Difficult generation beginnings
PlayStation 3 was not easy on the market from the beginning. The very appearance of the console a year after the premiere of the competitive Xbox 360, at a staggering price of $ 500 for the basic model (Microsoft’s hardware was $ 200 cheaper from the beginning), put Sony in a difficult position. Moreover, there was a lack of strong launch titles that actually showed the advantage of a noticeably more expensive platform. The more so because when PS3 debuted in North America, players from the “green” camp could already play in the well-regarded and bringing graphics to a new level, Gears of War . The first real celery system appeared only a year later, so around the European premiere of the console.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune tempted with the promise of a blockbuster game : a cinematic adventure, showing the possibility of a third PlayStation. In fact, the plot also struck in such tones. It focuses on the journey of the young, self-proclaimed treasure hunter Nathan. The protagonist, along with the reporter Ellena and friend Sully, will follow the traces of the records of their ancestor, Francis Drake, to find the lost city of Eldorado. However, as you can guess, they are not the only group that wants to get to the legendary place. Well, the Uncharted blueprint is released on releaseIt was not one of the most original and it is even less so today. At the same time, it was not a big problem. First of all, in 2007, you did not have to worry about too much competition in this convention (in fact, this thing has not changed over the years). The remake of the first Tomb Raider game was then closest to the production of Naughty Dog , so the title was built on quite archaic foundations, and what is more, it was not available on PS3. In such a confrontation, when it comes to the fluidity of the experience and the quality of the presentation, we were actually dealing with a certain new quality. What’s more, the story itself, despite its clichédity, was presented quite nicely thanks to the light pen of the scriptwriters and the great voice cast, with Nolan North in the lead (still remaining at the highest level).
A simple, classic adventure
Uncharted was definitely inspired to some extent by the Tomb Raider series mentioned here , but a direct comparison with the adventures of Lara Croft indicates the beginning of a trend characteristic of the evolution of games during the seventh generation, which was to create more and more effective, but at the same time simpler and more accessible experiences. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the PS3 life cycle, these simplifications were more visible as developers were just learning to use the capabilities of a console with a very complex architecture. Unchartedthere is clearly a lack of depth, because exploration today leaves a lot to be desired. Going from one point to another interspersed with simple platform sections and puzzles is not something very exciting. The very large numbers of shooting sequences, especially at the end of the campaign, also do not fit in the spirit of the cinema of the new adventure. Here, Naughty Dog used a loan from Gears of Warmodel of conducting distance fights with an emphasis on hiding behind numerous covers. Although Natan, as an agile adventurer, is also able to knock down enemies with fists. In principle, it does not sound too bad, but the shooting model is quite stiff and the range of opponents is quite narrow by today’s standards. Fortunately, the relatively short time needed to complete the campaign makes boredom not a real threat. After all, a nice story still plays a role.
Beware of the old generation
UnchartedI played as it was originally released, i.e. in the PS3 version. Today it is not difficult to get your own copy, as used copies are available in stores and on internet portals at really attractive prices. However, this is not necessarily the best idea. Simply put, if you have a PS4 or PS5 at home, it is much better to use the remaster released a few years ago to learn about Natan Drake’s story. It not only offers smooth gameplay at 60 frames per second, but also a much improved visual layer. This does not mean, however, that the original looks ugly. I was quite surprised, because as for the title from 2007 (apart from monotonous locations, because no refreshment here would help) the whole thing can please the eye, and the characters are quite well inspired. However, it should be remembered that that the standard then the image quality of 720p (old TV can be really helpful), so it’s best to run the game on such a screen. So the gameplay sitting directly in front of a 1080p monitor can be quite painful.
More importantly, when deciding to play on an older Sony console, it is worth checking whether we will be able to comfortably go through the entire campaign. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is one of the few PS3 games that integrally used the gyroscope built into the Sixaxis controller and the later Dualshock 3. However, due to the discontinuation of production, these devices are less and less available. Using a substitute without moving functions can definitely be a pain in the blood.
Fourteen years later, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune has mixed feelings. I can understand why the first serious exclusive PS3 was so successful. Although the linear campaign, focused on a light story, efficiently masks some problems, it cannot be denied that simple and outdated mechanics do not make a special impression today. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s a good idea to start your adventure with the Naughty Dog series after many years. It is certainly a game that would deserve a real remake (as opposed to the still great first installment of The Last of Us , and there are voices that this title may be refreshed soon).