Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

So I just finished Uncharted, a game by Naughty Dog. I’m not going to review it here in-depth, because Yahtzee has a far more entertaining review up at the escapist magazine. There are quite a few points where I disagree with Yathzee’s view, though.

Here are the points that I find the most noteworthy about the game:

  • The platforming elements are rather boring. Jumping and climbing about in each level is actually quite fun in itself, but most of my enthusiasm was drained by the fact that there’s absolutely no way for you to do anything wrong. Yes, of course you can miss the timing or distance of a jump a little, so yes, I died a few times. But at no point was it unclear where I was meant to go — there’s usually only a single direction you can progress towards at any given time. And to make matters worse, those ledges and protrusions you’re meant to aim for are usually slightly highlit. I’d have preferred to use my brain once in a while, just a little.
  • I quite liked the fact that the average fight was based around shooting from cover. Finding a good spot to hide, and rationing your fairly low amount of ammunition turned the whole thing into a vastly more tactical game than a shooter would have been.
  • There were too damn many boat sections in the game. The speedboat steers like a drunk lemur, and nice water effects don’t make up for that.
  • I’ve come to realize yet again that I’m no big fan of arcade-style waves of enemies. Cross a certain line and they’ll spawn, almost exclusively in front of you.
  • Not wanting to spoil things for people that haven’t played Uncharted yet, I’ll refrain from telling what kind of enemies suddenly appear about two thirds through the game, but they do not fit in with the rest. I was almost ready to stop playing at that point. For one thing, nothing in the previous game play prepares you for the change in tactics you have to employ. As for the plot, well, the whole thing seemed kind of forced.
  • I have to applaud the developers for the very intuitive and responsive controls. I’ve played few games where I inadvertedly oversteered or pushed the wrong button as little as I did in this one.

So would I recommend playing this game? At the moment, absolutely. I don’t think there’ll be many games out for the PS3 as good as this one. Expect to drool over some aspects of the graphics, enjoy the game play… but don’t think you’ll be buying a classic that you’ll look back to in years to come. It’s good, but in not outstanding.