Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - Review

Really, my early impressions of Uncharted say it best. In the hours of gameplay that followed, my enjoyment only grew.

Now that I've finally wrapped things up, let's gut this fish and have a look-see at all its innards to determine if Drake's Fortune is worth the sixty smackers.

Gameplay: This is where Uncharted excels most. Though the maps are pretty linear, the action is constant and intense. Each scenario was meticulously planned and offers a wide variety of choices for how you will handle a given situation. Will you run and gun, hang and bang, duck and cover or resort to good ole fashioned fisticuffs? It's up to you. In short, the gunfights are exciting and the platforming is pretty fantastic. Expect to experience a little vertigo with some of your more daring jumps.

Story: This bit is straightforward, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the script is fantastic, the characters are charming, unique and believable and the storyline is basically the best parts of every adventure film ever made rolled into one. There's a bit of a surprise in the latter half of the game many seem to find off putting but, as for me, I accepted what was being dolled out just fine.

Weapons: In a game where half your time is spent laying the smackdown on some pirate scum, it's important to have the right tools to get the job done. There are about three pistols, a couple automatic rifles, a shotgun, a sniper rifle and a grenade launcher up for grabs, not to mention the requisite grenades, and Uncharted does a good job of making sure you get used to using each of them. Other than nearly useless mounted turrets, that's your arsonal. Choosing what weapon combination to keep on-hand is important when heading into the game's many environments and gets a bit tricky when your options become limited by enemy drops.

Sound: The sound is another shining point for Uncharted. Not only are the effects and voice-overs some of the best around, but the score, created by Greg Edmonson (known for his work on the greatest TV show ever, Firefly) is really good to boot. The music accents each environment well while not drawing too much attention to itself. I would have liked a little more emphasis on some big numbers, but that could be my bias towards Edmonson's music coming through rather than a desire for something that might have enhanced the game.

Overall: I say you can't go wrong with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. If you're the sort of person who replays games they enjoy, buy it right now. There are plenty of medals to unlock, hidden treasures to find and extra content to dive into. LOADS of extra content, actually. Aside from that, you can also unlock game-altering features like character skins, level flip, camera filters and even play with everyone moving really slow or really fast. If this type of thing doesn't float your boat, at least rent it. There's plenty to offer for the platformer and shooter alike.

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