Thursday, October 20, 2011

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Last night while I was attending the Uncharted 3 Live in 3d theater event, in Los Angeles, they showed off a segment of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, a Playstation Vita game. I had never heard of this game before, but I was thoroughly impressed by what it offers. Uncarted: Golden Abyss is a single player only game, much like the first Uncharted, with a very similar look of quality. It put's you into the shoes of Nathan Drake in another story of treasure hunting, gun fights and adventure. Everything about the game looks exactly like Uncharted, but of course with lesser graphics and technology. It also utilizes the PS Vita touch screen, many of the actions requiring touch. This game isn't being made by Naughty Dog, the Uncharted series developer, but by a company called SCE Bend Studio. The graphical quality of Golden Abyss is something that I never thought I would see on a handheld device, it is actually comparable to the first Uncharted game.  Behold..

As you can see, the level of graphical quality is fantastic. It shows the technological prowess of a device that seems to land somewhere between a  PS3 and PS2. That doesn't stop with just the look either, the animations and environmental effects are also top notch. Animations still hold that familiar Uncharted style, smooth and brutal. Like the rest of the series climbing is a main core of the gameplay and it the environment still reacts to your climbing, meaning that sometimes a foothold may break, or beams will fall, walls will crumble, all that good stuff. Combat seem's exactly what you would expect of an Uncharted game, lots of gun fighting with some sweet melee takedowns. Gun fighting uses the touch screen, having you touch where you want to fire, as does melee. Most of the gameplay mechanics require you to utilize the touch screen, but movement is thankfully left to non-touch screen controls. Many of the touch screen mechanics work like this; when you are in a situation where you can use something then the screen will highlight that action, generally just requiring you to touch. For instance, when you sneak up behind an enemy a fist pops up on the right side of the screen and once you hit that it will do a melee takedown. One last thing about the graphics, we got to see an environment with a lot of fire present and it was the best fire graphics I've seen on anything except for the PS3, Xbox 360 or PC. Fire wasn't just simple particles or some kind of pixelation trick, it was flowing, moving and realistic looking. With technology like this the Playstation Vita certainly seems to be the best next-gen handheld out there.

I've never cared much for any handheld game, except for maybe Harvest Moon or Pokemon when I was eleven, but if that Playstation Vita has the technology to produce games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, then I may have to consider it. Golden Abyss will come out with the release of the PS Vita, on February 22nd. The Vita will cost $250, which is absolutely crazy to me since the PS3 costs that much, but I believe the PSP was quite expensive as well. It looks like Vita games will have the base price of $40, at least at release. Thanks for reading and be back with more later.

-Written by Sean Cargle


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