Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune… Treasure or Trash?
The Playstation 3 has had a pretty dry patch when it comes to games, but lately a couple of gems have been popping up. Among these games there’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, the latest game from developer Naughty Dog who have given us such games as Crash Bandicoot and the Jak & Daxter series (One of my favorites). Right from the start I had high hopes that this would be another excellent title from them, and fortunately it is.
You play the role of Nathan Drake, a fortune hunter of sorts that claims to be a descendant of Sir Francis Drake the renowned English Privateer. Nathan discovers the alleged coffin of Francis Drake, only to discover that it’s missing a body and contains only a journal detailing a forgotten island the fabled treasure of El Dorado. Moments later Nathan and associates are ambushed by pirates (the modern variety) and eventually find themselves stranded on said island as they try to unravel the clues behind the treasure. I won’t spoil any more for you, but it’s safe to say that the game features a pretty interesting story. A few elements of the storyline feel somewhat familiar, but for the most part it’s a fresh experience that is somewhat reminiscent of an Indiana Jones adventure, minus the whip and hat.
The visuals in the game are quite stunning. The game definitely makes good use of the hardware and shows off just what the PS3 can do. Lush green jungles and crumbling ruins show great detail and really set the mood for the game. It’s definitely one of the best, if not THE best, looking games on the PS3. There aren’t many problems to speak of, other than some screen tearing, but even that isn’t bad enough to ruin the experience for you.
You might be wondering by now, if you don’t already know that is, what kind of game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is. I’d consider it a third person action/adventure game. Throughout the entire game you’ll either be jumping off and clinging onto ledges or climbing vines and swinging in order to reach various out of the way places. It’s sort of like a mixture of Tomb Raider and Prince of Persia in that aspect. Other than that you’ll be ducking behind cover and shooting at mercenaries and pirates. The shooting mechanics are similar to what we’ve been seeing in a lot of games these days, such as Gears of War and R6: Vegas. You can hide behind cover and either shoot blindly or pop out and aim at your foes. It works pretty well and can sometimes be quite a bit more dynamic when you find the cover you’re hiding behind is slowly getting chipped away. In all, the controls are pretty good and responsive, and they make little use of the Six Axis, which in my opinion is a good thing.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune won’t take you too long to play through. It’s of decent length for the kind of game and wraps up right when it should. The game features a wide variety of things to keep you playing, however. The game features its own achievement system asking you to do various things from getting a certain number of headshots to getting a certain number of kills with chosen weapon. These achievements in turn have point values and allow you to unlock certain rewards when acquiring enough points, such as using a different character skin or playing in a mirror world. Naughty Dog has done this kind of thing before with the Jak & Daxter series. Other than that there are also four difficulty settings to play on. One of which you need to unlock. And trust me when I say that it can be pretty difficult. I just beat the game on Hard and found myself repeating certain areas multiple times.
So in conclusions, I’d say that Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is a compelling and thrilling title that belongs on every PS3 owner’s shelf. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of Drake in the coming years.
Review Score (4.5/5) and KG Seal of Approval (Awarded to only the very best games)