I was surprised by the beauty and excitement of this one. A game I rented as a "second-string" selection while anticipating a wait for other titles turned out to be one of the best things available on PS3.
The graphics are top-notch. It's all jungle and ruins, which could be a boring combination, but the varied landscapes, sunlit seas, waterfalls, and lush color scheme keep you interested. The jungle seems alive, right down to the swaying of trees or the grass bending as you move through it, and some stunning vistas are brought into vivid relief against softer, hazier horizons. There's a lot of mist and shadow and the pace moves you between the dark and the light in a good way.
Facial detailing is superb. The eyes in particular are very expressive. It's true that the characters seem a bit cartoonish, but the smooth body movements are compelling. Drake is a likeable fellow, no macho stud but with a lot of self-deprecating wit. His two companions are stereotypes (the hot, feisty, professional chick and the cynical, one-too-many margaritas older sidekick). Voiceovers are entertaining but the dialogue can be repetitive.
Gunplay is crisp, with a decent range of weapons,(Desert Eagles, M4s, etc.). The hand-to-hand combat stands out (not as a button-masher necessarily-some simple moves usually suffice).
The game shines in Drake's locomotion with him leaping from ledges, swinging on vines, dangling from his hands above dizzying drops, and scampering about in similar, dangerous fashion as he negotiates the ruins. There are some nicely done swimming scenes, a couple fun jeep rides, and a jetski boat jaunt upriver which will test your patience.
The cutscenes blend seamlessly into the narrative, and there are no chapter breaks where you endure load sequences. Puzzles and access strategies will make you scratch your head at times, but this is a "get the gold, get the girl" romp at its best, hewing to tradition while tweaking the adventure genre.
Naughty Dog really did it (again) this time. Stunning graphics like ultra realistic environment and sweet water animations - wow! I only wished that Drake could dive underwater and that the gunfights could be better (like switching from 3rd to FPS aim-down style) but even so, it was still amazing to go upriver in that jet ski stage :) Story was also great, not perfect, but had pretty good voice acting and great humor :)
Bottom line, this game makes PS3 owners proud and I can't wait until other game developers follow suit. I hope the developers in Hideo Kojima's camp will put as much dedication as the people of Naughty Dog has in making the next Metal Gear Solid game!!!
The pros of this game may outweigh the cons, but nevertheless it did have its flaws.
The enemies seemed to get tiresomely repetitive with voice modeling remaining the same throughout.
Not being able to zoom-in does make aiming somewhat of a hassle considering it takes roughly 4 hits to kill someone. What’s worst is the small supply of weapons and the inability to carry more than two at a time.
The game starts out realistically enough, which was what its main appeal was for me. The game didn’t’ seem to sell out for cult magic and supernatural beings or other such things that seem to be cliché in today’s gaming. But that all changes near the end of the game.
While you can always replay the game or just take your time looking for secret treasures to unlock goodies like clothing, skins, weapons and other such things, the game itself is depressingly short. On Normal difficulty you could sit and play straight through the game in 6 hours.
The lack of a Crouching feature made sneaking very difficult, and pretty pointless.
With more shooting being done in the game than actual treasure hunting you’ll find yourself wishing this was a better Third-Person Shooter than what it is.
While the Third-Person Shooter part of this game had its downsides, the game makes up for this with its puzzle solving and platforming. Taking vague clues from your dairy to decipher how to unlock a secret passage way is fun, challenging and has its own thrills.
All and all Uncharted: Drakes Fortune is a great game, and somewhat desperately needed for a console that hasn’t been getting the best of games and exclusives as of late. PS3’s finally rejoice, a worthy gem has emerged and it is Uncharted: Drakes Fortune..
Note: I mention mostly the cons of the game, due to limited text space and the many other reviews that seem to feature only the pros . I give this game an 8.7