Developer: Naughty Dog
Release Date: 11/16/2007
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The Good: Amazing visuals, believable characters, decent story, solid gun play, fun platforming
The Bad: A tad short, unbalanced difficulty
The action/adventure genre seems to be the only genre right now trying to push games forward in terms of game play, graphics, and story. Uncharted is one of these, and while it is two years old now and as developed way before the PS3 was announced it was ahead of its time, and still is. On the surface Uncharted may look like a male version of Tomb Raider, but you are completely wrong. Not only are the visuals some of the best in the industry, but the voice acting and characters are what’s so believable. The people of Uncharted are every day people who are trying to do heroic deeds and in turn shows their imperfections which makes the game much more believable. Searching around for El Dorado and Sir Francis Drake’s footsteps has never been so fun.
There are two main elements to Uncharted and these are first the shooting, and the platforming. There isn’t much in the way of puzzle solving (the ones that are there are too easy). The shooting mechanics are great since they give you a great sense of desperation thanks to the wonderful animation of Nathan Drake and the way he interacts with the environment. You can see him breathing heavy in panic, ducking with different animations while running, and actually vocally expressing how he is feeling. Third person shooter mechanics do not need explaining, but you do get a good variety of weapons which you are allowed to carry one pistol and one heavy weapon. Grenades can be thrown by changing the arc of the throw with SixAxis, but as far as this SixAxis is used very lightly and not very often. The only flaw in the shooting are the number of enemies you are given which can be way to many during certain situations so the difficulty is unbalanced.
In terms of platforming this is the best part of the game. Jumping around is pretty easy, but you can pretty jump on anything you want, and part of Nathan’s imperfections show in this since he’ll slip off edges or just barely make jumps. Swinging on vines, and walking through a U-Boat submarine could never have felt better. A lot of the game play is broken up nicely with vehicle sections. These include a jeep and a jet ski from which you are shooting from. The Jeep sections are heart pounding, and the beautiful jungle scenery flying by adds to the cinematic experience. When you aren’t monkeying around you can look for up to 60 relics to unlock Trophies.
One thing that I can’t express enough is how beautiful the game is. Which such high-resolution graphics, beautiful HDR lighting, highly detailed textures and realistic water, Naughty Dog really created their second best franchise with this masterpiece. There isn’t much to complain about in Uncharted except maybe it’s length. With 22 chapters the game can be beaten in 8-10 hours depending on your play style. The replay value is good since you will want to go back and collect more relics to unlock trophies.
If I had to really nitpick the game all I can say is that I wish there would have been more SixAxis integration, a more balanced difficulty, more challenging puzzles, and the game could have been a good 5 hours longer, but other than this it is pretty much flawless. If you are getting a PS3 this holiday start with Uncharted because it will make you love your PS3 that much more.