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May 22 2007
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
6/12/2007SonySonyNaughty Dog
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$109.95
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Graphics are quite superb.
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Just hanging around an ancient ruin.

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Cut-scenes are superb.
Naughty Dog are a company that should need no introduction - but in case you've been on the International Space Station for the last decade let me fill you in. During the PSOne era the company developed a series called Crash Bandicoot which, for a number of years until Vivendi claimed the rights, was seen as a mascot on Sony's platform. When the PS2 came out the development team moved onto Jak & Daxter which was equally stunning - both critically and commercially. With Sony's third generation system is here now and Naughty Dog are back with an all new, and sensational looking, game for us to fall in love with.

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Have you ever seen better looking jungles?
The storyline in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is as follows... 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, who believes he is a descendent of the famed explorer, 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.

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Manning the gun on the jeep.
As you can see this is primarily a third person action adventure game. There are three main gameplay elements. The first is the hand to combat in which Nathan will be able to due it out with enemies. This won't be basic jabs to enemies either as he will be able to throw anything from wild haymaker punches to running drop-kicks. The other main form of combat is the gunplay. Nathan will be able to use a variety of environmental elements for cover, shoot enemies off of moving vehicles in high speed chases and more. Thanks to the wonderful animation engine Nathan can reload his gun while ducking for cover, or running around the levels all with silky smooth motion.

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Remind you of any other games?
Much of the game though revolves around exploration and traversing through the lush jungles. We've seen Nathan jumping across large ravines, swing across ruins while hanging onto vines, climb up and down walls and scamper across a range of obsticles. Throughout the game you will need to use maps and ancient artifacts in order to uncover clues and unravel mysteries. Drake's companions and allies play an important role in the adventure through cooperative mechanics, gun play and exploration.

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Uncharted includes fist fighting too!
Graphically Uncharted: Drake's Fortune looks sensational - this is certainly an indication of the true power of the PS3 and is certain to be a benchmark upon its release later this year. The developers are using a massive list of visual effects to have you drooling including Bump Mapping, Parallax Mapping, Blend Shaders, Global Illumination, Runtime Shadows and Real Time Shadows. But what does all this mean? Well everything from the glorious cut-scenes, to the realistic texturing in the levels, to the smallest butterflies fluttering around everything gels together perfectly to set new benchmarks. Having said that, there really are two standout areas which we really wanted to emphasise

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Taking cover behind the wall.
The first is the animation system which looks more realistic and fluid then we've seen in any other game. The main character scurries over rocks, swings from ledge to ledge, ducks for cover and jumps over chasims like few other heroes. The other area whihch really impressed us was the water. Few games have had more realistic water running through the levels. It looks as clear as glass but as soon as someone walks into the water realistic ripples are created and move out from the character. The developers have even implemented a detailed reflection and refraction system for added realism! It's gorgeous but one of dozens of neat touches in the game.

Naughty Dog have one of the best track records in the industry. Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter are household names now and while there isn't any strange looking mascots or creatures in this game it promises to be every bit as impressive. Expect a release in time for Christmas 2007.