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Sony Gamers Day 2007: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

2:25 AM on 05.17.2007 // Robert Summa
  @summaaftershow

Billed as the next big thing by developer Naughty Dog, there really hasn't been much said or known about the actual gameplay of the PlayStation 3-exclusive Uncharted: Drakes Fortune.

At last, I was able to get my hands on the game rather than just see the pretty little pictures in various gaming mags. And what did I come away with? Well, I like to think of it as the game King Kong could have been -- not sure why, but this thought kept invading my mind as I played throughout the demo.

Set in a similar environment -- a dense jungle -- Uncharted is smooth, beautiful, extremely cinematic, but full of early bugs. While its third-person view and gameplay mechanics are nearly flawless, the actual hit-boxes of the enemies and linear feel of the game could use some tweaking.

For example, when you hit an enemy in the head, it's no different then hitting them with a well-placed shot to the pinkie toe. Bottom line, if I get a head shot, I should be rewarded with such skill. Also, while the world was quite the looker, the closed-off, extremely linear feel didn't exactly tingle my brain as much as it should have.

We must keep in mind it's still early, but if Naughty Dog can clean up the last little bits of dirt sprinkled throughout, then the PS3 will have a very solid adventure title on its hands.

Facts after the jump. 

Photo Gallery:   (you can use your arrow keys)


 

OVERVIEW

Developed by the studio that brought blockbuster hit franchises Crash Bandicoot™ and Jak & Daxter® to PlayStation fans, Naughty Dog Inc.’s, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is the first game in a new fast-paced action-adventure franchise developed exclusively for the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system.

Taking full advantage of the power of PS3, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is developed using proprietary technology that promises to impress players with incredibly realistic characters and lifelike environments. Building on its legacy of extraordinary storytelling, Naughty Dog has created an elaborate plot that will have players guessing at every turn.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, brings players into a world ripe with realism and unexpected juxtapositions.  A fallible hero akin to those depicted in pulp-adventure genre films, Nathan Drake brings a humanity and believability never seen before in video gaming, enabled entirely through PS3 technology advancements.


STORYLINE

A 400-year-old clue in the coffin of Sir Francis Drake sets a modern-day fortune hunter on an exploration for the fabled treasure of El Dorado, leading to the discovery of a forgotten island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 

The search turns deadly when Nathan Drake becomes stranded on the island and hunted by mercenaries. Outnumbered and outgunned, Drake and his companions must fight to survive as they begin to unravel the terrible secrets hidden on the Island.

GAME FEATURES

Using maps and ancient artifacts, uncover clues and unravel mysteries to find a forgotten island and a treasure that was thought to have never existed.
Explore exotic locations. Traverse through living jungles and spectacular 400-year-old ruins.
Drake’s companions and allies play an important role in the adventure through cooperative mechanics, gun play and exploration.
Experience fast-paced gunplay: use a variety of environmental elements for cover, shoot enemies off of moving vehicles in high speed chases and more.
Use an array of hand-to-hand fighting moves to put your enemy off balance. Anything from wild haymaker punches to running drop-kicks.
Naughty Dog's advanced animation techniques allow Nathan to switch seamlessly between movements and achieve a whole new level of believability in gameplay. Nathan can reload his weapon while dodging bullets and find cover behind a wall, all in one smooth natural motion.
Characters express lifelike emotion using gesture and facial expression through the use of Naughty Dog’s proprietary Wrinkle Mapping Facial Animation system.
High-definition range lighting delivers full floating point color calculations yielding an unequaled level of realism and detail. Hyper realistic water through physics based Wave Simulation paired with cutting edge Refraction/Reflection rendering techniques. Utilizing next generation rendering techniques such as Bump Mapping, Parallax Mapping, Blend Shaders, Global Illumination, Runtime Shadows and Real Time Shadows, Naughty Dog has created a vibrant living environment.

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Robert Summa, Contributor
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