Product Type: Sony PS3 games
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Treausre, acrobatics and a lot of murder in a jungle paradise.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3)
Member Name: captaincharisma
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3)
Date: 14/12/09, updated on 14/12/09 (8 review reads)
Advantages: Beautiful graphics, good fun, solid adventure.
Disadvantages: Sometimes deeply frustrating, terrible story, a lot of death. A lot of it.
Given that the sequel has arrived and is garnering rave reviews I thought I'd take the opportuinty to catch up with the first title in the series before I splashed out on the latest iteration in this new franchise. I'm happy to say I can recommend it, but not whole-heartedly.
Uncharted has you playing as Nathan Drake, a man who claims to be a descendant of Francis Drake, but seems to be more of a cross between Lara Croft and Rambo. A treasure hunter in pretty much name only the game sees you on the trail of a big payday through some lush, unnamed, fictional jungle island as you relentlessly slaughter anybody else who has been unfortunate enough to also pick up the trail.
Despite the massive body count Drake is a likeable enough hero, better written and acted than the majority of video game leads, and is pretty fun to play. Supporting characters on the other hand are barely there, you'll struggle to remember their names or get a handle on who they are or how Drake knows them. The story itself is modern-adventure fluff. Nothing too deep and certainly not remotely credible, it follows on from recent attempts to revive the Indiana Jones style formula (such as The Mummy films, National Treasure or Sahara) and is about as throwaway.
It has inherited more than just its story from other sources, the game plays out as a cross between a Prince of Persia/Tomb Raider platform adventure and the cover and shoot style popularised by Gears of War and unfortunately this is where the game takes a few mis-steps. Chief amongst them is the instant deaths you'll suffer frequently throughout the game, forcing a restart at the last checkpoint. The checkpoints are plentiful but you will find yourself playing certain sections over and over again, and often it feels slightly unfair. Drake's jumping distance and what he can and cannot grab onto are sometimes unclear and you will frequently find yourself overwhelmed by enemies and unable to progress via anything other than perseverance and luck. At the time of release these instant deaths could possibly have been overlooked but plenty of games released in the interim have shown that this doesn't have to be the case. Drake's acrobatic abilities pale in comparison to those of the leads in the Assassin's Creed and Prince of Persia franchises.
On the upside this is a beautiful looking game and great fun when the balance is right. I tore through it in just three sittings, partly on account of the ten hour length, but mostly because I was having a blast and wanted to see what big-budget action scene was just around the corner. And when it was done I started up a new game almost immediately, always a good sign. It's clear that a lot of time and effort went into the production and if you can find this for cheap (and you can, I got mine for under a tenner) you won't regret the purchase.
Summary: Big budget junk food gaming. Mostly great fun.
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