Despite the fact that I'm a huge fan of the Uncharted series, this Eurogamer review was by far my favourite of the slew of reviews published yesterday. It was the kind of review I was talking about when I said games writing needed more dissenting voices — yet some fans got a little bit angry at the 8/10 score. David Jaffe wrote a lengthy blog on the issue, and it made a lot of sense.
For context I suggest you read Eurogamer's original review, which fairly criticises issues with the Uncharted series that I've heard many raise — including ex-Kotaku editor David Wildgoose. Until now I've never heard those issues raised in a review in a fair and just manner. I found it extremely refreshing.
So, apparently did David Jaffe.
As for U3, I've yet to play the campaign mode, but I played the beta over the summer and really liked it; I enjoyed it more than 99% of human based shooters on the market. And I'm sure I'll love the U3 campaign when I pick it up next week (just as I've loved the earlier Uncharted games).
…Eurogamer's conclusion/criticism about games that are super heavy on the 'experience' at the expense of the 'play' (like they claim Uncharted 3 is and like- by my own admission- GOD OF WAR 1 is***) is wonderfully thought out and presented and the only reason it's been labeled 'controversial' has nothing to do with the review itself and everything to do with the sad state of game consumers who have been so effectively conditioned by a number of the gaming press/gaming PR machines that these gamers leap to a title's defense-not that this gem of a game needs defending- without even being open to the reviewer's criticism (be it valid or not). That's tragic. What's even more tragic is I would argue the games medium itself has been damaged by this practice. Irrevocably? No. But it has taken its toll for sure.
So there's that.
Besides having some great insight, what's great about the Eurogamer review is that it manages to be both positive and critical at the same time (Garsh! Wonder of Wonders! How'd they do that?!?!)
It doesn't bash U3 at all (for to do so would just be trolling for hits since it's clear there ain't a thing in U3 that is bash worthy) and it clearly sings the game's many wonderful praises and achievements. But it does call out what some people consider a fundamental flaw in many of today's console titles where making 'cinematic experiences'**** seems to have become a more important goal than making games. And it's nice to see that level of criticism and insight in games journalism, especially with a game as hyped and anticipated (and as amazingly great) as Uncharted 3. How refreshing that a great, hyped, and soon-to-be much loved game can be praised while at the same time intelligently and non mean-spiritedly criticized for what a reviewer thinks (agree or not) are genuine issues. Wow, that's just like big boy writing! And I love it! :)
And then later, he discusses the idea of calling an 8/10 review controversial in the first place.
Amazing this review is the one being called 'controversial'. To me, the 10/10 review that either mentions the flaws of the game and still gives a perfect score OR the review that doesn't mention the flaws at all (an even worse crime, assuming the reviewer thought there WERE flaws) is the true controversial review. Gamers that don't see this as a problem need to wake up to the PR machine cause the Matrix has you.
Can't say I disagree with a single word being said.