Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune [PS3]


Review by Luke Paruman

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, was one of the PS3’s best games of 2007. This year it got a new breath of life with a 13mb patch that allowed players to gain trophies. That’s not to say that the game did not already have a host of collectable and unlockable features from behind the scenes features, to medals & treasures that are rendered in 3D and you can view what you have collected, that alone would have required multiple re-plays and I’m glad to say it’s one of those games that I’ll happily play over and over again.

It has also been released in SA as a PS3 Platinum game, so it falls in close to our R300 budget 😉

Uncharted is, at a glance an action adventure game, it’s got lots of action and lots of adventure. Not unlike the Indiana Jones series of movies, it gels its story and action (gameplay) so well that you could actually sit and watch someone play and find it a very enjoyable experience.

The story follows our hero Nathan Drake, the mild mannered, nice guy that always ends up getting the wrong end of the stick, on the trail of the lost treasure of El Dorado, with the help of his ancestor Sir Francis Drake’s diary and his 2 companions. The TV show presenter Elena, who initially does not really like Nathan much and is only following him around to get her big scoop and Nathan’s long time pal Sullie, the old guy who always has lost of advice and stories on hand to share and who also has a nasty past that’s about to catch up with him.

Graphically, the game is excellent with lost of lush detailed environments with some great lighting effect and stunning vista’s. I found myself crawling along the deck of a rusty WWII U-Boat hanging off of the edge of a waterfall, pausing and looking around at the scenery.

The character animations are excellent from the Motion capture to effects like Nathan’s clothing getting dirty and wet when he walks through water. The facial animations are great, a lot of games these days have some good dialogue/ story lines but during the cut scenes the characters look like talking planks, very pretty planks though, not here, they actually show emotion and you will find yourself reacting to them like you would to characters in a movie. One thing to note is that the game designers did not try to go for photo realistic faces but instead, actually used hand painted, textures.

The gameplay is nothing new. In fact, a lot of it has been seen before with the platformer styled jumping gameplay similar to the Prince of Persia / Tomb Raider games and the 3rd person action scenes with a cover mechanic ala Gears of War. It does not do anything special but it does not do anything wrong either.

The puzzles are well thought out and the diary is on hand contains clues to help, should you get stuck. The ledge jumping, wall/vine climbing and tight rope walking platform sections do not require master precision where you have to press the jump button on the 3rd step of your run up or you will miss the ledge. You won’t find yourself getting bogged down for long. There will be times where you won’t necessarily see, right away, where you need to go as the ledge you are looking for really does fit in with the mountain it is part of and does not stand out like it would in other games of the type.

The action sequences are for the most part are you vs a host of bad guys initially pirates, then better equipped and more capable enemies. They usually have a lot of guys shooting at you at once while you hug the cover, then as they are stepping back to reload, you jump out and try to kill a few, then move to the next point of cover. The AI is pretty good, if they can, they will be flanking you while the guy above you with the machine gun/sniper rifle will try to get a better angle on your hiding place and the dude with the shotty just runs at you guns blazing. Your partner AI is also well done, whomever you are with, they will be with you guns blazing, sometimes actually killing the enemy or helping you to take them out and sometimes telling you if you are doing something wrong.

It’s a pretty standard affair, duck, roll, shoot, duck, grab dead guys gun/ammo, throw the odd grenade, and after a while you will get used to the routine and wonder how the hell so many pirates came to be in the same place at the same time, even though they keep talking about how you are killing so many of them, there will be times where you find yourself without ammo and have another host of enemies to fight, but there is a simple close combat system which allows you to string together timed attacks for quick or brutal combos.

Towards the end the game does throw a curve ball at you that really does change the pace of the combat and the way you have to fight, but I’m not going to spoil the story.

Ok, enough raving, time for some ranting, the combat does at times get monotonous and there’s still too many damn pirates who, for the most part, look the same, other than that there’s nothing that will really bug you while playing the game. My biggest gripe with the game is that it’s too short, but in retrospect it’s actually a good length for a game that will be re-played often. I’m also a sucker for a good story and at the end of this one I did find myself smiling, there were a few twists and turns in the tale and not quite the ending I expected, but it was worth it and the good guy got the girl. What more can you ask for?

Verdict : 4.5 Stars

Release Date : 7 December 2007

Take2 – R335

BT Games – R359

Approx 2nd hand price on playstation-3.co.za – R300-R350


6 Responses to “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune [PS3]”

  1. onelargeprawn Says:

    Nice review there Tinfish.

    Here’s a link to the trophies available in Uncharted – http://www.allps3trophies.com/retail-games/uncharted-drakes-fortune-trophies.html

  2. marcus Says:

    it’s awsome

  3. homer Says:

    io me l’ho voglio comprare, ma quanto costa?

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