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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - Play It
I've had my PS3 for quite a while now, as I picked up one of the last 60 gig units with hardware based backwards compatibility. It wasn't until recently that I actually played my first actual PS3 game though, as I had used it mostly for the multimedia features, PSN content, and to play PS2 games up to this point. I had downloaded the Uncharted demo back when it came out and was immediately intrigued. After doing some research, I read a lot about how the shooting portions were a direct rip of what was done in Gears of War. I found this especially interesting as I had absolutely no interest in that game but found myself longing for more Uncharted. I guess aesthetics do matter, huh?

My fiancee must have been taken by the demo as well, as she picked me up a copy for my birthday. Upon opening it, she let me know that she was hoping she would enjoy watching it as much as she had enjoyed watching me play through Eternal Darkness some years ago. Well, neither of us were disappointed, as I enjoyed almost every minute of the game, and she sat on the couch next to me the whole time.

It's an interesting game. I think the primary reason it's so easy to watch is that it is paced more like a movie than a video game. Action sequences are tied together by to the point, well acted cut scenes. Now before anyone starts flooding the comments (like that would happen), I'm not talking about Oscar worthy performances. This game was obviously inspired by great action movies like Indiana Jones, and the often tongue in cheek acting matches that inspiration nicely. You grow to really like the characters and you'll often laugh at the odd things they say, both during the gameplay and the cut scenes.

The gameplay is made up of alternating cover-based shooting areas and Prince of Persia like platforming and puzzle solving. The size of each section works very nicely, transitioning you to the next type right around the time you are getting sick of the other. Cover shooting is a pure joy. In a fire fight, your first goal will be finding a (relatively) safe object to duck behind. You can then tap the shoot button to fire blindly around the object, or hold down another button to lean out and take aim at the enemies. It's incredibly satisfying to wait for your opponents to reload, lean out from behind your cover, and go for a head shot. The platforming sections are fun, but not revolutionary. It would have been nice if they were a step less linear, giving the player some options as to where to go.

This alternating formula works great for almost the entire game. At close to the end, those standards break down and you convert into run and gun mode. I was not a fan of this leg of the game, as i was forced to fall into the trap of button mashing and sprinting for my life. Thankfully, the mechanic reverts to the standard before the actual ending.

While short by some standards, the game length fits the type of game nicely, clocking in at around 10 hours for a play through. Once completed, the chapters can be played again via a very handy chapter selection option in the menu. Reward points are given for performing all sorts of strange things, not unlike the achievements seen in most Xbox 360 games. These points unlock incredibly cool features and cheats, ranging from different outfits for the characters, to unlimited ammo and weapon selection. The developers knew they made an engaging world and they gave the players the tools they need to really have fun exploring it after the story is over.

If you have a PS3, there is absolutely no reason NOT to play this game. Play it now! If you don't have a PS3, I would put this game on your list of possible reasons to pick one up.
By Mike on March 8, 2008 at 9:55pm EST Topic(s): uncharted: drake's fortune naughty dog play it? playstation 3 ps3 games

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