The end sucks ass. The last 3-4 chapters were just god awful. I was really with it, and enjoying it up to that point. But then it went downhill pretty fast. Not because of the sudden twist and change of enemies, that I didn't mind too much. Rather because the combat with humans ceased to be fun and interesting and just became really annoying trial and error. I enjoyed the organicness of the combat for most of the game, how good it felt to roll over to some cover after somebody throws a grenade into your hiding spot, pop out and squeeze off a few rounds, run up to somebody and drop kick them. Sometimes you won, and sometimes you got too cocky and died, but it was fun and interesting.
But at the end they "dialed up the difficulty" or whatever by including so many enemies that can kill you instantly, or damn near instantly, punishing any kind of dynamic adventurous combat. The church for instance in one of the last chapters, you walk in and suddenly there are about four or five snipers with laser sights in the rafters that are one hit kills, two or three guys with grenade launchers that are one hit kills, and a few guys with combat shotguns and M4s that will kill you in less than a second. So instead of jumping around, ducking, hiding, firing off a few shots it came down to running inside the church to activate the enemies, run outside of the church and down the stairs, and wait with my sniper rifle for somebody to come into view just enough that I could kill them. And if you position yourself just a liiiitttle bit wrong then POP you're dead. And after you win that fight what happens? Guys run up behind you with shotguns, and if you don't expect it you die instantly. That was not fun. But that's the name of the game at the end. Extreme safety or instant death. The Showdown was just stupid. A guy sits there with a shotgun and desert eagle and will kill you instantly if he sees you, while you hide behind destructable wooden boxes with five or six guys with M4s constantly shooting at whereever you're hiding. I would just find a metal spot that couldn't be destroyed and wait for guys to come to me so I could pick them off, and then a guy with a grenade launcher pops out of no where and kills you instantly. And then the last fight where any kind of mistake whatsoever ends with instant death and having to start over again. It just became a game of trial and error, where any risk was instantly punished by death. Which was completely contradictory to how the rest of the game's combat played, which I really enjoyed.
Punishing trial and error gameplay was fine for Megaman games on the NES (and I guess 9) but in today's day and age it's a total mood killer, you go through the effort of creating a mood, setting up tension, make this scene seem exciting, but when you die every time you go around the corner, and then have to do it again but this time knowing what's around the corner, you completely destroy the mood, you are taken out of the immersion to be reminded that this is just a test, and the tension that was set up is ruined. That style completely ruined Resistance 2's single player campaign and it's sucked all the fun out of the end of Uncharted. I'm all for making something a bit more challenging towards the end, nobody likes a complete cakewalk of a game. But trial and error instant punishment is not a good way to do that in a modern game where they are trying to draw you in. That's made for obstacle course games that are there for the sake of trying to kill you and you know it. It's completely welcome in something like Megaman 9 or The Last Guy, but not in this sort of production.
Anyway, overall I enjoyed uncharted in spite of the train wreck that is the last few chapters and I will watch with interest for the second one.
You can find me on facebook as Markus Van Rijn, if you friend me just mention you're from VGchartz and who you are here.