Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is an action-adventure video game developed by Naughty Dog, published by Sony Computer Entertainment and is a Playstation 3 Exclusive. Combining platforming and third-person shooter elements, the game charts the journey of protagonist Nathan Drake, a supposed descendant of the explorer Sir Francis Drake, as he seeks the lost treasure of El Dorado, with the help of friend Victor "Sully" Sullivan and journalist Elena Fisher.
The game opens with Nathan "Nate" Drake (voiced by Nolan North) recovering the coffin of explorer Sir Francis Drake, Drake's ancestor, from the ocean floor, using coordinates inscribed on a ring in Nate's possession. He is assisted by journalist Elena Fisher (Voiced by Emily Rose), who is there to record the events for a documentary. However, the coffin contains only a diary written by Sir Francis Drake, pointing to the location of El Dorado, the legendary city of gold which Sir Francis sought, proving that he faked his death as Drake originally believed. After their boat is destroyed by a band of pirates who have been tracking Drake, Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Voiced by Richard McGonagle), Drake's old friend, rescues them. He and Drake, leaving Elena behind (fearing that her publishing the documentary would attract deadly people), travel to a region in the Amazon, where they find ruins of an ancient South American civilization, and clues that El Dorado is in fact a large gold statue, and that it was removed long ago. Searching further, Nate and Sully discover a long-abandoned German U-boat stuck in the Amazon river containing remains of its dead crew, Spanish silver coins and a missing page from the Drake diary that points to a southern tropic island where the statue was likely taken.
Before they have chance to leave the island, Drake and Sully are stopped by Gabriel Roman (Voiced by Simon Templeman), a competitive treasure hunter who has hired the services of mercenaries led by Atoq Navarro (Voiced by Robin Atkin Downes), Roman's lieutenant and an archaeologist with knowledge of the statue. The two are working together to find El Dorado in order to compensate for money Sully owes Roman. Drake refuses to help Roman, who then shoots Sully in the chest. Drake attacks Navarro and at that moment the U-boat explodes from a torpedo Nate accidentally set off. Elena then arrives to rescue Nate and the two fly off in Sully's plane to where the statue is believed to be held.
Having been shot down near the island and separated, Drake works his way to a fort where he spots Elena's parachute. Unable to find her, he continues further into the fort, where he finds a message from Sir Francis stating that he had gone to the fort's Tower. Upon arriving at Drake's Tower, he is soon captured by the pirates from the beginning of the game, who are revealed to be led by Eddy Raja (Voiced by James Sie), an old rival of his. Eddy demands that Drake assist him in finding the treasure. Drake and Elena are shortly reunited, and flee the fort from Eddy and his pirates. The two work their way through a long-abandoned port city and discover, through a log book in its custom house, that the statue was moved further inland. Elena spots a supposedly dead Sully working with Roman and Navarro, heading north, they decide to follow him to the monastery. There they locate hidden passages, and rescue Sully, who survived thanks to Drake's diary blocking the bullet, and played along to fool his captors.
Drake and Elena find a series of maze-like passages below the monastery. In these tunnels, Drake overhears an argument between Roman, Navarro, and Eddy, who is revealed to have been hired by Roman as well in order to aid in the capture of Drake and the security of the island all with the reward of a share of the gold of El Dorado. Roman doubts Eddy's abilities to do his job further and ignores his superstitious claims that something cursed on the island is killing his men along with Nate. Roman dismisses Eddy and his crew, angering Eddy, who draws his gun but is stopped by Navarro. Eddy, cursing in Indonesian, storms off. Traveling through more of the underground tunnels, Nate and Elena find a passage leading to a large treasure vault in which they find Sir Francis Drake's body, assuming that he died on the island searching for the treasure. Before they move on, they encounter Eddy running scared for his life, chased by mutated humans possessing incredible speed and strength. After Drake co-operates with Eddy to fight for their lives, he and Elena escape when Eddy is killed by the creatures, and find themselves in an abandoned German submarine base built into the island. Nate ventures out into the base to restore power to exit the base. During his exploration, he discovers that the Germans had sought the statue during World War II but that, like the Spaniards before them, learned that the statue was cursed and became mutated; the creatures attacking them are in fact the mutated descendants of the Germans and Spaniards. Sir Francis, knowing the statue's power, was actually trying to keep it on the island, before he too was killed by the mutants.
Drake attempts to return to Elena, but finds her captured by Roman and Navarro. As Drake follows Roman and Navarro to save Elena, he reunites with Sully outside of the Monastery. Fighting through Roman's forces, Drake and Sully are captured at gunpoint and find that Roman has the statue. Navarro urges Roman to open it, inside is the Mummy of El Dorado. As Roman opens the statue the dust from the rotting corpse is inhaled by Roman, who begins to mutate. Roman charges Navarro because of his treachery only to be shot and killed by Navarro, Planning all along to steal the statue and sell the mutagen as a weapon. Navarro then has the statue lifted out by helicopter as his mercenaries are attacked by mutants. Drake then jumps onto the net the statue is in. Elena, held captive in the helicopter, inadvertently causes the death of the pilot when she kicks the gunner out of the helicopter and, while still firing gun, hits the pilot. The helicopter crashes onto a tanker used by Roman sending Drake flying onto the cargo. A final fight breaks out between Drake and Navarro and his mercenaries. Drake defeats Navarro in a fistfight, knocking him unconscious. Drake then pulls an injured Elena from the helicopter. As Navarro regains consciousness, Elena warns Drake, who, pushes the helicopter off the tanker. The rope connecting the helicopter to the statue, which has become tangled around his leg, plunges Navarro and the statue into the deep ocean.
Elena returns Nathan's ring and the two lean in to kiss, then they are interrupted by Sully, who arrives on a small speedboat, having escaped the island and taken several boxes of treasure he found in the cave and took from dead pirates. Elena reminds Drake that because she lost her camera, he still owes her a story. As the boat sails towards the horizon, Drake assures her he will not break his promise.
Gameplay in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is a combination of 3D platforming and third-person shooter gameplay elements. Similar to the Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider series, platforming elements allow Drake to jump, swim, grab and move along ledges, climb and swing from ropes, and perform other acrobatic actions that allow players to make their way along the ruins in the various areas of the island that Drake explores. thumb|300px|right|Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Trailer
When facing enemies, the player can either use melee and combo attacks at close range to take out foes or can instead choose to use weapons. Melee attacks comprise a variety of single punches, while combo attacks are activated through specific sequences of button presses that, when timed correctly, offer much greater damage; the most damaging of these is the specific "brutal combo," which forces enemies to drop twice the ammo they would normally leave. Drake can only carry one pistol at a time and may also carry one rifle, and there is a limited amount of ammunition per gun. Picking up a different firearm switches out that weapon for the new one. Grenades are also available to acquire at certain points, and the height of the aiming arc is adjusted by tilting the SIXAXIS controller up or down to match. These third-person shooter elements were compared by several reviewers to Gears of War, in that the player can have Drake take cover behind walls, and use either blind-fire or covered fire to take out foe. In common with Gears of War, Uncharted lacks an actual on-screen health bar, instead when the player takes damage, the graphics begin to lose saturation. While resting or taking cover for a brief period, Drake's health level — and subsequently, the screen saturation — returns to normal.
The game also includes vehicle sections, such as where Drake must protect the Jeep he and Elena are in using a mounted turret, and where Drake and Elena ride a jet ski along water-filled routes while avoiding enemy fire and explosive barrels. While players direct Drake in driving the jet-ski, they may also switch to Elena by aiming the gun in order to use her weapon — either the grenade launcher or the Beretta, depending on the chapter — in defense, or to clear the barrels from their path.
The game also features rewards, which can be gained by collecting 60 hidden treasures in the game that flash momentarily or by completing certain accomplishments, such as achieving a number of kills using a specific weapon, making a number of headshots or using specific methods of killing enemies. In subsequent playthroughs of the game, the player can use these rewards to unlock special options. These include in-game bonuses such as alternate costumes and unlimited ammo but also non-game extras, such as making-of videos and concept art. There are also several references to other Naughty Dog games, especially the Jak and Daxter series; one example includes the "Ottsel" branding on Drake and Fisher's wetsuits, a reference to the species that mixes otter and weasel found in the game.
After completing Jak 3, Naughty Dog assembled their most technically-talented staff members and began development of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune under the codename Big. It was in full production for about two years, with a small team of engineers working on the game for about a year before hand. Naughty Dog decided to create a brand new IP rather than opt to develop a PlayStation 3 Jak and Daxter game—they wanted to create a franchise suitable for the new hardware, in order to develop such ideas as realistic human characters instead of stylized ones owing to limitations of previous hardware, as well as create something "fresh and interesting". Inspiration was drawn from various sources in the action and adventure genres: pulp magazines, movie serials, and more contemporary titles like Indiana Jones and National Treasure. The team felt the sources shared themes of mystery and "what-if scenarios" that romanticized adventure and aimed to include those in Uncharted.
The game was first unveiled at E3 2006. From early previews of the game, inevitable comparisons of elements such as platforming and shooting between Uncharted and the well-known Tomb Raider series were drawn, earning the title the nickname of "Dude Raider". However, the developers saw their game as concentrating more on third-person cover-based play, in contrast to Tomb Raider's "auto-aiming" play and greater puzzle-solving elements. Throughout the game's development the staff tried to remain flexible and detached from the original design concepts; attention was focused on the features that worked well, while features that did not work were removed. The development team intended the game's main setting, the island, to play a big role in the overall experience. Feeling too many games used bleak, dark settings with monochromatic color schemes, they wanted the island to be a vibrant, believable game world that immersed the player and encouraged exploration.
In designing the characters, the artists aimed for a style that was photorealistic. The creators envisaged the main protagonist, Nathan Drake, as more of an everyman character than Lara Croft, shown as clearly under stress in the game's many fire fights, with no special training and constantly living at the edge of his abilities. Director Amy Hennig felt a heavily-armored, "tough as nails" protagonist with a large weapon was not a suitable hero, and decided a "tenacious and resourceful" character would portray more human qualities. Supporting characters (Victor Sullivan and Elena Fisher) were included to avoid a dry and emotionless story. Fisher's character underwent changes during development; in early trailers for the game, the character had dark brown hair, but ultimately the color changed to blonde and the style was altered.
The game went gold in the middle of October, 2007. A demo was then released on November 8, 2007 on the PlayStation Network before its final release on November 19 in North America. The demo was first placed on the North American store, and was initially region-locked such that it would only play on a North American PS3. However, this was later confirmed as a mistake, as the developers were apparently unaware that people from different regions could sign up for a North American account and download the demo; a region-free demo was released soon after
Graphics and technology Edit
Uncharted uses the cell microprocessor to generate dozens of layered character animations to express realistic expressions and fluid movements, which allow for responsive player control. The PlayStation 3's graphics processing unit, the RSX Reality Synthesizer, employed several functions to provide graphical details that helped immerse the player into the game world: lighting models, pixel shaders, dynamic real-time shadowing, and advanced water simulation. The new hardware allowed for processes which the team had never used in PlayStation 2 game development and required them to quickly familiarize with the new techniques; for example, parallel processing and pixel shaders. While the Blu-ray technology afforded greater storage space, the team became concerned with running out of room several times—Uncharted used more and bigger textures than previous games, and included several languages on the disc. Gameplay elements requiring motion sensing, such as throwing grenades and walking across beams, were implemented to take advantage of the Sixaxis controller. A new PlayStation 3 controller, the DualShock 3, was unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, and featured force feedback vibration. Uncharted was also on display at the show with demonstrations that implemented limited vibration compatibility.
Being Naughty Dog's first PlayStation 3 game, the project required the company to familiarize themselves with the new hardware, and resulted in several development mistakes. The switch from developing for the PlayStation 2 to the PlayStation 3 prompted the staff to implement changes to their development technology. Naughty Dog switched to the industry standard language C++ in order to participate in technology sharing among Sony's first-party developers—the company had previously used their own proprietary programming language GOAL, a Lisp-based language. In rewriting their game code, they decided to create new programming tools as well. This switch, however, delayed the team's progress in developing a prototype, as the new tools proved to be unreliable and too difficult to use. Ten months into full production, the team decided to recreate the game's pipeline, the chain of processing elements designed to progress data through a system. In retrospect, Naughty Dog's Co-President Evan Wells considered this the greatest improvement to the project. Additionally, the animation blending system was rewritten several times to obtain the desired character animations.
Trophies and Home integration Edit
The game was patched on August 4, 2008 in Europe and North America to version 1.10 to include support for the PlayStation 3's Trophy system.There are forty-seven trophies in the game that match the medals that can already be won in the game and one further trophy, the Platinum trophy, awarded when all other trophies have been collected; Uncharted is the first PlayStation 3 game to include the Platinum trophy type. Similar to other PlayStation 3 titles that receive trophy support via downloaded patches, players must start a new save game to be awarded trophies, regardless of how many medals they received in previous playthroughs. This was enforced because the developers wanted to avoid the sharing of save data in order to gain trophies they did not earn. The patch was described as "incredibly easy" to implement, owing to the game already containing preliminary support for Trophies via its Medals system; it was also stated that these hooks were already included due to Naughty Dog's belief that Sony would roll out the Trophy system before the game's launch in November 2007. Despite mentioning that the game was developed as a franchise and that it lent itself to episodic content, it was later stated that no content available via download would be made for Uncharted. However, the game will integrate with PlayStation Home, and the developers will support Home with additional content.
List of TrophiesEdit
Charted! - Normal Finish the game in Normal Mode
Charted! - Hard Finish the game in Hard Mode
Charted! - Crushing Finish the game in Crushing Mode
Master Fortune Hunter - Find all 60 treasures
Brutal Slugger - Kill 20 enemies with a brutal combo
Brutal Expert - Kill five enemies in a row with a brutal combo
Stealth Attacker - Kill 20 enemies melee-attacking from behind
Steel Fist Expert - Kill five enemies in a row with a single punch, after softening them up with gunfire
100 Headshots - Kill 100 enemies with headshots
Survivor - Kill 50 enemies in a row without dying
Charted! - Easy Finish the game in Easy Mode
First Treasure - Find one treasure
Beginner Fortune Hunter - Find five treasures
Novice Fortune Hunter - Find 10 treasures
Enthusiast Fortune Hunter - Find 15 treasures
Intermediate Fortune Hunter - Find 20 treasures
Skilled Fortune Hunter - Find 25 treasures
Proficient Fortune Hunter - Find 30 treasures
Advanced Fortune Hunter - Find 35 treasures
Professional Fortune Hunter - Find 40 treasures
Senior Fortune Hunter - Find 45 treasures
Expert Fortune Hunter - Find 50 treasures
Crack Fortune Hunter - Find 55 treasures
Relic Finder - Find the Strange Relic
Brutal Brawler - Kill five enemies with a brutal combo
Steel Fist - Kill five enemies with a single punch, after softening them up with gunfire
Headshot Expert - Kill five enemies in a row with headshots
10 Headshots - Kill 10 enemies with headshots
30 Headshots - Kill 30 enemies with headshots
Dyno-Might! - Kill three enemies with one explosion
Expert Dyno-Might - Kill three enemies with one explosion five times
Run-and-Gunner - Kill 20 enemies by shooting from the hip (without aiming with the L1 button)
Hangman - Kill 10 enemies by aiming while hanging from a ledge
Grenade Hangman - Kill 10 enemies with grenades by aiming while hanging from a ledge
50 Kills: PM - 9mm - Kill 50 enemies with the PM - 9mm
50 Kills: 92FS - 9mm - Kill 50 enemies with the 92FS - 9mm
50 Kills: Micro - 9mm - Kill 50 enemies with the Micro - 9mm
20 Kills: Wes - 44 - Kill 20 enemies with the Wes - 44
20 Kills: Desert - 5 - Kill 20 enemies with the Desert - 5
30 Kills: MP40 - Kill 30 enemies with the MP40
50 Kills: AK-47 - Kill 50 enemies with the AK-47
50 Kills: M4 - Kill 50 enemies with the M4
30 Kills: Dragon Sniper - Kill 30 enemies with the Dragon Sniper
50 Kills: Moss - 12 - Kill 50 enemies with the Moss - 12
50 Kills: SAS - 12 - Kill 50 enemies with the SAS - 12
30 Kills: M79 - Kill 30 enemies with the M79
20 Kills: Mk-NDI - Kill 20 enemies with Mk-NDI grenades
GameRankings 90% Metacritic 88/100 MobyGames 89/100
1UP.com A- Famitsu 36/40 Game Informer 8.75/10 GamePro 4.25/5 GameSpot 8.0/10 GameSpy 4.5/5 IGN 9.1/10
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was well-received by game critics. Prior to its release, it was expected to be a commercial success and garnered praise from the media. Game Informer complimented the visuals and dialog between the characters Drake and Fisher, calling them stunning and entertaining. They further added that the production values appeared high, citing the level of detail and musical score. PlayStation Magazine echoed similar statements about the visuals and compared them to that of Crysis.
The overall presentation of the game received unanimous praise from critics, who recognised the game's high production values, describing them as "top-notch", "incredible" or comparing them to those found in Hollywood. When combined with the overall style of the game, this led many reviewers to compare Uncharted to summer blockbuster films, with the action and theme of the game drawing comparisons to the Indiana Jones film series. As part of the presentation, the game's story and atmosphere were also received well. The depth of the characters was praised, each having "their own tone". The voice acting was also received well, as the cast "nails its characterizations"; overall, the voice acting was described as a "big-star performance","superb" and "stellar".
The technical achievements in creating this presentation were also lauded. The graphics and visuals were a big part of this, including appreciation of the "lush" jungle environments, with lighting effects greatly adding to them. The game's water effects were also appreciated. Overall, many reviewers commented that, at the time, it was one of the best-looking PlayStation 3 games available. Further to the graphical aspects, both facial animation and the animation of characters, such as Drake's "fluid" animations as he performs platforming sections were noted, although the wilder animations of enemies reacting to being shot were over-animated "to perhaps a laughable degree".
Criticism of the game included some graphical issues, such as texture pop-in and screen tearing. Of more concern were gameplay issues, including overall gameplay length being rather short, with reviewers completing the game in anywhere from six to ten hours, and some disappointment with the "not particularly memorable" vehicle sections; the inability to both fire weapons and drive the jet-ski was a well-noted issue. Further, some "frustrating, repetitive slogs" with regards to the "constant stream" of pirates and mercenaries, and "moving from one infuriating firefight to the next" towards the end of the game were cited as part of poorer elements of overall gameplay.
Uncharted received several accolades from web review sites such as Kotaku and IGN, who named it their PlayStation 3 game of the year. The game went on to sell one million copies after its first ten weeks of retail, and later became one of the first batch of titles to be released as part of Europe's budget Platinum range of best-selling titles.
Sony announced at E3 2009 that Uncharted: Drake's Fortune has sold over 2.6 million copies worldwide and was a hit for the PlayStation 3.