Uncharted Golden Abyss (PS Vita)
When we reviewed the PS Vita in February one of the titles which really stood out from the launch line-up was the latest Uncharted game. A new adventure based on the highly impressive PlayStation 3 franchise Golden Abyss sees us once again take control of Nathan Drake in a third person shooter with plenty of exploration and action set pieces. Although this being a Vita title means we have some significant enhancements to the gameplay mechanic through the use of our touch screen and panel.
Gameplay is split into levels with automatic saves as we go and breaking up the exploration and action are lengthy dialogue based scenes which expand the story and characters, keeping us interested in their adventure.
The developers have also included various mini-games in the adventure with some seeing us rub the screen to clean items or create charcoal rubbings of ageing stone carvings and others where we must rotate and position torn documents to position and recreate the original layout or unlock combination locks.
Online functionality is also very much included in Uncharted along with trophy/achievements awarded as the game progresses and we complete sections or mini-challenges. The Black Market is our main focus in the online area as we can trade various finds in the game with other players to gather items we might have missed.
Graphics and Audio
On the audio front the game doesn’t have the most inspiring score but it isn’t intrusive, leaving the sound effects to work well. Weapon noises are decent, especially through headphone and voice acting from the main cast is particularly good during the cut scenes.
While the main controls work well with touch, such as climbing ropes, the mini-games are not quite as successful. Rubbing the screen to do charcoal copies of artefacts is fun the first few times but time consuming after this. Puzzle solving is a little too random when using the screen, essentially we can just flick and rotate at will to happen upon the right position for an item and the tilt to balance on logs is tiresome after a few examples too.
A decent plot and voice acting which is full of character keeps the player interested past these sections though and some great visuals enhance the experience also. This is particularly beneficial because the game as a whole is so strong and importantly entertaining, as we noted above feeling very much like a traditional PS3 action game.
Finally, Online functionality is good, adding to the longevity of the game and there is plenty to do in terms of exploring and collecting for the completists too.