AKA A Backlog Diary: Part 29
Two sets of treasure hunters, rather different in their approaches. One group seeks to liberate their wealth from a group of evil mercenaries; the other from ancient civilisations. Although the latter does also deal with evil mercenary types and corrupt dictatorsÖ wait a minuteÖ
Both stories feature a group going about their daily business. Both cross paths frequently with corrupt dictators, and spend a good portion of their time blowing stuff up and killing mercenaries. I guess until I started writing the above paragraph, I hadnít noticed how corrupt dictators and mercenaries seem to be finding their way into everything I play. Heck, I bet even Metro 2033, the next game on my to do list, features some kind of facist regime. Wouldnít surprise me at all.
So on to the differences, one was released nearly four years ago, one was released but three months ago. One is a first person shooter, one is an action/adventure/platformer. One is based only on consoles, the other only available to a handheld. Iím going to leave a little gap so you can try and guess the two games. Ready?
Battlefield: Bad Company
for the Xbox 360, and Uncharted: Golden Abyss
for the PS Vita. Yes, I now own a Vita too.
So, theyíre different ages, different genres, and have different names, but they shared an equal level of disappointment. I was expecting a little more from each of them based on other games in their respective series, but in the case of Battlefield:BC, I guess it had a slightly more humble beginning than its frankly much more awesome sequel.
One way it trumps its follow up is actually being a lot more humerous. It seems to have a slight throwback to the old WW2 era heist-esque movies, where a squad of commandos would take on a league of Naziís, all the while with a tongue in their cheek and a gun in their hand. Sound is used very well, from the choice of music in menus and emitting from vehicle radios to the obvious explosions and gun fire. I played a demo back when the game was first launched, but only bought the game a month ago. I guess it really shows its age. The Frostbite engine has come along nicely from this comparatively ugly game, and whilst it isnít the worst looking game out there, you can tell this was released four years ago.
The plot is wafer thin, but Sweetwater, Marlowe and friends carry it along at quite a cheerful pace, and the gameplay itself works fine, with an interesting alteration on the replenishing health system of most FPSís. If you see it for £5.00 in a bargain bin, it isnít a bad flutter, and should provide something of an entertaining weekend. Just donít expect a revolution, because despite the games merits, there are more engrossing first person shooters out there. 6
As for Golden Abyss, I have to say itís the weakest Uncharted game since the first, probably finding itself on par. Levels are repetitive and somewhat bland, and the game fails to contain any of the features that made Uncharted 2 & 3 as great as they were; namely awesome location, thrilling set pieces, and Elena. Instead we get an Elena clone who ends up as a love interest of Drakeís, but being a prequel, we can all assume how that one ends. Chase fails to fill Elenaís shoes; she just isnít that likeable, and yet you still have to spend a whole chunk of the game with her. The Sully section is as fun as you can expect, but is marred by previously mentioned repetitiveness in both locale and action.
Touch controls feel kind of shoe-horned in, with charcoal rubbings becoming tiresome, as well as the sections of QTE where you swipe the screen. Initially, the gyro controls were annoying too, but become essential once you realise how hard it is to aim without them. I ended up using a combination of right stick to line them up, and gyro controls to enhance accuracy, which when you get used to it, isnít too bad a system. However, it wasnít worth the hassle, and doesnít really add anything beyond initial frustration.
I really feel the developers missed a trick with Uncharted on Vita. If the system doesnít start getting some rock solid titles, it could plummet into oblivion right next to the Sega Saturn; a good piece of tech which no one knew how to program for. With Resistance getting the shoddy reception it is, we can only look forward to a potential Playstation All-Stars release. Come on Sony; this is the first time Iíve bought one of your systems close to launch, donít make me regret it! Ironically, it seems the Vita may well run out of life prematurely, but then the PS3 was a late bloomer in my opinion.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss gets a disappointing 6
Next time, Metro 2033, which so far Iím really digging.
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