric calculations will only take you so far, it’s perceptual instinct that ultimately vindicates your whims. No amount of vicarious subversion can accurately facilitate the appropriate vigour you’ll have for a specific title, only active manipulation will identify whether or not you’ve made the right choice.
You want to self-actualise, to rely on your own inherent talents for prophetic selection. Yet processes, in my own lamentable experience often fail to furnish such an observant replication. Your cognizant that you have to deliberate choices effectively to mitigate the damage incurred by a miscalculated purchase. There’s always the chance that you could acclimate to a bad game, perhaps derive some sordid pleasure from an otherwise benign convention, but you don’t want to be discovering excuses to force exponent functionality. Effectually sustained tolerance to a remorseful purchase really isn’t an encouraging direction for game ownership. A solemn inflection, in this case remorse is a sensitive emotion that signifies just how quick we are to lapse into accepting adequacy, and anything resembling adequate should never equate to positive. The most common exhibitor in choosing the wrong game however, which I have learned to much irritation is disregarding popular consensus. The degradation of our own sanity is so readily exchanged for the basic need to harness the expansion of our respective shelves, leading to some very condescending ignorance. I had brazenly abstained from the ambient negativity being openly distributed to “The Order” purely because I craved another game for my meagre PS4 collection. This permissive and downright stupid attitude was a parlous mistake on my part, compounded in this instance by my refusal to pre-order Bloodborne in its stead, despite the abounding cognition to the contrary.
It’s incredibly easy to fraternise with a game ill adept at supplying the necessary sundries to satisfy personal preference. We covet so much all at once with the resonating disparity that we can’t have it all. So be grateful this Christmas for whatever game you receive and hope that the decision is justified.
What game are you glad you bought this year? And which do you regret? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers to all and to all I wish a Merry Christmas!