Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is a PlayStation 3 exclusive action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game follows Nathan Drake, a scruffy treasure hunter who claims to be a descendant of famous explorer Sir Francis Drake. The game begins as Drake recovers Sir Francis Drake's coffin from the ocean floor, though rather than finding a body, Nathan finds a diary chronicling Sir Francis Drake's adventures, confirming Nathan's suspicions that he faked his death to continue his search for the lost city of gold, El Dorado. Nathan and his weathered partner Sully use clues from Sir Francis Drake's diary to find El Dorado for themselves. With its exotic locales and a heavy focus on recovering ancient artifacts, the influence of films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and games like Tomb Raider are prominent in Uncharted.
Like Tomb Raider, the gameplay in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune features platforming elements where Drake must navigate complex, puzzle-filled ruins. He can swim, jump, grab and move along ledges, climb, and swing from ropes. However, there's an even greater volume of combat in Uncharted, including both hand-to-hand combat and gunplay. The gunplay appears influenced by Gears of War, in that it requires players to rely heavily on cover mechanics. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was generally well-received by critics, receiving much of its praise for the quality of its graphics.
The protagonist of Drake's Fortune, Nate introduced to the world a more laid-back and somewhat believable action protagonist in a similar style to John McClane. Drake snaps necks as often as he'll snap one liners, however, and can be ruthless in a fire-fight when pressured. Despite being a violent man when the time calls for it, Drake has still proven to be likeable through his modesty and his adherence towards honor and loyalty.
Long time friend, mentor and father figure to Drake, Victor Sullivan is a self-confessed ''behind the scenes'' kind of guy, forever chomping on a sizeable cigar while always seen to be sporting across a small variety of tropical shirts. Despite his middle-age, Sully proves to be a formidable gun-slinger, with his six-shot revolver always in hand. A garrulous man, always with a colorful story to tell, his some-what shadowy disposition never manages to mask the love and sincerity Sully holds for his protégé.
A reporter initially tagging along with Nate & Sully to broadcast the findings within Francis Drake's coffin, Elena soon enough plays a pivotal role within the tale as Nate tries to contend with an increasing number of antagonists. Fiercely dedicated to her work, Elena constantly puts her life on the line just so she can record all of the equally dangerous and beautiful environments amongst her travels amidst the Indonesian jungle. Chirpy, level-headed, though probably just as sarcastic as Nate himself, Elena makes for the perfect counterpart to Nate's often reckless behaviour.
A vicious Indonesia pirate-mercenary, with enough underlings and hired goons to cover the entire jungle. Eddy is a hot-headed ''acquaintance'' of Nate, who they both have established a hostile rivalry throughout the years. His eagerness and impatience is often Eddy's downfall, as Nate and Elena are consequently able to elude and escape his grasp and always remain just a couple of steps ahead.
Commanding an equally large strike force of Mercenaries to rival Eddy's own pirate gang, Navarro's men are much more heavily armed, with higher-grade weaponry and armor. Navarro himself is as cunning and cold-blooded as they can get. Growing up in the slums of South America, Navarro has gained a strong desire for wealth and will do whatever he feels necessary should an opportunity arise.
The leader and mastermind handing out orders to both Navarro and Eddy, Roman is an English Crime-Lord with aspirations for power, which places him on the search of the legendary City of El Dorado. Equally as insidious and conniving as his right-hand man, Roman also portrays a stench of arrogance about him, as he belittles and criticises both of his Lieutenant's abilities.
The game starts off with Nathan Drake being videotaped by a reporter Elena Fisher. She explains that they have recovered the coffin of the famed explorer Sir Francis Drake who had supposedly died at sea 400 years ago. After she stops filming, she asks if Nathan wants to defile his ancestors coffin but Nathan playfully replies that he thought she didn't believe him and when he opens the coffin it turns out to be empty just as Nathan predicted. In the coffin, he finds a small box with a diary inside. Elena tries to get a closer look at it but Nathan blocks her view claiming that he had held up his part of the deal and that was only for coffin. Elena interjects that he would not have gotten the diary if it wasn't for the funding from her show and so she has a right to see everything. The argument is cut short as they are attacked by pirates. Nathan contacts Victor Sullivan, nicknamed Sully, for help as they engage the pirates. As their ship catches on fire, Sully shows up in the nick of time and helps them fend off the pirates and picks them up afterward. As Drake's whispers to Sully that he has found Sir Francis Drake's lost diary, Elena interrupts to return the gun Drake loaned her and asks to see the diary when they land.
The scene changes to a boat on a pier where Drake and Sully are talking to each other inside the boat while Elena is talking on the phone. Drake explains to the Sully that Sir Francis Drake must has stumbled onto something big and didn't want to get out and goes on to explain the history behind it. Sully interrupts him asking to just get to the point and Drake obliges and flips the diary to a page that showed the location of El Dorado, the mythical lost city of gold. Sully asks if there is more in the diary but Drake tells him that the last page had been torn out and so they are missing some information. Sully points at Elena and claims they have problem because they can not let her come with them because if word of this got out, every pirate and treasure hunter would be right behind them looking for the treasure. Nathan doesn't like the idea but grudgingly agrees and they sneak off leaving Elena on the pier; watching them take off into the sunset.
The game picks with Nate and Sully who are exploring a jungle. They are following the map in Drake's diary to this location and are looking for El Dorado. They arrive at the location but don't see anything. On further investigation, they find an area in the forest that had a wooden floor instead of the regular soil. They break the floor and unearth a secret passage to an underground facility. Following instructions in Drake's diary they are able to make it to a chamber which looks like it has been stripped clean. Nathan finds a helmet on the floor that he examines and concludes that the Spanish had already gotten here and cleaned the place out. Sully becomes frustrated and reveals to Nate that he is in a lot of debt due to some bad deals he had made and he needs this to be more than just another wild goose chase. They move forward and after a nerve racking run across a crumbling wooden bridge they make it to another chamber. They find a recess on the wall and on examining it Nate believes that there must have been a large gold statue placed here and was the center piece around which the facility was built. They look at paintings around the recess and see people worshiping the statue and Nate realizes that that there was not a city of gold but rather it was a golden statue and that El Dorado actually meant "the golden man". They see grooves on the floor that indicate something was used to move the statue and they follow it to the back of the chamber, whose wall had been blown out to make a shortcut to remove the statue.
They come out into the jungle again and follow the path to a river on which they find a stranded German U-boat that had most likely made it up this river during flood season and then gotten stuck. Nate decides to go check out the U-boat while Sully, whom he gives the diary, remains on the river bank. When Nate reaches the U-boat he finds that the inside is a mess and finds a dead body which contains gold coins with a Spanish mint mark he had never seen before. Upon further investigation, he finds the captain quarters where he finds also discovers the captain's body that seems to be mutilated with many scratch marks. He pries off a piece of paper for the hands of the dead captain and examines it. Much to his surprise he finds a map that turns out to be the missing page from Drake's diary and has a map of an island which showed where the El Dorado had been moved. He informs Sully of this over the radio but their communication cuts off. Worried, Nate tries to make his way off the U-boat when he reaches the torpedo room, where he accidentally bumps into a torpedo and activates. He quickly jumps into the torpedo launch shaft and swims out to the river bank to check up on Sully but when he gets there he is greeted by Gabriel Roman, another treasure hunter whom Sully owed money. Sully informs Nate that they heard everything about the map and he should hand it over to them. After he hands it to them they convince Gabriel Roman that this will help them get to El Dorado but Roman, trying to prove his point and make an example, shoots Sully. As an angry Nate tries to get to Roman, the U-boat explodes due to the torpedo he had bumped into earlier and in the ensuing chaos he escapes and runs into Elena Fisher, who is first pissed off at them for trying to ditch her but helps him escape from Roman's men after he tells them that they killed Sully.
After escaping on Elena's jeep, they take Sully's airplane to the Island whose co-ordinates they had found on the map. Elena had agreed to help Nate in exchange for the story about the treasure and Nate needed all the help he could get. While they are making their way to the island their plane is shot down and they are forced to parachute off. Elena takes off first while Nate does so later and both of them end up in different parts of the Island when they land. Nate had forgotten to pick up the map when he had parachuted of the plan so first he decided to get to the remains of the plane to see if the map was still there. He reaches the area where the plane crashed to find that the ship was stuck on a tree and using a rope he is able to get up to the plane. He finds the map still on the dashboard of the cockpit and just as he about to leave he sees Elena's parachute stuck on a tower in a distance. Nate makes his way towards the Fortress on whose tower Elena's parachute was. As he gets there he sees here off in the distance and again makes his way towards her and finally catches up to her as she filming the island oblivious of what happening around her. Before he could get her attention he realizes that there are two pirates you just saw her and ere about to shoot at her. Instinctively, Nate fires open the pirate who turns around and hits an area near him with a grenade launcher knocking him out cold.
He wakes up in a Cell where is awakened by Elena who teases him about getting caught and asks him how he got into this mess. Nate replies that he was trying to save her. Elena then examines the wall around the bars of his window's cell and concludes that she can get him out but before he can find out how, Eddy Raja, a rival treasure hunter of Drake's, arrives and pointing at the treasure map asks him to help him find it otherwise he will kill him. Nate declines saying he would rather die now than later after helping him find the treasure. While a frustrated Eddy Raja tries to convince Nate, Elena puts a hook around one of bars of the window secretly and pulls off the bar and the half of the back wall of the prison. An enraged Eddy Raja tries to get to Drake and tries to open the jail cell from the other side, Nate escapes on a jeep with Elena.
Eddy Raja's goons give chase to Nate and Elena but just when it seems they have escaped they reach a cliff which forces them to stop abruptly almost throwing Nate of the Jeep. They try to turn around and leave but their tire gets stuck and this is when Eddy Raja appears. Eddy Raja angrily asks Nate for the map but before he could get it Nate puts the jeep on reverse and falls of the cliff into the water below. They swim away and are finally able to escape Eddy Raja and his henchmen. As they are catching their breath, Elena shows Nate a video that she took of a building in the harbor and tells Nate that if the boat brought the El Dorado here then it must have come through this building. Nate, on the other hand is more interested in escaping the Island and spots a boat that he says it their ticket out of there.
They make their way to the building in the harbor when they find an old customs house where they find the old ship manifests. Reading through them Nate finds a listing of large gold statue and turns the page to find a picture of El Dorado. It is also here that Nate tells Elena about the importance of the ring around his neck. He tells here that it was Sir Francis Drake's ring with the words "Sic parvis magna" which was his motto meaning "Greatness comes from small beginnings" along with a date 29th January 1596, one day after he had supposedly died. There were also other numbers their that Nate says were the co-ordinates where he found the coffin. They the make their way to the balcony of the customs house and they see the escape boat down by the dock. Elena asks drake if she can stay behind and take a few more shots while he brought the boat around. Drake agrees suspiciously and makes his way down towards to boat and he sees Eddy's men loading up the boat with supplies. Right before he is about to take them on, Elena shows up and stops him. She says she saw something very important and shows Nate a video that she had taken in which Sully is walking with Roman and his henchmen Navarro into a helicopter. It all seems very suspicious but Nate claims that he knows Sully and he would never back stab him. Elena says she saw the helicopter go north of the Island and Nate concludes that they must be going to the monastery as there was nothing else there.
On August 8, 2008 Naughty Dog released a patch in Europe and North America that added trophy support to the game. There are a total of forty-seven trophies to be obtained in the game and are the same as the medal system that was in the game prior. Uncharted was the first game to introduce the Platinum trophy which is awarded when all other trophies have been unlocked. This has become a mainstay in every PS3 game to support trophies. The trophies are not retroactive and can only be unlocked when you start a new save game from the beginning. The reason for this is because of Naughty Dog worrying about save sharing and having people unlock trophies they did not earn themselves.
- As fans of the independent cult television series Firefly, the Naughty Dog crew has admitted partially basing the image of main protagonist Nathan Drake on Firefly's protagonist, Captain Mal Reynolds, played by Nathan Fillion.
- Further tying into Uncharted's relevance to Firefly, the game's score was composed by Greg Edmonson who also composed the soundtrack for Firefly.
- When played on a Japanese PS3 (regardless of which region coded game one plays) blood does not appear when shooting enemies. Similarly, this method of censorship was also used for the earlier PS3 exclusive game Resistance: Fall of Man.
- Another feature of playing on a Japanese PS3 was an across-the-board decrease in difficulty designed to make the game more palatable to the Japanese market. The "Japanese Easy" mode (which eventually became "Very Easy" in Uncharted 2) made it so easy it presented a problem for QA to test the player dying in combat.
- The foreign language used prominently at certain points during the game is Indonesian, spoken by both protagonists and antagonists alike.
- There are references to past Naughty Dog games strewn throughout Uncharted; for instance, a Precursor Orb from the Jak and Daxter franchise can be found as a hidden treasure.
- In a few select areas within the United States, Uncharted was released on November 16th, 3 days prior to its official scheduled release, November 19th.
- The name of the plane was Hog Wild, this is the name of a level from the original Crash Bandicoot game that was also made by Naughty Dog
- Elena Fisher's model went through many different stages before the team was satisfied with her appearance. The team often disputed over what color her hair should be, how big her breasts should be, and how attractive she should look. In the end Naughty Dog decided to go for a less typical female and tried to make her "normal looking." Elena's shirt used to be Blue, but was changed to Purple for unknown reasons.
- Initial work on Uncharted began well before the launch of the Playstation 3 so for the first quarter of its development the game ran on a PC engine.
The Music for Uncharted was composed by famed Firefly composer Greg Edmonson. The songs throughout the game are reminiscent of classic adventure films like the Indiana Jones series. The soundtrack also includes a bonus track by DJ Shadow.
The tracks go as the following:
01. Nate's Theme
02. Grave Robbing
03. Sir Francis Drake
04. The Search for el Dorado
05. Uncharted Island
07. The Fortress
08. Unlocking the Past
09. Drowned City
11. Heading Upriver
13. Treasure Vault
14. A Bitter End
15. Unwelcome Guests
16. The Bunker
17. Drake's Elegy
18. El Goddamn Dorado
20. Uncharted Theme
21. Uncharted: the Eldorado Megamix BY DJ Shadow
All of the album (including the Mix by Dj Shadow) was included in the iTunes library as of November 2007.
The game was generally well received with a Metracritic average of 88. With a fairly weak opening week selling about 130,000 units, Uncharted has gone on and sold more than 2.6 million units according to Sony's E3 2009 Press Conference.