So I played through all four games this month. They are good (except the first, which is really dull lot of the time) for what they are - cinematic popcorn blockbuster without any big ambition. Characters are fun, setpieces are awesome, locations are beautiful. Gameplay is good to mediocre, though never boring.
But again and again one issue kept coming to my mind, and it is nothing revelatory, I am sure thousands of people have already complained about this. But it still surprised me again and again that with each game, this flaw was never addressed when it would have been so easy to do.
I am of course talking about the almost complete separation of narrative (characters, cutscenes) and gameplay (murdering hundreds of people). I love Nate, Sully, Elena, Chloe…but for the life of me I cannot understand, why didn’t Naughty Dog provide players with the option (only an option!) of dispatching enemies nonlethaly ? All it would take is:
- make default takedown animation into knock out/chokehold instead of neck snap
- make Nate have a tranq/stun gun by default
- lower the amount of enemies in certain sections (wave after wave is more boring than fun anyway)
These do not seem like difficult things to do, hell the series even attempted it in Uncharted 2 at the museum. Why not extend that for the whole game (and sequels)?
In U4 it really took me away from the experience when you have these gorgeous, beautiful human characters in cutscenes, and then in gameplay I am killing dozens (hundreds…) of guards who are just doing their job.
Note that I am not saying get rid of the combat and killing people. Keep that in, but as an option. Give also the option to get over stuff without killing, so those of us who care about consistency of narrative with gameplay can enjoy it (I still enjoyed the series a ton, mind, but I would have even more if nonlethal was an option).
Obviously this is all water under the bridge now, but maybe for the future games (probably not Lost Legacy, releases too soon) ND could address this (but they probably won’t, judging by Neil Druckman’s opinion about it). For me this was the greatest (and pretty much only) flaw of this great series.
Fourth game was particularly bad with this, since it actually played some human drama and characters looked more real than ever. Graphics is just stunningly™ beautiful, ND have fantastic artists and programmers:
I am definitely gonna replay this one someday.