Uncharted: Golden Abyss

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Another adventure with Nathan Drake, new personas to meet and a new place to explore with new mysteries, not to mention more treasures to find – now in mini version.

You’re back in the jungle again, this time it’s somewhere in Central America. Time frame: Before the first game in the series (Drake’s Fortune), I assume this based on that Chloe neither Elena is mentioned at any point in the story. Sully is, but those that have played Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, knows that Drake met Sully at a very young age.

More gold to be found!

Drake appears to be on a treasure hunt with a friend of his, Jason Dante. You quickly discover that the two of them have both similar but also very different view points. While the both of them goes on these treasure hunts for money, they do so on their own terms. Drake’s intentions is a little more innocent and clean than Dante’s as he will go out of his way to get his share of the treasure.

And of course there has to be a woman involved: meet Chase, a very ardent young treasure hunter, out in the wild because she needs to solve the mystery that her grandfather was trying to solve. Latest she heard from him was that he was going out to the dig site to find more clues and perhaps solve the mystery of a sword and seven golden cities.

When Drake gets alone with Chase, it appears that she went into business with Dante, along with a spanish revolutionary who call himself a general. She reveals to Drake that she doesn’t trust Jason Dante, and she kept an amulet to herself. Chase has discovered the dangers of working together with Guerro, the spanish general. Drake, Dante and Chase all gets captured by Guerro, that shows his dark side. Even Dante seems pretty scared at this point.

So who’s the bad guy this time?

General Guerro believes that whatever Dante and Drake are after, belongs to him and he takes up a fight. That quickly splits up the pair, because Drake wants to go in stealth mode and Dante is stubborn and rich enough to hire an entire army – which inevitably starts a civil war like experience in the jungle with gunfights all over the place.

Chase tells Drake about her grandfather and how much he loved and worked to solve the mystery of the seven fathers or the seven golden cities if you will. Drake give in and agrees to help her getting the amulet back. What are Guerro after? And why did Dante go into a partnership with this madman? Who’s Chase, and what did her grandfather discover? Dive head into yet another great story from Naughty Dog as Nathan Drake and meet some new colourful and loveable friends and enemies.

The game is just as every other Uncharted game out there, just handheld. Of course the graphics is dubbed down, but you can certainly tell this is well made. There’s the occasional aliasing, minor graphic glitches and other, non-intrusive stuff that you’ll meet in most games. Voice acting is as marvelous as always, and the music does a good job of setting the right mood, that being enticing, or a mellow, relaxing tune. On top of the music, a good way to tell if you are nearing an enemy is that Drake pulls his gun before you even notice the enemy – for me that was quite some help so i didn’t bump into unexpected enemies.

And the Oscar goes to…

The A.I might not always be prober. I’ve experienced a fellow A.I. not going with you when they are supposed to and a little later on appear right behind you. Also, look out for where the A.I. waits for you – it will be the clue to know where to go next – and not as helpful as they were in Drake’s Deception, where they helped the player find clues to solve the mysteries in the game. I suppose that this is due to keep the A.I.’s as simple as possible, not to mention hardware restriction – I feel like being back in the first Uncharted game, but I’m not even mad, I’m thrilled about this game.

I’m a little indecisive about Chase. While she looks and acts like a very independent woman who can take care of herself, you still have to save her ass several times, just because she has some issues about carrying a gun. I love her personality, but if I’m gonna talk womanliness and dependency, she changes from one thing to another. Sometimes she shows dependency, other times not which is a little confusing. Is this her way of luring Drake into feeling like a man and maybe catch his heart? We all know that guys like him loves to save the day – and the woman.

What’s different?

At some point when Drake found a document that was empty, it showed at the screen with the hint of backlighting it. I did it with my blitz on my phone (it was within my reach at the time) and lit up the back camera, which worked flawlessly. There’s of course touch functions, and the gyro in the VITA will get great use.

Lot of feelings involved I gotta say, I went from thinking Drake was a no good two timer tomb raider that plays with the girls, to think he was genuine in love (end of the second game in the series) and just having a quick fling with a fellow bounty hunter, to being sympathetic and loveable man. This said without any spoilers.

While the screen is small, the adventure is certainly not – the chapters seems to be shorter, but there’s more of them (34 to be exact) so I think there’s as much gameplay in this game as there is in the stationary console versions.

I loved spending the time as Drake, and I had the same feeling as when I ended the third game: I can not wait for the next game, handheld or not.

Hit; It feels like every other Uncharted game, just smaller. And with the use of the handheld, new ways of exploring and playing the game.

Miss; More clever A.I.’s. It’s a little setback from the third game in the series.

Need; Environment consisted of jungle, caves and old temples – it could have been a little more diverse, as I would have loved seeing some snow or riding a horse or drive a car.

If you liked Uncharted: Golden Abyss, you might like Heavy Rain and Demon’s Souls.

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Getting sucked into games by Super Mario as a kid, gaming got on hold during her teens. Lured into gaming with the 7th generation by GTA IV, and a few years later intrigued by reviewing games, and now she's running gamingirl since 2009.

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