Review by jesperishere
"They didn't leave too much to complain about."
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune made me think of what would happen if you crossed Prince of Persia with Tomb Raider.
Story - 10/10 - The game plays out kind of like a movie, following the main character on the hunt for the lost treasure of El Dorado, along with fellow treasure hunter Sullivan and reporter Elena, solving puzzles and racing rivals all the way. I found the story to be very interesting and well told, with cutscenes to help without taking them to Final Fantasy numbers. The game is very linear, so there's not too much freedom to be had, but considering it takes place in a jungle on an island, it makes sense. The progression is very National Treasure, with each clue leading to another clue, so it's only logical that it progresses one stage at a time. There is a bit of replayability value in the game, with the option of trying on harder difficulties, but also treasure hunting. There are sixty treasures hidden throughout the game that Drake can pick up in different locations. Also, you get credit for accomplishing certain things during the game. Finding so much treasure, getting so many headshots, killing so many enemies with melee attacks, and so forth.
Gameplay - 9/10 - Like I said, the game is very PoP, with platform jumping, wall scaling, and rope swinging. The other half of the game is killing enemies, which is mostly gunplay. This is one of the few games where I felt like taking cover behind a wall or crate was actually an important factor in survival. The game handles this pretty well, enabling you to dive from one cover area to the next with the push of a button rather than having to get up, walk to the next spot, and duck down again. A problem I had with the game is that the button you push to perform an evasive maneuver (a diving roll) is the same button you use to take cover against a surface. So, in a room full of places to take cover, I found that many times when I would try to dive away from gunfire or toward an enemy, Drake would wind up standing next to a wall taking bullets. It can be frustrating, but once you get used to this, the combat is quite fun. Drake basically has three weapons: A pistol, a rifle/shotgun, and grenades, all basically used by aiming and shooting/throwing. You can shoot from the hip(no aiming), but in most cases you'll be shot down by enemies who are wisely taking cover while you're fully exposed.
Sound - 10/10 - The sound is amazing in this game. The usual gunshots and explosions are there, of course, but that's not all. The voice acting is some of the best I've ever heard in a video game. They sound natural and match the look of the characters, almost, like I said before, as if you were watching a movie. The background music of the game is great too. Kind of a traditional action/adventure score with lots of instruments (if you don't know what that means, think Pirates of the Caribbean).
Graphics - 10/10 - Character, environment, and objects are all absolutely beautiful. Nothing much left to say. In the few parts of the game where you can look at the ocean, you'd almost think you were actually looking at the ocean.
Overall - 9/10 - Besides the aforementioned problem with the controls, the only thing I didn't like about this game was certain aspects of logic. There are an incredible amount of enemies to be killed in this game, and the gameplay itself would suffer if there weren't. However, as Drake progresses through the game, he finds secret ways to gain entry to secret places through hidden doorways that only he has the clues to...get the picture? These places are secret, that's what I'm saying. He'll solve a puzzle to get somewhere that no one has been to for 400 years, and yet as he goes deeper, there are a handful of people down there already waiting to shoot at him. The enemies pop up almost everywhere, no matter what you had to go through to get there. To me, it would've made more sense to leave the fighting in the more common areas and the monkeying (jumping, scaling, etc) to the secret areas, but the game mixes these two aspects together.
Still, this game is without a doubt a great buy, with likeable characters you can connect with in a world you love you explore, and I'd recommend it to almost anyone. If you're picky about your games or short on cash, you might consider renting first, or, if you connect to the Playstation Store, I believe they have a demo available for download. If you like action/adventure games or story-driven games, Drake's Fortune is definitely for you.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/06/07
Game Release: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (US, 11/16/07)
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