Uncharted 3 Gameplay Looks Amazing, Gunplay Less So…

So today eurogamer.it posted a new and unseen gameplay demo of the Chateau level, part of which was previously demonstrated on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The footage, seen below, is a lot better quality than any footage seen to date and does a good job of showing the stunning graphics and smooth, flowing animations.

In fact, with another 10 months until release it’s looking pretty darn good, all aside from the shooting aspect.

The gunplay has always been the weakest part of the Uncharted series and that’s not to say it’s bad, just that the guns never seemed to feel like they had the power of the firearms in other games that have mastered this aspect such as Killzone 2 or Counter Strike.

The power of a gun in a video game is conveyed by two things, the sound of the weapon and the reactions of those being shot. Now since the game is still almost a year away from release it seems unfair to nitpick on these aspects but what the hell.

The guns sound just flat-out weak. Maybe they’re placeholder sound effects but when firing a weapon just sounds like someone dropping a baking tray instead of a 140 decibel mini explosion. This isn’t something new to the series either, the previous two games had exactly the same problem but now is the time to sort it out.

Here’s what firing a Colt 45 Defender actually sounds like:

Similarly, judging by the gameplay footage, enemies react as if they were shot with a BB gun until their health runs out and they just drop to the floor. You need spatters of blood and dynamic enemy physics to make their reactions either plausible or just flat-out cinematic, something Killzone 2 perfected, as seen below:

With a tentative release date of November 2011 exclusively for Playstation 3, there’s still plenty of time to iron this stuff out but despite this Uncharted 3 is already looking fantastic.

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Playstation Store Prices are Extortionate

With the rapid increase in broadband speeds and its increasing availability over the years, the use of online content delivery seems like a natural progression.  Both Sony’s Playstation Store and Microsoft’s Xbox Live Marketplace offer this, albeit a version limited in the content you can download, with few full retail games available to download.

Both downloading and purchasing from retailers each have their own advantages and disadvantages and gamers will have polarised opinions about the future of purchasing video games but judging by the current state of the Playstation Store (although the same applies to the Xbox  Marketplace) retailers have one key advantage at this moment in time: price.

At present there is a shocking disparity between the prices for games offered on the Playstation Store and on Amazon.co.uk.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Prices were correct at the time of writing but will probably change in a couple of weeks, making this article redundant.

Sony has recently released the excellent Assassin’s Creed onto the store. It’s odd that they’ve only just got round to releasing a two year old game but the price tag of £23.00 is even odder, especially considering the price of the game on Amazon.co.uk is only £9.99

The game’s sequel Assassin’s Creed II costs the same as its predecessor meaning that you can buy the first two games from Amazon.co.uk cheaper than you can buying just the one from the Playstation Store.

Then there’s the original Call of Duty. The PC version was released in 2003 and is currently selling on Amazon.co.uk with the United Offensive expansion pack for just £4.75. It’s recently been ported to the PSN  (minus the expansion pack) and released for £11.99. That’s right, £11.99 for a port of a 7 year old game.

Moving on to SOCOM: CONFRONTATION, you can buy it on the Playstation Store for £19.99 or you can pay half that on Amazon.co.uk, or better yet pay just £5 more than the Store price and get a free wireless headset with it.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 goes for £23.99 courtesy of Sony. Or if you’d rather pay a little less for a game more than two and a half years old just head over to our old friends at Amazon.co.uk to pick it up for a tenner.

There’s plenty more examples for you to find yourself and the same will no doubt apply to the Playstation Store in other countries and with Sony continually expanding the store content such extortionate pricing seems set to continue.

According to Forbes, 20% of the cost of purchasing a game goes to the retailer. For a full price £40 game this would be around £8 and because if this it stands to reason that by Sony selling a game directly to the customer through the Playstation Store they’re essentially cutting out the middleman meaning that they should be able to sell the games for a cheaper price than you’d find at a retail outlet.

If paying for downloading games is to take off with the current and future iterations of the Playstation then Sony needs to offer gamers some incentive to fill their hard drive with software with what is essentially ‘renting for life’ a copy of a game.

One in Ten UK prisoners have a games console in their cell

Want to commit a murder but don’t want to miss the next Call of Duty game? Well if you’re in the UK you needn’t worry as according to a one-off survey carried out by the Ministry of Justice in 2008, 11,200 prisoners had a games console in their possession.

To put this in perspective, according to according to a Ministry of Justice report, the population in custody as of August 31 2010 was 85,600; meaning that more than 1 in 10 prisoners can continue gaming from behind bars.

Prisoners are allowed games consoles as part of the Earned Privileges Scheme which rewards prisoners for good behaviour and cooperation for sustained periods of time. According to the MoJ “the scheme has three levels; enhanced, standard or basic level, only prisoners on the enhanced level of the IEP scheme will be entitled to the privilege of having games consoles in their possession.”

Between 2005 and 2008 the prison service spent £221,726 on providing games consoles but as of July 23 2008 the purchase of video games and consoles with public funds was prohibited, meaning if you get locked up you’ll need to buy your own games so if you’re going to go on a killing spree, best go on a shopping spree first.

Click here to view the Ministry of Defense report, obtained through a Freedom of Information Request.