Review: Uncharted (PS3)

I didn't get "Uncharted" from playing just the first half hour, it took me a while longer. In fact, I didn't really get it until I had to shoot a barrel on the back of truck, causing both the barrel and the truck to explode, at which point the truck somersaulted toward me, falling neatly into a gap between two stone pillars and allowing me to safely pass from one pillar to another.

In retrospect I should have noticed earlier, but it wasn't until that point that it finally clicked: "I'm playing an action movie!".

With that vital clue, I was finally able to enjoy the game. No longer was I playing some bizarre mish-mash of lame shooter with lame platformer with lame puzzle game with lame driving game... I was playing something that made sense, in it's own nonsensical way. If Halo famously gives you the same 30 seconds of fun, over and over, Uncharted attempts to keep your attention by constantly switching from one thing to another.

And it works equally well. Uncharted is the best action movie ever. It's every bit as stupid as other members of the genre, but it's a lot more fun because you're taking part yourself.

Whatever kind of game you do or don't like, there's some of it in Uncharted. But it chops and changes so fast that nothing outstays its welcome. Take survival horror, for example. I don't like survival horror. Either I don't care, in which case what's the point, or I do care, and this thing I'm doing to relax is actually going out of its way to cause me stress, in which case... well, that's weird too. Halo (which isn't just the same 30s over and over) has the Flood to provide its survival horror interludes, but for my liking those sections were too long. If I had a 14 year old neighbor, I'd definitely have paid them to finish the sphincter level in Halo 3 for me. Not my cup of tea. But the equivalent in Uncharted? Not a problem, because it's over so quickly and you're on to something else before you know.

Speedboats or jetskis or something.

The end was appropriately ridiculous too. In the cinema, it would have made me reflect that I'd just wasted two hours and ten dollars on mindless pap. In my living room, after probably more like eight hours and $25, it just made me laugh, because it was hard not to see it as some sort of comment on the action movie genre.

Can you imagine coming out of an eight-hour action movie thinking "yeah, I'll definitely give the sequel a go"? I can, because I did.

It's not worth buying a PS3 for, but if you have a PS3, it's worth buying.