Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune – PS3
Platform: PlayStation 3
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date (NA): November 19th, 2007
Nerd Rating: 8.5/10
In the early years of the PlayStation 3, gamers were craving a video gaming experience that could rival the Xbox 360’s. While the PS3 did not seem to produce competition for years after its release, some early games really shined and created legacies of their own. One such game was, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.
At first glance, this 2007 release was a bit under exposed for a game from such a prestigious company. At first, I didn’t even know who developed the game, but was immediately charmed by its adventurous spirit and unique gameplay elements. As a game from Naughty Dog, one would have to assume a wonderful experience, and you as a gamer should not be disappointed with the results. The story is simple enough to understand. You play as treasure hunter Nathan Drake, beginning his adventures looking for the lost city of gold while being guided by a journal from his famous ancestor, Sir Francis Drake.
Our young Indiana Jones-esque superstar is assisted by a wise cracking old man, and a beautiful reporter in his quest to uncover the secrets behind a mysterious island, and its treasure. The characters and such are perfect, as this is one of the first times a game ever made me feel as though I was watching a Hollywood movie. Nathan is a cunning smartass with enough wit to keep you smiling for hours, and the other protagonists and antagonists compliment him quite nicely.
He always has some sort of snarky comment to make, and the voice acting from industry veteran Nolan North is nothing short of flawless. The pacing of everything is great as well, making the player gasp in awe at certain turns as well as putting them at the edge of their seat when some of the daring things happen in the game.
The game has a blockbuster amount of action in it, but it is all handled with an incredible amount of spirit and satisfaction. All of the occurrences add to the scope of things, making this right in the light of such adventure classics as the Indiana Jones franchise. Nathan Drake is arguably a better version of the classic treasure hunter as well. Arguably having much more likability and personality than even Harrison Ford’s legendary character. All of the voice acting throughout the game is also handled well.
From the villains, to the supporting characters, to even the background characters, everything molds together perfectly. And, for a 2007 video game, the graphics are crisp and good looking. Aging a heck of a lot better than a lot of console games at the time, the game is as fun to look at as it is to experience. Looking back on this gem, it looks a lot better than basically every other console game at the time. But how does it play?
The game plays out much how you’d expect a third person shooter to. You take cover, you shoot, and you rinse and repeat. But thankfully, there is a lot more to do than just that. There is treasure to find, places to climb and to jump, and puzzles to solve. All of which feels amazingly rewarding. The kind of parkour you must do to get around is amazingly enjoyable.
The puzzles are incredibly fun as well, and the environment in which you do all of this in is increasingly mysterious and fun. You will be overjoyed in finding all of the collectible treasure, shooting baddies, jumping like a wild man, and solving puzzles that will make you feel like a true action hero.
Melee fighting can be fun too, albeit with a teaspoon of open mindedness needed. The problem in this area is that the same animations in melee fighting are constantly repeated and don’t look very practical. It’s likely you’ll mostly be doing gun fighting, which is good, because that’s an area of combat that works much better.
The only other flaws to this game are minor. There were a few issues I had in the antagonists being a bit underexposed, and the firefighting SOMETIMES felt a bit stale. Also, the jumping could be a bit frustrating when the game didn’t register where you wanted to go. At times, the jumping could definitely be angering, but for the most part was very solid.
Other than those few problems that didn’t hinder the game too much, the game still feels as good as it did back in 2007. The HD remake is out now for the PS4 that includes the sequels to this game as well, and I completely recommend getting it if you haven’t experienced the franchise. With all of its wit, charm, fun, and class, Uncharted earns its 8.5 out of 10 rating. Outside of a few flaws and a redundancy in the firefighting, the game is definitely one of Naughty Dog and Sony’s best products.
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