Review of Uncharted Golden Abyss for PS Vita

Does Nathan Drake’s rope swinging, mountain climbing and thug shooting shenanigans carry over well to the PS Vita? Read on to find out!

Story: Nathan and his “buddy” Dante go on an adventure that ends with Fidel castro look-alike Guerro stealing both Dante’s female assistant (Chase) and a valuable sword. So Nathan pairs up with Sully to get both the blade and the girl back.

Sound: Music is awesome, making the explosive chase scenes and dangerous climbs all feel like an excerpt from Indiana Jones. Characters themselves are enjoyable for the most part, but some dialogue early on is downright stupid (ex. “Did I say that?” response “Yes, you did say that”). Thankfully, that all evaporates away the minute Sully joins the adventure, at about the halfway point. Seriously, he was making hilarious that’s what she said jokes as he’s paddling for his life over a waterfall. In conclusion, Sully rocks. Sound: 8.5/10

Presentation: Lots of cutscenes, and a pretty involved story that makes you feel attached to the situation. As to be expected with a Vita title, the graphics blew me away, resembling a palm-sized PS3 on an HDTV. Presentation: 9/10

Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty similar to the previous console Uncharted games, consisting primarily of shooting down thugs with awkward gunplay and scaling cliffs with simplistic platforming. The formula works, and the auto-aim that is granted whenever a gun is zoomed is helpful for accuracy. But that’s not what makes this Uncharted adventure unique, the touchscreen mechanics are. You can use the touchscreen for just about everything, ranging from fist-combat with enemies to traversing cliffs with the swipe of a fingertip. It makes the easy platforming even easier and makes hand-to-hand combat a blast. The other impressive Vita features are charcoal rubbings (fun little diversions) and holding the handheld up to a light to reveal hidden on-screen symbols. I’m pretty sure the developers put that in just to say “we’re never going to do that again, but we can”. The only minor hindrance in gameplay is that everything looks alike, making navigation to the next area a hassle occasionally. Gameplay: 8.5/10

Multiplayer: N/A

Length: Being a story mode only game, the expectance for a mediocre five hour adventure was high. Instead, it ended at about the ten hour mark being impressively long with no filler whatsoever. This definitely raises the bar for what I expect from future Vita games. Length: 9/10

Overall: Golden Abyss gets an 8.8 out of 10, being a great prequel to the series and a display of what Vita games should be.

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