Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
08 November 2007
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune demo
After upgrading my PS3 to the v2.00 firmware, I downloaded the new demo of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and played through it on medium difficulty. Dude and gal go to find treasure on remote island, their plane is shot down, you are separated escaping. Now you're just a dude in the jungle.

After a few minutes of jungle environments you start running into bad guys with guns. From that point on, the game is mostly combat. At the end there is the tiniest bit of Tomb Raidering, and the game isn't subtle about it -- the hint icon constantly flashes even after you allow it to show you where you need to go.

Frankly, I found the combat difficult. I died a lot, and I think the grenade aiming interface is probably the worst I've ever used. That said, the use of cover was intuitive, which I hadn't expected after watching the videos.

The game looks brilliant, I think. The big waves on the water are a disappointment -- I saw a better effect in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance years ago -- but everything looks sharp and colorful. The dude (forgot his name) moves smoothly and responds well.

Would I buy the game? Maybe. I do have a hankering to play the demo again, so I guess there's that.

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--Matt Matthews at 23:23
Comment [ 6 ]

Comments on this post:

This game is kicking my ass; I haven't gotten down the "system" to not getting shot up while returning fire - it seems even if I pop out cover for literally a half-second I'll take a bullet or 3.

By Blogger Dustin, at 10 November, 2007 00:20  

I replayed it on Hard and found it much easier the second time. I even enjoyed it, and began to feel a lot more in control. Essentially the dude is not a space marine -- you really do have to use choke points to limit how enemies can get an angle on you. If you're just standing behind a column, they'll eventually circle around and get you from your exposed sides.

The more I think about this game, the more I think it might be a game for me. I'd like to see what reviewers say about the balance between gunplay and tomb raidering.

By Blogger jvm, at 10 November, 2007 08:36  

My problem was getting used to the regenerating health system and the inevitability of taking damage - I'm -really- obsessive-compulsive about completing games with maximum health (to the point where I'm playing sections repeatedly for no reason other than to get through with 100hp).

But I guess the game is supposed to be this way - it's not 1 bullet that's so bad, it's the cumulative fusillade over a short period of time. I can't think of another game I've played where your hp restores relatively quickly over time like this (although I hear that's the case with Gears and Halo), but my concern that I could just hide out until I'm all better is alleviated by the relatively few hits it takes to kill the player, and (as you mentioned) the -very- intelligent AI: they'll flank you, try and flush you out with grenades, and use cover conservatively when injured.

I'm really torn now, because there's (FINALLY) a lot of native PS3 content I want to play, and I still haven't really torn through the PS2 backlog enough yet. I had planned on starting Okami :/

Call of Duty 4 just came out, there's still Assassin's Creed (which is looking a lot better now than at E3), I just got Ratchet and Clank not even 2 weeks ago... ARGH.

By Blogger Dustin, at 10 November, 2007 09:57  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger Crusader, at 10 November, 2007 10:12  

Also, I think you severely understated the quality of the animations; they're varied, context-appropriate, and numerous - Drake moves far more fluidly and naturally than any player avatar I've ever seen.

By Blogger Crusader, at 10 November, 2007 10:13  

Just wanted to note you can turn of the hints in settings - I prefer this as with the minimal HUD the game feels nicely immersive.

I also found combat triky at first but after a few run throughs I really like it. You must cover, you must watch for flanking and you must prevent too many hits.

I think the balance is nice and I prefer the autoregen health to packs, etc. The truth is if you were facing up to multiple armed foes in real life you're probably screwed so for a game there's got to be some comprimise between smart AI and realistic damage and having a chance to get through the game feeling like Indiana Jones.

Low graphics and animation of your character - definite buy for me.

By Blogger EGM, at 11 November, 2007 07:31  

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