Review by Vasper
"The game Xbox fanboys wish they had"
A game every PS3 owner must have in their collection
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is just one of those games. You know, the eye-popping exclusive that owners of another system wish they had. This game was one of the first to build a (now strong) exclusive list of games for the Playstation 3. Uncharted is a unique system seller with amazing visuals that are guaranteed to blow you away, fantastic voice acting, a great (but flawed) story, nice gameplay and great characters.
To start off, the graphics in this game are absolutely beautiful. If there was any doubt the Playstation 3 can surpass the 360 in graphics, this game completely deleted it. The setting in this game is in the gorgeous Amazon (or what I call the Amazingzon) in South America. Everything from the trees, ruins, waterfalls and even boulders are outstanding. From an artistic standpoint, this I seriously consider this game one of the greatest of all time. The people of Naughty Dog really, really knew what they were doing while designing this game. For a game that came out early in the Playstation 3's lifespan, within a year of the console's release, it impressively showboated off what the system can do graphically. After playing this game if you don't find the visuals stunning, I suggest you go to your optometrist to get some serious eye checkouts because there is no possible way this game cannot be anything short of beautiful.
But there is more to Uncharted than sexy graphics, it's a game that sounds GREAT as well. What can I say, this is a video game that actually has non-cheesey voice acting. I couldn't imagine just reading the text from characters in this game. The voice acting of all the characters fits perfectly with the mood of the game. You can't say that about all games with voice acting nowadays. Uncharted has a way of captivating the player in its world. The cutscenes are absolutely, positively cinematic in every way possible. I GUARANTEE they will NOT be boring.
If Naughty Dog's main goal was to make Nate an overpowered kick ass machine, then chalk one to them. I though the platforming in this game was wonderful, and would even make Shigeru Miyamoto proud (well, not really.) There were times when I saw the only way to get pass certain areas of the game was to jump from platform to platform. There were many "there's no way in hell he can make that jump" in this game for me. Nate really should stop exploring and pursue a career in the NBA, he'll make more money that way. Not to mention he can hang on cliffs like no other, his hand are incredibly strong. But hey, the hero is supposed to be overpowered.
If you haven't looked at the score I've given this game and have only read this review, you would think that I would think it's perfect. Unfortunately it isn't (but not many things are!). First, the difficulty. I know you can adjust the difficult to fit your experience level, but with that aside, the puzzles are ridiculously easy. I feel there are a real lack of puzzles in this game. The type of game that Uncharted is it should just bleed puzzles. Also, you don't have to be the brightest person on the planet to figure them out relatively quickly.
There will be moments in this game that will be very familiar to someone who has high experience with gaming. There will be moments Drake and his bff Jill, I mean, Elena will be split and Drake will try his best to rescue her, sometimes they'll be in a jeep or boat together trying to slip through spots to avoid enemies, or simply put them to their eternal slumber along the way. This shouldn't be an issue, because this single player experience has great ally AI that actually work with you nicely.
I can tell the developers at Naughty Dog were heavily influenced by Gears of War on the Xbox 360, because the cover system in this game feels a lot like Gears of War. This area is not particularly broken, but you would think a blockbuster game like this one would try harder to make it more like it's own, and not like another game that's popular during it's time period. Gamers with experience in shooters like Resident Evil, Gears of War or Call of Duty should have no problem adjusting to the controls of this game.
I've played this game several times and it has been enjoyable each and every one. But the fact that I've played it several times is an even deeper issue: the game is just too short. The roller coaster's thrill ended way too early. An Action Adventure game like this one deserves to have a length of at least 20+ hours. It wouldn't be a chore to get through with this game in a weekend (provided you don't have better things to do, of course.)
The PS3 REALLY needed this game to be a hit and it was. In 2007, Sony needed something that would combat their rivals' exclusives like Halo 3 and Mario Galaxy. I'm confident enough to say that Uncharted: Drake's Fortune can stick it's chest out (if it had one) proudly as one of this generation's best.
-Actually non mutable voice acting
-Great ally AI
-FUN to play
-Good character development
-Not enough puzzles, and the ones that are there are not challenging
-I've seen this combat system many times before
-The game ends too soon
There is nothing ugly about this beautiful game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/10/09
Game Release: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (US, 11/16/07)
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