In an industry that evolves as quickly as the video game world, there are plenty of highly praised games that unfortunately don’t age well. These games often innovative, setting new standards for their genres, but they just don’t hold up like they used to nowadays.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
I recently had the displeasure of playing through Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune again. It’s not a good game. The narrative barely holds itself together, and it ends with one of the worst boss fights in video game history. On top of the jarring, pointless story, you also have Nathan Drake himself.
Drake is horribly unlikable. He’s just a jerk. There’s no reason for him to be nearly as cocky as he is, and he treats everyone around him like trash. Sure, he has a few good quips, and his character becomes a lot more developed in later games. But in the original Uncharted, the closest thing we get to character development is the pointless romance.
The side characters were also useless. The game struggled with knowing when to focus on them and when not to, and wound up creating a gallery of characters the player had no reason to be attached to at all. Uncharted really had nothing go for it.
The combat and gameplay was no different. Naughty Dog created some of the best platformers of the PlayStation One era, but unfortunately seemed to have forgotten all of that when they made Uncharted. It has some of the worst platforming I have ever seen with some horrible camera angles. Your view will be a hundred feet away from Drake, meaning you are left with little clue as to where to move. Also, about half the game is made up of these jet ski missions which made me want to actually die.
Once the camera angles were so bad that when I fell off the scaffolding, Drake was able to hang on. Which sounds great right? Except for the fact that the angle left me with zero sight of Drake, so I figured he had fallen. But he didn’t, instead he became tired and eventually let go of the ledge from exhaustion.
Infamous suffers from a lot of the same issues. Cole is a pathetic protagonist. He’s completely one-dimensional, has no depth, and no positive qualities at all. A piece of cardboard could have been our character and it would have made little difference.
The story is also unoriginal, hastily strung together, slow, and ultimately pointless. The world it’s created is such a bland excuse for a narrative. Now, it could be worse — it could also have gameplay that takes five hours to become interesting. Oh wait, it has exactly that. If I wanted something this dry, I’d rather paint my walls.
The early days of the PlayStation 3 were unkind, and it’s new wave of exclusives were mostly dumpster fires. Luckily for Sony, their sequels manage to salvage the series. Which is very fortunate, as both Uncharted and Infamous series reshaped the meduim in some way. So, without these first few rough titles, we would be looking at a very different industry today.
Ocarina of Time
Now, I’m going to get a lot of flak for this one, but it’s a burden I’m willing to bear. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is not the best game ever made. It’s surely one of the most influential games in history, but influence does not equal quality.
Unfortunately the game just doesn’t hold up. Unlike the previous two games on this list, Ocarina of Time doesn’t suffer nearly as much from its age. Overall, the story is solid. While the narrative is thin in some aspects, it still offers a unique and compelling story. It’s really the world that holds the game back.
Ocarina of Time was a milestone for open world games. But by modern standards, the world is empty and suffers from feeling lifeless. Sure, Link is awesome. Watching him travel time is outstanding, and even the dungeons still hold up for their complexity. But the world was held back by the technology of its time. Ocarina of Time is a good game. A reasonable choice for someone’s favorite game, unlike the other two games. However, replaying it made me realize it isn’t as good as it used to be.