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Indiana Jones... if He Ever Got a Decent Game

  • Oct 6, 2009
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About a year after the Playstation 3 launched, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune landed down and became one of the first games to really take advantage of what the PS3 could do. But beyond that, however, Naughty Dog has done a fantastic job creating a simple adventure game that's easy to pick up and learn and yet at the same time can provide a challenge.

You play as Nate, a treasure hunter who has just uncovered to coffin of his ancestor Drake. In the coffin, Nate finds a treasure map leading to the Lost City of Gold: Eldorado. He's got a journalist tagging along who wants to find a good story as well as a partner named Sully. Of course, Drake isn't the only one after the treasure. Throughout his journey he'll not only face the perils of the ruins he discovers but also have to battle pirates. There's nothing original about the storyline, but the characters are incredibly likeable--particularly Nate himself. The story and dialog within the story is also incredibly well written. As you get yourself into certain skirmishes Nate will also give his own commentary which is sometimes humorous. That's not the only thing that's humorous. Much of the dialog in the cutscenes is also funny. It's a game that knows it's clever but is careful not to rub your face in its wit. It makes a simple story all the more enjoyable.

Gameplay is pretty simple to pick up on and play. For the most part you'll be doing one of two things: Solving puzzles or participating in gun fights. When it comes to the games puzzles, most of them are pretty clever, but none of them are too hard. Some puzzles, such as the jumping puzzles, can seem a little threatening, but for the most part Nate does all the jumping automatically. All you have to be doing is facing the right direction and he usually lands a jump. This doesn't mean you can't jump too early, but for the most part, Nate is good at grabbing on ledges. For the most part, gameplay flows incredibly smoothly.

The other aspect of gameplay is the gun fights. Just about every gun fight plays out the same way. You hide behind an object, you pop out and you shoot at your enemy. You can carry two weapons with you at a time and each time you down an enemy you can have their remaining ammunition. While it seems like ammo would be plentiful, it's not really. Even if you manage to make every shot count your adversaries can take quite a bit of damage. Luckily there's also melee combat involved. None of it is hard to pick up and learn, though it's quite surprising how difficult Uncharted can be. In fire fights where you're surrounded on all sides it can be difficult to find cover to let your health recover. Not to mention you can run low on ammo. And despite the melee combat, it can be hard to pull off on a single enemy when you're being shot by three others. Despite that, when you get the hang of it and you know where to go to get cover, Uncharted can be fun. It can feel a little repetitive at times, but with the good mix of cutscenes that don't drag on and puzzle elements, there's a good amount of variety.

Likewise, you'll never find yourself in too dire need of trouble. The game is pretty linear for the most part. Despite all you can see in the environments, it's pretty straightforward. Should you find yourself lost the game will point you in the right direction. Just the same, the helpful prompts that remind you how to duck behind cover and how to shoot never stop popping up when it seems like your stuck. It would feel like the game was holding your hand if you couldn't turn these off, but you can and you're allowed to do things yourself. If you ever find the game being too hard or too easy, you can adjust the difficulty level on the fly.

The strongest aspect of Uncharted is without a doubt the game's stellar production values. It's quite possibly the best looking PS3 out there. The detail put into the world you're in is incredible. There's eagle eye attention to detail. When Nate goes into water and emerges, for example, the water is actually dripping off his clothes and they look damp and he'll slowly dry off. Not to mention that the lighting effects are fantastic as well. There can be slight dips in frame rate, but you may not actually notice them. The music is also fantastic as it fits the adventure well. Better than the music, however, is the voice cast. Every voice suits each character well but they also put a lot of good emotion into it and inject the right tone when it's called for. The production values are one of the reasons to at least check the game out.

While there will without a doubt be some who find the gunplay repetitive, at least the other elements keep the game afloat. If there was anything wrong with Drake's Fortune, it would be that the game is pretty short. Aside from that, it's a game that's worth checking out if you're into the Adventure genre.

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October 20, 2009
Hey, Sean, should I try to play this first or can I go straight and play # 2? Nice write up!!
October 20, 2009
There are a couple of returning characters in the second game, but both games pretty much stand alone.  While there might be a couple of returning characters, no one actually needs any knowledge of the first game to dive into the second.
More Uncharted: Drake's Fortune reviews
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Once again I come about two years to late to the video game front. However, even two years from its initial release date, Uncharted is a still a game that must be added to every PS3 owners library.      Uncharted plays out like a virtual action adventure movie. You play as Drake who is on a vessel with a TV host as he tries to find Sir Francis Drakes long lost treasure buried in the ocean. As a treasure hunter he is faced with opposition and the story starts from there. The beginning …
review by . November 24, 2008
This is an excellent game, similar to Tomb Raider. Graphics and pretty good, not the best I have seen but good. The gameplay is fun with a good video storyline. For the most part it is kid friendly, there are a couple times when foul language is used but for the most part it is pretty clean. There is a lot of unlockable content on this game and they recently added trophies that you can win. There is no online gameplay.
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this video game


Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is an action-adventure video game developed by Naughty Dog, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 3. Combining platforming and third-person shooter elements, the game charts the journey of protagonist Nathan Drake, supposed descendant of the explorer Sir Francis Drake, as he seeks the lost treasure of El Dorado, with the help of friend Victor "Sully" Sullivan and journalist Elena Fisher.

Originally announced at E3 2006, the title was developed for about two years before being released at the end of 2007. Seen as a key title for the PlayStation 3 during the holiday season of 2007, the game was well-received by critics, many of whom cited its technical achievements and its high production values, similar to that of summer blockbuster films. The game went on to sell more than one million copies in ten weeks, and become part of the European best-selling Platinum Range of titles. A sequel titled Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, was released in 2009 and a third entry to the series, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, is to be released in 2011.
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Number of Players: Single-player
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Naughty Dog
Console: PlayStation 3
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: November 16, 2007
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