When you compare the PlayStation Vita’s launch lineup to any other system’s release, it’s easy to see how awesome gamers have it today. With an Uncharted game at launch for a new portable handheld, you can’t go wrong. Two years ago, we all would have thought the notion to be way more than a little farfetched. Although it still remains skeptical how anyone can charge $50.00 for a handheld title, Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a game that is more than worthy of your time if you happened to be one of the hardcore gamers that picked up a Vita at launch.
If you’ve been following most of the popular mainstream gaming news, you’ll find opinions being split between being completely disappointed from playing Uncharted on the Vita to being relatively satisfied. If you’re looking to play Uncharted on a portable system and don’t expect it to be the best in the series, you’ll be more than satisfied with this iteration.
The combat is the same you could expect from the past 3 games except for the fact that swiping is mandatory for the end of your normal melee encounters. This only becomes a problem if your preference is to stick strictly to the buttons. You can also add a final touch to your aiming with the Six Axis controls which can all be turned off in the options at any time. Climbing feels as if you’re playing on the PS3 with the added ability to utilize the touch screen interface as if this was made for mobile devices. This control scheme is completely as you can completely stick to classic controls.
In terms of the story and writing, you can definitely tell it’s not one of the main games. Even still, everything is in place to show that this is a genuine Uncharted. The voice actors you know and love are still there to play their parts, although the villains seem like they could definitely be forgettable. Talking about the writing, I found myself chuckling along with Nathan Drake and company’s remarks a lot more than I expected. This is not the epic story of Uncharted 2 and 3 but remember this is still a title on a portable system – not a full-fledged PlayStation 3 release.
There are an insane amount of treasures/collectables in this game – totaling to over 300. It becomes overwhelming but there is an attempt to keeps things fresh. You might need to chop down some bamboo patches by swiping the screen to unlock another path, take pictures of designated scenery with normal controls or via Six Axis, or use the touch screen to rub out some charcoal drawings after traversing through that alternate path. It keeps the search fresh and that becomes important when you have such an expansive amount of collectibles, on a handheld game nonetheless.
All in all, if you bought a Vita at launch, you owe it to yourself to give this game more than just a shot. When you finally decide to purchase a Vita later this year, you should still definitely look this one up. This is Uncharted in its handheld form that delivers in a way no other portable system would be able to handle its current generation franchises on the go. It’s obvious that the studio was forced to utilize all of the Vita’s features in the game but this by no means detracts from the overall experience. If you have or want a Vita, play Uncharted: Golden Abyss – one way or another.