Uncharted Drake's Fortune
The first time we see Nathan Drake ,our favorite treasure hunter,thief, mass murderer, and hero, he is fishing up Francis Drake's journal with "last year's model"- Elena Fischer. Little did we know these characters will be the basis of what is arguably Sony's biggest achievement of their exclusive games lineup. Anything great has to start somewhere, and Drake's Fortune is Uncharted's starting point. It creates the formula that allows future installments to strive, but suffers from many miss-steps that only helps the series grow
Nathan Drake's search for the treasure of El Dorado introduces him to an Uncharted island where he races against an opposing treasure hunter, Gabriel Roman, and his "employees" Atoq Navarro and Eddy Raja. Little to Drake's knowledge everything isn't so cut and dry with the mystery of his friend Victor Sullivan, journalist Elena Fischer tagging along, and El Dorado not being as it seems. Nathan Drake will have to climb, jump, think, shoot, and grunt his way to friendship, discovery, and treasure.
As most people know platforming, shooting, and puzzle solving are the three basic tiers in an Uncharted game. Drake's fortune has a good base when it comes to climbing. Everything works the way you want it to, and it's fun to climb on treacherous landscapes. This element is only improved in later installments to create an even greater cinematic experience. You will always know when someone is playing Uncharted, because you will hear the famous sounds of Drake's grunting as he jumps across ledges. I wish I could have heard Nolan North's recording of these loud sound effects that can be only associate with passionate love making. I'm sorry, I went on a tangent but it was something that needed to be said!
Now moving on to shooting, which doesn't match up to the excellent climbing mechanics. Combat mostly involves ducking behind cover and shooting at stupid AI that all look the same. The constant movement of Uncharted 2 and 3 is the saving grace of combat. In this first installment you will find yourself behind cover, standing up to shoot someone, them not dying, and somethings rolling out of the way when a grenade is chunked at you. It all revolves around clunky gun mechanics that rarely makes shooting satisfying. Getting behind cover may also be difficult since the jump and roll buttons are the same, therefore Drake may roll into the line of fire instead of crouching behind a conveniently placed block.
One other element of gameplay is the dreaded jet ski missions. This surprisingly involves Drake driving a jet ski through flooded ruins while Elena blows people up with an infinite ammo grenade launcher. The main problem comes from how uncomfortable the jet ski feels. This becomes a tedious task rather then fun gameplay element.
Naughty Dog does get one thing right and its their specialty: the story. I'm not just talking about the plotline, but the characters and atmosphere that flourishes because of it. You can't help but fall in love with the relationship between Drake. Elena, and Sully. This is the result of excellent voice acting that can be serious and comical at the same time. This outlandish journey is cemented by these characters as they face one impossible obstacles after another. The story is able to take you to diverse environments that are all rendered perfectly for the standards of 2007. The achievement of characterization, graphics, and storytelling are beyond its time.
It's easy to think critically after you have been playing 2015 games on your Ps4 and Xbox One. If you look at everything it accomplished in 2007 then you may look past the gameplay issues, and acknowledge that it set the prerequisite of what many games are today. The idea of games acting like blockbuster movies with huge cinematic moments and deep plot lines is what Uncharted Drake's Fortune set in motion. I'm not saying this is the one catalyst that provoked a major change in the video game industry, but it is one(there is also Mass Effect, Bioshock, and many others) example of how games started to be recognized as artful devices for storytelling.
Looking back, Uncharted Drake Fortune's gunplay, and pacing can be relevant issues, but the story was an accomplishment of its time that sets the stage for Naughty Dog's future installments.
Uncharted Drakes Fortune receives a score of 7.5