A Ridiculously Fun and Enjoyable Game
Where to start? The first thing that jumps out at you is the quality of the story, dialogue, and acting. Naughty Dog has made the first game that actually feels like a silly summer action movie You’ll travel to exotic jungle islands, explore beautiful lost ruins, get on the bad side of evil pirates and your charming and tough companion, and have loads of fun along the way. Comparisons to Romancing the Stone are Stone are spot on, and the actors should get a lot of credit for this. Part of these amazing cutscenes and story are the graphics: they are simply beautiful, with the various jungle environments feeling and looking perfect.
The game’s engine works really well with the scope of the story, and pulls you in for the duration. The animations are superb all around, especially Drake’s. He misses handholds, stumbles, throws up his hands to ward off explosions, and basically looks and acts like a real person, from the way he presses up against a wall to avoid gunfire, to the way he crouches down when he can catch a breather.
The combat system is another area where Uncharted shines. This is the best third-person shooting interface I have ever used. It is easy and fun to control, all of the weapons feel good and solid, and the cover mechanic works brilliantly. You can pick up a number of weapons, both projectile and explosive based, but the starting pistol will be your favorite for a while, do to the ease with which you can pull off precision shots.
About a third to three quarters of the way through the game, a new kind of enemy is introduced. These enemies change the tactics you use to fight, and this new fighting style is both unwieldy and a bit frustrating. The enemies work perfectly for the plot of the game (and are introduced bit by bit, building up the suspense), but their implementation could have been a bit better. Finally, some of you might think that a 10ish hour playtime is too short, but for me, it hit the sweet spot and didn’t overstay its welcome.
The Bottom Line
This is the first truly fantastic game on the PS3. It amazes at every turn. I have not had this much fun, in game and in cutscene, in a long, long time. The game might lose sight of what makes it absolutely fantastic from time to time, but the storytelling and quality of performances always brings it back in line. Again, I have to stress that the acting and story of this game surprised me. These characters reminded me of my own favorite movie heroes, with Drake especially reminding me of someone like Nathan Fillion.
At the same time, the shooting and cover gameplay mechanics worked brilliantly in every way. Basically, this game pleases on all fronts. It might be a 10-hour commitment only, but for those 10 hours, you will not be able to tear yourself away from this perfectly realized (and did I mention stunningly beautiful?) pulp action game. To be honest, I haven’t seen a summer action movie this good in a long time. Go have fun!