Review by FastoMadness
A visually beautiful game with some flaws
Uncharted was the first PS3 game I played, and I have to say the graphics and visuals look outstanding. There was a lot of effort and detail put into the backgrounds and environments. The game runs very smoothly as well. While it's a good game, I think it is a bit overrated and does suffer from a few flaws.
First of all, the game is as linear as it gets. There is little to explore, you have one path and that's it. There are some treasures to find that are optional, but they are pretty easy to spot even if you aren't going out of your way to find them. The basic formula of the game is as follows, do some jumping challenges hanging from really high areas, followed by shooting down dozens and dozens of pirates. You might find some "puzzles" in ruins to do, but the game basically will give you the answers. A lot of the time is spent just figuring out which ledges you can jump to and which ledges are just part of the pretty background. You'll spend a lot of time just sitting there jumping in front of what you think is a ledge, but isn't and you'll spend a lot of time hurling yourself off of high cliffs/ledges/etc thinking you were jumping to a spot you could grab when you couldn't.
As for combat, it's a third person console shooter,with cover based combat, regenerating health, and you can only carry two guns at a time... one small and one large. Not really my cup of tea. The fights are quite repetitive. The "challenge" of the fighting part of the game consists of fighting enemies who can see you from 900 feet away and hit you with perfect aim while the only way you can notice some of the far off enemies is by watching their gunfire while you try to pick them off with your pistol. You can also fight using your bare hands which is actually sometimes quicker than shooting an enemy. The other challenge lies in that enemies seem to know exactly when you are aiming and when you are going to fire and can instantly adjust themselves to dodge your attacks. Aiming with an analog stick seems sluggish for someone like me who has been playing PC shooters for a long time and I really wish I had a mouse for a game like this. You know what else would be good, a light gun. In fact, this games combat reminds me of those old school light gun shooters.... hide behind cover, pop out, shoot some enemies, hide some more,and the process repeat until the six dozen pirates are dead.
The story and characters are pretty bland, and you'll find yourself tuning it all out while your brain is focusing on how nice things look. I mean just look at those water textures... amazing. It's your basic good guy wants to find treasure but so does a rich bad guy so the bad guy sends six million pirates to shoot at you. This also isn't the type of game the average person would find themselves replaying.
Bottom line there isn't a single bit of originality here in story or gameplay. The game looks nice, really nice, and runs really well. This is the type of game you get on a rental and beat it over a weekend. The original Tomb Raider had more to it as far as gameplay and story and had likeable main character, the only edge this game has over all the other games it borrowed heavily from is as how good it looks.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (US, 11/16/07)
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