… and Uncharted 2 Just Kills
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception kicked off this month with a bang, and many (including our very own Malcolm Spinedi) would argue that it’s the best Uncharted game yet. So why does 2009’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves get the nod? Why doesn’t the original, for that matter? Like LittleBigPlanet above, it was simply and easily the most important in the series.
The original was a quality game for sure, but it pales in comparison to its sequels. While the writing and acting in 2007’s Drake’s Fortune were great, the action never reached the peaks that it did in Uncharted 2. Despite being the best game released on the PS3 that year, it was overshadowed by the hype and praise being heaped upon BioShock and Mass Effect.
Uncharted 2 was not only bigger in every way — better set pieces, brilliant pacing, a legitimately fun multiplayer mode that maintained a large community — but also established the franchise amongst the very best that this generation has to offer. After winning several dozen Game of the Year awards in 2009, it became the biggest reason to buy a PS3.
It knocked people on their asses and forced them to pay attention … and they were glad for it.
Netflix Streams Its Way Into Our Hearts
Ever since the launch of the original PlayStation way back in 1995, Sony have pushed each of their consoles as multimedia machines. The PS1 played audio CDs (and the earliest models did that extremely well, apparently). The PS2 was a major player in popularizing DVDs as a format, and the PS3 did the same for Blu-Rays.
That was plenty, at least for a while.
In 2008, Microsoft managed to wrangle Netflix streaming for the 360, and while Blu-Ray playback was still an important selling point for the PS3, the draw of being able to instantly watch thousands of TV shows and movies was undeniable. The future of movie watching had arrived, and it was a smart move on Microsoft’s part to keep PlayStation owners on the outside looking in.
It would be a full year before the feature made its way to the PS3, and when it did it clumsily required a disc to run the application. However, Sony had a couple of tricks up its sleeve. The first is that using Netflix on PS3 was (and still is) free aside from whatever you pay Netflix every month, whereas Microsoft keeps the feature exclusive to paid Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. The second is that Netflix functionality dovetailed quite nicely with the new PS3 slim redesign and price drop, which had occurred just weeks before. It was a perfect storm that helped propel it past the 360 for Netflix use, despite the competitor’s year-long head start.
Combined with it’s Blu-Ray playback, Netflix was the final piece that would make the PlayStation 3 into the multimedia juggernaut that Sony had envisioned when it launched the system back in 2006, even if they didn’t know it back then.