Late to the Party Review – Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

Year Released: 2007

Year I first played it: 2018

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is the first game in the critically acclaimed Uncharted series. It follows the adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake as he sets out to find the lost treasure of El Dorado, along with his mentor, Victor Sullivan and journalist, Elena Fisher.

The game combines third-person shooter action with traversal not unlike the kind you would find in Assassin’s Creed, as well as puzzle-solving. You will also find plenty of quips and banter between the characters, making them feel alive. These elements, combined with the bombastic set pieces and pacing make it feel like a summer action movie.

Nathan Drake in cover

While that’s all nice, the game has, as you may expect, shown its age a bit in certain areas. The gameplay is not nearly as smooth as its sequels, but that is to be expected, so I can’t give it too much criticism. However, what really stood out to me is how many enemies would spawn in the combat areas. Way too many times, I would think I cleared the area of enemies, only to have half a dozen more make their way towards me with a head of steam.

There is also a section of the game where you must traverse down a river in a jet ski with Elena. Nathan is driving while Elena shoots enemies, and you control both of them. The problem with this is that you can’t drive and shoot at the same time. This makes for a very clunky, slow, and annoying section of the game.

While those are the game’s weaknesses, its strengths are most definitely the story and characters. Nathan and his pals each have their own distinct personalities, and they will rag on each other and make jokes as friends would in real life. Some may say that they don’t get serious enough when the situation calls for it, but that doesn’t bother me, since this is a light-hearted game.

Nathan, Elena, and Sully

To conclude, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is a great beginning to a fantastic series. It has its flaws, of course, but the action-packed story, wonderful characters, and solid gameplay more than make up for it. Having now played each Uncharted game, believe me when it says it only gets better from here.

Verdict: Recommended


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