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Review: Uncharted: Drakes Fortune

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Uncharted: Drakes Fortune was always considered to be a good game. Ever since it’s first showing, people have said it will be one of the better games for the PS3. However, I don’t think anyone thought it would be as good as it turned out to be. But really, how can you go wrong with treasure hunters?
You play as Nathan Drake, a man who claims to be related to the great explorer Sir Francis Drake. The game starts when you find Sir Francis’ coffin, which turns out to have nothing in it other than a dairy. All through-out the game you find clues that lead you from location to location. It reminded me a lot of the sequel to National Treasure, actually.

Your first taste of action happens on the boat where you opened your ancestors coffin. Then, modern-day pirates show up and start attacking you. This is your introduction to the fighting controls. You have several different places to take cover from incoming fire. This is a major mechanic to the game. You can’t just run and gun all the time, as you are almost always out numbered and die fairly easily. You have to use the environment around you as cover. Then you can pop up and shoot as you please, or switch to near by cover for better shooting positions. Also, the game gives you different chances to use your hand to hand skills in this situation. It can be hard to get used to at first, but it’s not so overwhelming that it’s frustrating. Plus, it gives you instructions on what you can do on the fly. It’s an excellent tutorial-like portion that doesn’t take away from the game in general. I really like that about this game; It’s very stream-lined.

Once you get used to the controls, moving through the levels and exploring your path is fairly entertaining. That’s because the level design in this game is very well down. The way they’ve hidden the paths you can take really helps blend the environment with the game play. Sometimes you have to really search to find a way to complete your objective. For example: You encounter a locked gate in your area. Does it have a lock? You can shoot it off. Are there ledges on the walls around you? Climb up and over the wall that’s blocking your way. Even though there’s still a generally strict path from one end to the other, the way you get there is truly unique and inspired.

As you progress through the game, the areas you cross become more and more exotic. From ancient temples to the ruins of a castle, you won’t be bored by the scenery here. Not only are these areas massive and detailed, but they have good graphics as well. Everything really contributes to the games atmosphere. This is something I feel is very important. Atmosphere really pulls people into the story, which is usually a lacking value for action games. Thankfully, Uncharted doesn’t fail to deliver the goods here. The story is well done (although I can’t tell you much without spoiling it). The characters are believable and portrayed nicely. It’s amazing how much personality each characters shows just from their animations. Even the voice acting was really well done. I tend to be rather picky when it comes to this subject, so it’s nice to see the developers hire actors who know what they are doing.

In fact, the sound in general is really well done. Gun-fire sounds realistic and walking on different surfaces changes the sound your footsteps make. In general, everything sounds as it should, which should be the goal of every game. But there are interesting little extras they drop in as well. For example: When in battles you can hear the enemy taunting you. Is that not awesome or what? I love hearing them say they’re going to kill me only get hit with a grenade shortly after. It’s hilarious.

In the end, I see nothing but an excellent game here. Seriously, I looked for anything I could complain about and couldn’t find any. It’s that good! And while I would never call a game perfect, Uncharted is pretty close. I recommend this game for anyone who wants a good game for their Playstation 3.

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