Best story I hear you cry? But wasn’t it exactly the same as the last two times? In a way, yes, but what made Uncharted 3’s story great wasn’t the details of the plot, it was the way it was executed – the storytelling.
Weaving in the beginning of Sully and Drake’s relationship added a new emotional depth to the game, something expanded upon by Nate’s sudden questioning of his own life choices. The desert sequence gave us a low key, psychological trip through the mind of a man who had previously been a pretty happy kind of guy. The flesh eating spiders made us wish that Sully would hurry the hell up with that ammo. The presentation of it all was perfect – Naughty Dog know exactly how to craft their games to create maximum impact, know how to use music, or light, or camera angles to perfectly pitch the scene and draw the player along on Nate’s latest and greatest roller coaster ride.
Storytelling and gaming have always had a rocky partnership, but Naughty Dog’s cinematic focus allows them to pull off every story they tell with incredible style: you may have seen the elements before – but were they ever executed so well?
With tough competition like Halo and Zelda, I am still a little surprised that Ico and Wander will take home the gold as Best Remake of 2011. However, it is hard to see why this deserves the top prize. Everything in these games is perfect. The stories, the gameplay, the visuals and the audio. As I have noted in my review, this was my first time playing these two games, so I really had no idea what I was going to be put through. Thank goodness I had the opportunity to do the review.
First off, let’s talk Ico. Ico revolves around puzzles and platforming with combat added on the side. These puzzles do make you think, but don’t make you feel dumb. The controls respond well and the visuals are brilliant, taking advantage of the upgrade to high definition to bring natural light to the game. The lack of music added to the ambience of the environment. I mean, do you want to run around with some random track trying to solve puzzles and whacking these shadow creatures?
Shadow of the Colossus, on the other hand, brings out epic combat with the colossi battles. Actually, the Colossi are the only enemies of the game. The battles bring a sense of danger but also perseverance as Wander (and to an extension, the player) brings his A game to take down the Colossi. The visuals are breathtaking, so much I would suggest to stop and just have a look at the vast land you will travel throughout. Like Ico, there is a lack of music during gameplay, but it heightens the natural ambience of the environment.
Do yourself a favour and purchase these two classics. Your Playstation 3 (and your gaming soul) will thank you.