Date Completed: 9/25/2012
My wife was kind enough to get me a Playstation Vita for my Birthday this year. I was very excited to try out my new console but the only game I had for it initially was Uncharted : Golden Abyss. I had just finished playing through Uncharted 3 I wasn’t feeling up for another Uncharted game at the time so I sadly decided to postpone the experience. A few months passed and my poor neglected Vita gathered dust and was jumped on by toddlers. I bought a hard clamshell case with a child-proof latch to protect it from my boys. For extra security I kept the Vita stored safely on a high shelf behind a pile of distractingly intresting things where they were unlikely to find it. After the hand-hating controls of Kid Icarus I was ready for something with dual analog sticks so I finally retrieved my neglected Vita from the top shelf, charged it back up and gave Uncharted : Golden Abyss a try.
Uncharted : Golden Abyss is a mobile Uncharted, which is awesome, but it’s also a tech demo for every piece of technology Sony threw into the Vita. Uncharted is played with the same controls as its big brothers on the PS3 but players may also optionally use the touch screen, rear touch panel and/or gyro controls for certain portions of the game. Without exception the traditional controls gave a better game play experience so I used them whenever possible. There are a few times in the game that require the touch screen such as when Drake creates a charcoal rubbing or wipes the dirt off of some artifact he found. Some of the puzzles are actual, literal puzzles, and you arrange the pieces using the touch screen. I’ll be honest, I actually enjoyed some of the puzzles and charcoal rubbing parts of the game. The controls were far more comfortable than anything on the 3DS.
The story of this game takes place prior to the events of Uncharted. Drake has apparently been hired by some dubious characters to search for treasure on the property of other dubious characters all of whom are backed up by giant armies staffed by dubious characters. Not to give away too much of the plot or everything, but before the game is over Drake will kill EVERYONE. Everyone dead. Armies wiped out. Countries depopulated. Drake is a bad man. During all of the mass-murdering mayhem Drake meets Marisa Chase, who is continuing the research of her missing Grandfather. The plot has the normal twists and turns and the idle moments are filled with the semi-witty banter that Uncharted fans know and love.
Having most recently played my 3DS I found that the graphics looked amazing, although I thought the colors looked a bit off. Most of the graphics appeared to have come straight out of the original PS3 Uncharted game so it might have been I was used to them looking differently on my TV set. I’ve also heard that OLED displays such as the one in the Vita have color saturation issues (whatever that means) so it’s possible that is what I was detecting. After I got used to the colors I didn’t notice any issues. The screen is large, clear and bright and it looks great.
Uncharted wouldn’t be Uncharted without treasure hunting side quests. Golden Abyss has so many hidden treasures that I felt overwhelmed looking for them all. There are charcoal rubbings, turquoise carvings, statues, photographs and bounties that can be collected at various points through the missions. It was too much for me so I didn’t bother to look for everything on my first time through the game. I plowed through and enjoyed the ride. I plan on going back through the game later for my Platinum Trophy and I’ll use a guide to help find everything. There is a lot to look for.
I’d say Uncharted : Golden Abyss is just as good as the original Uncharted game for the PS3. It’s not quite as enjoyable as Uncharted 2 or 3 but it’s still a high quality title and I am very happy with my first full gaming experience on the Vita.
- Portable Mass-Murder Simulator.
- Overwhelmingly high amount of treasure to find.
- Serves as a tech-demo of Vita hardware capabilities.
- More similar to original Uncharted than more recent titles.