Review by CrimsonSeven
This game is a unique jewel in a time where FPS/action games are flooding and choking the already overloaded market. Sometimes it's very difficult for a good title, let alone a new IP to come out head and shoulders above the shovelware. However, in terms of gameplay and core fun, Uncharted delivers like an atom bomb.
One of the best things about Uncharted is its characters and its story. Our protagonist, Nathan Drake, is a believably real person, with real desires, real flaws, and real fears. Make no mistake, he isn't a one dimensional bulletproof Superman who runs around with a very large assault rifle while crushing the skulls of his enemies. Elena Fisher, the journalist who funds Nathan's expedition, is much the same. Victor Sullivan is an older yet smooth-talking suave man who is always able to adapt to whatever pinch he might find himself in. Also, the dialogue is very, very good, and it's accentuated by perfect voice acting.
The point I'm trying laboriously to get to here is that Uncharted's already excellent gameplay is made so much better by the inclusion of the best characters and the best story - everyone likes Indiana Jones-style hunts for treasure, along with lots of gunfighting and a touch of mystery added to the mix.
The gameplay is a refreshing mix of gunplay and platforming. For example, there might be a segment where Drake has to negotiate an ancient fortress by jumping from ledge to ledge and handhold to handhold (usually at dizzying heights) followed by a shootout with pirates (of the modern variety, not the swordfighting yar-har-walk-the-plank-matey type). It does offer a very nice change of pace and it seems to add a little bit of length to the game. Speaking of length, although this title is rather short (~10 hours), it's still hellishly fun.
The visuals look absolutely gorgeous. Landscapes and character models all look very, very polished, and the lush, green jungle is a welcome change from gritty, war torn environments that have become the norm. Water effects are also top-notch, and Drake comes out of the water actually wet after swimming. The sound is also good, with the best aspect of it being the voice acting - it's just so very, very believable and adds to the AAA action movie vibe this game gives off at every turn.
At its core, Uncharted plays like a blockbuster action-packed movie. Awesome story, awesome gameplay. If you're not willing to buy it, at least rent it, because I can guarantee that you'll love it.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (US, 11/16/07)
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