Uncharted Golden Abyss Review
Sony launch with the best ‘launch game' for a console ever… in Japan
When it comes to hardware launches I've seen a few. Consoles are normally judged on the first wave of games rather than whether the new console kicks ass. Short sighted yes but gamers do this. For example with the PS2, everyone was blown away by Timesplitters blisteringly fast 4 player split screen madness. Xbox 360's Call of Duty 2 was a stunning game, and still is today. PS3, Genji… PS3 is an exception to the rule I'm afraid, It wasn't until later on that a game came along looking a little like Tomb Raider that made you see what can be done in the right hands! That game was Uncharted. Now at number 3, Uncharted has become a real eye catcher. So it beggars belief that the PS Vita launches with arguably the best launch game I've ever played, in Japan. Sure it's being loyal to its home country but Sony must be kicking themselves for not going for a worldwide launch. Uncharted GA is a Western game through and through.
Uncharted GA starts with a bang then slows down to take you on an adventure that must be three times the length of its big brother.
The laughs are all in here as Drake takes you swinging and shooting through some great set pieces. Every part of the Vita is used to great effect and some of the 'sliding' puzzles are great, 'jigsaw' puzzles are a great diversion and here's the thing with Vita… it pulls you into the game like nothing I've experienced before. You care if you fumble and Drake falls because you let him drop, you feel his pain, you did it. The game is so polished; I don't know how long they spent developing this game but I didn't come across any problems. In fact the only problem I had was with the graphics.
Never before in a game have I stopped so much to pan the camera round to just look at the stunning graphics. I learned after that UGA is not using the full res of the Vitas screen. The water should really fuse out your Vita as it really does look that real. The lighting is stunning and at times blinding.
Shooting is the same as on the PS3 with thanks to the second analogue stick, and here's the thing that excites me most. With PSP you played games but felt the developers were never happy with the control they gave you. With Vita they are spoilt for choice with the front and rear touch. Holding L1 aims and moving the Vita you can fine tune, this will be fantastic for first person shooters.
I could go on all day about Uncharted and it's 100's, yes, 100's of secrets but what will make you smile most is the sound of that first trophy popping onto the stunning OLED screen. The replay value thanks to Trophies is huge; you will want to play again just to see some of the jaw dropping levels.
Uncharted will be huge for Vita and sell consoles in Europe and the US. It's a shame that Sony forgot that Monster Hunter sells shit loads of PSPs in Japan.
By Kristian Salkeld