Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3)

- Finished in around 12 hrs on normal. I found only 35/60 treasures. Length was just about perfect.
- Graphics are amazing for any system. This is hands down one of the best looking games I've seen. I love the texture work, wet/water effects, foliage that moves, incredible draw distances, lighting and fire, all with a rock steady smooth framerate.
- Overall I liked the art direction for the most part except for the character designs. They did grow on me over time though.
- Animations are nice and smooth with some really great work in the facial animations during cut scenes.
- Game play is basically gears of war combat with a very good cover system + prince of Persia/tomb raider platforming/environmental puzzles. Toss in some rail shooter parts, some drivable vehicles, a few short quick time battle segments, and you've got probably every action adventure/3rd person shooter innovation in the last half decade all combined into something truly great. It's incredibly polished. The controls are pretty spot on. Everything just feels responsive and right. You never get stuck too long since after a while they will usually throw you a hint telling you to hit L2, and the camera will focus on where/what you should do next.
- Pacing is excellent. This is all high quality dense content. There is no fluff. Checkpoints were plentiful and were mostly fine. I think I only had some difficulties maybe 3 times. The game does quite a bit to reduce frustration. It's like the designers actually want you to finish this game. Nice ending too.
- I loved the story and the characters. They did a great job developing them where you really cared what happened to them. I thought this was some of the best writing in any game (and better than a lot of movies). The main character personality reminds me a lot of Malcom (Nathan Fillion) from Firefly. If you like that sarcastic wit kind of humor then you'll love this game. The other two principal characters are great too. All the voice acting is top notch. There are a lot of cut scenes to help further the story which I always looked forward to watching.
- All the level design/architecture is top notch too.
- AI is pretty impressive. You'll often see squads work together advancing on you trying to flank. They take cover all the time. When they do pop out to take a shot at you, it's not always in the same place. Sometimes they roll out or peak around a corner or stand up.
- Music fits the game perfectly. I think it was in fact composed by the same guy who did Firefly's music.
- When you spin around quickly the game adds this motion blur effect. I found it really annoying.
- Pretty good weapon selection but I wish I could hold more than 2 weapons. If you could always have a pistol as backup + 2 primary weapons would have been much better. Greater max ammo would have been nice too.
- Motions controls are used a bit: shaking, balance, grenade toss distance. I just wish they made the grenade distance motion thing optional. It would have worked much better if you could just use the right analog stick.
- Wireless controller cut out a few times especially after doing a manual save.
- I've read this game supports rumble if you have one of the new Dual Shock 3 controllers. Importing one runs around $60.
- There's some nice bonus content. You can re-watch any of the cut scenes. Also, there are several making of videos that I'm working my way through.

Hands down the best PS3 game so far and easily one of the best games on any platform. If you own a PS3 you NEED to get this game.

Highly recommended!

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