Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

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Info:

Developer/s:  Naughty Dog

Publisher/s:  SCE

Platform/s:  PlayStation 3

Genre:  Action-adventure

Plot:

A modern-day Indiana Jones-style treasure hunter, Nathan Drake, sets out to find the lost treasure of El Dorado with the help of his friend Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan and journalist Elena Fisher.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is said to be one of the definitive titles of the PS3 and having entered the next-gen console market only recently I decided to purchase this game (available on the Platinum range) to see what all the fuss was about.  Let me tell you now, I was not disappointed.

Graphics: 4/5 – Uncharted is a beautiful looking game, from detailed cave interiors to vividly expansive outdoor locations, Uncharted always manages to shine.  The water and lighting effects are notably impressive and the vast amounts of flora is lush and at times quite awe-inspiring.

Gameplay: 5/5 – This is where the game’s true strong-point lies, not only does the game look impressive, but the game mechanics are responsive and intuitive.  Character navigation is dead easy to pick up, likewise with the combat system.  You are able to manually aim your weapon, which will flip to an over the shoulder (Gears of War-style) mode which will allow you to make more accurate kills, pressing ‘circle’ will allow you to take cover and pressing it again will break cover.  You are also able to run and gun (can be quite useful later on in the game).  You are awarded trophies for specific amounts/types of kills and you get treasure hunter proficiency rankings after finding certain amounts of treasure (there’s a total of 60 pieces).  You will also find yourself doing a lot of climbing and jumping , be it jumping from cliffs or swinging from chains and vines, thankfully this was implemented wonderfully, so you wont find yourself falling off edges due to non-responsive or hyper-sensitive controlling.  There’s tons of gun-play to be had as well as several vehicular chase scenes which are loads of fun.

Characters: 4/5 – Naughty Dog has done a fantastic job with the characters in Uncharted, the protagonist Nathan Drake is instantly likeable and the inclusion of an old-school partner and a spunky journalist/love interest (although cliched) adds an adventure-style film-like quality to the game.  The antagonists in the game are also deliciously villainous, as you’ll be up against rival treasure hunters and soldiers of fortune.

Soundtrack: 4/5 – Not groundbreaking but perfectly suited for the subject matter.  The soundtrack mimics that of an adventure film, like Indiana Jones.

Lifespan: 3/5 – This is where Uncharted falls a bit short, like most modern games, it’s not very long and relatively easy to complete as you can’t really die thanks to the periodic auto-saves.  I managed to finish it in just over nine hours, so it plays out more like an interactive adventure film than a video-game.  Having not found all the treasure the first time around, I will definitely return to Uncharted soon in order to find each and every piece.

Overall: 4/5 – I’ve always loved adventure games, and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is one of the best I’ve played.  I highly recommend that you add this game to your collection and once you’ve completed it, there’s the sequel to look forward to.  Definitely one of the best games available for the PS3.

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