27 ways Uncharted: Golden Abyss uses the Vitas unique controls

14. Pushing objects: Stuck doors are no match for the Vita’s touchscreen: you’ll have to shove plenty of doors open by “pushing” on them.

15. Assembling torn paper: Drake will find torn-up parchments he needs to put together, which required us to not only drag and drop pieces of paper to match them up, but to rotate them to get them into the right position.

16. Charcoal rubbings: Sometimes, you’ll be asked to take charcoal rubbings of depressions and engravings, which, as you’d expect, is as simple as rubbing the screen until it’s complete (though Drake makes a point to describe how difficult charcoal rubbings actually are at one point in the game).

Above: Watch us play through some of the game to see the features in action

17. Cleaning off dirt: Since Drake is climbing around ancient ruins, he’ll sometimes find objects he needs to clean before identifying them. To do this, you’ll need to scrub the touchscreen, watching the dirt disappear under your finger.

18. Navigating menus: Navigating menus is done entirely on the touchscreen, requiring us to swipe and tap to do what we normally would do with the analog sticks and buttons.

19. Boosting people up: When Drake is traveling with a partner, he’ll come across places that are out of reach. Boosting up his teammate is as simple as swiping up when prompted.

20. Rowing a boat: A few times in Golden Abyss, Drake will need to row a boat, which is as simple as swiping down to row forward, and up to row back.

Above: Just tap to climb wherever you want

21. Climbing: Instead of climbing in the traditional sense (moving the analog sticks and tapping X and O to jump and drop), it’s also possible to climb almost exclusively using the touchscreen by tapping or dragging along the points you want Drake to climb. It’s sort of like playing Uncharted in “Easy Mode,” but considering the climbing has never been difficult to begin with, we weren’t all that bothered.

22. Cutting down foliage: Collectables are often hidden behind bamboo shoots, but with the help of his trusty machete (and drawing a Z on the touchscreen) we’re able to make our way through them.

23. Tile puzzle: Were you hoping to find giant tiles on the floor that need to be rearranged to open a door? Good news, everybody! There are a few of those throughout the game, and you’ll need to use the touchscreen to move them.

24. Opening a lock: Sometimes Drake will need to open a lock by spinning in the correct numerical combination (or animal face or whatever), bringing back horrific memories of high school we’d rather have left in the past.

Back Touchpad

Above: Look at that shirt, all perfectly half-tucked and everything

25. Climbing ropes: Though we never really took advantage of it, it’s possible to use the back touchpad to climb ropes. Just move your fingers in the direction you’d move your hands while climbing (swiping down to go up, up to go down), and you’ll move up and down Golden Abyss’s many ropes.

26. Spinning objects: When cleaning off objects (as we mentioned earlier) we’d sometimes have to spin them around to make sure we clean off the back, too.

27. Half-tucking a shirt: Sometimes, after climbing, rolling, and fighting, Drake’s shirt will become untucked. In order to proceed, you’ll need to re-tuck it using the back touchpad. All right, we actually made this one up, but maybe they’ll add it by the time the game comes out next month. Please?

Hollander Cooper

Hollander Cooper was the Lead Features Editor of GamesRadar+ between 2011 and 2014. After that lengthy stint managing GR's editorial calendar he moved behind the curtain and into the video game industry itself, working as social media manager for EA and as a communications lead at Riot Games. Hollander is currently stationed at Apple as an organic social lead for the App Store and Apple Arcade.