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Uncharted: Golden Abyss Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Uncharted: Golden Abyss on the PS Vita delivers a solid action game full of large scale shoot outs and climbing. Sadly, this Sony Bend developed launch title is marred by a lack of variety in the environments and too many tacked-on mini-games. It may not be as ambitious as Uncharted 3, but Golden Abyss is yet another worthwhile chapter in Nathan Drake's increasingly travelogue. Rating: 71%
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
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Uncharted: Golden Abyss Uncharted: Golden Abyss Uncharted: Golden Abyss Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  • Review Score:

  • B
Look past the big name and beloved action hero, Uncharted: Golden Abyss is your typical launch game. It's a safe franchise everybody loves that shoehorns in all of the gimmicky functionality the system has to offer. It's not disappointing, but also not terribly inspired. It's the type of game that probably won't withstand the test of time. But even if that's the case, Sony's first portable Uncharted is a real winner that deserves to be in everybody's Vita library.

By now you know the formula. You play Nathan Drake, a quick-witted thrill seeker who adventures around the world searching for lost cities and hidden treasure. This time around our hero has been hired to advise on what seems to be a routine exploration through Central America. But things go bad when Drake's partner, a real slime ball named Dante, double crosses Nate. Now it's up to Drake and a brand new female sidekick, Chase, to track down the bad guys, uncover the mysteries and locate buried treasure.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita)

While Uncharted 3 was ready to take Nathan around the globe, Golden Abyss feels a lot more isolated. Large portions of the game involve our team searching forests, large temples, small towns, cavers and more. Along the way you'll take scenic boat rides and snap pictures of the old religious symbols. It's not until half way through the game that you actually move from one significant location to the next, and even then it looks a lot like the rest of your Central American vacation.

But don't let the smaller scale fool you; there are still a lot of exciting moments sprinkled throughout this 34 chapter adventure. At the end of the game I felt like I had a full Uncharted experience, even if there aren't as many impressive set pieces as previous outings. Best of all, all of the funny writing and voice acting is brought into this impressive Vita launch title.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita)

In a lot of ways the game mechanics are exactly the same. Your time is split between solving platforming puzzles and having large shoot-outs with a variety of bad guys. But don't get too comfortable, because there are a lot of new touch-based elements that show off the Vita's functionality. Quick time events that used to use button presses now require the simple swipe of the screen, items can be rotated with the back touch and even aiming allows players to use the Vita's motion capabilities.

Some of these touch-based mini-games work better than others. There are a bunch of puzzles that have you piecing together ripped up newspapers and maps. One of the large scale puzzles has you moving giant statues with your fingers. These are examples of this type of game being improved with a touch screen. Unfortunately, there is an even longer list of inane tasks that seem to pop up far too often. You'll use your finger to clean tools and weapons, pick up weapons with a simple tap, take pictures of landmarks, trace tombstones and more. It's there to show you what this brand new system can do, not enhance the overall experience of the adventure.
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