Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

Developed in the United States by Naughty Dog
Published by Sony
Released in 2007 for the PlayStation 3

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is an homage to Indiana Jones, and it’s always a warning sign when the inspiration for your video game is a movie.  The game is divided into two states, both hounded by poor pacing and design.  Combat is plagued by a poor cover system, enemy accuracy fails anything resembling a Turing test, and the game’s mercenaries define the “bullet sponge” trope.  Meanwhile, the platforming and puzzle elements evoke some comparisons to Tomb Raider, acting as little more than a “cooldown phase”.  The game template requires a compelling narrative, and success is rewarded with poor storytelling and implementation of that storytelling.  It’s a narrative whose protagonists exist in a bubble independent of both the violent carnage and the forgettable antagonists that are creating it.  Nathan Drake may be a great character, but it’s hard to get behind someone who laughs post-traumatic stress disorder in the face.  Particularly when the world he inhabits is average across the board.

★★