Brilliant Platforming Through Exotic Environments
The platforming segments are exciting and fast-paced. The progression is quite linear, but is kept interesting by the detailed, beautiful environments. They also keep you on your toes with decaying platforms, which fall apart of collapse when you put your weight on them. This also produces occasional events where you must run from collapsing columns or to jump off a collapsing bridge.
Gangsters More Intelligent Than Their Real-World Counterparts
The enemies in Uncharted are very persistent and keep you on your toes. They will run to nearby cover and stay behind it, sometimes diving to other cover or moving around other sides. They’ll throw grenades at you if you stay behind cover too long, making you stay on the move. They also will slowly move in, ensuring you keep track of every adversary. They even dodge side to side or dive away if you start shooting in their direction. The animations are smooth and intricate, making all of these motions believable.
The combat is smooth and varied. There is a plethora of weapons to acquire – hand grenades, Desert Eagle and 9mm pistols, AK-47 and M4 assault rifles, SPAS-12 shotguns, hand grenades, and plenty more. Each gun feels different and brings with it strengths and weaknesses, adding a degree of strategy to what you choose. Ammo is limited for each type, which makes you change out weapons from time to time, forcing you to experiment. It also has a hand-to-hand combat mechanic, though it is a bit limited in terms of what you can do. It allows you to take down enemies who sneak up on you, as well as perform a quick kill while on the move. There’s a lot of visual aesthetic to it as well, giving you a nice cinematic view of the schoolyard pummeling you can often lay down. You also get double ammo for beating someone into the ground, so you get a nice reward.
Appearance Matters, Despite What 80’s Movies Say
Uncharted is one of the best-looking games I’ve seen. The models are detailed and smooth and are animated with astonishing realism. The animations are applied everywhere to make the characters appear to really be in the environment; for example, your character, Nathan Drake, would brace himself on the doorway while traversing through a submarine. Subtle details like this make them seem like real people navigating real environments. The textures are amazingly detailed and bump mapped. Wet stuff would appear wet or slimy (even Drake’s clothes look weighed down and drenched after getting out of water). Lighting is surprisingly realistic, bringing in spots of sunlight through the canopy of jungles and falling upon character bodies and the environment alike.
The controls are incredibly responsive. The actions are mapped well to the buttons, and the feedback given for each of these actions is great. I rarely fell prey to problems like falling short of cliffs or sticking to the wrong cover, as you see in many games with these features. You can easily switch between platforming, shooting, and melee combat without a problem, making your movement fluid throughout the game.
Memorable Characters – That Is to Say, I Remember Them!
Uncharted is full of little details that help make the characters more believable and/or likable. For example, Drake will sometimes talk to himself when in tense situations. While behind cover, he’ll say “okay” to ease himself while reloading; he’ll yell “woah!” when he sees a grenade land near him, or even taunt his adversaries. The voice work is amazing – very believable – and each has his/her own personality. The characters seem more like they are out of a movie than a video game – they have depth and depict emotion. It does a lot to bring you into the experience.
Large Puzzle Pieces
The puzzles in Uncharted leave a lot to be desired. They’re very short, simple, and so straight-forward that you don’t really have to look in the diary that gives you clues on how to solve them. It mostly involves an order to throwing switches or to turn objects a certain way. There’s also the occasional exploding barrel thrown into 800 year old ruins for good measure.
I Received No Candy Upon Completion
I don’t know if I was just magically drunk the entire time I played Uncharted or what – above is the only negative I can think of.
Worth the Purchase
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was an incredible experience. The games that most closely resemble it – the Tomb Raider series – don’t hold a candle to it. Take a look, Eidos. You could learn something. Oh, and while I have your attention – you can stop trying to make Lara sexy. Not working. Don’t care. Work on the rest of the game.