Review: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Review: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Review: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Indiana Jones games have been getting pretty lonely lately as the Tomb Raider franchise more or less dried up. But Crash Bandicoot creators Naughty Dog plan to bring back the treasure hunting and gun-toting gameplay lost to gamers with their brand new game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.

Uncharted introduces you to the character of Nathan Drake, a relative of the great explorer Sir Francis Drake. Drake - the old one - was on the hunt for a secret treasure and now the modern day Nathan Drake will go in search of his ancestor as well as the treasure: the lost city of El Dorado.

You'll be accompanied by your friend Sully and the lovely reporter Elena Fisher as you make your way through some of the most beautiful settings ever rendered on the PlayStation 3. The story is written well and while I don't want to give anything away, rest assured that it's an inventive tale involving history, people with machine guns, Nazis, and freaky monsters that you wouldn't want as a pet.

While the graphics aren't lifelike, they are some of the best you'll see in a while as leaves, vines, stone, water, and people all seem to look pretty impressive. The sound is probably one of the better areas too as Uncharted boasts a well composed soundtrack that shines through in crystal clear clarity. The voice cast has done an excellent job and could easily be seen as one of the better acted games out there.

Playing the game is a mixed bag of running, swinging, jumping and shooting. If you were to take Tomb Raider and Gear of War, mash them together so that Lara Croft and Marcus became the daring Nathan Drake, you would have pegged Uncharted perfectly. It's not all just simple game formulas because there will be times that you'll have to shake your SixAxis controller to play the game.

Uncharted has more plot twists than an Indiana Jones movie and because it lasts longer, you find yourself really getting involved but one of the areas that you'll probably find unforgiving is the unrelenting difficulty.

Much like how Gears Of War was loaded with battles that forced you to duck, weave and dodge enemy gunfire, Uncharted forces you to think in much the same way. But part of the problem with Uncharted is how often you'll have to engage in these fire-fights.

You'll just be minding your own business, enjoying the jumping and swinging explorer style gameplay when all of a sudden comes a massive long-winded shoot-out that you'll have to make your way out of with only a couple of guns, a limited although somewhat realistic supply of ammo, and a handful of grenades.

When you've shot your way past what has to be the most ridiculous amount of henchmen the world has ever seen, chances are that you'll have to do it again as you'll be thrust into another part of the level that's harder than the one you were just in.

That's Uncharted's biggest fault: instead of being able to enjoy the scenery for just a few moments, you're constantly forced into a fire-fight that you're beginning to get quite sick of.

They're not easy either. The enemy AI is often excellent as the bad guys have no problem in trying to out flank you while you shoot them up. But because they've got an unlimited supply of ammunition and you don't, chances are you're going to be crouching behind boxes, columns and anything else you can see trying to come to grips with why this level is so hard.

And that's all before you reach the enemies who just want to tear you from limb to limb with their bare teeth.

The save system could do with some work as there will be points where you'll finish one of the hardest fire-fights in the game only to die from a head shot and be forced to do the entire thing all over again.

But when it's all said and done, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune provided one of the more enjoyable and well written gameplay experiences I've ever had on the PlayStation 3.

If you've been on the lookout for a game that lets you hunt for lost treasure, fight off hordes of enemies hell bent on your destruction as well as enjoy one of the best stories to come your way in a while and you're sick of playing one of the original Tomb Raider games, Uncharted has just become your best reason to have a PlayStation 3.

Should you buy it?: While it can get frustratingly hard, it's still one of the best games on the PlayStation 3. Must have for every PS3 owner.

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony
Classification: MA
Formats: PlayStation 3
URL: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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