517th played so far


Genre: Adventure/Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Playstation 3
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

I don’t know why I haven’t played Uncharted before. While it isn’t my genre, it’s a big enough game that it feels like I would have given it a go – especially with how it seems to have looked and the options for exploration.

Time to play the first game then, ready to play through and see what the fuss is about.

Our Thoughts

Where do I start with this? I think our conclusion, pretty early on, was that this was clearly a Tomb Raider spiritual successor – not quite the same sort of game, but sticking in that mold while updating some elements. There’s a far greater focus on parkours and climbing, improved to be more in the Assassin’s Creed mold,, and levels feel a bit more linear, but it’s not a coincidence that the Tomb Raider and Uncharted series have been borrowing from each other for the last near-decade.

I mean, the one sentence summary is pretty much the same – our protagonist goes out to explore anicent ruins to find treasures. Nathan Drake’s motives are clearly less altruistic than Lara Croft’s, but he’s still a lovable rogue. The game also includes more cut scenes, doing its best to tell a more interesting story – still with its occasional cliches, but mostly trying to include a larger cast and creating something interesting to follow along.

The levels feel linear at times – there aren’t too many diversions and treasures are hidden in smaller puzzles in the level, or simply around a corner – but they are set up to create cinematic experiences. You topple and climb large statues, run away as the floor gives way underneath you and explore a submarine filled with dead sailors. Some of these can feel like lengthier exploration sequences, where you take a long climb up a cliff or wall to get to your place (often the long way around), but these are kept varied enough to stay fun. These, again, are set up to feel more interesting, with edges collapsing occasionally as you get past them, making it feel a bit more epic for what are really simple climbing sections.

The game falls down with the shoot-outs. They are awkward, with inaccurate shooting controls and unrealistically large groups attacking you. It’s exhausting and doesn’t feel fair, while greatly distracting from the actually fun parts of the game, when you explore these wonderful environments.

And that’s the other thing. The game just looks great and has these interesting settings. They invite you further in to see what other dangers you encounter. That’s what is just as good about it, you want to see these environments and see what other areas they’ve put it. That’s part of what makes it worth it.

Final Thoughts

That last part summarizes it best. This is a good game. It’s fun to play. There are amazing places to ignore. But the fire fights become such a drag, we got sick of them. Peter lasted longer than I did, but despite his initial plans to go through the entire game, he left it after a while as well. I understand the sequel handles it better – I sure hope it does for our sake.

  1. […] our first outing in the Uncharted series, we had a good time exploring some great venues, but had some issues with the shooting in the […]