Uncharted: Golden Abyss

[PS Vita.] - Review: Uncharted comes to us once again, this time in the form of an handheld adventure. But is it as good as its console counter-part?
The Details
  • Title: Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  • Web: Official Site
  • Developer: Bend Studio
  • Publisher: Sony
  • Released: 22 February, 2012
  •  
  • Platforms: PSVita
  • Reviewed On: PSVita

Platform: PS Vita

Year: 2012

Uncharted is one of those games you have to love, it’s just amazing and has so much to offer. The characters are lovable, even though every woman out there wants a bit of Nathan Drakes ass, us guys love him too for his idiotic sense of humour and total goofs. It’s just perfectly balanced, with the slight exception that I find there’s too much gun play and not enough puzzles. But that’s on the PS3, its home, where it made its name. How does it fair on the PS Vita?

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

The graphics are crisp and clear in Uncharted’s first handheld outing.

Well the story is still there, it’s still captivating and it moves the game forward at the perfect pace, just like the PS3 versions. It’s set before the first PS3 game (Uncharted: Drakes Fortune) and see’s our Nate stuck in the middle, between treasure and gun totting idiots (as usual), trekking through the stunning jungle and having the occasional boat ride. Of course, Nate spends most of the game trying to get his tail away, but it wouldn’t be Uncharted if he didn’t, right? We meet new characters from Drakes past and Sully even steps in for some extremely funny banter along the way (something there isn’t enough of in Drakes Deception).

So how’s it feel on the small screen? Well, it feels perfect. The gun play is spot on, with the dual analogue sticks feeling perfect through out. The graphics are utterly stunning, the screenshots simply do not do this game justice, when in motion it really is breath-taking. For a release day game, it truly shows what the Vita is capable of and how much potential the little machine has. The touch controls are used quite well, they’re optional (which is nice), being used for things such as throwing grenades, climbing, doing mini puzzles and of course, quick-time events. I personally didn’t use the touch screen for anything other than the puzzles and throwing grenades, the later works extremely well and I fell in love with using touch for grenades rather than the buttons.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Fire in the disco!

The puzzles, whilst still incredibly easy, do show off the touch functions quite well, using the rear to move objects around and the front to interact with them. It’s a unique way of interacting with the various puzzles, though most of them simply involve cleaning an item by rubbing it, or piecing together a really, really simple jigsaw. Uncharted has never really been big on the puzzles though, they are there, it’s just they’re few and far between and none of them ever test my brain.

On the visual side of things, well, there isn’t a launch title that can touch it, it looks superb. Everything is there, bloom, SSAO, gorgeous varied lighting, pretty particle effects, grass, sparkling water and excellent, crisp textures. It’s beautiful to watch and play through, the animation is top-notch, as we’ve come to expect from the Uncharted brand and there really wasn’t a moment during my play through of the game that I didn’t think was visually excellent.

 Conclusion

Overall, I’m going to give Uncharted: Golden Abyss as rather sexual 9. It’s simply a brilliant game and one of the very very few launch titles to impress me and that goes for every console. In fact, it’s the first one since Halo: Combat Evolved. It has a few down falls, such as too much shooty shooty and not enough puzzley, but that’s just the way the Uncharted series is. A cracking game and a must own for any Vita owner.

 Gallery

(Note: All images were taken using the PS Vita’s screen capture function. It does have a rather large amount of compression which reduces the image quality quite significantly. Also, the PS Vita has a higher screen DPI resolution than your average monitor, so the screen shots aren’t really a great representation of the actual game.)

Judgement
Pros:
  • Beautiful graphics from the PS Vita.
  • Still the same, great gameplay mechanics of the bigger games on PS3.
  • It's a joy to play, really, it is.
Cons:
  • Too much shooting and not enough puzzle solving for my liking. But we can't have everything.
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NaytoE
Web Master at CoupesCorner
Nathan is lumbered with all the technical stuff behind CoupesCorner. If stuff breaks, it's always someone else's fault, but he'll fix it, because he's a pretty awesome guy.

Nathan loves tactical shooters, RPG's and Bro-Ops games. Some all-time favourites of his are Black and White 2, Postal 2, the Rainbow Six series and Pokemon. He also loves playing guitar and fishing with his dad, when Lozzy isn't busy making him do stuff...
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