Review by Agent_Carver

"…Adventure has a great new icon… Well, back in ‘07 anyway…"

Completely oblivious to the game during its development, I had little to no foundation of what to expect from this game prior to playing it. All I knew was that Naughty Dog, the brilliant developers behind ‘Crash Bandicoot' during the PSX-age, and most importantly to me, the ‘Jak & Daxter' franchise, of which inspired me to purchase a PS2 back in 2003, and has since been considered one of my favorite gaming, if not MY favorite franchise on PS2, were in fact the people behind the development of this new IP. Just from this knowledge alone, it was inconceivable to believe that this game would be anything less than great. However, I couldn't help but think; What the heck is this game about exactly? Which brings me back to my original statement. Other than a humorous TV spot of Drake infiltrating what looks like a rotting Temple filled with pirates only to be caught in the act, and is forced to humorously improvise with a quick “This is for you” and on-the-spot gung-ho antics to escape, there wasn't really a whole lot to speculate on before being suckered-in playing the game itself… Well, truthfully, I was so curious that I forced my self to purchase a PS3 simply to play it. Naughty Dog practically handed both the PS2 and PS3 to me by their lonesome. Back in '08, there wasn't a whole lot else out (This was slightly before MGS4). Obviously, we all know that ‘Some games are better to be played first before being judged.' There might literally be no better example of this to me than ‘Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.'

What a ride! Few other games can be truly categorized in my opinion as an ‘experience.' For me, it is only fair to entail this game as such, simply because I was immersed in it. The incredible well-performed mo-cap (Nolan North, ‘nuff said, man's a genius!), the brilliantly-snappy dialogue and banter between the lead Nathan Drake, who is possibly the best treasure hunter since Indy himself, and Sully, who plays a mentor for Drake as his escapades become frenetic, as well as Elena Fisher, who is a great female interest that can not only fend for herself, but consistently remain ambitious as both a female character, and an ally to Drake, the great characterization (Sully, Eddy, & Navarro FTW), the mind-blowing soundtrack, the incredible graphics and backdrop to the story, the at-times iffy but overall satisfying combat, and the somewhat out-of-place, but well-played twist that occurs in the latter section of the game, all acquaint into what is still currently one of those hard to come by gaming experiences. In this regard, ‘Uncharted', while not being the most original game ever, is simply superb.

Does it have it's mishaps? At times, sure. Frankly, this game has a few, but it could never hold back the gratifying entertainment value at hand. For every problem it shares: (Often frustrating AI, a bit too jump/climb-happy at times, very minor but noticeable graphic slips, cheap deaths), there's atleast 3x's as many things to praise about it (Great production values all-around, infectious pulp-esque gameplay, substantial design in pretty much everything graphics-related, good length that doesn't overstay its welcome, AMAZING score by Greg Edmonson, etc.). And as many others have stated, this is a perfect example of a game that blurs that line between two different forms of media entertainment, in this case 'Movies' and 'Video Games,' and in essence, intertwines them in a very welcome fashion.

Story/Plot: 8/10 (Original storytelling has never really been a plus in this genre, however, Uncharted reinvigorates it with great characters and an energetic script.)

Graphics: 9/10 (A consoles potential realized in a single game. Some technical hiccups such as frame-rate slow downs and screen-tearing aside, this is truly one of the best-looking console games ever.)

Gameplay: 7/10 (AI is a bit brutal and unfair in some occasions, but a great melee system, and fierce gunplay do it some major justice. Platforming is also somewhat fun, though you will die A LOT, mostly through trial-and-error.)

Sound Design: 9/10 (Soundtrack is truly one of the best ever in any video game. Everything from the ‘Uncharted Theme' to the gorgeous ambient sounds from the scenery around you in the world itself is simply breathtaking at times.)

What else can be said beyond that? Well, if you haven't all ready bought this game, which at this point in time is a pretty sparse remark, then… Awww, who am I kidding, you all ready have it if you're a PS3 owner! If not, this game is literally about $10 or less if you find it at the right places. So do yourself a big favor and get introduced to this great experience!

FINAL SCORE: 8/10 (Great!)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/06/12

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

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