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Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

Naughty Dog

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

November 2007

 

 

- Extremely high production values throughout

- Pulpy story is reminiscent of old school action movie serials

- "Borrows" the best elements from other action games

- Action aficionados will have little problem picking up all the control basics 

 

 

- Without the radical paintjob, there are a lot of tried-and-true (and uninspiring) conventions of the action genre

 

 

Review: Tomb Raider Anniversary (360)

Review: Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3)

Review: Gears of War (360)

Review: Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb (XB)

 

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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

uncharted drake's fortune          uncharted drake's fortune

 

It's really the first Playstation 3 game to make me stop and just look at things.  Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is a gorgeous game.  The developers have touched-up and tweaked just about everything to give the game a polish that shines, particularly the animation.  But it's heartening to realize that they seem to have spent just as much time making sure Uncharted is fun.

 

The story revolves around the search for El Dorado and, like any good pulp action story, a mentor dies, the treasure is "missing"; a hardnosed and resourceful companion and love interest; a lot of jungle exploration, gunplay, fisticuffs, and a

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relentlessly nasty bad guy dogging you at every turn.  If you wanted to pigeon hole the experience, the obvious comparison is Indiana Jones.  Though instead of playing as fedora-wearing "archaeologist" from the late '30s to early '40s, you play as Nathan Drake, a charming rogue who's not above snapping a guy's neck

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in order to make a clean getaway.

 

Tomb Raider is an obvious source of inspiration for developer Naughty Dog as there is a lot of ledge jumping and shimmying.  There are also the prerequisite exploding barrels to be found throughout. "Find a way through" will usually mean finding a red barrel to shoot.

 

There are also "on rails" vehicle sequences where you man a fixed gun and shoot everything that moves and/or shoots at you.  A host of "enemies pouring in on your position" situations, that will doubt surprise and annoy you at the same time.  In short, there's nothing here that we haven't seen before (though it all looks so good in the process).

 

uncharted drake's fortune          uncharted drake's fortune

 

Another source of inspiration seems to be Gears of War.   Though there's a complement of hand-to-hand moves, the gunplay is center stage for most of the game -- they shoot at you, you shoot at them.  As a result, you'll have to make extensive use of cover; popping out to squeeze off a few shots then ducking back to cover.  For anyone that has played Gears this process will be easy to grasp since the control layout is quite similar, and even if it is new for the player the onscreen directions clear it up very quickly.

 

Maybe the reason I had so much fun with Uncharted has to do with the fact that Naughty Dog managed to blend some of the best elements from other games like Gears of War and the Tomb Raider franchise, and mix in elements of an "every man" adventure film like Indiana Jones.  Definitely recommended for action fans.

 

- Omni

(December 13, 2007)

 

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