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If A Game Is Cinematic In Nature, Is It Less Of A Game?

We gave Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception a perfect score. Eurogamer did not.

Their 8/10 review has raised eyebrows of gamers and critics alike, and it has generated plenty of heated arguments in gaming communities across the Internet. God of War creator and current Eat Sleep Play boss decided to address the controversy over at the developer's blog.

Firstly, it's important to note that he doesn't bash Naughty Dog's latest, and he points out that Eurogamer's review doesn't bash it, either. In fact, Jaffe - like most others - are amazed at Uncharted 3. But he cites the major point in Eurogamer's review as something worth considering and discussing:

"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! :)"

Now, you have to admit, he has a point. As we progress at a rapid pace and gaming begins to feel more and more like interactive movies, we do see significant alterations in the standard video game formula. Furthermore, given the required mainstream appeal of blockbusters like Drake's adventures, developers really can't afford to produce an inaccessible game. Hence, the long-time hardcore fans routinely bemoan the relative ease of titles today in comparison to games of yesteryear.

So all this begs the question: if a game is cinematic and that is clearly the developer's goal, and it is indeed more about "the experience" than direct total control, is it less of a "video game?" Jaffe doesn't suggest the cinematic approach results in a lesser product, but it's important to note that Jaffe has, in the past, said game storylines aren't as great as some people believe and in truth, we may not need novel-esque plots and narratives in this industry. What's your response to all this?

Related Game(s): Uncharted 3

Tags: uncharted 3, david jaffe, eurogamer, uncharted 3 reviews

10/25/2011 8:57:43 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (96 posts)

Sir Shak
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 9:45:33 PM
Reply

So they had no problem in giving Uncharted 2 a 10 but now the series has become too cinematic? Ohhh....kay.

Agree with this comment 17 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:17:52 PM

Yea I know, right? Ridiculous!

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godsman
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:49:13 PM

Yeah, assuming Uncharted 3 is the same as Uncharted 2. Does that deserve to plunge from 100 to 80 score?! I understand if they give Uncharted 3 a 95 if they don't enjoy it, but an 80?!

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Shams
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 9:41:59 AM

I appreciate Dave's candidness, and yours, as well, Ben. But, honestly, it comes down to the response you gave to Alienange the other day. We're talking about different genres, here. Uncharted is not Skyrim. It is a linear action adventure, designed as perfectly paced blend of cinema, story-telling and action. It was the kind of genre that Dave was clearly going after with GOW. Mr.Jaffe mentions how he appreciated Eurogamer's criticism of "Calling All Cars", but I wonder what he's feelings would be if he got a similar review of GOW's. Maybe, he feels the genre is outdated, which is why he said that if he were to do a GOW now, it would be a mix of Zelda, like Darksiders. But again, that is knock on the genre. And, Gears of War 3 and even Heavy Rain might as well be thrown out the window, too, then. I ask Mr. Jaffe to remember his comment how he thought MGS4 was the better experience but Gears of War 3 is the better game. What I think he meant by that is that there is place for both.

Mr.Jaffe mentions how most people just wanna f* around in an open world game like GTA. He does not mention, though, that "most people" (like 70% of "gamers" supposedly) don't even complete the games they play. He mentions how "everyone" is unfairly attacking this reviewer at Eurogamer, though, though I'd say, comparing Uncharted sales with the likes of COD, and GTA, those who are reacting are not the vast majority, but a vocal minority. But that isn't even the problem.

The problem is, that the review doesn't quite match the score. The reviewer heaps praise how Uncharted 3 is the best of it's class. And Dave acknowledges that. He says that the review is both positive and critical. But what Dave is ignoring, is that although the reviewer praises the game, he ultimately ends it on a lower note, saying although it is the best of it's class, it is ultimately "shallow". The reviewer gives it an "8". Fine. But then, I'd like to see what games get the 9's and 10's. If Uncharted 3 is not a 9+ game, what games are the top 10%? What are those 25 to 40 games this gen that are ultimately better, or less shallow than Uncharted 3?

He also says, this is just one guy's opinion. But, people are not reacting because it's an opinion. People are reacting because it is not just an opinion, but an agenda, that some writers and sites have a history of perpetuating for the sake of being controversial, and generating traffic. And even that is not the crime. The crime is those sites generate traffic at the expense of the reputation of quality developers. Hell, even it ain't damaging, over this virtual space called the internet, it isn't exactly helpful, either.

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Shams
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 11:08:12 AM

Correction: When mention Dave's previous comment about MGS4 and Gears 3, I meant Gears 2, not Gears 3.

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Dukemz_UK
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 4:30:48 PM

While I respect Jaffe, I have to agree with you Shams. Uncharted has always been an epic blend of gameplay, cinematography and story-telling, in a captivating and satisfyingly interactive Hollywood-esque style. How can Eurogamer give it an 8 based on their comments? If that were the case, should a game like Heavy Rain get a 2? You can't judge an apple, according to the definition of an orange. You have to compare an apple to other apples, and an orange to other oranges, for f* sake! I honestly believe sites like Eurogamer take turns to create controversy and in so doing pump up their site traffic. Maybe there is something more sinister to their motives than just increasing site traffic? Will we ever know what "perks" are exchanged behind closed doors?
The problem is that Eurogamer has made a mockery of Naughty Dog, possibly thee most committed video game studio of our generation. Worst case scenario: Eurogamer may have generated an unfounded doubt about Uncharted 3, which in turn has the ability to sway a few thousand or tens of thousands of people from perhaps buying the game and supporting such a great game developer. It may have laid the foundation to have the the same negative effect on selling tens of thousands of PS3 systems. It gives fuel to the X-bots who are fairly bare in the console exclusive department to make that Xmas PS3 purchase they knew, deep down, they were always likely to make. I am furious at sites like Eurogamer, and Jaffe should have known better being a stalwart of the Playstation "family": signs of jealousy?... Sad if that's the case.

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Shams
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 5:23:50 PM

Well said, Dukemz_UK. My sentiments exactly.

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rogers71
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 7:14:43 PM

I agree with both of your sentiments but I will add the following: If people let a review sway whether or not they get a proven and excellent franchise game, well, they don't deserve to be playing the game in the first place.

I am getting this game D1 whether Eurogamer gives it a 2 or a 10. The only people that I think would be swayed are those that haven't played the 1st 2 games, therefore, they shouldn't be looking at the 3rd game until they play the first 2. Just my 2 cents.

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Warrior Poet
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 9:49:35 PM
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Uncharted IS way too easy, even on hard mode, but that's not what makes it good. It wouldn't be as good as a movie, but it also wouldn't be much of a game without the cinematic elements. I remember watching FMVs in Final Fantasy VIII and thinking it was more like a silent film (which I love) than Hollywood cinema. It felt completely and utterly like an RPG game, though, and not a movie. That game also happened to be way too easy too :P

There's a place for hard games - and a good challenge is getting really hard to find on the current gen - but in order to get the money to make such a great game, it has to be easy enough for anyone.

Back in the NES days a developer could toss out a really hard game like Solstice or Blaster Master and everyone loved it. Now hardcore gamers love Dark Souls. It's just that less games are what we'd call "hardcore."

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FM23
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:09:47 AM

Darks Souls is hard making it very unenjoyable. I'd rather take the new format with the choice of choosing hard difficulty with checkpoints which I usually do instead of the heavy punishment Dark Souls puts on its audience. I loved Demons Souls because it was fair, but too many times...I find Dark Souls just plain unenjoyablel. I usually find myself playing just to prove I can beat this damn thing and maybe thats the point, but at the same time...Dark Souls takes to much time and effort only to end up pissed...lol

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Shams
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 9:52:00 AM

I agree that Uncharted on even crushing mode is not as difficult as Demon's Souls or the Ninja Gaidens on Master Ninja Mode, but it is hard enough that it requires you master all the mechanics. So I agree with FM23. Notice how games like Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Ninja Gaidens are all about the challenge, but are threadbare in story. Uncharted is a very happy medium.

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sirbob6
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 9:56:43 PM
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I don't agree with Jaffe here. MGS4 is one of the most cinematic games ever. It also happens to be one of the most worth while games I have ever played.

The game was a blast the whole way though. Even when I sat there for an hour watching a cut-scene or when I was slowly sneaking through grass, ready to choke someone out.

The same applies to other games of its breed like Uncharted, or games more dependent on story like Heavy Rain, which is one of my highlights of this generation.

However I am not saying that a game needs to be cinematic to be good. Portal(1) for example had very little in the way of story (until the very end) and it was an extremely fun game with the combination of a fresh puzzle game and darker humor.

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FxTales
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:03:02 PM
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But we all know that these games are meant to be cinematic, so all they're doing is being critical of what this series has always been.

Last edited by FxTales on 10/25/2011 10:06:54 PM

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 8:06:15 AM

Simple as that.

It's what the game is and should be reviewed as such. Did it achieve what it set out to be? Not criticise it for it's aim. That's like criticising Demon's Souls for what it set out to be....most reviewers awarded this game accordingly, though, and many added "not for everyone" at the end to justify. That isn't happening with Uncharted via some outlets.
Basically, it's still a required taste. I'm not a fan of Uncharted and if i was reviewing on opinion to my tastes, i'd give it a 7 at max for technical innovations alone. But that would be unfair because it didn't set out to be to my tastes and should be marked accordingly.

Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 10/26/2011 8:06:59 AM

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:12:25 PM
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I usually always agree with Jaffe, not here though and not personally. This is just my opinion but if the game doesn't drag me in with it's story and cinematics I tend to get bored! The cinematics and narrative is part of what made GoW so good to me and millions of others. So for him to act like it's not an intrigual part of gaming then, I'm curious how TM will turn out. Now I know as well as anyone TM isn't about cinematics at all, it's about car combat, but anytime you create a campaign there needs to be substance, and to me the more the better.

We are not talking about a car combat game though, this isn't Madden, or Tony Hawk, or Need for Speed, even MK. This is Uncharted. This is what the GAME does best and far beyond what any other game does, to knock it because it's better than the rest at something, especially something so important to the series is absolutely NOT "intelligently criticized." sorry Jaffe I can't back you on this one!



Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/25/2011 10:16:10 PM

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SnipeySnake
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 11:49:56 PM

I agree. Like sirbob6 said, portal wasn't cinematic but to be honest, what kept me going was wanting to hear more GLaDOS dialogue after each puzzle.

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FM23
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:11:43 AM

I love this...

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enjoi
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:17:17 PM
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God forbid developers attempt a narrative beyond "you are the last survivor in a wasteland now there will be no more story until the final boss."

Just because they make a game with a GOOD story and GOOD mocap actors doesn't mean they are making a movie.

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FM23
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:12:04 AM

Looking at you Dark Souls

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iwillbetheone
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:17:21 PM
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I, for one, liked the way Eurogamer's review was written. But it focused too much on the game looking less like a game, and more like an interactive movie. It didn't touch upon gameplay mechanics, sound, etc. Their analysis is very good, and criticisms/flaws(especially how killing one enemy stealthily alerts all guards of the area, which I've also seen in many gameplay videos. That just kills the realistic feel that the game has for the most part) are genuine. However, Uncharted 3 is MEANT to be like interactive cinema, with non-stop over the top sequences. I guess they added multiplayer to fill in the gamey(Jaffe's word) stuffs. Though, I don't play online, U3's multiplayer seems awesome, and I think I'll play it a lot after the campaign ends. But for those that don't want the multiplayer, the title is indeed open to criticisms.

Jaffe is correct that reviews that don't give any criticisms are the ones that are controversial. I was excited at first to know that IGN gave U3 a 10/10, but the reveiver looked more like a blind mark for Uncharted in his video review. He just vaguely praised the game in every sentence without even describing how the game plays. I praise Eurogamer for being honest to what they think, and not get caught up in the hype wind.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:19:35 PM
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GOod topic discussion. I haven't read the Eurogamer review, and I probably wont, but I have thought on the cinematic vs game play thing myself. Cinematic scenes are usually tied directly to story telling. I think if a game rides on a cinematic narrative in linear system of progression, then the game does adhere to a track in which the story rolls. It seemingly has to in order to tell an effective "movie-like" story. Uncharted has always been a very movie'esque game. The developers don't deny that, and it's their goal to deliver an experience like that. I don't think any product that a developer makes should be caste into a critic's perspective of how a game ought to be, as this Eurogamer apparently has.

I think the Uncharted series is a top of their class production by way of fulfilling the measure of it's purpose with excellence.
Naughty Dog's efforts with Uncharted 2 pinned the scope of it's design down to a tee. If every developer could recognize the design of their game as Naughty Dog can, whether it be open world, game'playish, competitive, or not, and to execute it with as much exacting proficiency in every tangible sense of the medium as Naughty Dog has, I think most games would benefit. I definitely don't think there should be a cookie-cutter approach to games by way of play design. THere's enough room for gamers of all interests in this market to find and treasure something like Dark Souls, Gran Turismo, or Madden, but I think every game could benefit from holding themselves to a standard of excellence as Naughty Dog clearly does, and is an 8 representative of that excellence? I haven't played U3, but it certainly wouldn't have been fitting for U2 to bear a score that places itself on par with the majority of other games on the market.

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PasteNuggs
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:24:12 PM
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Even though I don't like UC3 getting 8's I must say Eurogamer didn't come off to bias. They praised the game and all that good stuff. It got me curious to see if they were being bias so I went back and looked at there Blops score which also received an 8. Blops is also very cinematic in nature so I used that as a reference. Although I do believe that they should have given UC3 at least an 8.5 by there standards. They were critical of the gameplay and if they didn't want to lose some credibility they should scored UC3 higher than COD because even if they believe the gameplay is stale it is a lot more varied than COD.

Last edited by PasteNuggs on 10/25/2011 10:24:42 PM

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Twistedfloyd
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:38:41 PM
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I understand what the reviewer is saying and what Jaffe is saying. But it doesn't make it less of a game, it makes it more of an experience. It is evolving games from simply being games into interactive entertainment the way that Metal Gear Solid and Heavy Rain have also done.

Naughty Dog has taken what Hideo Kojima pioneered and are making their own cinematic masterpiece that is part game, part film to raise the level of interaction within the game to create what isn't a game, but to create what is the ultimate entertainment experience that is not defined by game or movie, but is its own thing.

MGS, HR and Uncharted are the only series (or games in Heavy Rain's instance) where I feel like the line between cinema and game has been blown to pieces. Maybe they aren't games in the traditional sense, but is that really such a bad thing? Is is such a bad thing that people want to make real characters, and stories that dictate the game design that heightens the game experience with its emotional presentation, that translates to amazing action?

I get that they may not be games in the traditional sense, but fu** anyone for saying that's a bad thing, because quite frankly, taking chances and evolving an art form, and taking it in a new direction, is anything but a bad thing.

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 7:57:34 AM

I agree, BUT the problem is that it's being favoured over traditional playing games (you can still innovate with just that) and it's moving games into something else that also exists and thus erasing the unique media we call video games.

I said i agree because as you said, it's creating it's own unique thing and it's a beautiful thing.
The problem lays within how much they ignore the traditional for it.

You can still be cinematic whilst maintaining the traditional video game foundations. The original MGS games did this, early Silent Hills did this or Final Fantasy.

Silent Hill 2 is renowned for having the most intelligent plot in game history and it's not akin to a Heavy Rain, but still a traditional video game.

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tes37
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 10:51:10 PM
Reply

It seems David Jaffe could use some back up, but he won't get it from me. I haven't read Eurogamer's review, but I do believe gamers went off on them for what they perceived to be a disservice to a very talented game developer.

In my opinion, it's no more or less of a game, whether it has cinematics or not, as long as I can interact with it. It's up to the developer to make the experience worthwhile.

Off topic: Seems weird that MS is spell checking my use of the word cinematics and it's something their DVD games can't handle a lot of.

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DemonNeno
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 11:12:25 PM
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First and foremost, I don't read reviews for games from many websites. When I do, I read them for what 99% of them are. Reviews require some level of opinion. This opinion, you see, varies and shouldn't reflect on the games factual structure, gameplay and storyline, etc.. This opinion means nothing to me, since I know my taste always differs from modern day critics and gamers alike. This opinion has absolutely NO place in the overall score a game deserves. It's not much different than Gamespots' 9.0 review, whereas Batman's AC saw a higher score. How can you tell me this is a well-balanced review and score when you pull something like that off? Don't get me wrong, Bats is awesome, but it doesn't do anything new for me. Personally, I think Assassin's Creed 2 did more for my gaming hunger than AC did. And that, my friends, is the main reason someone else's made up numbers mean zilch to me.

That said, these types of games are a new genre. The Uncharted series has incorperated multiple genres of gaming, most evident are the shooter and platformer. So, in my opinion, there wasn't a formula to be followed/compared form the get-go. Toss in the cinematic story into the mix and we're further from having a gaming formulat to abide by it. This is a new genre of gaming altogether, as far as I'm concerned, and there hasn't be a meaningful competitor to measure the Uncharted series' greatness to.

What Naughty Dog does with this game changes everything. Storyline DOES matter, regardless of how much you try to avoid it. What you get to observe instead of play throughout the game (most of the environmental changes occur during cutscenes) barely give you enough time to revamp your guessimated tactics for your next move. It's like strategy with a very short wick in most cases.

Do I walk away with less? Absolutely NOT. As with the first two games, I walked away with far more interest and satisfaction than watching a movie and an unmatched level of gaming that nothing else can remotely offer to cure my hunger.

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Shams
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 10:30:31 AM

Totally agree. Like Arnold mentioned in his review, there are moments of cinema in Uncharted that even Hollywood is not capable of replicating. Those are the moments of banter, or even monologue of Drake talking to himself, Moments that are typical of only live theatre, or even real life, when you are with your friends or by yourself.

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Warrior Poet
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 11:21:51 PM
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I think the thing is, Uncharted is a fusion of game and film. It's certainly not a bad thing. We can look at Super Metroid and say, "That's game storytelling," or we can look at Final Fantasy Whatever and say, "That's film-like storytelling in a game." Uncharted is a game built around film-like storytelling, and criticizing it for being that doesn't make sense. I'd be mad if Samus Aran started cracking one-liners while facing off against Mother Brain, but it's right with Nathan Drake.

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SaiyanSempai
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 @ 11:59:18 PM
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Temjin, Twisted, i couldn't agree with you more.

Making a game more cinematic is a bad thing? They are going to knock a game for accomplishing exactly what it set out to do and for doing it exceedingly well?

Seems silly to me. It really seems like they are going against the grain just to go against the grain.

I remember playing DMC4 and thinking that the action sequences in the beginning with Dante and Nero were incredible. I remember thinking that Capcom could teach Hollywood a thing or two about cinematic action sequences and camera angles!

While I considered the story itself in DMC4 as only being good (as opposed to stellar), those cinematic action sequences were both imaginative and technically impressive.

Personally, I am more of a person that likes single player campaigns, so for me a good story is absolutely essential for me to keep interested in the game.

Some people knocked MGS4 for it's cinematics. Was it a good story though? Yes. And the gameplay was exceptional.

Good story = staying interested
Good gameplay = wanting to continue playing

Good gameplay + good story = A fantastic experience! - one that has really captured me and something I think about even when I'm not playing.

If gamers are complaining that that's a bad thing, then I feel sad for the future of gaming. Do they expect the industry to thrive on FPS multiplayer clones, maddens, and generic action games with no substance? They've already killed the JRPG, don't kill our action games with great, exciting, cinematic stories as well.

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clockwyzebkny
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 7:22:23 PM

Agreed. It seems like that's where the industry wants to go. It seems as if they just want to shove out, casual or short campaign FPS at us. Don't kill our story and cinematic driven action/adventures!!!!

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SaiyanSempai
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:04:32 AM
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DemonNeno, Tes, I agree 110%.

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StubbornScorpio
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:04:33 AM
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Jaffe recently expressed his "disdain" for storyline in a PAX panel earlier this year, yet supposedly most major characters in the new Twisted Metal will have some sort of backstory.... What gives Mr. Jaffe?

His comment and the Eurogamer review seem to be ignorant of Uncharted's integrated cinematic narrative. I hardly think this removes from the game experience; it's still ME shooting the hordes of baddies, climbing walls, solving puzzles, and stumbling when the environment goes to hell. The parts where the game removes control places me in a position where I can care more about the characters and the story that unfolds. That experience is memorable, and I can't say I've ever cared that way for any of Jaffe's games.

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ZettaiSeigi
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:21:39 AM
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This is one of the rare times I don't necessarily agree with Jaffe. The Uncharted games have always been cinematic, so I can't understand why people are still "complaining" about its nature even if it's now on its third iteration.

As a gamer who played the first two games, I never felt the "experience" stepping over the "play". It's exactly that experience that drives me to play the game. I don't see myself finishing the games several times if I did not enjoy the characters and the stories being told. If I want a non-cinematic game, then I won't turn to Uncharted for that.

Like what I mentioned on another post, I don't care if someone gives the game a 7/10 if it is fully warranted, but expecting non-stop action from a game that is obviously cinematic from its conception is just beyond stupid. It's like expecting a Lady Gaga song from an Andrea Bocelli album.

Last edited by ZettaiSeigi on 10/26/2011 12:28:20 AM

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:24:33 AM
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as for this eurogamer review...it is a well written review. it has a lot of praise for uc3 but says it commits the cardinal sin of giving you the illusion you are in control while pulling you from set piece to set piece.

okay eurogamer seems to think uc3 might be suffering from a case of linearitis(alienage's term). i can understand that some people might have a problem with very linear games. i have had similar experiences with games that i thought were on rails so to speak. kz3's sp campign was so on rails that it was almost torture to replay it. i really dislike tiny little levels with only one way to go through. i think that is just lazy game design.

i just read eurogamer's review again and i don't have a problem with it. the quality of the review is good and it had a lot of great insights. the review actually made me more inclined to buy the game for some reason.

i will be very interested to see how this game performs. how many copies will it sell? i seem to remember uc2's sales were sluggish at first even though it had great scores.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 1:01:09 AM

Why do you base a games success on sales? I don't care if I'm the only person to buy Uncharted 3 (obviously I'm not), if it's good it's good!

Don't act like you don't either you always use it as a comparison... Always!

Honestly the sales probably won't be huge especially at first, considering it's right in-between two of the biggest shooters of the year.

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godsdream
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 1:10:16 AM

@Excelsior1 Oh you bet they're going to sell quite a few of this bad boy ;)

Last edited by godsdream on 10/26/2011 1:10:50 AM

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ZettaiSeigi
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 1:14:50 AM

@godsdream: Quoting Jack Tretton, eh? Haha!

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godsdream
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 1:33:16 AM

@ZettaiSeigi you got me ;b

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 2:57:50 AM

@godsdream

ha! jack trenton's qoute. i expect uc3 to do well. i would love to see uc3 light up the charts. bigrailer...you make a good point about uc3 being between 2 big shooters. there is also elder scrolls on 11/11. the batman game seems to be doing well. the competition is stiff but surely uc3 can manage to sell a million copies in a week, right? it has a good meta score. this gets me thinking about release dates and competition.

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godsdream
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:59:14 AM
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I like a lot this cinematic things in games. I started loving this kind of stuff since my days with final fantasy series. I didn't get bothered at all watching a 30 minute movie in MGS4 and I loved that game. I said in other article that this kind of things makes a game feel special when you play it, at least for me.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 1:14:31 AM
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But the thing is, uncharted also has the most enjoyable gameplay. It's probably the most refined TPS you will find in terms of shooting mechanics and movement, not to mention the jumping (which is tottaly removed in some games >:S). Naughty Dog are just trying to create a cinematic enviroment, then jump you INTO it, to yes, play it. People are just over-exagerating if they say that uncharted is more of a movie than a game- They said that about MGS4 too. I do think Jaffe has a point, but not once this generation (or any) have I sat back and said "that's practically a movie".

Okay SOME of the set-pieces give you limted control, but these scenarios would be no-where near as good without this. Most games wouldn't attempt it even with limted control, because its so hard to do (moving objects ON a moving object), and would sacrifice with a cutscene instead. So if you look at it that way, ND are actually striving to NOT take away control from the player and keep the continuity.

In my honest opinion, Uncharted is more of a GAME than any other. You can do things in multiplayer (jump off things making a quick escape, climbing back up and dragging them off) that you can't do in any another game.

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 2:15:29 AM
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But that's the point of Uncharted!!! It's the whole point of the whole freakin' series!!!

It was designed to be a cinematic experience!! It was designed to be tightly controlled with triggers for cutscenes or the next action setpiece!!

That doesn't mean it is a flaw. It is simply a design choice. Naughty Dog clearly did it well, but if you want a more open or choice driven game, play GTA, or Heavy Rain, or Mass Effect.

If you want a game that feels like an Indiana Jones Adventure that you're watching for the first time at the cinemas, Uncharted is perfect for that. Yes, it is scripted, but aren't all games these days?

Last time a developer tried to do a live game that designed around the player's actions was too much of a strain on the animators and production team. :P (related to a Simpsons quote)

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 2:19:39 AM
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I read the Eurogamer review, and I'm still annoyed by it. Sure, they offered praise for the game, as they rightly should have, but their criticisms are simply off-point. They should NOT be attacking a game for doing exactly what it sets out to do, as opposed to what the reviewer thinks that a game should be. That being said, yes it was a well written article, but the complaints within it should have been addressed in an editorial.

As for Jaffe, to each their own. As he says, it's big boy writing, but not fit for a review.

As for cinema making a game less of a game... well, no. The gaming industry is expanding to offer a much broader range of experiences. This comes from DL titles, episodic gaming, Minis, pure action, role playing, thought-provoking, and oh yes, cinematic gaming. Certainly, we don't need extremely deep, engaging stories in games, but I, for one, am glad that we have them, and when it is tied into the gameplay, as it is in Heavy Rain, and somewhat so in Uncharted, then it only allows for near perfection.

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Kevin5
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 4:12:07 AM

Well said my Aussie comrade.

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Kevin5
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 4:09:16 AM
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8/10 is a good score imo & regular Eurogamer readers (that use to be me) wouldn't be too surprised by this outcome considering Eurogamer often like to play the shady outsider readers source by handing out controversial scores to big name games (Red Dead Redemption, Gears of War & MGS4 got 8/10 scores too), I know it's just their opinion but it happens too regular imo, whether it's for site hits or to be "edgy" who knows. Either way it doesn't bother me too much as i play games myself & only read some reviews to see what others say about the same game i am interested in. It never ever has a final bearing on my buying decision, but i still enjoy the read nonetheless.

I use to be a regular reader over there & although they do have some interesting opinions i started to lose interest when most of their reviews read like previews & alot of reviews themselves never matched the final scores given, for example some 7/10 rated games read like 9/10 games. Imo, they're starting to become as irrelevent to me as GamesTM & Edge magazine.

On the cinema issue, i still hear some lads calling MGS4 a great movie, that "criticism" isn't as cute anymore & i find it a shame that people can't appreciate the vision of a mastermind developer instead of dismissing it as "an interactive movie lolz!1!1!".

Personally, some of my most favourite games are of a high cinematic nature (MGS, Heavy Rain & Uncharted)& these are the most enjoyable games i have played in years, so in that regard i say keep the cinematic gaming coming, the more the better i reckon.





Last edited by Kevin5 on 10/26/2011 4:14:25 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 5:18:44 AM
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This was an mature (and in my opinion, correct) way of reading the Eurogamer review. All creds to Jaffe for this.
One must be allowed to have a different perspective on things without getting killed by the lynch mob. One must be allowed to disagree with the majority without being labelled "attention seeker" or "idiot".

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 9:14:06 AM

Editorial comments based on opinion do not belong in an objective review. The ideas and thoughts are useful, yes, but they should not factor into the review. Jaffe himself said there is nothing bash worthy in the review.

Go to his blog and read Mike G's comment. It's a fantastic point. (I made one as well. Kraaft is what I went by)

Last edited by Underdog15 on 10/26/2011 9:15:06 AM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 11:54:30 AM

Beam-

You make a good point everyone should be able to say what they feel. But it can't be opinionated in a review, like underdog said.

But here's the issue! They are faulting the game for what they all have done better than any other games! And Jaffe is basically saying they were geniuses in the way they criticized the game, when the literally faulted it for doing what the game excels at! GoW was very cinematic in ways also, and that's why I like the games, and for Jaffe to act and say this, when his very own production included it, is pretty lame.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/26/2011 12:01:24 PM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:17:53 PM

You need to read the blog, Big. He himself is drawing a comparison with GoW.

Excerpt: "(like they claim Uncharted 3 is and like- by my own admission- GOD OF WAR 1 is***) is wonderfully thought out and presented"...

Go read it. It's an interesting post.

Last edited by Beamboom on 10/26/2011 12:18:32 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:37:16 PM

I've read it. But the first God of War game isn't his only God of War game. GoW is good, but it certainly doesn't have a much deeper gameplay mechanic. I think he mentions GoW just to give himself legitimacy.

By admission, I do much the same thing in many of my posts.

(See what I did there?)

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 2:08:29 PM

All the blog proves is he's contradicting himself beam lol.

Your not understanding the issue here. That's ok, read my comment from
Above that'll explain what I won't type here...

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/26/2011 2:10:40 PM

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___________
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 5:21:02 AM
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not less of a game, but less enjoyable!
thats why i cant enjoy allot of this gens games, because there more movies then games.
GOW3 for example was all about amazing graphics and massive bosses, when the series has been and should be about brutal gameplay, good story, and tough puzzles.
same thing with infamous 2, the original made you feel like a badass because you had the best of both worlds.
you could fire grenades that had large dammage, large radius and had a special effect.
infamous 2 every power feels allot weaker.
infamous 1 you could throw a grenade in the centre of 3 enemies and it would kill all 3.
infamous 2 it kills 2 and sends the 3rd flying but still alive.
your powers just feel like they have been toned down allot and that really destroyed the game for me.
games have just become far too cinematic and its totally destroying my enjoyability with them!
look at all my favourite games, assassins creed, ratchet and clank, alpha protocol, splinter cell, PoP, by far the least cinematic games out there!
the turning games into typical hollywood movies has totally destroyed my enjoyment of almost every game this gen!

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___________
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 6:05:20 AM
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in fact i think david explained it allot better then me.
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-10-25-jaffe-not-interested-in-returning-to-god-of-war

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DarthNemesis
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 6:45:04 AM
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Cinematics do not at all take away control of a game and just adds to set pieces or a different way to experience the game.U did not read Eurogamer's review as the site is nothing but nit picky to me,but if that is their reason for giving the game an 8 then its a very flawed reason.I have no problem with the score but it seems like Eurogamer only scored it an to cause controversy and it worked.Also difficulty never had anything to do with a game being good as Super Mao and many other older franchises were easier than Uncharted.Also I find Uncharted to be difficult at higher levels but it is a fare challenge unlike Dark Souls which is just cheap and un-enjoyable as said by someone else.Games are interactive media obviously and in he pat they did not have the tech to make them cinematic the way they are today.Games should be rated on the experience and quality and not a personal opinion of nit picking.Uncharted is the only series this generation that improves with each installment.It is not perfect but no series is better at the moment,not even MGS.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 7:22:08 AM
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Frankly I don't see what the fuzz is all about regarding this review.
Essentially the reviewer draw a comparison with being an actor on a set, following instructions from the director. I think that comparison is spot on. As long as you follow orders things play out as planned, but work against that and things start to fall apart. That in itself is a correct observation.

Now, we can go on discussing whether or not this matter or if anything else should be expected from this game. Fair enough, but that's a different discussion. The observation above in itself is a valid point as far as I am concerned, and that is what he base his review on. To this particular reviewer this matters to him from a gamers point of view, therefore he express that. Nothing more than that.

And to someone like me who share his view on linearity and scripted events, I found this review to be an interesting read, a valuable input.


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/26/2011 8:29:04 AM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 8:46:37 AM

I don't think you get the issue. The issue is that the author of the Eurogamer review is inconsistent in the way he reviews games. The second thing is that an editorial ---OPINION--- on what a game should be (as opposed to what the game itself attempts to accomplish) should not come out in a review of a highly anticipated title.

Leave those shenanigans to the editorials.

He made good points in his writing, but it is the furthest thing from a professional review as you can get. He gets hits because it's a review. He would never get noticed for his thoughts in an editorial.

Those shenanigans are unprofessional. Jaffe had a few oversights, as well, if you ask me. I mention them lower.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 8:57:03 AM

I do buy the argument that a broader discussion about what a game should be is better suited as an editorial. And this topic is very interesting and of course something we all never will agree on.
However I feel that the reviewer here did focus on this game, and everything he wrote was in relation to the title he reviewed.

What I suspect is that it all boils down to whether or not one agrees with what is written. For someone who agrees, like me, I think the review were one of many worth reading, nothing more and nothing less. I really don't see the controversy here.


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/26/2011 9:01:01 AM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 9:20:21 AM

The controversy is that the written review does not match the score. ---ESPECIALLY--- when you look into the same author's scoring history. The author is inconsistent and needs to be more responsible about the way he scores.


I mean really... "CoD:BO maintains it's great replay value and improves on it... 9.5/10"... "UC3 maintains it's great production values and improves it beyond what we thought was possible. Gameplay is more fluid and secure. A definite improvement... But I ***FEEL*** games should be made differently the way I think they should be made.... so, despite the 10/10 we gave UC2, I'm giving the next one a 8/10... just like I gave Brink! It has far fewer flaws than Deus Ex, which I gave a 10 to, but at least Deus Ex does what I ---BELIEVE--- games should do."

It's really stupid. It really is. He makes great points, but he's insecure to the point that he is way to inconsistent in his scoring. There's no measurable or objective way to his scoring.

That's a HUGE deal. And it shouldn't be overlooked. He deserves the fan outcry.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 10:18:14 AM

Notice how I've not said a single word about the score that accompanied the review. :)
There we agree. A game like this is highly unlikely to deserve an 8, no matter how your rating policy is.
I will get this game though (as usual I buy into the hype - I always do), and will get back to you on this if I change my mind after playing it. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/26/2011 10:27:46 AM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 8:42:59 AM
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I have two issues with Jaffe's blog. And I normally appreciate most of what the man says. Both issues I want to raise are severe oversights, in my opinion.

1) He asks the question... which is worse? Giving a game a lower score or ignoring flaws after noticing them... yet earlier in the same blog, he himself says there is nothing worth bashing in UC3. To me, that's an inconsistency, and one argument cancels out the other.

2) He never examines the importance of the scores itself. We have an industry where scores affect the market while the 10 point scale is never fully used. His oversight is ignoring the author of the Eurogamer review's history. He makes a point about big boy writing, yet, he ignores any importance on being consistent and non-contradictory. To me, contradicting yourself consistently is proof of a form of insecurity in your own writing.

I agree that the content of the review is more important than the score, however, reviewers still need to be accountable for their scoring. The Eurogamer reviewer gave Brink the same score, and some of the 10's he gave out come out of no-where.

Jaffe doesn't consider this, and it's the biggest problem in this whole controversy. No one is all that mad about what the author wrote. (Aside from the fact that most of what Jaffe admires is content for an editorial... NOT a review)

I think Jaffe is either sidestepping the issue in an attempt to acknowledge a different way of thinking. But he doesn't consider the forum such a topic should be addressed within. Eurogamer's criticisms are ones for an editorial. You don't sort of define what a game should be from in a review for one of the most anticipated games of the year... you do that through editorials.

Eurogamer is inconsistent with his scores. And Jaffe contradicted himself in his own blog.


Jaffe misses the mark on this one. And it should be obvious to anyone capable of critical thinking when they read things.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 8:46:22 AM

Is pointing out flaws the same as "bashing"? The way I understand those words they do not mean the same, you can easily point out flaws without bashing anything?


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/26/2011 8:46:55 AM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 9:21:02 AM

mmm I dunno. Trying to make that differentiation just draws out even more issues with Jaffe's critique of the Eurogamer review. I think you need to understand them as the same thing. Otherwise, no game should ever deserve a 10, or even close to one.

I have never played a flawless game... ever.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 10/26/2011 9:22:40 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 10:15:38 AM

Well, I am also one of those who believe that there is no such thing as a perfect game, therefore by definition no game should be rated a perfect ten.

But there is indeed an important difference between bashing and criticizing. Most every serious reviews criticize *something* in a game - including the reviews on this site. That does not mean they bash it.

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Shams
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 10:41:19 AM

Beamboom, I don't think Underdog said the reviewer made bashing comments. I think Underdog's main point is that the review itself was inconsistent with other reviews of the said writer. The reviewer gave Uncharted 3 the same score as Brink, and BLOPS an even higher score. He's done his research, and it speaks for itself.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 10:51:33 AM

I made a mistake. Simon reviewed MW2, not Black ops. Same point stands, though. lol

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Shams
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 11:14:59 AM

Lol, yep. Uncharted getting scored the same as Brink is a travesty. And even if Blops was being reviewed by a different person, Eurogamer should keep a closer check to the scores being attributed to their site. I'm sure Digital Foundry, the tech site whom they sponsor, would have a few things to say, too, about the matter.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 11:25:17 AM

Shams, I am commenting Underdogs point numero uno, also repeated later in his post. I disagree in there being an inconsistency.
That little detail is all. Yes, we do enjoy discussing. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/26/2011 11:25:48 AM

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:17:01 PM

Simon as in Simon Parkin? He's the ass that did the hatchet job on White Knight Chronicles 2. He has an agenda, and I don't know what it is. But I don't put any credibility in his work at all after the complete pile of BS that his review of WKC2 was. I'm not surprised at all that he's behind this. When I read of this review score issue at Eurogamer, I did wonder idly whether Parkin was behind it, but hadn't checked the actual review. well, I just looked and sure enough it's Simon Parkin. Let's just agree that he's the print journalism version of destructoid.

No more words, I can't write more without saying words that will be filtered.

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 8:55:43 AM
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I agree with their review, but the score is just pathetic and dumb.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 9:23:07 AM

My sentiments exactly. Good points in the review, but the scoring is SO inconsistent.

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:12:55 PM

But from the sounds of things, the review was a good review but the score is not inline with the words.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:39:27 PM

As was the case with his Brink review, WKC2 and WKC1 reviews, Modern Warfare 2 review, and I'm sure many others.

Hence my point that he is inconsistent with his scoring. And it's why I'm glad even Eurogamer's faithful are starting to call him out on it.

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:48:16 PM

He is like what the US media terms an Activist Judge in the courts. In other words you have someone who is supposed to be making objective assessments and judgements, someone who's opinions are considered definitive in some ways, and yet that person's judgement is heavily driven by a personal agenda, usually political, sometimes simply idological(a find distinction from political I know, but it's there) pr theological. Simon Parkin appears to be an activist reviewer, I am just not sure what he is an activist for.

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telly
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 9:26:49 AM
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Jaffe hit the nail right on the head. Couldn't agree more.

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telly
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 9:30:21 AM

And, for the record, I LOVE the super cinematic tone of games like Uncharted and I am thrilled games are going in this direction. I'm the kind of guy who would definitely consider giving a game like U3 a 10. But critics can fairly point out that the thing that makes Uncharted games great -- the "scripting" of everything -- comes at the expense of the freedom found in some other games. I could care less about that -- choice for choice's sake is overrated, IMHO -- but it's a fair point to bring up.

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Shams
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 10:58:18 AM

But that isn't a fair criticism of the game. That's a criticism of the genre, and if the reviewer openly said that he's not a fan of the genre, there would be no problem. But even then, it should not affect the score.

That's like criticizing an open world game for having distracting side missions that break the pacing in story. Or criticizing a hack'n slash game for being gloried pinball, or shooter for being just about point and clicking. A game should be scored and compared according to other games in it's genre.

Look, there are times when I'm not in the mood for a scripted experience. I go play a racing game, or a fighting game, or an online frag fest. Or I'll play a sandbox or openworld game. But, every couple of years, I get a chance to play a new Uncharted, an unparalleled experience blending cinema and action that does something for me that no other movie or openworld game can deliver. And I'll play the game a couple more times that year, along with plenty of coop and competitive online sessions. It's not the only game, but I'm glad that it is there.

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:12:05 PM
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I'm not going to argue Jaffe's opinion, it's his opinion, and he's entitled to it. I disagree with him however.

What he appears to be defending (and in a sense saying himself) is that if a game, Uncharted 3 for example, manages to achieve what might be called cinematic experience at times, it's somehow a negative thing. Does that automatically mean that Uncharted 3 is 20% less worthy because it's supposed to be a game but is more cinematic than the reviewer expected or desires?

I think that's a bogus line of reasoning. Evaluate the product as it is and for what it is. If it's worthy of a high 9 or 10/10 because it's superlative in every way, then give it that score and review, don't dock it because you have some ideological block that says games shouldn't be cinematic experiences as well.I think Jaffe is missing the mark on this one.

I always, always, have thought that reviews of games, movies, books and whatever else should be/are based on the product itself, not some personal expectation of what the thing *should* be, but what it is.

P.S. considering this review comes from Simon "Hatchet Job" Parkin, I am *not* surprised at all now.

Last edited by Highlander on 10/26/2011 12:18:36 PM

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T W O
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:47:09 PM
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Uncharted is what it is, why is it being downgraded because it fits perfectly (10/10) in it's genre and does it exceedingly better than any other in the category?
Oh well I'm only a simple gamer. What the hell do I know about playing games for what they are?


Last edited by T W O on 10/26/2011 12:50:13 PM

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Alienange
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 12:51:56 PM
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Eurogamer's review makes perfect sense and quite frankly I am surprised that Arnold would not touch on some of those concerns as well. Cinematics are fine, we all love them, but when the gamer is reduced to an "interactive butler" then I see cause for concern.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 1:24:53 PM

Editorial points of view are not meant for the review. Those ideals should be established beforehand. When you combine Simon's inability to maintain consistency throughout reviews (as has been said in the comments section), then there is cause for concern.

Even Eurogamer's faithful are questioning the site's agenda.

Even you should be able to see that...

If reviews deserved to be measured by an idealist's personal opinion of what fits their description of what a video game should be, you would see me giving Elder Scrolls games 2-4/10 scores. (It is, afterall, a game that encourages imagination... or... you making your own adventure... one, that by the way, cannot keep up with my immagination.)

Fortunately, I and many other understand that games should be judged on how well they accomplish what they set out to do. Not what you THINK it should do.

Ideals like yours will limit creativity, immersion, and continue to prevent our industry being recognized as an artistic and appropriate avenue for entertainment and expression.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 10/26/2011 1:31:46 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 2:07:53 PM

Spot on Underdog. Spot on.

Reviews are not editorial platforms. If you wish to editorialize do it outside the confines of a product review. If I were reviewing games and reviewed a gritty, gory game that strives for realism, I would have to work hard to separate myself from my personal preferences and opinions regarding gore in games and realism in games.

I could either write an opinionated review that praises the game and then marks it down for being too gory and too real, or I could give the game the review it deserves - for what it is, and then either at the end of the review or much more preferably in a separate article express my own opinion that despite it's excellence, for me the game loses it's shine because of the gore and realism achieved. It might well be a technical tour de force, but my own preference would prevent me enjoying the game on a personal level. I can still evaluate it on a technical level.



Last edited by Highlander on 10/26/2011 2:11:55 PM

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Snorge
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 2:10:28 PM

"Cinematics are fine, we all love them, but when the gamer is reduced to an "interactive butler" then I see cause for concern." Um, wouldn't you consider Heavy Rain in this category too. But that wasn't given lower scores due its type of game that it STRIVED for.

@Underdog15 Keep it up man, I get exactly what you're saying. Stating your opinion is fine, but not in a review, more so an editorial, especially where the reviewers know good well their score will persuade people. Be real.


Last edited by Snorge on 10/26/2011 2:16:25 PM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 2:39:42 PM

The linearity of a game is not opinion, it is fact. To push it to the extreme for the sake of making a point: If someone released a game that was 95% cutscenes and 5% qte-scenes, should it then be reviewed for what it attempted to be, a game where you could just sit back an watch?
Save the fact that you didn't get to actually do anything for an editorial? Give it a perfect ten on graphics, never before seen in a game?


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/26/2011 2:49:22 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 3:29:32 PM

If a game is at that extreme, with QTE's, Beamboom, part of a review also has to evaluate replay value, and when appropriate, cost for value. If you are getting a PURE cinematic experience with just a few QTE's, then a reviewer should call into question the value.

With UC3, even if it's largely cinematic, there are still many hours of actual control and play, and innumerable hours through multiplayer. It's not like it IS a cinematic experience. It's an interactive one.

A game should still have gameplay as it's core value. UC3 still highly values the gameplay. And that is evident by the refining that takes place from the last Uncharted to the current one... both SP and MP. If UC3 was cinematic to the extreme that you mention, then I would take an issue with the game, too. I bet Arnold (and Ben) would do the same.

Obviously, there is more to consider in a game than just "what it strives to do", but everything is measured within that frame of mind. A monopoly game, for example, may perfectly give you a game of monopoly. But it will never give you a 10/10... there's nothing new, refined, or revolutionary about the experience that you can't get from other versions of Monopoly. Not really.

Based on reviews of UC3 with all the perfect scores, I would say that the gameplay has become perfected, the story immerses you into it and the characters, there's great co-op and competitive multiplayer, and throughout all this, UC3 has managed to offer something no other game can offer.

Technically it has over-accomplished what it needed to do, and the "fun" factor seems to be present in plenty. And although cinematics are huge, the gameplay is still important. If I play it, and I find the gameplay has done nothing at all to improve upon the last title, I will admit it and claim it doesn't deserve perfect marks (although it may still deserve good ones).

My issue, as I've said, is that the Eurogamer review doesn't match the score. Good points are raised for discussion... but not as an objective analysis.

I mean really... how fair is it to grade something on the basis of ideals no developer in the world could ever plan on: subjective ideas of what is good and what isn't.

You raise a good question there, Beamboom, but it just reminds me of a thought I had not too long ago... that perhaps the game review industry should be held to some sort of industry standard... you know what I mean?

You know as well as I do, there is always a line somewhere. And we should discuss that line, as Simon does in his review. But the place for that is not in a big time review. Until the standards have actually been discussed and don't blind side people like that, you can't sort of... make up your own rules on how to evaluate software.

How does such unpredictability help the consumer? They're the reason reviews are supposed to be provided for to begin with... not to push a particular author's agenda on what they feel should be the standard. Critics should critique... They're the last ones that should be responsible for redefining the industry. Consumer input and developer creativity should be the ones that are encouraged.

Don't you agree?

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Alienange
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 3:58:08 PM

I think Beamboom is spot on. If a reviewer gives an 8 ( a very good score by the way) and simply says the cinematics are overboard compared to how much you actually get to control, then that seems like an ok review.

But apparently Underdog15 and TheHighlander have seen some editorial comments in the review... and yet fail to quote any of them. Interesting no?

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 4:03:28 PM

@Beamboom

"The linearity of a game is not opinion, it is fact. To push it to the extreme for the sake of making a point:"

In a game which clearly features a heavy story and character component, a game that in it's previous two installments has been extremely linear, linearity is a fact - fair enough. But that linearity is not a liability either, it depends on the game and genre. I don't see your point here, and the logical extreme you mention is not logical since you're taking linearity and melding it with gameplay and claiming that an extremely linear game must necessarily be based on QTEs, that's just not the case.

Either way, that's not what Uncharted 3 is. This conversation reminds me of the many discussions about cutscenes in JRPGs. Western reviewers and twitch gamers in particular loathe cutscenes because...? Perhaps because it gets in the way of their kill spree? I don't know, but this same discussion about cinematics or the linear nature of the game or cinematic experience reflect the same discussions about cut scenes.Are going to drop MGS4's score because it's quite linear and has lots of cut scenes? No, so why do it to Uncharted 3 - or any other game for that matter.

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Beamboom
Thursday, October 27, 2011 @ 5:20:35 AM

Underdog,
Good post, buddy. I think we basically agree. The way I see it the reason why I am less upset with this review, or the rating, is because it roughly match my own opinions about Uncharted. Simple as that.
Frankly, I don't think I'd rate U2 higher than around 8.5 (still a high rating though). Therefore the Eurogamer review did not upset me at all so I read it through different eyes.

Highlander,
interesting post but the thing about qte was not my point with my example at all. It *must* not be based on qte, I just used that to make up an example, a made up game, that happened to have boss fights with qte as the only user input. We must at least agree that qte is the most linear and "forced play" there is. It has nothing to do with being "twitchy" or not either, nor being western.

Let me rephrase my example with an illustration based on japanese anime, maybe that will help :)

Let's imagine a new release, a game with an estimated campaign time of 20 hours, where 19 hours were pure playback of an anime show. Sit back and watch.
Around every second hour there was a boss fight that usually were done within a few minutes if you pressed the right buttons, if not this fight restarted until you got it right. Then another two hour segment of the anime show continued - sit back and watch.

The devs proclaim that they have designed this game with the intention of minimum player input, maximum story telling. That is the premise of this computer game. It is supposed to be like this, it is intentional.

Hopefully I've now managed to picture a title so extreme that we can all agree that it is not optimal as a *game*, regardless of the developers intentions or the quality of the story.

Would it be wrong of a reviewer then to point out that he disagree with this direction or design decision - and reflect this also in his rating? Or should that be saved for a dedicated, non-rated editorial, and instead he should focus on the good graphics and actor performances in this movie - sorry, game - and the excellent story, giving it TOP ratings cause after all, we really have not seen such a cinematic game before?

That is the point of my *extreme* example, to illustrate that a reviewer *must* be allowed to consider a game from his perspective and comment also on the intended properties of the game, not only view the game from the devs perspective.


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/27/2011 7:23:49 AM

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Snorge
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 2:14:18 PM
Reply

To Mr. Jaffe:

Why can't games be both? I mean do we all want play games where all you do is drive around cars and shoot at folks all day? I sure as hell do! But not everyone does. So why can't we have a large number of games that have a little bit of everything?

Not all games are going a "cinematic" route but the ones that AIM for it (ala Uncharted 3) shouldn't be knocked for doing what it set out to do. Can you say the same about Calling All Cars???

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MartyRules
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 4:35:17 PM
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Xplay gave it a 4/5 and people started flipping tables

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 4:56:48 PM

ROTFLMAO!

Xplay? Oh dear, those two lost credibility about 5-6 years ago, about when they apparently stopped actually playing games and speaking their mind, and started reading what was written for them.

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Lairfan
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 7:07:59 PM
Reply

I disagree with both Eurogamer's and X-Play's reviews of this game, but for completely different reasons.

As far as the X-Play one is concerned, Adam was obviously so damn hyped for it that it just didn't meet his expectations. Everything he bashes the game on is not repeated in any other review I've read, and he constantly expected the game to innovate as much as Uncharted 2 did (which was practically impossible, and everyone who expected the right things in U3 knew that). And the point that really takes credibility away from his review for me is when he says that Uncharted 3's 2 year dev cycle caused it to not be as good as Uncharted 2. Funny thing is, U2 only had a 2 year dev cycle too, and that obviously didn't affect anything there.

As far as the Eurogamer one goes, the way its written implies that it should be a 10/10. Lord knows that guy who reviewed it has given FAR lesser games 10/10s (how the hell can Deus Ex get a 10/10 with all the problems it had?). Yet, because he doesn't think Uncharted 3 should be so cinematic (which was the point of the game in the first place), he gave it an 8/10. Simply terrible reviewing.

And all you whiners saying how "linearity" kills gamers' freedom (I'm talking about Alienange and Beanboom here specifically, but I'm sure there are others judging by how those guys actually got thumbs up) are full of crap. Uncharted has some pretty wide open areas for fighting, climbing, exploring, and puzzle solving! Its not like you're in a 2 foot wide corridor with your hand literally being held by another character the whole game, as you guys seem to think.

Yeah, there's only one way through the game, but that's because its a hell of a lot more conducive to the style of gaming they chose (aka, perfectly paced cinematic story-based gaming). This is why open world games constantly get berated for their pacing; yeah, you get freedom, whoop-dee freakin doo-dah. But the story is nowhere near as well paced unless you try to pace it yourself, and the player should never have to make a story better themselves, IMO. Its just lazy story-crafting when you force the audience you're making the story for to make it good, and that's what I see a lot of in most open world games.

As far as Jaffe's comments go, I think they're well-put, but after reading what Eurogamer said, I do think he's in the wrong here by supporting them. When Eurogamer can't tell the difference between an editorial and a review, then they SHOULD be bashed for the end score they give.

Last edited by Lairfan on 10/26/2011 7:11:34 PM

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Lairfan
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 7:43:07 PM

Since the last post got so long, I'll finish it here.

Cinematic storytelling and gameplay is my kind of gaming tbh. I mean, it truly combines the best of cinema and gaming for me, and that is the perfect mixture as far as I'm concerned.

Cinema at its best is completely narrative-driven and sucks you into what's happening. Gaming at its best is immersing the player through their interaction with the virtual environment. Combining those two as ND has done has given me more fun and immersiveness than any "gamey" game, coop game, or multiplayer-driven game has in a long, long time. I didn't mention open-world games because they've been getting more and more cinematic too, and the detail in their environments usually sucks you in too; examples include RDR and AC. The only problem with these open-world games is the pacing, which is another advantage the linear cinematic games have over them.

When Jaffe says he doesn't like cinema in games (as he has on numerous occasions), I see it as more of an irrational disdain than anything. Its like Ben's stated dislike for scifi; he just prefers the fantasy setting over the scifi setting. Does that make scifi bad? No it doesn't, as many on this site seem to think with certain genres they dislike. It just means that it doesn't appeal to you. That doesn't invalidate its quality, the work put into it, or its story whatsoever. Yet many people like to think it does (Lotusflow3r's disdain for anything blockbuster-y, no matter how well-made or original it is, perfectly demonstrates this).

So really, I just think its a lack of tolerance for this kind of genre that's making it so controversial for gamers right now. Its different, and people are scared that if they give it some acknowledgement that it'll somehow take over all of gaming and destroy what gaming's about. If anything, I say this focus on being cinematic has improved most every aspect of gaming (especially storytelling), whilst keeping what gaming is about alive and well, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

But at the end of the day, when all these paragraphs are typed, and all is said and done...I just want my Uncharted 3 Collector's Edition. That is all.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Thursday, October 27, 2011 @ 3:32:28 AM

The perfect comment, accumalting everything that has been said in the above comments better than anyone else has said it...

Nice way to end the article.

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Bariikade
Thursday, October 27, 2011 @ 10:32:23 AM
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I find this topic very funny because as written in the statement above, its a video game which means (at least I think it means) a movie you play and interact with instead of just watching it. So how can a game be more like a movie when most games are movies? There have plots/storylines, the good guy and bad guy and ohh yes, the good guy almost always wins and saves the day. Syphon Filter, all the Meal Gear Solid games, all final fantasys as well, en freakin' Mario has a plot (saving princess peach and defeating bowser) All games are like movies (apart form racing games unless its like Need For Speed).

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Redflametrow
Thursday, October 27, 2011 @ 11:33:33 PM
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I do see a point here. Video games are broad though. It's really hard to say that they are or are not suppose to be distinct from movies. What maybe should be done is taking on "Cinematic" to the genre type in order to maybe make a distinct difference.

I find games with large, heavily detailed cinematics to be better on average. Being able to pause, rewind, skip and such would be very nice for such scenes though. In order to tell a story, some things can be needed that players can't change majorly. MGS4 had long cinematics that allowed you to move around, enjoyable to watch but hard to go back to or play when on limited time. Xenosaga is famous for it's over 80 hours of cutscenes, if a movie or tv show were 80+ hours it would be a good deal for the price. Just as plot devices and entertainment, I find them mostly satisfactory.

Gameplay is fairly important, but people have the choice to choose what they want in a game by buying it. It's similar to the motion control question in gaming. Really if you like it, get it. If you don't, then don't get it. What could be the future as a result of these could even go so far as cutting out the campaign in games or have campaigns have more depth and are effected by choices. It already works to an extent. If CoD didn't have online, I can't imagine people picking it up like they currently do. In CoD's case, I think it's more of a flaw though. Just in the end a preference or even game type.

Video games are simply more immersive than movies due to the ability to perform actions. They provides action between cut scenes to give the player a better experience than a movie. You struggle with all the problems the antagonist has set up and are thus much more satisfied when they are defeated.

I kinda forgot how to coherently string all my ideas together so I'm just gonna close this up. I like cutscenes, but I think there is still room for gameplay. In the end it may be reviewing the game that's truly the challenge as it's hard to determine what a game is suppose to be and even harder to see if it matches that criteria in relativity to other games who may be judged by different criteria.

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Gravelight
Friday, October 28, 2011 @ 12:25:28 AM
Reply

As long as there's more gameplay than CGs i'm fine. We need a story so we can get the answers we need about the games we play, like why's this and who's that, because it's not the 70's and 80's anymore. Games use to only consist of who can get the best score at certain games. There were no stories to tell, nothing to reminisce about, no real value besides...Hey look, i beat it, how about you? Things are changed now and we have way better technology to utilize. Personally, i'd rather play a multi-cg game as to watch a movie because i can interact with it and make it different every time i play. The only thing that bothers me with the CGs is that when trailers and promos are made for new games, the creators use the CGs to sell the games. Yeah, they show small pieces of in-game play for about 2 seconds and about 3-4 times through the whole video, but the rest is CGs and it totally disgusts people when they get the game and it's not like what they saw on the video. What good is a game if the CGs are awesome but the gameplay blows, ...well, there's nothing good about that. It's a hair inch from being false advertisements and it's always a huge let down. Take BF3 for example, the trailers looked awesome and very realistic, but when it got played it wasn't any better than BF2 graphically. Oh, but the CGs are very cool so I guess that makes it game of the year... Tche, more like best of CGs of the year. You know, R3 was suppose to be really cool too, and it was actually really good. As a matter of fact, the CGs are NOT what made R3, it was the gameplay and it sold just fine. Now, MW3 commercials are previewing on tv and it does look awesome, but how much of that footage really is gameplay? A great game consists of great gameplay, easy or hard, a great theme/story, and the amounts of interaction one can utilize throughout the game. To make a specified genre you must have a specified setting to fit the scene and title. The CGs are suppose to only be there to give players short breaks, rewards, and a better visual idea of characters, the in-game universe, and what the next gen games could hold in store for next gen in-game graphics. This is one opinion out of many, but most gamers, (that i know), usually agree with the above statements.

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