Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Uncharted: Golden Abyss Review [PS Vita]

There is little wonder why Uncharted: Golden Abyss has become one of the two leading PS Vita titles in the UK to date. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Uncharted series, the game is an Action-Adventure, similar to the Tomb Raider series, but this time featuring the rather ruggedly handsome Nathan Drake as the main protaganist.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is the series' first ever handheld version, and it is has therefore been designed as a prequel, which is set some time before the events of the original PS3 game, entitled: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.

This is helpful, as it allows new gamers (who may not have had the chance to play the other three PS3-only games) to familiarise themselves with the in-game mechanics and main characters of the series, and also provides extra background information for existing fans.

The game has been specifically designed for the PS Vita, by a company called Sony Bend, in association with Naughty Dog, who were the company that first bought the Uncharted series to life on the PS3.

Nevertheless, it is clear that Sony Bend has been careful to preserve the core elements of the original games, and in doing so, have helped to create a portable version of the game, which is every bit as engrossing, exciting and graphically beautiful as the home console versions, which is really quite an achievement for a console of this size.

Moreover, Nathan Drake can now move, fight enemies and explore the in-game enviroments in a whole new way thanks to the PS Vita's touchscreen capabilities. For example, when Drake is climbing up ledges, gamers simply have to tap the next ledge and Drake will climb up to it, which makes those annoying accidental falls and missed jumps a thing of the past.

When fighting enemies, a quick swipe across the touchscreen in the direction of the on-screen arrow allows our main character the chance to use some brand new stealth attack patterns. If you are a traditionalist, however, you still have the option of using the button-controls like in the previous three games, but we found it more fun to use the touchscreen. It's just a matter of preference.

Other traditional elements of the Uncharted series have also been altered for the portable version. For example, treasure items are now organised into sets rather than appearing in list form, and there seems to be more of an emphasis on exploration than with the other games.  Puzzles are also plentiful, so there is lots of lovely replay action to be had.

In conclusion, it is difficult to explain how magnificent this game is to anyone who has not yet experienced it for themselves, but one thing is certain - if you are considering a brand new PS Vita, then this title is a must-have. Overall rating: 10/10.

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