With Uncharted 2 heading into our hands in the next two weeks, I thought it’d be nice to take a look back on its predecessor. This is, arguably, the game that truly showed off the PS3’s potential. Not just graphically, but in terms of the amount of stuff just going on. I’ve heard countless tales from Naughty Dog, from the early builds to the next-gem dilemma to even experimenting on the Xbox 360. But, in my opinion, Drake’s Fortune is what made the PS3 stand out from the crowd, and with Uncharted 2 hitting shelves, it’s the real face of the Playstation 3.
In the words of Kanye West, “Modern Warfare, I’m happy for you, and I’m gonna let you finish, but Drake’s Fortune was one of the best games of the year. Of the year!.”, well not exactly what he said. It’s true though, Uncharted definitely hit my spot for game of the year 2007. Although it failed to sell well in its first month or two, thanks to a low install base and Modern Warfare taking up everyone’s free time. After the trophy patch hit, business began booming and Naughty Dog hit over 2 million units sold, so surely a sequel was in the works. 6 days from today, that sequel hits.
I’ll face the truth here, the story rips off every adventure film and game of the last fifty years. Cheesy lines, the clichéd characters and big flashy environments and locales are all on show here. That’s fine though, I see it as more of a tribute to all those famous adventure sequences. There’s a sequence reminiscent of Indiana Jones, the infamous boulder chase scene, and there’s also that old mentor guy. Sully. All the characters seem to balance the story out in such a way that it’s never too deep or too shallow, you will genuinely laugh at some of the lines and just nod when the game finishes. Then you’ll say to yourself “Kanye was right”.
The story follows modern day treasure hunting pirate guy Nathan Drake, on the trail of his supposed ancestor. Sir Francis Drake. He finds a two-hundred year old clue in the coffin of his dead great great great great grandfather and sets out on a quest through an age-old island to find the lost treasure of El Dorado. He’s followed by camera-girl, presenter lady thing called Elena, who wants to get a good story for her network. There’s also Sully, an old guy with that grandpa-ish type of charm you can’t help but like. All of the characters are all drafted into the story that eventually takes the whole game in an entirely different direction. A twist you won’t see coming.
You fall under a strict linear path, going from section to section of the island. Solving puzzles, battling baddies, climbing things and treasure hunting. Combat and climbing are almost taken directly from Gears of War and Tomb Raider, but so much better. You hit circle to snap into cover and you can blind fire with R1 or pop out for a quick shot by holding L1. The controls are quick and painless, and the thousands of animations that Drake has just had to the blend of realism. Climbing is as simple as flicking the left joystick in the way of where you want to go, and mashing X. There’s some frustrations, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Notice how I haven’t talked about the graphics here yet? That’s because I don’t have to. More than likely you’ve either played the game, seen the game in action or at least heard of it. The game really does show what the PS3 is capable of, and if you want a startling bit of trivia for yourself, it only uses 30% of the PS3’s true power. Now imagine Uncharted 2. Oh wait… it’s coming out in a week. Anyway, even if you’ve played this to death, at least go back and visit Drake’s land one last time before Among Thieves hits. You won’t regret it. Well, Kanye regretted something, but you won’t regret this.