Product Type: Sony PS3 games
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Drakes Fortune- Gold or Broke?
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3)
Member Name: timmah10
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3)
Date: 18/11/09, updated on 18/11/09 (59 review reads)
Advantages: Loveable characters, very fun
Disadvantages: tedious enemies, clunky controls
Uncharted is an action adventure game focussing mainly around third person shooter and 3d platformer content. The main character is a man named Nathan Drake who claims to be the descendant of Sir Francis Drake, the opening of the game sees Nathan retrieve the coffin of Sir Francis Drake and uncover a secret diary relating to the treasure of El Dorado (as well as an empty coffin) thus setting the scene for some what has the potential for an exciting and enjoyable game.
The game has excellent character development, this is in part due to the way in which the games cut scenes have been made using motion capture technology to accurately map the expressions of the actors giving a much more human feel to their personas. Drake is an Indiana Jones sort of guy only maybe a little nicer. Throughout the game drake makes lots of little remarks about not enjoying the tasks he has to complete and can be seen to wince slightly when bullets come close to his place of cover. As such Drake is a really likeable guy and you can't help but come around to wanting him to succeed. Drake starts the game with his friend sully who seems to be his only friend but also not really the nicest guy around, he kind of reminded me of a boxing promoter but as he follows you around chatting to drake throughout the start of the game he also becomes quite likeable.
The basic story of the game sees Drake attempting to find the treasure of El Dorado with his friend Sully and journalist Elena. Upon finding information pertaining to the whereabouts of said treasure Drake is confronted by Gabriel Roman a rival treasure hunter who for some explained reason Sully owes a lot of money to. Roman steals the information and happens to have hired a large group of mercenaries to help him find it. Drake is then forced to race against Roman to find the mysterious treasure of El Dorado whilst fighting off his army of goons. Overall it's a pretty basic story but they work it well by adding a few plot twists and the fact that the characters have been so well made.
Unfortunately I found the area that let this game down was the gameplay. What initially sounds quite fun soon turns out to be just alright. Climbing around cliffs, swimming, swinging on vines, jumping around and shooting bad guys all sound quite cool but unfortunately it just not been done well enough. Firstly the controls are really clunky and Drake often seems to be doing something other than what you want him to be doing. The climbing aspect of the game is simply not fluid and would have benefitted massively from improvements to make it closer to the smoothness seen in assassin's creed.
The action element of this game for me was a complete let down, one minute I'll be moving along at a fairly slow pace through the jungle(where I crash landed) jumping around and climbing about when all of a sudden five heavily armed mercenaries jump out and start shooting. I'm then forced to take cover and dispatch the enemies, 10 metres later another group show up, this continues for some time before another bit of climbing or swimming. The action is unnecessary and drastically changes the pace of the game and works against the otherwise well made character of drake. When confronted with a group of heavily armed mercenaries I would expect a guy like Drake to lay down covering fire and either come up with a plan or run away. However he simply slugs it out each and every time against literally hundreds of henchmen, I mean why does Roman even have hundreds of henchmen to help him look for a golden statue, as such a business man as he claims to be surely he would see this as a large waste of money especially when half of them are just wandering around the jungle where you aren't even supposed to be. I think the developers drastically overestimated just how much time needed to be devoted to repetitive shootouts with fairly poor enemies. The inclusion of melee abilities is a definite plus as Drake shows himself to be a bit of an unskilled brawler, but I feel that a few set pieces in which Drake dispatches a large group at once or simply flees in an inventive manner would have been far more fitting for both Drake as a character and the game as a whole.
The style of combat is basically to hide behind an object then aim and shoot or alternatively get in close on an enemy and brawl them with simple yet brutal combos. Drake can hold only 2 weapons at once and must gain ammo from the bodies of the dead henchmen encouraging the player to use it sparingly. The health system is regenerative but with no indication of current health other than the screen turning grey when Drake is about to die if he takes any more damage.
One other thing that annoys me was that some of the doors in the game had to be opened in overcomplicated ways, an example of this is every single door on a submarine which had to be opened by repeatedly tapping triangle and then rotating the analogue stick. This would have worked great if the compartment had been filling with water but without any stress to make the actions relevant the door may has well have been opened with a simple tap of the triangle button. In contrast the puzzles in the game are fairly easy and in most cases the answers are highlighted to Drake or are contained within the journal of Sir Francis Drake.
Despite all of its flaws I would still have to give this game 7/10. It has a certain charm to it and is an excellent example of an early PS3 title. The characters are really well developed and the plot isn't dire and since it's now available on platinum it is worth the money for the 5 hours or so that it takes to complete it. Having seen what the developers have done first time round I'm really looking forward to playing the sequel so look out for that review coming soon.
Summary: well worth it on platinum release
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