There are very few games that stand out like the game we are going to be discussing today. There are very few games that carry as much weight on their back then the game we are checking out today. The game is Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, a cinematic action experience that, outside of Ratchet and Clank, is carrying the Playstation 3 platform on its back. With those kind of high expectations can Uncharted Drakes Fortune accomplish what it set out to do? Read our full review to find out!
First and foremost, I wouldn’t classify Uncharted as being just an action game. One of its strongest elements lies in the way it tells the story, and the game does this brilliantly. The game makes you feel like you’re in a movie, the story-line progresses just like a normal action movie. The only difference is when the bad guys start shooting it’s not Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt firing back, it’s you, playing as Nathan Drake. The story is something along the lines of an Indiana Jones tale, you will find a lot of comparisons that is for sure, but the game does offer a bit more of a sly sense of humor mostly from Nathan although the supporting cast does a solid job as well.
I am not one that usually brings up the sound, unless it either really hampered the experience or help liven it up, but the sound in this game was magnificent. The voice acting in particular was stellar, you really felt the characters come to life, something that helps bring out the story as well. Not only that, but the music in the game does a great job of setting the mood and keeping you really engaged in the game. The sound plays a very crucial and significant role in the success of this game.
So after a pretty intense cut scene you’re on your way basically to find treasure. The game works on two levels; one a action platformer, you’re going to be jumping from ledge to ledge, completing simple puzzles, and all the while progressing through the game. Let’s stop there and talk about these mechanics first. The platforming is actually really impressive, although some will say it’s too much like a certain English tomb raider, I would say it’s a step beyond that. Ever movement in this game just feels so fluid and so realistic. When you jump to a ledge it’s never usually a perfect jump, so you will see Nathan dangle a bit. There are so many of these small touches littered throughout the experience that really makes the experience as a whole much more authentic.
Then there is the combat, which is either with a firearm or hand to hand, both of which are fantastic. A lot of the action in the game is much like a Gears of War style where you’re going to be doing a lot of duck and cover maneuvers. Nathan isn’t a great shot, which the developers did to add realism to the experience, and once again it works. It is really the first time you’re playing a character who we know isn’t a marksman and so to show that we find out pretty quick that his shot isn’t always on target. This may sound frustrating, but actually it just adds to the experience. Whenever things get too tough you can make your way to an enemy and punch their lights out. The hand to hand combat mechanics are simple but work surprisingly well. You won’t be slugging it out too much, but when you do it actually very satisfying.
The entire experience is really one of the best I have seen on the Playstation 3. The complaint I have heard from others who have gone through it was that it is too short. I myself have come to the same argument that I have spoke about for years, a game that is short but manages to do everything so well like Uncharted is much better then a half done Uncharted that is twice as long. Uncharted from start to finish is engaging, it is unique, and it has one of the best stories as well. It is very rare that I cannot find faults with a game, but the gameplay in Uncharted: Drakes Fortune is as close to perfection as you can get.
If you don’t have an HDTV then now is the time to go buy one, because you really can’t appreciate the depth of the visuals without a good solid HD set. There is only one complaint I had throughout the whole experience, and that was the screen tearing, which does take away a bit from the experience. Outside of that this game is gorgeous, lush environments, heavily detailed character models, and one of the best animation systems I have ever played in. Outside of the tearing issues this is one of the best looking games on the market right now.
Although Uncharted is short, it’s a blast not only the first time you play through it. I am about 1/3 of the way through my second go at the game and it still is just a ton of fun to go back through and see what you may have missed your first go around. The game’s pretty challenging as well; the AI is no dummy so they fight back with some degree of intelligence and common sense. There is also the medal system which is similar to the Xbox 360 Achievement points and make going through the game even more satisfying.
Sony has been dying for a game to sell their new PS3 platform, and I would say Uncharted: Drakes Fortune is a great game to do just that. This is not only one of the best games of the year, it is the best game on the PS3 thus far as well. The game is gorgeous, it plays superbly, and it gives one of the best cinematic experience I have seen. If you own a PS3 you would be doing yourself a disservice not to go out and purchase this game.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.