Uncharted is becoming stale. Very little innovation is offered in Drake's Deception, so the game plays practically the same as previous installments, and none of the small issues have been cleaned up. Given this game's production values, this is surprising. The gameplay can be sloppy at times. Aiming feels jerky, which makes hitting enemies at longer ranges needlessly difficult. The guns are weak and need too many shots to kill someone. There are instances where enemies spawn behind you and can kill you before you know they're there. There was one level where I cleared a ballroom full of enemies from my starting place, below a balcony. As soon as I ran out into the room proper, I was immediately fired upon by three snipers and a grenade launcher guy up on the balcony. This kind of level design is incredibly frustrating. Enemies don't always react to bullets like they should. This is fine for the average mook, but when you're confronted with a giant toting a belt-fed machine gun and absurd amounts of health in an area with little cover and you can't tell if you're damaging them or not, something's wrong. Platforming fares better, but the game's prettiness can make it hard to tell what's a grabbable ledge and what isn't. You might say that the series is about setpieces instead of gameplay, but the setpieces don't fare much better. They always want you to act a certain way, and their artificiality is sometimes very obvious. The most glaring for me was when the ship begins sinking: it begins tipping over, everything sliding dramatically across the floor — and then it stops for you to have a gunfight, and starts up again as soon as everyone's dead. Another instance is when the boxes are falling out of the plane; I was on top of one before it was out, and could've jumped into the plane had the game not said, "NO! You're not supposed to do that!" My favorite setpiece was the simplest: horses chasing a convoy. No needless funneling, no flashy effects, just jumping from horses to trucks and killing enemies. That said, none of these are actual deal-breakers. The game holds up fairly well as an action title and nothing is genuinely bad; they could just use some more polish. It'll hold your attention for quite a while, and is above average, but don't expect anything absolutely phenomenal.
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