Who would've thought that combining elements from Tomb Raider and kill.switch would create one of the most enjoyable games of 07? The guys at Naughty Dog are onto something. But is this game greater than the sum of its parts?
In an era of galactic space aliens and world domination, the story in Uncharted is refreshing. You play as Nathan Drake, a descendant of the famed explorer, as you hunt for the lost Treasure of El Dorado hidden by Sir Francis Drake. Your posse includes Sully, another treasure hunter like yourself, and Elena who’s part of a TV show who happens to be funding the current adventure you’re on. Along the way you’ll encounter a small but interesting cast of antagonists that are also after the same treasure. (And there’s even a curse thrown in, just as a wild card) Sounds a bit cliched but it’s engaging and will hold your interest.
Graphically, the game is pure eye candy. Uncharted is one of the best looking games out there, if not the best. With games nowadays tending to have apocalyptic environments, Uncharted’s lush green scenery is a welcome change from the dark and gritty worlds that permeates most modern games. The attention to details is staggering. The PS3 really brings the lush jungle scenery to life and the team goes light on the bloom (Guess I can stop wearing my shades while playing) but the real treat is the characters. He stumbles, winces as bullets fly by him, his clothes get wet when he’s in water. Even the characters themselves seem so life-like that I half expect to see them while walking down the street. (Yes, I go outside. Not too often though cause the sun is a little too bright.) It’s these little nuances that really bring Drake’s Fortune to life.
The gameplay is everything you could want. It combines the exploration aspect of adventure games with gun-play similar to titles like Rainbow 6 and Gears of War. You jumps, climbs up walls and ancient architecture, just like you would in any other platform. (Tomb Raider comes to mind) If you get stuck, the L2 button will pop-up and give you a hint as to how to continue on. Whereas for the combat, you’ll be spending a lot of time taking cover behind an object, peeking out to take pot-shots at your foes. The AI is relentless. Take cover without firing at them for too long and they’ll flank you, which isn’t a good thing, unless you fancy looking at Drake die in black and white. If the enemies get to close, you can melee them for an instant kill. Though this may sound cheap in writing, in practice it’s a gamble because your enemies aren’t going to wait for you to beat up their buddy to shoot you. The balance between platforming, fighting and cutscenes is perfectly balanced and you never feel like you’re spending too much time doing either.
Uncharted is one of those games that’s definitely greater than the sum of its parts. The platforming, shooting and story aspects of it are nothing we haven’t seen in other games before. But the fusion of all this elements creates an adventure that unique and gripping. Any PS3 owner would be crazy to not have Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune as part of their PS3 game collection.
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Developer: Naughty Dog
The good: Graphics and Animation
The Bad: No online,
The Ugly:Drake makes me look ugly