Review: Uncharted Drake’s Fortune

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was released in 2007 for the PS3, and then remastered for the PS4 in 2015. In this review I will break down the game into certain categories, mainly story and gameplay/graphics and then end the review with an overall rating out of 10…

Story

Going into this game, I was expecting a mixture between Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider, and more or less, that’s what I got. Nathan Drake is an explorer (treasure hunter) who is seeking clues for the treasure that his ancestor had discovered. Alongside him is his friend Sullivan, and somebody he hired for resources and to film the expedition, Elena. And then there’s a villain, of course, who is after the same treasure. The story is pretty paint-by-numbers with them racing to the treasure- watch National Treasure again if you need a refresher; there is one big difference between that film and this game, however, and it’s the villain. This is the weakest villain I’ve seen in a game in a long time, as he shows up maybe three times in the game, and never poses a threat to the hero. And then at the end, there’s this weird twist that I won’t spoil, but it just made the whole thing a little silly. I’d say that for myself, who takes in a LOT of entertainment (mainly books, movies, tv shows, short stories, articles, and games), this villain was the most forgettable that a villain could be. However, this story is more about our protagonists and their relationships with each other as well as their search for the treasure. Their inner and outer journey’s as characters (no inner journey here) can still be achieved without the villain, and as a game, one expects to win at the end.

The characters were definitely a strength in the game: the performances by the voice actors as well as the dialogue written for them did a great job in fleshing out the character and breathing life into them. While we don’t know or care much about the background of the characters, they work in the game because they are fun. I was surprised to learn that this was rated T instead of M as I put the disc in as I’m used to violent FPS’ Battlefield and Far Cry or TPS such as GTA, Mafia, and Red Dead… and I’ll get to what differences that makes in my next section. In story, however, you can tell that the characters were written to be light and playful instead of gritty and realistic. Nathan Drake has a very positive and easy-going attitude, and him saying things like “huh…okay then” when a staircase falls, hurtling him towards almost certain death before surviving, instead of screaming out the profanities one would scream out, make the game more entertaining to play, and Nathan Drake a more fun character to play. While there is blood, there is a tame amount of blood, but the game is still as violent as anything else but more in a fun way that I expected.

Gameplay/Graphics

As this is a remastered version of a 9-year-old game, I expected to run into some clunky and awkward controls as times… and boy did I. Overall, the game played very well as far as shooting mechanics went, as it didn’t take me very long at all to get the controls down, and within 15-20 minutes of playing, I was popping off headshots as if I’d been playing for years. I mentioned to my friend that the gameplay reminded me of The Bourne Conspiracy or Quantum of Solace as they were both TPS stealth/cover-based shooters, and they do play a lot alike, but this one preceded them, and credit must be given where it’s due. There were, of course, problems that I ran into with this game’s cover system, however, but some of that blame is on my play style: I played the original Halo: Combat Evolved when it came out, and I’ve been playing shooters ever since. That’s 15 years of run-and-gun and duck-and-cover playing, but I’m never a spray-and-pray type of gamer.

My shooting in games is always precise, even though I’m running around, jumping, ducking and rolling. This is not a game in which that play style works: this is a game in which you are supposed to take cover, and meticulously pick off your enemies one-by-one. I meticulously pick them off, but while moving around them extremely fast. When I do that, and try to duck while running, the game will throw me against a wall thinking that I wanted to take cover (or it will hang me on a ledge in the middle of a firefight)… and sometimes, that wall will be directly in their line of fire. Of course, that’s not where I wanted to be, but the button for duck and cover have the same control, and so I end up prancing around the map looking like a mentally handicapped rabbit. So, if you’re looking for a fast-paced shooter in which you can play MLG style in the campaign, then I’d pop in an Adderall and then play, because this game requires more focus and patience than you average FPS.
That being said, I would consider this game to be very fast-paced, if I think about the story and gameplay together: I played through the game quickly because the chapters flowed together extremely well. The game felt like a movie with me at the controls, and that was a lot of fun. The only reason I felt like I should stop playing for a little while was for fear that I would play too fast and not savor it, I never got bored or tired of playing, and that’s saying a lot for someone who has ingested so many games in his life (slurp). And for the amount of fun that this game was, I must applaud it. For the most part, the controls were easy to learn and play, and I didn’t really have too many issues with the controls at all. I only had 2 instances in game in which I got frustrated because I couldn’t get the game to do what I wanted, and that was on the chapter in which you’re on the jetski, and the last chapter in which you have to spend most of the level in cover, trying to fight the “boss.” The game didn’t lag or glitch, and I played through the campaign in about 6 hours total (moving pretty fast). The graphics were good in-game, but in cutscenes, some of the characters looked block-y and like clay- however, this game being a remastered version of a 2007 game, I cannot complain… not ever remastered version can look like Halo 2‘s cutscenes.

Overall, I’d say that Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was a lot of fun to get into. I think I learned more about myself as a gamer, and about the gamer I need to be while playing this series in order to play efficiently and effectively. The gameplay was great, the graphics looked beautiful in-game, and the characters were fun which made up for the mediocre story and… villain? I already forgot that there was one. I’m going to give this game a 7+/10 and a green recommendation. My score is based on my experience alone (this score would be different for every gamer based on their style of gaming). As always, thanks for reading, and if you like this game review, maybe leave me a comment or share it so that I’ll write more! I’ll see you soon!

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