Monday, April 13, 2015

Game Review: Uncharted: Drakes Fortune

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune came out in 2007 and is a strong start to the series. It's full of impossible physical feats, dead-easy puzzle solving, snappy banter, and lots and lots of bad guys and bullets. It introduces gamers to Nathan Drake, a bro / Indiana Jones hybrid who plunges into certain-death situations in his search for treasure.

It's clear from having played the series in disorder (I played 2011's Golden Abyss first -- review here) that the developers learned the right lessons as they moved forward. Drake's Fortune is light and diverting, but there are gunfights that are just plain ridiculous with the amount of bad guys and bullets flying from every direction. It took me a while to get the hang of aiming and shooting quickly and accurately (with some backseat shooting from the ever-trying-to-be-helpful Fragrant Husband -- "Here, honey, use this post-it on the screen to aim!" uuurrrgh), but I eventually got pretty good. Subsequent games are much more forgiving when it comes to the point-and-shoot mechanics.

In terms of other elements -- Drake's Fortune is thin when it comes to plot: Drake and his mentor Sully search for El Dorado. There's an unpleasant surprise past the halfway point, offset by the presence of Elena, an attractive, intelligent, and resourceful woman, and also jet skis. The graphics are gorgeous, the voice acting is the gold standard, and the soundtrack is exciting. It's a little less balanced than the other games in the series -- there would be long stretches of just traversing obstacles, followed by a shootout with what seems like a small army, but that made completing checkpoints so fulfilling. It was like, "Finally! I did forty-seven hundred pull-ups and defeated ten thousand criminals using one million bullets! And it only took five tries!"

I was having a blast. And then, just as I was becoming the queen of shooting all the bad guys, the game was over. Alas, everything must end.

I enjoyed this game so much, and felt that it finished too soon, that Drake stayed on my mind for a few days after the game. Which is why I'm so excited about Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, coming out in 2016!!! It shall be AMAZEBALLS.

TL;DR: A terrific action/adventure game. Entire series recommended!

This post brought to you by lamb and pork pie made in honor of the Game of Thrones season 5 premier! 

Summer Book Recommendations