One of the most anticipated Vita launch titles is
undoubtedly Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Sony Bend’s take on Naughty Dog’s adventurous
series. Just as the first Uncharted was used to prove the power of the PlayStation
3, Golden Abyss has the same job for the Vita, with multiple different features
that look to show the worth of Sony’s system’s power and unique controls.
And boy, does it make use of the system’s controls – all
of them. We recently played through a copy that we imported from Japan, and
have listed all (or most) of the different uses we came across, but be warned: there might be slight spoilers about some of the game’s segments, although
we won’t actually talk about the story or context at all.
Above: Ignore the burning building, just keep it steady
crossing logs or planks will occasionally cause a meter to pop up, showing
Drake’s balance. As he walks, the meter will shift, making it necessary to tilt
the system to prevent him from falling.
into a jump: Instead of holding the analog stick towards
a ledge, you can simply tilt the system in the correct direction, causing Drake
to lean and reach out his hand.
When holding down the left trigger, you can move the Vita around to aim guns.
While this wasn’t as comfortable or intuitive as using the right analog stick
for every gunfight, we found ourselves relying on it heavily to pull off
precise headshots. We’d set up the shot with the buttons and then shift the
system slightly, lining up a perfect shot every time.
Above: A slight tilt up and it's curtains for that guy
for story reasons (and sometimes just because), Drake will be able to take
pictures of objects in the environment. You’re given more points the closer
you’re able to line up the shot to an example image shown, and it’s achieved by
moving the system exactly like a camera.
down a river: At one point Drake ends up sliding down a
river (as he’s known to do). To avoid rocks, you need to tilt the system to the
left and right.
it up to the light: At one point, Drake gets a piece of parchment
he doesn’t know what to do with. He mentions that holding it up to a light
might reveal something hidden – and it does, but only when the player literally
holds the Vita up to a bright light.
Above: Not pictured: a giant yellow arrow telling you to swipe
combat: Melee works much like it does in Uncharted 2, but frequently
you’ll need to swipe the touchscreen in a certain direction once or twice to
execute a finishing move.
battles: A few of the game’s boss battles are long quick-time
events that use the touchscreen exclusively, sort of like the Krauser knife
fight from Resident Evil 4.
the ammunition counter on the top left of the screen will reload your weapon.
It’s a little bit of a reach, and isn’t as convenient as just hitting down on
the d-pad, but considering reloading requires Drake to use both of his hands to
put a new clip into his gun, it sort of makes sense that we’d actually move our
hand to do it.
10. Picking up a gun: When
you walk over a weapon, an icon will show up on the bottom of the screen that
can be tapped to swap for a new gun.
11. Not falling: Sometimes,
Uncharted will throw in a quick-time event to prevent Drake from falling as the
thousand-year-old ruins he’s climbing on crumble (shocking, we know). An arrow
will appear on the screen for us to swipe across, and doing so stabilizes the
adventurer and allows him to climb more.
Above: Sniping with motion and touch controls feels like cheating
12. Sniping: Zooming
in with the sniper rifle had requires us to move a slider on the right side of
13. Throwing grenades: Lobbing
a grenade at an enemy is actually quite easy, thanks to the touchscreen – all
you need to do is drag the grenade icon from the bottom right of the screen to
where you want to throw it, and bam – the grenade is thrown.