Review by Q_Sensei

"Play something else"

One of the major factors in game selection these days is the competition.

If you had only Uncharted to play, it really isn't a bad title. I know several people on the Gamefaqs forums that would stop reading there and disregard everything I have to say; that's fine, this review isn't written for people who aren't very discerning.

The fact is though, time is limited and precious, and judging a game's worth is almost entirely based on what else you could be playing instead. Uncharted's biggest problem is that there is nothing unique about it to differentiate it from other titles.

The shooting is over-the-shoulder style that Resident Evil 4 mastered - and does better. The cover system is certainly not unique at all these days - nor is it terribly impressive as a result. The platforming is clunky and better done in other titles, even ones that aren't more dedicated to the genre.

Finally, and most importantly regarding the gameplay, pacing is almost non-existent - you platform for a bit and then you have a long and boring battle with a few racial stereotypes, rinse and repeat. It mixes it up very slightly with on and off-rails vehicle sections, but such sections are rarely much fun in games and Uncharted doesn't do anything to change anyone's mind about it.

To top off the yawnfest the game presents, enemies take several hits to take down if you're not masterful in hitting people in the head - you know because that's where the only vital organ in the human body resides. Not to compare Uncharted to a game that came after, but Demon's Souls is praised and feared for its supposed difficulty, yet most of the regular chronies in the game go down in a matter of a simple combo. Resident Evil 4 has combos reliant on how you shoot at the enemies to mix up the combat, with exploding heads to reward you for a precise aim. All Uncharted has is duck and cover until an opponent pops its head out, then maybe your next shot will kill him - probably not.

All this would be forgivable if the story was worth telling, but it really isn't. I knew the ending long before I had arrived at it, and that's because Tomb Raider did something similar. I won't say any more than that to avoid "spoiling" anything. Needless to say, the plot has nothing original about it, which is appropriate I suppose given the context of the gameplay.

If Uncharted was in a vacuum, I'd say it wasn't terrible. Being one of the few games worth mentioning in the early life of the PS3, I'm sure that's why its accrued so much popularity. There are PS1 games that pioneered what Uncharted rips off shamelessly however, and I'd point anyone asking for a recommendation to a PS2 title if they were looking for something in the niche that Uncharted tries to fill.

Skip it. Play something else. It's not worth your time.

Something else might include Uncharted's sequel, mind you. That one at least kept me engaged for the first 30 minutes.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 02/08/11

Game Release: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (Greatest Hits) (US, 08/16/09)

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