Review by Axel7174

Reviewed: 08/15/08

Naughty Dog keeps you at the edge of your seat with Uncharted

"There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory. " ~Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake, the famous English soldier and explorer has left behind a legacy, the location of a great treasure, El Dorado. Now, in the modern day, his descendant, Nathan Drake has inherited the guide that will lead him to the treasure. The path is trodden with perils and fierce opponents however. Is this treasure worth fighting for? Is it worth dying for?

Naughty Dog presents Uncharted: Drake's Fortune for the PS3! If the name Naughty Dog sounds
familiar, it should, especially if you've been a long time PlayStation owner. Naughty Dog are responsible for the Crash Bandicoot series, and more recently, the Jak series. Uncharted marks their first venture onto the next-gen plateau, and they have made their claim.

Concept: As Nathan Drake, traverse dangerous traps and combat countless foes as you quest for a treasure of untold fortune. An addicting duck-and-cover game with many platforming elements and puzzles to keep gamers busy.

Graphics: Stunning. It's the best word to describe the level of detail Naughty Dog has put into this game. Traveling through the jungle, there is an enormous amount of things going on. The
leaves and grass all react appropriately to the player. The sun can be seen barely shining through the treetops. Water shimmers and ripples with a breathtaking degree of realism. Nate's clothes get wet when he goes in the water, then subsequently drip and dry. Characters are well animated and their facial expressions are rendered very accurately. On top of that, the game showcases Ragdoll Physics, adding an extra level of detail to the animation.

Sound: The jungle lives and breathes a very palpable intensity. It comes from the great detail and the sounds that make the simulation utterly ecstatic. You can hear the birds, the water gently cascading down a fall. The character voices are also top notch, and very, very few lines are delivered with the wrong tone or intensity. Nolan North voices Nathan Drake, and some gamers may know him as the voice of Desmond Miles from Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed. North surpasses his brief role in that game with the great stock he has put in giving Nathan Drake life.

Gameplay: Uncharted plays extremely well. The gameplay is divided into three main elements: Gun fighting, platforming, and puzzle solving. It does not falter in any of these aspects. The combat is simple but very well implemented and it never becomes boring. Drake is capable of carrying two guns and up to four grenades. The player is able to utilize cover in order to defend themselves from enemy attacks. Players will be constantly faced with hordes of enemies and at times the challenge is high. Drake is also capable of using melee attacks that are very helpful, and will reward the player if a certain combo is used by giving them extra ammunition. Sometimes minor problems arise in the cover system, preventing players from using it correctly, but they are few and far between. The platforming is very reminiscent to the Prince of Persia series and more recently, Assassin's Creed. Players will have to climb large obstacles using precarious ledges and pillars. Sometimes the path isn't always clear, adding to the challenge. Uncharted also features many puzzles, forcing one to exercise their brains as well as their thumbs. The puzzles range from blatantly obvious to frustratingly difficult and will keep the player guessing. Finally, throughout the game, the player may discover many treasures which will help to unlock many hidden features.

Story: The game's plot, while perhaps not 100% original, is very refreshing and unique, especially in the current generation. Nathan Drake and his entourage, Victor Sullivan and Elena Fisher, are searching for clues that may lead them to the legendary treasure, El Dorado. Trouble pops up in all the wrong places however. The story seems very simple at first, as players venture out through the jungle and combat numerous enemies. However, less than halfway through, the tone changes, albeit very subtly. Players can almost sense there is more to the game than meets the eye. This apprehensive feeling only intensifies as the plot rolls on and then finally, takes a very unexpected twist. All in all, the game keeps players interested and does not give anything away easily. The drama and intense action make it comparable to an action/adventure film.

Replay Value: Fairly high. The game, although short, is very rewarding; literally. Uncharted has a reward system that includes many unlockable features. Collecting treasures throughout the game becomes a prime motivation for playing through the game more than once if they had not been collected. With the recent 2.40 firmware update, these rewards turn into trophies on the PlayStation Network.

The good
-Combat is fun and action-packed; cover system is good
-Overwhelming level of detail; the jungle lives and breathes
-Voices are very well done
-Rewards/Trophies help players keep the fun going and reward them with unlockable goodies
-Story keeps players hooked and delivers a thrilling twist near the end

The Bad
-Cover system sometimes doesn't work properly
-Doesn't take long to beat

The Final Verdict


Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (US, 11/16/07)

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