I thought it was highly amusing that Naughty Dog actually took a few things from The Order and put them in UC4. Items that you pick up, flip over and rotate in your hand then put back down, this was a "collectibles" system people hated about The Order, and if its the only collectables then it is pretty dumb. And I must say I found half of that pick up and put down stuff in UC4 to be equally dumb and pointless, if the item had some sort of plot purpose or was a trigger for an optional conversation then OK, but some of it was just pick up look at it and put it down, just dumb.
Final "boss" fight was a lot like the boss werewolf fights in The Order, more dynamic in that you moved around a lot more and had more varied animations, but at its core the same. It was a poor mechanic in The Order and at best Naughty Dog's improvements made it barely tolerable. And it's introducing an entirely new combat mechanic right at the end of the game, meaning the difficulty of the boss fight was in the unfamiliarity of the mechanic, not that it was in any way inherently difficult.
Also, why in group mele combat situations can you roll to dodge, but in one on one (esp vs Nadine) you can't roll dodge. Sure you have to serve plot purposes, but you can still script the fight at the same time as allowing all combat mechanics to be used.
I'd be interested to hear from Naughty Dog why they decided to borrow a few of the most criticised elements from The Order.
I also hated the initial source of conflict between Elena and Nate. It's just completely unrealistic and was really a weak part of the plot and showed some poor writing by people who are supposed to be among the better story crafters in gaming, so that was disappointing.
I liked the greater variation in platforming elements with the rope stuff and the sliding stuff. But I've always had a minor gripe about the platforming in UC being very low skill cap stuff, but it does ad variety to what would otherwise be merely a cover based shooter.
I really enjoyed the stealth, it was a great challenge it meant you had to observe and think tactically, and it meant a lot more ways to chose how to approach the encounters where stealth was an option. Aside from the fact that the enemy had to be virtually blind not to see you in the waist high foliage, I think it was probably the best gameplay addition.
I really liked the way it wrapped up the series, I enjoyed the epiloge and it left me with warm fuzzies.
Over all I enjoyed the game a lot, but it has its flaws and is not my favourite game of the series. I guess my favourite remains UC2 and this is kinda equal with UC3.
A nit pick that doesn't truly affect the game, is that I won't be trying for the platinum trophy, which means I have no incentive to play crushing difficulty or get all the treasures, or even really play through the game a second time. There are too many multiplayer trophies and I have no interest in spending the necessary time online to get those trophies. However I kinda do want to get all the optional conversations and journal entries, so there is still motivation to replay the chapters where I don't have 100% of those. Haven;t decided whether to just do chapter replays or replay the full game. Dropping the difficulty setting to get through much more quickly might be the way to go.
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