Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Review by N1NJ4_V4MP1R3


Basic Information:
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
North American Release Date: The 20th of November, 2007.
European Release Date: The 7th of December, 2007.
Trophies: Yes, with a patch, 36 8 3 1


Overview
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is an original game brought to us exclusively on the PS3 by developers, Naughty Dog, the brains behind some Playstation gems such as Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune follows a young treasure hunter, Nathan Drake, on his voyage for lost treasure. It features an amazing story, lovable and very humorous characters and some of the nicest PS3 graphics out there, especially for it's time.

Although Uncharted: Drake's Fortune came out of nowhere early on in the life of the PS3, it was immediately met by a large fan-base of gamers, quickly making it one of the PS3's best sellers and most popular games. The Uncharted legacy is one that has already earned classic status in the eyes of all PS3 players.


Gameplay
The gameplay in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is extremely varied and exciting, offering the player a unique mix of treasure hunting, platform jumping, puzzle solving and shooting.

Gun battles are a large part of Uncharted, and probably the most exciting and challenging elements of the game. As Nathan is quite unlucky, players will find themselves single handedly taking on numerous foes at a time, in heated, quick-paced gun fights. Thankfully though, Nathan is quite talented with an array of weapons and is a very nimble chap :p Using whatever cover they can find, players will need to strategically take out anyone in their way, using guns dropped by other enemies, grenades and well timed combat punches and rolls :] All elements of the fighting system in Uncharted work perfectly, allowing very fast and effective methods of tackling some of the games hardest enemies.

In addition to the already flawless combat system, Uncharted offers players some chapters that involve vehicles necessary for the completion of that chapter. These vehicles involve a controllable Jet Ski and a jeep (controlled by a NPC) with Nathan manning the turret. Both vehicles allow players to experience another element of the combat which keeps everyone entertained.


Kaapow! These feeble cronies are no match for the awesomeness that is Nathan Drake!

As Nathan Drake is a treasure hunter, exploring is a large part of the gameplay in Uncharted. Searching for treasures means taking Nathan's amazing talent for climbing to the max. Some treasures may be hidden high up a cliff, or down a flimsy looking rope, but thankfully, Nathan is a very capable climber :p Although obtaining the treasures that are scattered through the levels are not necessary, they offer the player unique rewards such as bonus gameplay options (costumes, infinite ammo etc.) and also unlock trophies, which is a very important part :p

What goes hand in hand with searching for treasures? That's right, solving puzzles :p Along the way through the story, paths may be blocked for poor old Nate by some old ancient mechanism. With the help of Sir Francis's journal, these puzzles will always be very conquerable, but still will make you think for a while, adding a nice portion to the game where players will have to actually think instead of just shoot. xD


Singleplayer
The story of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune revolves around the treasure hunter and explorer, Nathan Drake, and his search for the lost city of El Dorado. Nathan's distant relative, Sir Francis Drake (Yes, this guy was real xD) was also an explorer searching for the same treasure in the 16th century, so Nathan was hoping to finish what Sir Francis did not complete. Joining Nathan on his journey is his best friend and partner, Victor Sully, and a journalist, Elena Fisher, hoping to catch Nathan's adventure on camera and sell the story. Without letting on too much about the story-line, players will be entranced by the way the game plays out. There are plenty of shocking surprises along the way and the story will always keep you wanting more.

Players will grow to love Nathan very quickly, laughing at his witty comments and feeling terribly sorry for him when he stumbles upon enemy ambushes! He is a very cool guy who you will enjoy watching for the entire game. The supporting cast compliment Nathan perfectly also, with the humorous best friend, the love interest, the sub-bad guy who isn't much of a threat and then the full blown bad guy who will prove a challenge on the harder difficulties.


Elena always carries around that damn camera, even at the most inappropriate times :p

The story in Uncharted is really interesting and definitely one of the games strong points. Fans of Indiana Jones will feel quite nostalgic playing Uncharted as the story is definitely inspired by Indies' adventures, with almost the same plot-line and the cliché Nazis :p The story offers a great movie-like experience and fans of adventure games/ movies will love it.


Technical
Without a doubt, Uncharted absolutely blew all early games of the PS3 out of the water when it comes to graphics. The amazing sceneries of the South American jungles will leave players in awe each time when arriving at a new location. Not only restricting players to the outdoors, Uncharted also has players traversing through castles and old military bases, so variety in locations is no issue. Uncharted was definitely a benchmark for graphics at the start of the PS3's life. Uncharted raised the bar and set an example for all future PS3 games.


The visuals are consistently breath-taking, even amongst all the danger!

The soundtrack of Uncharted is one point of the game that is quite overlooked a large majority of the time. The beautiful music playing in the background of each level makes Uncharted all the more enjoyable, with the music playing a large part of creating a certain mood for each chapter. Voice acting is also done to a very high standard on all characters, making all the characters a lot more realistic and enjoyable to watch. Each character's voice fits there image and personality perfectly, showing us that Naughty Dog put a lot of work into the technical elements of Uncharted.


Trophies
The trophies of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune encourage players to maximize each element of the gameplay, such as trophies for collecting treasures and trophies for a certain amount of kills with each weapon. To obtain the platinum trophy, players will be required to play the entire game through at least twice (Once on hard and once on crushing difficulty) but playing through Uncharted: Drake's Fortune twice is a pleasure more than a task :]

Gameplay: 9.5/10
Uncharted took a 'Tomb Raider' style of game and improved it tenfold. With each chapter bringing on more exciting fights, treasures and puzzles, Uncharted is one the best action/adventure available, not just only on the PS3.

Singleplayer: 9.3/10
With an amazing story-line that almost seems like a Hollywood action film, an everyday, hilarious and badass main character and a supporting cast that would struggle to improve, the singleplayer of Uncharted blows most gamers away.

Technical: 9.1/10
Beautiful graphics, amazing atmospheric music and flawless voice acting makes Uncharted's technical aspects something to be very proud of.

Overall: 9.4/10
There are very few games that will be remembered as classics in the years to come but Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is most certainly one of them. Gamers of all types can appreciate what this game has to offer, from the intense action to the hilarious dialogue. If you own a Playstation or have ever enjoyed playing games in general, get this game and you will not be disappointed. :]