In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

aka: Big, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - Remastered, Uncharted: Drakes Schicksal, Uncharted: El Dorado no Hihou, Uncharted: El Tesoro de Drake, Uncharted: Fortuna Drake’a
Moby ID: 31220
PlayStation 3 Specs
Buy on PlayStation 3
$6.99 used, $12.30 new on eBay
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Description official descriptions

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is the story of Nathan Drake, a modern-day treasure hunter who believes himself to be a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, the famous English explorer/privateer. After recovering his ancestor's coffin and discovering a 400-year-old diary, Nathan and his companions (documentary producer Elena Fisher, and mentor/friend Victor Sullivan) are caught up in a search for El Dorado, the fabled city of gold. Along the way they explore the ruins of a lost Spanish colony, trading bullets and blows with a horde of pirates who are intent on plundering El Dorado's riches for themselves.

The gameplay consists of cover-based shoot-offs, fast-paced escape sequences and death-defying stunts reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie. Players traverse lush island environments, pilot jetskis and jeeps through vicious firefights, explore underground ruins fraught with pitfalls and traps, and discover the mysterious fate of the original Spanish colonists.

Spellings

  • アンチャーテッド: エル・ドラドの秘宝 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (PlayStation 3 version)

605 People (551 developers, 54 thanks) · View all

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Lead Game Designer
Lead Prop Artist
Lead Lighting Artist
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Director of Information Technology
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[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 87% (based on 121 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 116 ratings with 3 reviews)

A Ridiculously Fun and Enjoyable Game

The Good
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.

The Bad
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!

PlayStation 3 · by Tom Cross (28) · 2008

Go treasure hunting on a deserted island filled with jungles, ancient ruins and gun toting pirates!

The Good
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is one of the first PS3 games I have ever played. I bought it shortly after getting my PS3 and I quickly found out why this game series is so beloved by critics and gamers alike.

In Uncharted, you play as Nathan Drake, a self-proclaimed direct descendant of the legendary British explorer Sir Francis Drake. Whether Nate is a legit descendant of the famous adventurer remains unanswered. Although the ring he carries around his neck is a ring worn by Drake himself, so it might be true. But what definitely is true, is that Nate has the same undeterred passion for exploration and adventure as his "ancestor!"

In Drake's Fortune, Nathan, along with the sexy reporter Elena Fisher and long time friend Sully, goes on a quest to find the mystical statue of El Dorado, the Golden Man. This adventure leads Nate and his friends to a deserted island somewhere near the coast of Panama. However, they are not alone, as they get some brutal competition in the form of Gabriel Roman, a merciless treasure hunter who wants to have the gold for himself and he has an army of vicious pirates who, like him, are willing to kill everyone in their path in order to get the treasure. And so begins an epic race to find one of the world's most legendary treasures. But is this treasure really as beautiful as it is claimed to be or does it have a more sinister secret in store for the unsuspicious adventurer?

Uncharted's gameplay is a well-balanced mix of platform action and gunplay. The platform sections of the game are made quite straightforward in order to keep the game's pace high. Jump toward a ledge and Nate automatically grabs it. And once he's got a hold of it, Nate will point his hand to another ledge which he can jump to. But be careful, as some ledges or platforms tend to crumble in seconds.

As for the shooting, the gunplay is very similar to games like Gears of War or Call of Duty. It is therefore obligatory to take cover during pretty much every gun fight. Particularly on the highest difficulty you can only take one or two shots before you get killed. If you do get hit, your screen will lose saturation and when it is all black and white, it is all over for you! So take cover, pop out, shoot a few rounds and hide into cover again. Health regenerates completely if you do not take damage for some time, making you ready to fight again! Your weapon arsenal is pretty usual stuff, you have access to pistols, machine guns, shotguns and grenades. You can only carry one handgun, one two-handed weapon and about five grenades.

All weapons are fun to use (except for the grenades, but I'll talk about that later) and there's plenty of ammo to find in the game (mainly from dead enemies). You can also engage the enemies in hand to hand combat, but since all enemies are armed with guns, this is not very advisable. They are pretty smart as well. Like you, they will keep on moving while shooting at you and they will efficiently run for cover when things get heated up. And in case you stay in cover for too long, they will certainly lob a grenade or two your way. During some of the game's levels you need to navigate the place by driving a boat or by riding shotgun in the back of a moving jeep.

Furthermore, there are puzzles which, like the platform sections, are quite easy to solve. In these moments, Nate can access Sir Francis Drake's personal diary in order to find hints on how to solve the puzzles. They mainly consists of flipping some switches in the right order or finding a certain specific object. And finally there's also hidden treasure scattered over the levels and metals you can achieve when by performing feats like killing a specific number of enemies with a certain weapon or by beating the game on a particular difficulty level. Overall, Uncharted's gameplay is lots of fun because of the silky smooth controls and the variety in gameplay mechanics.

I usually don't care much about a game's visual flair, but Uncharted just looks marvelous. It was one of the first games that truly showed off the PS3's graphical prowess. Even today, eight years after its release, the game still looks good. Particularly the lush, colorful jungle environments are still a joy to look at. The game's animations in particular were far better than in any other game that came before it. That is mainly due to the fact that every animation in the game has been motion captured. Nathan's movements in particular look very realistic and fluid. The way he runs, jumps, grabs his gun and rolls for cover, it all looks very organically and believable.

But one thing in which the game truly shines, is the game's overall presentation and characters. It has the look and feel of a Hollywood style action adventure movie. It has high energy action, spectacular stunts and a light hearted storyline with plenty of humor. Give Nathan a hat, leather jacket and whip and he could be Indiana Jones's grandson!

The characters themselves all have their own personalities and truly feel like real people. Nathan, for example, is a great example of that. Like real people, he sometimes gets upset, scared or overly enthusiastic. He makes mistakes, gets hurt from time to time and at one point in the story he even completely loses all motivation of getting the treasure but keeps going just because Elena managed to convince him not to give in to his fears.

All other characters also are very enjoyable to see on screen. You have Elena, an ambitious news reporter who eventually becomes Nate's love interest as well as Sully, who acts like a mentor and father figure to Nate and joins him on all his expeditions, sharing memories about their pleasant and less pleasant experiences from the past. It all helps in fleshing out the characters and making you care about them.

Music and audio are excellent. The music has that typical epic orchestra style that you can easily associate with those Hollywood action adventure movies (particularly the title theme is very memorable and reminders me of the theme from Indiana Jones). Nolan North delivers a captivating performance as Nathan Drake and the other voice actors do a great job in giving life to their respective characters.

The Bad
Throwing grenades is quite a pain in the ass. First, you have to manually select your grenades (because they are considered a separate weapon, quite usual for the time but completely obsolete these days) then you have to use the PS3's motion control in order to determine the arc of the throw. It would have been a lot better if you could just lob a grenade with the press of a single button.

I also wished that there was some more variety in the game's weapon arsenal. All your weapons are very generic and having access to less common weapons like Molotov cocktails, throwing knifes or some magical staff could have spiced the game up. Since we are hunting a mystical treasure, it would be a cool twist to get access some magic objects or spells to vaporize your foes.

The Bottom Line
With Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Naughty Dog once again created an awesome gaming franchise. While very different from their previous work they still succeeded in delivering the excellence they are known for since Crash Bandicoot. So grab your handgun, washed out jacket and lucky coin and go out on a unforgettable adventure!

PlayStation 3 · by Stijn Daneels (79) · 2015

A good entertainment

The Good
The script and the characters are quite captivating.

The Bad
The gameplay is quite sluggish, especially when we notice that Gears of War and Call of Duty Modern Warfare are from the same era and much smoother. It's still enjoyable, but it's not standing the test of time.

The Bottom Line
The game is fun, but as I said before, even for its time, it's already outdated. Another point is that despite being an adventure story, the character's main action is shooting, and shooting to kill. Compared to the action-adventure movies it tries to look like, it could have had more creative and comical actions and ways of dealing with enemies. Despite this, it's a fun game and well worth playing, especially after a tiring day at work when you don't want to think about much else.

PlayStation 3 · by kasinao · 2024

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

German version

In the localized German version, the word "Nazi" was removed in the dialogues.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – #9 Game of the Year
    • 2007 – #7 Console Game of the Year
    • 2007 – #2 PS3 Game of the Year
    • 2007 – PS3 Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by cdwfs.

PlayStation 4 added by MAT.

Additional contributors: MAT, Sciere, Wizo, COBRA-COBRETTI, Kontxouso, Caelestis, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack, Zbuj Uzbecki.

Game added November 30, 2007. Last modified May 29, 2024.