Review: Uncharted Golden Abyss


The PS Vita has quickly become one of my favourite consoles. From the simple puzzle games, to the inevitable Wipeout title, the experience of PS3 graphics on a handheld is something that I have totally got on board with. The launch titles have been strong, but the key is to have one title that makes people say, “I have to get one of these.” Uncharted: Golden Abyss is aiming to be that game.

The game begins with the standard plot device of a flashback that allows players a chance to play with the controls and combat a bit before launching into the main game. After this our hero, Nathan Drake, begins his adventure with a new colleague, Jason Dante, a slimy manipulative mercenary who has stumbled onto an interesting dig site and needs Drake to make sense of his findings. Naturally, after only a few minutes everything sours and Drake is left fighting a whole country of ethnic stereotypes, babysitting a wannabe adventurer and dealing with more double crossing than a transvestite on Mardi Gras.

I regret nothinnnnggg!

Surprisingly, the story isn’t half bad, and though it can get a tad repetitive with a lot of the same climb, run and shoot sections you have seen in every previous Uncharted title, the game manages to maintain interest, even in the slowest of moments. Uncharted: Golden Abyss uses the Vita’s new features well: players will be touching, sliding and tilting the console a lot, which does help break up the gameplay nicely and offers some interesting puzzles and interaction, showing users that these functions will not be wasted gimmicks; they’re actually useful tools. Collectibles are everywhere and, after a solid 10 hours of gameplay, I had only collected about 20 percent of the available items. This leaves a lot of space for replayability for completionists such as myself.

Combat is where the game shines the strongest. For people like me that were wary of a handheld console with dual analog sticks, the game plays just like a PS3 title. The buttons feel natural and the use of the gyro to assist aiming gives the unit a whole new level of user-friendliness. Players can duck over cover or perfect their aiming when they miss by a few millimetres, literally by tilting the unit slightly, turning what could have been a wild volley of fire to a simple headshot, with only a few minutes of practice.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss truly proves the potential of the PS Vita. Every part of this game has been thought out and Sony has done well to pick this as its flagship title. The game is a solid length, has fun and unique gameplay, and delivers a beautiful and seamless graphical experience that’s almost on par with its PS3 origins. PS Vita owners must get this title and people sitting on the fence need only play this for a short time to understand the buzz behind it. It is a truly extraordinary game and a milestone for handheld gaming.


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Joshua Philpott

Tech MacGyver
Games writer, podcaster and tech wizard. Obsessed with obscure horror films, crazy gadgets and caffeine. Passionate, argumentative and open minded. Freelance writer and co-founder rawDLC.

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