Uncharted is what most would consider the flagship title for the Vita and with good reason. The franchise is an absolute staple for Sony, coming from studio Naughty Dog. The Vita version of the game, Uncharted: Golden Abyss feels pretty close to its big brother in terms of production values. You’ve got Nolan North reprising his role as Nathan Drake and rockin the half-tuck.
The story takes you on the hunt to understand some ancient markings which seem to be in a place they shouldn’t be and of course lead Drake on a trail for treasure. The action should feel familiar, it’s a careful mix of running, jumping, and climbing with some light puzzle solving all split up between 3rd person shooting sequences.
The Vita is showcased here in many cases utilizing things like the motion sensor to balance on logs, the touch screen to draw a path up walls for climbing, and the rear touch pad to go hand over hand up ropes. Honestly, some of these methods DO work well, especially the drawing a climbing path. I’ve heard some folks complain that they feel tacked on, but I really think they were well thought out. Best of all they are all entirely optional, with everything supporting traditional dual analog controls if need be.
Graphically the game may be the best on the system, giving Wipeout 2048 a run for it’s money. The character models are incredibly smooth, animations are slick, and the colors and enviornments are rich with detail. You’ll have a hard time believing this is coming out of a 5” device a little bigger than your phone. Seriously these screenshots don't even do the game justice. It just looks absolutely stunning in motion.
If there’s a downside to Golden Abyss, it’s the lack of options outside of the single player game. There’s a “black market” which utilizes the Near application to trade items acquired in game, but there’s no multiplayer or co-op to speak of. Even at the extra expensive $50 price of this game, I’m going to recommend picking this up. It just feels that good to me despite a few minor annoyances.
Score: 4 out of 5