After beating Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, I was overcome with two emotions. Those emotions are joy, and anger. I feel joy because Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was a great game from beginning to end. I feel anger because the game had just enough flaws to stop this great game from being mind-blowing. I’m not sure if a game that I enjoyed so much made me almost equally as angry.
It seems like every aspect of this game is great, with a catch. The act of shooting guns feels good. The enemy AI is also great. I really appreciate how they’ll duck, take cover and flank you in order to make the gun fights interesting. The problem is that enemies are bullet sponges. Unless you have a sniper rifle or a magnum, which are one shot kills anywhere on the body, you need to hit your enemies with a lot of bullets in order to take them down. It’s frustrating to see an enemy take a dozen AK-47 shots to the chest, only for them to stagger backwards and then shoot you some more. This issue persists throughout the game.
Uncharted is paced very well. Naughty Dog, the developers of Uncharted, did a great job of segmenting the gameplay in a way so that you were never doing the same thing for too long. That is, until you get stuck. I did have to repeat a few of the gun fight sequences because I died, but those were all my fault. However, the pacing of the adventure sequences can really break the flow of the game if you don’t know exactly what to do next. There were a number of times where I had no idea where to go, because the game didn’t make it clear which objects I could interact with. There is a hint system that will kick in if you’re stuck for too long, but this takes a while to kick in and even its hints at times are vague. The flow of the game is also broken when you die thanks to a bad camera angle, which happens just enough to be annoying.
I was really enjoying the voice-work and story in Uncharted. Nolan North and the rest of the voice cast did a great job of bringing their characters to life. The story really drove the action for me until a very specific moment. (SPOILER ALERT) Once the game delves into the supernatural realm, it really lost a lot of steam for me from a plot perspective. The story on its own was fantastical as it is, but it was real enough that I bought into that world being absent of (for lack of a better term) zombies. To counter-point though, those Resident Evil 4 style sequences were some of my favourite parts of the game. (END SPOILER ALERT)
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is a really good game, regardless of what system you own. It’s a lot of fun and executes most of what it tries to do really well. However, as I’ve stated across a number of related posts, there are elements of this game that stop it from reaching its true potential. I hear that Uncharted 2 fixes a lot of the problems this game had, so I’m looking forward to playing that one when the time is right for me.