Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3) review

Discussion in 'Random Video Game Reviews!' started by Venom, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. Venom Well-Known Member

    I find it hard to play a truly awesome game and not find some way to let others know about it, which is why I'm reviewing Uncharted - one of the best PS3 games to date.

    Title: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
    Platform: Playstation 3
    Developer: Naughty Dog
    Genre: Action/Adventure
    Release Date: November 19, 2007

    Story: From the studio who brought you Jak & Daxter comes their first PS3 outing, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, a story of a treasure sought by the explorer Sir Francis Drake, thought only to be a legend, that treasure being none other than El Dorado - the city of gold. The story takes place in modern day where Nathan Drake, claiming to be descended from Francis Drake, goes searching for El Dorado when he finds that Francis Drake's coffin is empty, and the only thing inside is his diary - an explanation of how to get to the golden treasure. Early on in the game however, it becomes clear that El Dorado is not a city of gold, but a golden statue, which sends Nathan and two friends, Sully and Elena, on a wild adventure.

    Gameplay: Imagine, if you will, a next-generation version of the classic game Pitfall. If you've never played Pitfall (shame on you!) then imagine this - platform jumping, traps, treasures, and exploration, taking place in large, open-ended environments, and you have part of Uncharted. The exploration portions of the game are somewhat quiet compared to the action portions (which will be explained momentarily), but they are still a lot of fun. Climbing platforms, jumping across ledges, navigating endless tunnels and pits, and solving some puzzles here and there are just a few of the things you'll be doing. Puzzle solving usually has something to do with the aforementioned diary of Francis Drake, who has written down details as to the location of El Dorado, and how to get there. Puzzles also often require platforming, which means that you'll never encounter a dull moment even on a seemingly easy puzzle. The other part of the game is the action, and lots of it. The action sequences play out like a third person shooter, and you'll need to make effective use of cover if you want to last very long. You can only carry two guns - a type of pistol and a type of rifle or shotgun, and four standard grenades. You can fire these weapons by leaving your cover and aiming, or by simply shooting blindly, which will occasionally end up with you hitting someone, as long as they're close. You can also simply run 'n' gun, but to actually kill someone, you have to be rather close, and generally you're too outnumbered to get close to one person without another person killing you. You can also use your fists as weapons, but this is only a good idea in certain situations, like when it's between you and one enemy, and you don't want to waste ammo. There is also a vehicle-mounted gun sequence, where you must fend off enemies chasing you with cars and ATVs, as well as a few sequences on a jet ski, where you control the jet ski, but when you encounter enemies, you'll have to stop and control Elena to shoot them. The game also ditches a traditional health bar in favor of the gray screen of death, where as you take damage, color begins to fade from the world, but staying out of harm's way long enough will heal you right up. The action is very intense in Uncharted, but it flows so well that you'll rarely get frustrated, even when extremely outnumbered. The action also goes to serve other purposes, like Medal Points, which are essentialy Achievment Points to anyone who owns an Xbox 360. But Medal Points don't just keep track of accomplishments, they also unlock bonus features and cheats. Another thing made to keep exploration enthusiasts busy are the 60 different treasures hidden throughout the game, which will unlock medal points as you collect more and more. There's plenty to do in this game, ensuring that it's not just something you'll blow through in a few hours.

    Graphics: To sum up this game in one word would be too hard, because even "beautiful" doesn't begin to describe it. The developers went through painstaking detail to make everything lifelike, and very much succeeded on that note. The jungle environments are lush and beautiful, and the indoor areas of the game are varied, highly detailed, and lifelike. Everything is so varied that there's rarely a time where you feel as though you've seen something before, unless you actually have seen it before, as the case may be that every now and then, but no two areas look exactly alike. The one and only thing that takes away from the experience is that the jungle areas are seemingly void of any life, save for some birds here and there. But, this is forgivable as everything else looks so gorgeous that you probably won't be animal hunting when you're amazed by the lighting effects and entrancing visuals. Almost anything you do can affect how something looks, like getting your clothes dirty (or wet), or breaking objects by running into them or shooting them. The characters are equally spectacular, and almost seem to breathe, walk, and talk like a real human being, and later in the game, inhuman characters are brought to life as if they were real, torn from the pages of Silent Hill and let loose on the world. The attention to detail in this game is amazing, and it shows in every way.

    Sound: The sounds in the game are given almost the same amount of detail as the graphics. During the jungle sequences you'll hear the rustle of leaves, the sounds of the few birds you'll see out and about, and rushing waterfalls and calm, flowing streams. Everything you touch makes a noise, as well as many things you don't touch, adding to the overall realism of the game. The voice acting is done very well, which isn't a suprise because of the standards set by other Naughty Dog games, but it's still a great thing to see with so many other games enlisting the aid of Hollywood actors and their voice-overs still lack a punch. You won't find a lack of punch in the sound anywhere in this game, not even from the firearms, which when used by Nate, all have their own distinct sound. Curiously, when enemies use them, many of their weapons sound the same, but it's not so much a mistake as it could compliment the fact that you're usually not close enough to them to hear a difference, like you would be if you were using the weapon yourself. The music comes in and out at appropriate times, and always adds a touch of whatever it needs to add to really make the scene, like and up-tempo, pounding score during gunfights or a soft mellow tune when simply exploring the area.

    Closing: Drake's Fortune is by far the best Playstation 3 game I've ever played. It's got style, grace, action, exploring, and platforming all mixed into one awesome game. If you're a PS3 owner looking for something that really shines, this is the game.

    Score: 9.5/10
    1 people like this.

    I loved your review as much as I loved the game. FINALLY, a game (...and a couple more games, of course) to further justify the existence of an otherwise worthless system, the PSTriple. I can't wait to get a PS3 and this game. My friend, Steve, alongside his roommates Greg and Brandon, have the PS3 and 360 and I'm more interested in the PS3 itself (reasons for this is 'cause I've already played the games the 360 has "exclusively" for PC). Anyway, when Steve checked the game out from Gamestop (he's an employee, part-time) I was instantly blown away by not just the graphics but for the undeniably cinematic feel of the game. In retrospect, the whole game felt to me like a long-winded movie that never got boring, that never overstayed its welcome...nonetheless, this is THE game to get for the PS3 at the moment. I'll be getting a PS3 as soon as I can get the money. Great review, btw.
  3. Venom Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I appreciate your comments. :) Like I said, if I find a game this good, I have to review it to let others know about it.

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