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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune review

AT A GLANCE
  • Top-notch production values
  • Fun story and endearing characters
  • Jaw-dropping water effects
  • Focuses on style over substance
  • Jet Ski sequences are awkward
  • Gunfights often more grueling than fun

Nov 14, 2007

Despite all appearances, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune isn't just Tomb Raider without the breasts. Yes, the combination of jungle settings, treasure-filled ruins and explosive gunplay looks a little too familiar; but after five minutes with Uncharted, you'll know it's something special. Behind the brilliant visuals and seemingly been-there, done-that scenario, this game has a lot of heart.

Borrowing its atmosphere from 1930s pulp novels and adventure serials, Uncharted follows cocky, smirking adventurer Nathan Drake (a descendant of the legendary Sir Francis Drake) as he retraces the steps of his famous ancestor in an attempt to find the mother of all lost treasures. Along for the ride are Drake's business partner Sully, a likable old seaplane pilot, and Elena Fisher, a remarkably tough TV documentarian who tags along to make a show about the whole thing.

Naturally, what starts as a simple treasure hunt rapidly unravels into a twisting adventure yarn involving pirates, mercenaries, dead Nazis, a mysteriously vanished Spanish colony and at least one U-boat suspiciously parked atop an Amazonian waterfall. The writing is snappy, the characters are endearing and the visuals are stunning throughout. If only the actual gameplay was as consistently awesome, it'd have Game of the Year written all over it.

You'll spend the majority of your time in Uncharted doing one of two things: leaping through precarious, improbable, Prince of Persia-style jumping puzzles, or shooting it out with ragtag bands of multicultural, armed-to-the-teeth pirates. The jumping puzzles (and the exploration in general) are a lot of fun, although they're a little too easy; your path is laid out pretty clearly, and the jumps don't require a lot of precision to make successfully; Drake generally knows what he's doing, and he's not going to let you mess it up for him by being slightly off the mark. What's more, on the rare occasions where you're not sure where to go, a leap of faith will often be rewarded with a conveniently placed handhold.

Still, the prettiness and diversity of the areas you'll explore (as well as Drake's comical uncertainty as to how to approach them) make these sequences rewarding, and - once you've played long enough to get the timing down - rapidly monkeying through them is kind of cool.

More Info

Release date: Nov 16 2007 - PS3 (US)
Nov 19 2007 - PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Action
Published by: SCEA
Developed by: Naughty Dog
Franchise: Uncharted
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Blood, Language, Use of Tobacco, Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes
PEGI Rating:
16+

9 comments

  • MerylsHers12 - February 6, 2014 3:09 a.m.

    The game is great! I would recommend also does play a refreshed version of the PC from the PlayGameHacker .. Link to the manager so that we retrieve the game: http://playgamehacker.com/uncharted-drakes-fortune-pc-version/ Link to Film from the action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYmFq1m1twA
  • majamaki - November 15, 2011 6:17 p.m.

    Finally finished Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception and I wrote up my thoughts on the complete Uncharted series. The Uncharted series is easily one of the best action and adventure games made to date. The developers at Naughty Dog continue impress gamers and the industry with their vision for the perfect form of cinematic interactive entertainment. Their latest release, Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception raises the bar to new heights for gamers to enjoy, appreciate, and drool over.
  • ThundaGawd - January 13, 2011 5:06 a.m.

    I really like this game, but, like Mikel said, The gunfights tend to be a pain: cowering behind a pillar shooting at enemies for 5 minutes, only to have some lucky prikk take you down from behind because you ran out into the open, thinking the firefight was over really got on my nerves at some point. (especially since it was the fifth time I got killed in the sewers by the random guy who shows up when everyone's supposedly dead and the music suddenly stops) :(
  • swagger21 - November 2, 2009 5:34 p.m.

    if you have a ps3 you need to at least rent this game, its great, story is okay, corny but the game play is there. the constant gun fights make you feel like you could take on a hundred of these pirate priccks at once. and redfizik is reight, chapter 17 to 21 is just farfetched but still its a must play game
  • GiantJediMaster - December 2, 2008 11:47 p.m.

    This game is MUST BUY for ps3 owners
  • redfizik - September 3, 2008 1 a.m.

    Nice review. I recently beat the game (I managed to pick it up used for 35 bucks) and it was well worth it. The story is pretty run-of-the-mill but the production is so far and above most games that I was willing to overlook the weak plot points. Although, everything after chapter 17 is absolutely ridiculous. It definitely looks good, but here's hoping Naughty Dog gets a little less campy with the enemy animations in the next iteration.
  • DarrylC90 - June 11, 2009 1:12 p.m.

    Just bought this game for 7 pounds at the local supermarket- just because it was PS3 and so cheap! Never heard of it, but I can't believe the positive review for something I thought would last me 5 mins.
  • kundrol - July 12, 2009 8:54 a.m.

    I have just finished.....WOW!!! I am left scratching my head at how great this game is. Of course i have the big blockbuster games COD 4/5, Killzone, GTAIV, etc.....but Uncharted is more like a cinematic gaming experience. I have avoided the game because of how old and the ratings were not so great, but i have to say that this is one of the best games that i have ever played. The story was very engaging and not too complicated like say MGS or Splinter Cell. The screen was excellent without loads of HUD like some of the COD games and great mixture of realisticlly vivid enviroments without getting too tedious like Prince of Persia can sometimes!! The caracters were absoulutely believable and had really brilliant dialouge (funny at times) All in all this is an ABSOULTE MUST for any PS3 owner. I cannot wait to play it again and will be excitdly awaiting Uncharted 2. When is the film coming out for Chrissake!!
  • 72O - April 24, 2009 8 a.m.

    I got my platinum in this a few days ago. Yes I agree a must have.

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