Editor's ChoiceFighting and Puzzles meet in a wonderfully vivid enviroment in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

The game starts as you find a map leading to El Dorado, the supposed lost city of Gold. You follow the map to an island where you find the Spanish Conquestidors long beat you to the treasure. But if they did, what happened to it? Could they have missed anything?

You find another clue, but you get double crossed by a friend and sold out to pirates.

Stealth and patience are key here in battling enemy pirates and villans. Your character can hide behind rocks, boulders and other objects and then shoot them down. If you just walk into an area not paying attention, you will find yourself dead before walking three paces.

You can either shoot the pirates or beat them senseless. If you beat them up they drop more ammo. (The theory is that if they didn’t shoot at you, they used less of their ammo.) You can also carry two guns at once — a pistol and one special gun, which can be a machine gun, shotgun or more later in the game. You can only carry two guns at once, but you can also throw grenades for added damage.

Granade throwing uses the six axis controller. When you throw them, you tilt the controller to decide how high you throw while the regular controls decide direction. The tilt is also used when you’re balancing on narrow objects like a log. If you can’t balance the controller, Drake will fall.

The game isn’t just about shooting the bad guys. It’s designed to be a puzzle. You have to interact with your environment to get through the game. Either hanging on walls to get around something, or moving levers and shooting lanterns.

Gameplay is VERY linear. You can’t go wandering off in random directions, and the game will not let you interact with stuff outside the direction you’re heading. It is kind of weird to be in the jungle looking at this path and invisible walls on the sides, you can’t just squeeze through the trees. Also on the sides you often will jump up, and it looks like it’s trying to grab a ledge, but it’s grabbing at air.

The environment is very well designed though. When you walk through water or go for a swim, the water splashes around you, and Drake is all wet when you get out. Your clothes will slowly dry as you walking around too.

Characteristic of many a PlayStation 3 game, the graphics and detail are just fantastic throughout. The characters have facial expressions, the enemies will hide behind objects just as you will, and they will try to sneak up behind you.

The Cinematics in the game look like they are playing off a Blu-ray movie.

The game usees the environment to affect the player’s perception. When a big gun goes off near the player, he’ll lose hearing for a while. When Drake is hurt the screen turns black and white, and his beating heart can be heard.

The game generally plays like a movie that you can control. It’s not like some games that use too much cCinematics and not enough gameplay. The cinematics are only used where there wasn’t anything for the character to do, and it adds to the detail of the conversation getting a closer look at the characters faces.

Overall I think this is one of the best games on the PlayStation 3. My only complaint was that it was completely linear, which isn’t even a complaint in and of itself. The graphics and sound were both fantastic, and the game was very well done.

Quick hits:

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Naughty Dog
Platform: PlayStation 3
Genre: Action/Adventure
Players: 1
Launch Date: November 16, 2007

Playability: [rating:4/5]
Learning Curve: [rating:4/5]
Sound: [rating:5/5]
Graphics: [rating:5/5]
Overall: [rating:5/5] Editor’s choice

About The Author

Bradley Ouellette is a Blast staff writer who's been with us since the bitter beginnings when we were an attic and basement operation on Mission Hill.

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