Blanket statements aren't my bag. The "absolute" doesn't exist in any entertainment industry; where there's even the slightest ounce of subjectivity, there will be no universal conclusion. And because everyone is well aware of this fact, absurdly bold and definitive headlines like the one above can – and often do – chafe. And yet, I'm saying it.
First, we turn your attention to our Uncharted 2: Among Thieves review; I agree with every word of Arnold's analysis. Furthermore, I added my own commentary , which I still remember writing. And of course, we can remind you of the ten zillion Game of the Year Awards it dragged in; many will consider it to be the greatest game of the generation, or at least in the top three. Now, I keep all this in mind and combine it with the improvements made between Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Among Thieves ; they're clear and significant.
Then, I look forward to Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and try to imagine what Naughty Dog will do… In so many ways, I find it difficult to say, "hey, guys, fix this." Even though it has been a year since Uncharted 2 released, many will agree that nothing has managed to top the nearly-flawless sequel. For some bizarre reason, it almost seems as if the Naughty Dog team isn't susceptible to the standard pitfalls; they're like…omnipotent. It's very weird but one of the reasons the critics were so blown away by Uncharted 2 is because there's virtually nothing wrong with it. One has to get really anal to spot flaws. And it was the unbelievable cinematic experience and blending of various elements, all of which were wonderfully implemented. Nothing is perfect but we were just so shocked at how close it came to perfection.
The foundation exists. We have a studio that seems immune to common drawbacks, filled with talented people who now completely understand the PlayStation 3. We have an example of enhancement and improvement between one title and the next. We have an appropriate two-year time gap that implies no rushing. And finally, based on the initial information, it seems clear that the designers aren't stupid enough to mess with a winning formula. Sure, we get an entirely new adventure, but the core mechanics and overall gameplay will undoubtedly remain the same. When you add it all up, it's more than likely that Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will end up vying with Uncharted 2 as…well, maybe the greatest game ever made.
Side note- I just realized…it's odd how the human brain deals with subjectivity versus objectivity. Even when we acknowledge that our personal preference plays a role, we want to assume that no other human alive could disagree, thereby turning our opinion into an incontestable a priori truth. Perhaps it's an underlying desire to control the universe or as D.H. Lawrence outlined once, man's unending struggle with the will. It's the drive to attain dominance of the will so as to fit into a mechanical perfection of life; such a struggle supersedes all, including love. …sorry, philosophical I will sometimes go. 😉
Related Game(s): Uncharted 3