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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PlayStation 3) artwork

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PlayStation 3) review


"Think Indiana Jones meets Mission Impossible; that's what Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is like. You'll spend your time exploring a mysterious island, swinging from vines...and blowing dudes up. I compare Uncharted to movies because that's what it is like most. It feels like a high-budget, no holds barred blockbuster from Micheal Bay. Drake's Fortune embraces this, and delivers one of the most beautiful, memorable and intense experiences in years. "



Think Indiana Jones meets Mission Impossible; that's what Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is like. You'll spend your time exploring a mysterious island, swinging from vines...and blowing dudes up. I compare Uncharted to movies because that's what it is like most. It feels like a high-budget, no holds barred blockbuster from Micheal Bay. Drake's Fortune embraces this, and delivers one of the most beautiful, memorable and intense experiences in years.

When you first boot up the game, you're introduced to a pre-rendered cutscene - or what you think is a pre-rendered cutscene. Meet Nathan Drake, a cocky, funny adventurer who's the apparent descendent of Sir Francis Drake. He resides alongside the light-hearted and quirky Elena Fisher as he pries open Sir Francis' coffin. Inside there is not a body, but a diary. The diary of Sir Francis himself, which details the location of a priceless treasure.

But things don't go as planned when pirates attack their boat. This is when you realize that the cutscene was not pre-rendered at all. Uncharted really does look that good. It only gets better when the cigar-munching, money-hungry Sullivan comes to the rescue. He picks you up in a plane and drops you off in some of the most realistic and beautiful jungle environments to date.

The sound of birds singing echoes in the sky as Nathan walks through a lush path of towering trees, moss-covered rocks and rotting tree branches. The plants sway to the side as he brushes past them, inviting him to an unrippled patch of water that lays underneath a gentle waterfall. As Nathan foots into the water, ripples glide from his feet, capturing the reflection of the lush environments that surround him. With his jeans still dripping,he exits the water and continues his journey in search of the lost treasure.

Some Tomb Raider-esque platforming and puzzle solving elements later, Nathan discovers an underground tunnel. Creeping around this dark and damp structure with only his torch to guide him,he realises that he must clamber over crumbling ledges and take death-defying leaps over huge drops if he wishes to find the exit.

Squinting his eyes from the emerging sunlight,the adventurer escapes the tunnel alive, but only to be met by bloodthirsty pirates. Nathan equips his pistol and takes aim in a Resident Evil 4 over-the-shoulder perspective. Thanks to some quick thinking, rolling in and out of cover and some conveniently placed explosive barrels Nathan comes out the victor. After some more exploring passes by, Nathan confronts more pirates. But this time they come in waves. After Nate has lost count on how many cunning pirates he's took down, they still keep coming.

And this is Uncharted's biggest issue: Balancing. Not very far into the game the platforming becomes heavily outweighed by the sheer amount of gunfights. This isn't to say that the gunfights aren't fun. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Darting in and out of cover, popping headshots and blasting enemies away with your shotgun is great fun! It just all gets a bit tedious when it seems like you're moving from battlefield to battlefield, rather than lush environment to lush environment.

But this isn't enough to ruin the whole game because the diversity of the environments, whether it be the lush jungle, or the delapidated ruins; they are all unique and fun to traverse. Separated by some great vehicle levels, the amount of gunfights is more than forgivable. Uncharted will keep you coming back for more thanks to the tremendous replay-value. This is mainly thanks to the achivements, which when you accomplish a certain task; say, get 5 headshots in a row then you'll earn yourself some 'Medal Points'.Once you accumulate a number of Medal Points, you'll get some nifty unlockables like infinite ammo, or different skins to play in.

Whether you're looking to explore a mysterious island, blow some dudes up or you just want to challenge yourself, then Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is for you, thanks to some clever AI and stellar voice acting. Movie like visuals and some novel twists to the story only add to the experience. If you're at all interested in games then Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is certainly an unmissable experience.

Rating: 9/10

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Community review by microwavedapple (May 12, 2008)

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