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.

Gran Turismo 5 Nitpicking Exceeds Expectations

Despite being released to a metascore of 86 and selling 1.8 million copies worldwide in just two days (to put that in perspective, Halo Reach still hasn’t sold that much in EMEAA countries), Gran Turismo 5 has suffered a barrage of bitch slaps by fanboys since its release.

Here are just a few examples of articles that currently litter N4G’s news feed:

Gran Turismo 5: Flying Karts and Texture Loading Problems from the Final Build in Action

Gran Turismo 5 Graphical Review

Gran Turismo 5 Installed vs. non Installed

GT5: Can this be true? Incredibly ugly standard cars

Gran Turismo 5: Online mode is full of problems

GT5 is full of bugs

Gran Turismo 5: Non Premium Cars Look Awful

While its certainly true that many of the scores given out by reviews are incredibly minor disappointments as most gamers were expecting hordes of 90%+ ratings, a metascore of 86% is very good, as are the early sales indications and general feedback from the gaming community who are after all, the ones who really matter.

Where Gran Turismo 5 is unparalleled is in the nitpicking from the rest of the community. When Halo: Reach. Forza 3 and various other Xbox exclusives were released N4G was spared the cavalcade of articles comparing various in-game models and angrily complaining that “they look less like real life and more like a videogame”. No shit.

That’s not to say that it’s the Xbox community who are largely to blame for the reaction GT5 has been getting; the PS3 community demonstrated extraordinary hubris and even started the in-game model comparisons, frequently comparing screenshots to Forza 3 and declaring it “a game-changer” and “better than real life” way before the first actual gameplay footage had been released.

GT5 seems to have set a precedent of nitpicking, and one that could possibly be applied to every hyped console exclusive from now on.

The fact of the matter is that Gran Turismo 5 is nowhere near a flop. If VGChartz is to be believed (and to be honest, it probably isn’t), it sold more in the first two days than Mass Effect 2 did in ten weeks. From this it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a financial success and with positive reviews across the board this is bolstered even more. Granted, it’s not as perfect as we’d have liked it to be but a majority of the big issues that reviewers had with the game can be sorted out with future game updates and patches. Knowing Yamauchi’s dedication to the game this is a near certainty.

Could the Reviews of Gran Turismo 5 even affect its Sales at this point?

At present, the gaming world is waiting eagerly for the review embargo on Polyphony Digital’s highly anticipated, ultra-realistic racing simulator Gran Turismo 5 to be lifted at 8:01am GMT on Wednesday.

Currently, N4G’s news feed is littered with links to newly uploaded screenshots and gameplay videos posted by those lucky enough to have received their copies early as gamers pore over any new scrap of media they can get their hands on until the official verdicts can be released.

Early impressions seem highly positive, with Gameinformer stating:

The game not only looks as good as advertised, but each vehicle also handles really well, giving you a great flavor of all kinds of vehicles and the various challenges associated with their braking, horsepower, engine placement, etc. Snow, night, and rain weather effects throw a kink in some of your best-laid racing plans, but tackling the elements is all part of the experience.”

The above sentiments are also echoed by posters on various forums although OPM claims that the AI “remains a long way short of passing the Turing Test”.

Should the unpredictable (and highly unlikely) happen, with Gran Turismo 5 not earning the triple A ratings expected of it, it seems doubtful that this would put off potential buyers.

UK retailer ShopTo.net has stated that pre-order sales for the game “went through the roof” and it’s still in the top 5 at Amazon.com, casting doubts on whether the GT5 momentum could be halted by a string of mediocre views.

Furthermore, the timing of the release couldn’t be better for Polyphony Digital, considering the newly crowned Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel was involved with the production of the game and even featured in a trailer, seen below:

Although strangely, neither Sony or Polyphony Digital have chosen to exploit his involvement in the game in light of his recent success.

With the game officially released tomorrow, along with the reviews, only time will tell whether it’s the racing experience we’ve all been waiting for.