Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Review
After beating GTA I decided to spend some time with a game I've been waiting to play since I heard about it in November: Uncharted. Uncharted is an action game with some platforming elements mixed in. It plays a lot like the Tomb Raider games with a Gears of War cover system. The game is set it a beautiful tropical jungle is a blast to play through and to look at.
I was first interested in Uncharted because I heard it had a lot of platforming elements to it, much like the Prince of Persia series. You have to run and jump from ledge to ledge, grabbing on to rocks and catching your feet on little holes in the wall. It is really fun and exciting to string together a bunch of jumps, successfully landing on the other side of a river or water fall. The platforming segments are really well done and I almost always knew where the next ledge or hand hole that I could jump to would be.
Mixed in with the jungle platforming is a bunch of third person shooting segments. These sections are also extremely well done and feel extremely polished. There is a cover system in place that lets you hide behind a ledge or wall, allowing you to peak out at the right time, get off a few shots, and duck back in. It all works seamlessly and provides a good amount of strategy. Often times your cover, be it a wooden crate or something, would get blown to pieces forcing you to frantically run for cover somewhere else trying to avoid the enemies bullets.
Uncharted also incorporates a rewards system, much like the XBOX 360's achievement system. You get points for pulling off head shots, finding random treasures, or getting 10 kills in a row with a certain weapon. Once you have enough points you can unlock things like extra weapons, costumes, cheats, and developer movies. I found these to be a great addition to the game. Once I beat the main story (8 hours and 35 minutes) I immediately went to the "making of" section to see how it was all done. I loved this game so much that I wanted more instantly, these bonus features were a great addition for that.
Along with the action and platforming segments are certain vehicle sections. These require you to take a Jeep or a Jet-ski and plow through some bad guys. These were placed in the best possible spots and added great amount of fun to the game. I had just gotten through shooting down about four waves of pirates when one of these sections occurred. They kept the fast paced action of the game, but allowed me to relax and just drive, or shoot from the back of the truck. The entire game was a blast to watch, and it really felt like an action movie.
The music in Uncharted was also fantastic, some of the best I've heard in a game. The score was composed by Greg Edmonson, who also did the TV show Firefly. As soon as I first heard the opening theme I was blown away. It felt the same way as hearing the opening theme to Pirates of the Caribbean in the movie theater. The nailed the feel of the game and really set the tone with a perfect orchestral score. The music really pushed the adventure theme of the game and was a fantastic addition to the game play and story.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune: 5/5
I gave Uncharted a 5 simply because I have never had this much fun playing a video game from start to finish. There were no extremely frustrating parts, yet there was nothing that was too easy. Developer Naughty Dog really put a lot of effort into this game and it definitely shows. The characters are all fantastic and you really start to understand who they are, and what their motives are. The game really feels like the perfect summer blockbuster action movie. I have never played a game that felt this cinematic, and looked this good. I played the majority of Uncharted on my new 32 inch Sony Bravia, and man it looked fantastic. The colors were vibrant, the animations fluid, everything was crystal clear. To me, Uncharted was one of the most polished games I have played. Everything from the animations and sound, to the story was perfect. This is one game that I didn't want to end, and I am greatly looking forward to the sequel. As of now Uncharted is the epitome of gaming for the PS3, a lot of developers will have to live up to this standard for action games in the future.