Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Review

Developer(s):

Naughty Dog, Cerny Games

Publisher(s):

Sony Computer Entertainment

Console(s):

PlayStation 3

Engine:

Naughty Dog Engine 1.0

Genre:

Action-Adventure, Platformer

Release Date:

November 16, 2007

Player(s):

Single

Rating:

T (Violence and Language)

-Marcus Lawrence

Greatness from small beginnings

When someone is trying to convince another person to buy a PS3, what do they normally say? Probably mention all the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games that can be downloaded along with some other incentives. The biggest way to convince someone would be to talk about the line-up of games available. So yea, you have Heavy Rain, God of War, Metal Gear Solid and a bunch of other legendary titles. However, there is that one game that everyone seems to recommend to PS3 owner and would-be owners alike. The Uncharted series began in 2007 with the release of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. From there…well you know the rest.

Besides being a huge hit in only weeks of its initial release, Drake’s Fortune went on to get multiple awards, such as PlayStation 3 game of the year, from sites like IGN and Kotaku. Once the game starts, players get their first look at the protagonists Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher as they recover a sunken coffin that supposedly has the remains of Nate’s ancestor, Sir Francis Drake. From here, players will embark on a journey through forgotten ruins and rainforests with Nate’s longtime partner, Victor Sullivan, as they try to find the secret Sir Francis left behind. And yes, there will be people that are going to try and stop you but that’s something you’ll find out eventually.

Now if you’re looking at this game and going, “Wow this looks really similar to Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider”, you wouldn’t be far from the truth. Even though Uncharted stands on its own legs, there are some elements that have been taken from both iconic names; respectively of course. Besides Nate and Indy having similar hobbies, the entire game gives off a vibe that just scream Indiana. Nate isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty either; something that will happen often throughout the adventure. As for the similarities between this and Tomb Raider, players will have to scale and maneuver across surfaces. Whether it be climbing up ruins or avoid traps, precise timing and observation will be needed. Make a jump too soon or not paying attention can cause a horrendous death for Nate. That being said, a half your time will be spent platforming… the other half is where you get those hands dirty.

Like I mentioned before, there are those that seek to kill Nate and his companions but for the sake of not spoiling, I won’t mention names. As you travel the island, solving puzzles and getting closer to the truth, you will come across these mercenaries and lots of them. That’s where the combat comes in handy, both hand-to-hand and gun battles. Since Nate is capable of handling himself in a fight, he can stand up to the mercenaries but he isn’t a one man army. A couple of well-placed shots will kill you and return you to the most recent checkpoint. By utilizing the cover system, players can avoid getting hit and shoot back. You can even roll into cover if you come under fire. Players will have to scavenge for weapons since Nate isn’t carrying an armada with him. Everything from pistols, magnums, grenades, assault rifles, shotguns and even a grenade launcher will become available.

The most effective way to use all the weapons would be to aim down the sights but if things get a bit heated, you can always run and gun. When you take damage, you need to hide behind cover and wait for your health to regenerate. The enemies are quite smart and well take advantage of this, so you can always blind fire to keep them away until you are fully healed. I believe I mentioned it before but there will be times you have to get up and personal with these thugs. In this instance, you have two options; the first would a four hit combo using the Square button or a brutal combo using Square Triangle Square. Both are great for beating down enemies but the brutal combo gives you double ammo if executed correctly. To break up the on-foot sessions, driving sequences are throwing into the mix. At one point, you may be using a turret as Elena drives or riding on a jet ski while avoiding exploding barrels. These parts may be rare but they certainly are a great welcome. Uncharted is a pretty simple game but thanks to the engaging story, well executed gameplay, gorgeous graphics and stunning soundtrack, this simple game is quite a masterpiece.

I noticed a few flaws with Drake’ Fortune; none that are too severe but need to be noticed anyway. Graphical errors such as texture pop-ins and some screen tearing occur sometimes when entering a new environment. The enemies take way too many bullets and I often found myself emptying an entire clip into one guy. This is extremely annoying when they start swarming you, which most of the time, ends in your death. Oh and I was surprised that there weren’t a lot of situations that called for the Sixaxis motion controls. Problems aside, Uncharted is truly a remarkable game that any PS3 owner should have.

Pros:

  • Even though the game can be beat within 6 hours, it’s still an amazing blast.
  • Platforming is fun and offers a real rush.
  • An engaging plot that features memorable characters.
  • Smart A.I that offers up a real challenge.
  • Uncharted feels like you’re playing a movie!

Cons:

  • Enemies take way too many bullets.
  • Some minor graphical issues.
  • Not enough use of the motion controller.

Please, don’t just take my word for it; look at how well Uncharted sold and how many people praise this game. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is cheap at GameStop and even cheaper on Amazon.com. So if you’ve yet to play this great game, I suggest you get to it… you won’t be disappointed.

Verdict: 90%

Uncharted: Drake’ Fortune- Trailer

As one of the best games to hit the PS3, Uncharted has soared in both sales and reviews. It even went on to spawn to really amazing sequels. For an PS3 owner, this is a must have. What are your thoughts on this amazing title?