Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Nathan Drake returns in Uncharted: Golden
Abyss on the PS Vita that once again returns him to the cutthroat world
of treasure hunting and another deadly mystery. Consider Drake the
gaming equivalent of Indiana Jones but a hell of a lot cooler. Unlike
the original PS3 games which were created by Naughty Dog, Uncharted
Golden Abyss is created by Sony Blend who successfully manage to capture
the gameplay, story and characters of the home console franchise.
The story itself resolves around the massacre of a Spanish expedition
over 400 years ago which has Drake and co. on the trail of a secret
Spanish cult and classic Uncharted betrayal. With action like the
biggest Hollywood blockbuster, villains, fortune and glory, even Lost
Cities, Uncharted: Golden Abyss not only compliments the original PS3
games but creates a new legacy on this console.
However Uncharted has always been about its lead characters, especially
Nathan Drake with his down to Earth attitude and great one-liners. This
time he is joined by the beautiful Marissa Chase, the granddaughter of
an archaeologist who has mysteriously disappeared and Drake's old
"friend" and rival Jason Dante who has more secrets than Pandora.
new action packed adventure built specifically for PlayStation Vita,
set before previous Uncharted titles.
Experience the signature Uncharted cinematic adventure on the go, in
stunning detail on the crystal clear OLED screen.
Utilise all the intuitive and immersive controls as you touch, steer
and tilt the PS Vita to snipe, swing, and jump. Traverse
environments using front and back touch, and also control the
movement of Drake on ropes and slides using the motion sensor.
Versatile gameplay for the Uncharted fan - Traditional (Dualstick
Analog/button) or interactive (PS Vita features) allows players to
choose the method that compliments their playing style.
Gameplay, although reminiscent of the PS3 version is slightly different
and more scaled down but the beautiful cinematics of what made Uncharted
such a success is still included in the PS Vita version. For those who
have never played Uncharted before, the gameplay is similar to Tomb
Raider meets Prince of Persia with all its dastardly traps and gaming
environments that you navigate with but this time, it's been made for
the controls of the PS Vita. I did enjoy using the rear touch pad to
rotate items that I found or the front touch screen to manipulate
objects and make charcoal drawings. One thing that is unfortunately
absent in this game are the cool quick-time events of the PS3 version
which really made the game feel bigger than Ben Herr.
One negative with the gameplay on the PS Vita is that the puzzles seem a
little too easy on this console which may have been a conscious decision
by the developers to target a younger casual audience or the portable
platform itself. The controls of Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a mixture of
the PS Vita itself such as the analog sticks and buttons plus the touch
screen and motion sensor capabilities. It's actually quite fun using the
motion sensors of the Vita to assist Drake to balance precariously on
log over a cliff or use the Vita like a camera as you would in the real
world. The first level of the game acts as a tutorial and nicely
explains how to use the touch screen and controls of the Vita to
navigate Drake and more importantly fight.
For purists, the game can be played with traditional controls or a
mixture between the touch screen and the controls, it's your choice. I
must admit that using the touch to interact with the game does create a
slightly more immersive experience as you move your finger for Drake to
follow. Combat in the game is a little weak as there is no real
challenge with the enemies but once again the touch screen mechanics
work well for melee combat as you swipe in a particular direction to
punch and block. Although I prefer to use the PS vita controls for guns,
reloading via the touch screen reminds me of House of the Dead and is
ideal when your ammunition is running low. In relation to the various
guns that you find, aiming is a little difficult with the dual analog
sticks which does cause an element of frustration. Overall, it's a good
effort by Sony Blend.
Graphically, this is probably the best looking game on the PS Vita. The
gaming environments are extremely detailed and when matched with the
great special effects from water to lighting and realistic textures,
everything comes together perfectly with the gameplay. Character
movements are flawless, although there are a few moments where things go
astray and looks a little odd but for the most part, it's a perfect
experience. I also loved the facial animation of the characters which
mimic their PS3 counterparts. Voice acting is flawless as are the sound
effects and the musical score which creates probably the best action
adventure experience on any portable console.
The best aspect of Uncharted: Golden Abyss is that it's not a dumbed
down version of the PS3 games but rather a brand new game that maximises
the abilities of the PS Vita well. With flawless gaming mechanics, a
thoroughly interesting story and more action than you can poke a stick
at, Uncharted: Golden Abyss not only showcases the PS Vita but is easily
one of the best adventure games on the portable platform and is a must
have title. Compared to the PS3 versions, Uncharted Golden Abyss is
definitely a lite version of this series but nonetheless is still