developer: Naughty Dog
publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Game mode: single player
Naughty Dog has been a member of the PlayStation family for nearly the entirety of its existence – this is the studio that created such legendary series as Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter. Before PlayStation 3 was released, however, the team decided to take a break from classic 3D platformers and set their minds on creating an action title. This is how Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune paved the way for the new wildly-popular series. Even though the developers gave up on the cartoon style their previous works had, and instead utilised more realistic visuals, the title still follows several gameplay elements used in their former games – both the perspective and a multiplicity of platformer sequences prove it. The game was so successful that a remastered version was published in 2016 on PS4.
The main hero of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is Nathan Drake. You meet him while he finds the lost coffin with his supposed ancestor – sir Francis Drake. As it turns out, the coffin does not contain the body of the traveller, but his journal with hints concerning the whereabouts of legendary El Dorado. Having found that, the hero sets off on a journey to a mysterious island hiding the treasure. Luckily for him, Nathan has faithful friends on his side, who turn out to be more helpful than they firstly seemed. There is Sully – a longtime friend of the protagonist - and Ellena, a TV reporter. Naturally for such adventure stories, the heroes quickly find themselves in the middle of trouble, as pirates, who are usually not very kind to competitors, are also after El Dorado.
Seasoned with a big dose of specific humour, the plot draws on Hollywood action movies, such as Indiana Jones.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for PS3 and PS4 is a third-person perspective title. It is divided into chapters in which you visit a number of various locations – apart from a dense jungle, Drake stops at mysterious caves and even WW II bunkers. The topography is varied, so you often need to climb, swing on lines, or walk over precipices on fallen trees. The second aspect of gameplay consists in solving more or less complicated environment puzzles primarily based on manipulating the environment elements. This is where the journal comes in handy – it contains useful hints concerning solutions to the puzzles.
Due to the fact that Drake is followed by the pirates, the player takes part in numerous shootouts and chases. Luckily, the protagonist is not defenceless, and makes use of a wide arsenal of weapons – starting with pistols, through machine guns, ending with sniper rifles and grenade launchers (he can wield up to two weapons at the same time). The hero uses covers, but you need to keep in mind that enemy bullets can damage more fragile ones, and enemies themselves often change positions. Therefore, applying proper tactics depending on the situation in the battle is the key to success. Gameplay is even more varied, as Nathan is doing very well at hand-to-hand combat – if he runs out of ammo, he can resort to close combat. Various collectibles serve as a nice break from core gameplay – many of 60 treasures are hidden in seemingly unreachable places.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune published on PS3 and PS4 features amazing, 3D graphics. The diligently-created and detailed environment (especially the lush flora), realistically-animated characters, and the dynamic lighting really attract the eye. Naturally, sounds also deserve special recognition – this is true to both the soundtrack and the professional voiceover.