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Uncharted Golden Abyss PS Vita Review - -
Uncharted Golden Abyss
Reviewed by
James Wright
Uncharted Golden Abyss PS Vita Review. 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.

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 9.0
Sound 8.9
Value 8.6
Distributor: Sony
Review Date:
Mar 2012
James Wright


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.

Key Features

  • A 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.

Final Thoughts?

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 extremely fun.



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