Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (2024)

Despite repetitive combat, Uncharted is one of the best titles available exclusively on the PS3.

User Rating: 8.5 | Uncharted: Drake's Fortune PS3

By nickscho | Review Date:

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, developed by our friends at Naughty Dog, is a rousing action adventure that every PS3 owner should own.

The first thing you will notice when you start up this game is its production values. Quite simply, they are breathtaking. The quality of the graphics, and the cut-scenes, rival anything that you will see in this current generation of videogames.

The most noticeable strength this game has is its graphics. Every detail, every nook and cranny, looks superb in high definition. From the glimmering sun peaking behind the clouds reflecting off every leaf, to the wonderfully fluid rivers in the underground catacombs, the graphics in this game are almost flawless. The amount of sheer detail and the fact that textures are never noticeably repeated makes one want to stop and enjoy the beautiful lush, tropical scenery. The game is filled with overgrown ruins, every imperfection in every stone, and every vine on every wall, is perfectly realized. The photo realistic textures look stunning in 1080p, and the motion blur doing fast action adds to the cinematic flare to this game excels at. Although, like many games, this game has a generally linear path with many invisible walls, the almost flawless graphics never make it feel that way. The way one is led through the environment seems entirely natural. The game also has some breathtaking vistas with a huge amount of draw distance, seldom pulled off in console games.

The animation is also superb. Thanks to motion capture of every cutscene, the character animation is the most realistic you will find. After viewing the cutsceens in "Uncharted," it's more than apparent that the days of pre-rendering are over. The sound is also very detailed, and the voice acting never makes one question the acting abilities of the voice talent. "Uncharted" raises the standard for what can be on a console graphically and aurally.

If I had to compare the gameplay of "Uncharted" with any other game, I would have to say it has the combat of "Gears of War" mixed with the platforming of "Prince of Persia." Although this sounds like a great thing on the surface, "Uncharted" doesn't do quite as good as both of those games in the mentioned categories. The gameplay, although very fluid at times, is very predictable. The combat for instance, is very repetitive, and it's always easy to know when you are about to be "ambushed" by enemy fire. You'll be walking through what seems to be an abandoned ruin, and look! A randomly placed AK-47 on a crate! Shortly after picking it up, you hear gunfire in the distance. The game repeats this pattern often. You'll soon wonder why military personal might be waiting at the bottom of a cavern for you, or why a weapons crate is behind a wall that has been sealed for centuries inside an ancient Incan temple. Firefights are similar to Gears, in which you will be covering, waiting, and firing. Rinse and repeat. In easy mode, cover isn't even necessary. The enemies are also repeated greatly. There is a different enemy for each weapon they carry, very dubious. A predictable twist near the end of the game adds one new kind of enemy. Gee, thanks. It's also painfully obvious that every single enemy in this game follows the exact same AI pattern, just with different (and not many), character models.

The platforming aspect of this game is similar to "Prince of Persia" like I mentioned. You will hang off walls, use vines and ropes, and unlock doors. The difficulty of this never ramps up, and it never really takes any chances or sets any standards. It's also very forgiving, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your playstyle.

Like so many games before it, "Uncharted" has a girl sidekick that will follow you around for most of the game. The cliché is dead and tired. Fortunately, in "Uncharted" the sidekick is not nearly as annoying, and you don't have to worry about keeping her alive in the main gameplay.

Because of this, you'll spend more time fighting, exploring, and less time babysitting. There is also some nice chemistry between her and Drake. Although this could have been cheesy and poorly written, "Uncharted" pulls it off very well… if you're into that whole guy/girl sort of thing.

This game has a fair amount of replay value. When going through the game, you will find hidden relics, which will earn you points. You will also earn points by defeating enemies in certain ways, using certain weapons, and performing other optional feats. There are a total of 1,000 points. The more points you earn, the more you can unlock, including some very nice behind the scenes featurettes, cheats, and other goodies. It mirrors the 360's achievement system, although unfortunately you can't share them. They are more for self gratification than anything else, and are completely optional.

Although the gameplay is repetitive and uneven at times, "Uncharted" is a beautiful action packed adventure, that every PS3 owner should own. It's a heroic adventure that plays out like I classic adventure film. You'll have "wow" moments all the way through. Although you may be disappointed at times by the combat, the good far outweighs the bad. If you have a PS3, get this game!

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (2024)


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