yummylee's Cooperative Adventure: The Fort (PlayStation 3) review

A welcome addition to the Season Pass bundle, but nothing more.

Expanding on the highly enjoyable cooperative campaign, simply title Cooperative Adventure, The Fort acts as a prelude to the loose tale of Nathan Drake and his many cohorts attempting to thwart Zoran Lazarevic in a neat little alternate universe where Zoran is also once more paired with fellow Uncharted 2: Among Thieves antagonist Harry Flynn, and more surprisingly even Eddy Raja from Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.

It was a fun bundle of fiction, that mixed in elements of all three games; the fluid multiplayer shooting and platforming from Uncharted 3, spliced with the villains and even locals from both Uncharted 2 and Drake's Fortune. And of course it allowed you play alongside two friends as well, living out some scenes iterative of the main campaign with a buddy or two.

The Fort, as the title implies, is based within the very Fort from Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and it all plays very much like any of the other five stages from the Cooperative Adventure mode. Except one notable alteration: You're playing as the villains. Zoran Lazarevic, Eddy Raja and Harry Flynn return, in a manner of speaking, to fight through the Fort against some other pirate gang and attempt to find Drake. Naturally the story doesn't hold much focus here and you'd instead hope to rely on the playful conversations between the trio. Unfortunately, the writing doesn't hold that same spark of wit of even the original Cooperative Adventure stages.

''Nyuck nyuck nyuck'' it is not.

Each character is at least voiced by their respective actors--Graham McTavish, James Sie and Steven Valentine--but there's a disappointing amount of dialogue that really sticks. Zoran's overt seriousness and brutality occasionally clashes against Eddy's more so unpredictable and boisterous nature, but there isn't much to grab a hold of. Harry Flynn receiving the short end of the stick stands out in particular as well; he isn't give much to say and doesn't fit into things as well as I'd have hoped.

What matters most is of course the gameplay; it's predictable enough, forcing you to fight against a multitude of enemies all taken from the main campaign, with some alternate objectives thrown in such as trying to collect an idol, or destroying a pair of gun-turret equipped jeeps. The Fort itself has been well ported into Uncharted 3 and should be recognisable to anyone who's played Drake's Fortune. The stage is pretty well designed, offering up a number of enemy spawn points to keep you on the move, demanding that you work as a team. The more powerful weapons that can be found are hidden away in small sects, or neatly tucked away out of sight, as well to give you the incentive to explore a little, and it also brings in the ultra-satisfying Fal-SS (a semi-automatic scoped assault rifle)--which isn't available in any of the other Adventure stages.

There are 3 initial difficulties, with the always appropriately titled Crushing difficulty unlocked after you've completed it on any of the lesser difficulty settings. It's also only roughly like 20 minutes long, though that number will incrementally increase on the Hard and Crushing modes.

Since it's only a single stage--rather than an entire campaign centred around the villains like I was hoping--and doesn't deliver on the memorable dynamics of the cast, I can't recommend it's worth putting down the £5/$6. If you happened to have bought the Season Pass, though, then this'll be free. And I don't mean the ''Season Pass'' kinda free either, but the literal kind considering this was added into the Season Pass a little later on after Naughty Dog listed down what we were to expect.

Frankly, I'm just grateful that Naughty Dog have actually opted to support a little something extra to the cooperative side. Though because it's definitely not worth the price on its own, it gives players who were only solely devoted to the cooperative the shaft, but for everyone else who opted into the Season Pass expecting all of the competitive doodads, the Cooperative Adventure Fort stage makes for a nifty little bonus.

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