Killer Game OF The Year
by, 01-11-2012 at 07:28 AM (3605 Views)
So many games so little time. In the onslaught of First Person Shooter games this year you’d think one of them would have a lock as my “game of the year.” Well you couldn't be more wrong. There’s a strong argument to be had that the majority of FPS games released this year fell way short of the mark for greatness when it came to the campaign. The only 2 exceptions that I can think of are Resistance 3 and Gears of War 3. Both of these have a decent story and exceptional game play... and a campaign that doesn't leave you pissed off about wasting $60. For me, there is a very clear cut choice for game of the year: Unchartered 3.
I know, many will argue that Skyrim should take this award (which it very well did at Spike’s VGA’s). However, I would argue that Skyrim’s appeal is limited to a much smaller niche market, not to the gaming masses. Let’s be honest here- whether you’re 10 or 40, going to college or working 60 hour weeks- it doesn't matter for Unchartered 3. Anyone can pick it up and enjoy the hell out of an awesome gaming experience.
The series, as a whole, has gotten better with each installment. This third installment gives fans of the series (and newcomers alike) the back-story on how Sully and Drake (the protagonist) came to meet each other. To those that do not know, Sully has been Drake’s father figure and fellow treasure hunter throughout the series. The story is so well written and the cut scenes are simply flawless that you honestly forget that you are even playing a game. It feels much more like you are watching a great movie.... and we’re not just talking cut-scenes here. In fact, there was several times during gameplay that I simply stopped focusing on the objectives to take a look around at the scenery. Naughty Dog definitely did things right in this area of the game- especially with the focus Uncharted games place on historical venues- this game truly makes you feel like you are part of the locations and is one of its strongest attributes among a long list of positives.
One of my favorite levels forces you to save yourself from a sinking ship. Within the chaos of this situation, you become disoriented as to which way is up as the ship sinks. You are left at the mercy of gravity; hanging on to doorways that are at 90 degree angles, trying to navigate yourself to safety. As the water continues to rush in, you almost feel panicked yourself...even though you are sitting comfortably, completely dry, with controller in hand. Within a year of games which mostly failed at this level of excitement, Uncharted 3 is chock full of adrenaline filled moments just like this which work to submerge you into the game play (no pun intended).
Big moments are a must in gaming, but the details are what separate good games from great experiences. One of these details, which can quite literally make or break a gaming experience, is audio... and Uncharted 3’s audio is off the charts (especially in 7.1 surround sound).
Think I’m wrong? Example in point: One of the most impressive moments within the game is when you (well, Nathan Drake, that is) are alone in the desert. The wind begins to pick up and, depending on the way you are facing, you can hear which side the wind is coming from. The steps you take through the desert sound exactly like it would if you were in this situation yourself. While playing you can hear the slight crunch of sand when your weight is placed down. If you have never gamed with surround sound, Uncharted 3sincerely makes you realize what you are missing out on and proves that titles such as this can offer a totally different, and much more in-depth level of gaming.
If you are a gamer who is tired of the same old yearly-released multiplayer, Uncharted 3 is a great change of pace. This title gives you the feel of an Indiana Jones movie with a touch of Tomb Raider gameplay. The guys and gals at Naughty Dog have upped the ante yet again for gaming within the action/adventure genre. The only “down side” to the game that it is an exclusive playstation title... and not many series out there justify buying a console. Nevertheless, this 3rd installment Unchartered makes a great argument for those who do not own one, to think about picking up a PS3, or at least playing this title at a friend’s house. This series is arguably the best in our current console generation. Don't find yourself left out-- find a way to get your hands on this!
Special Thanks to @JohnnyWayne_on Twitter for Helping me out with this article.