Uncharted: Golden Abyss Review

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Posted: 10 days ago, last updated 8 days ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer.

OverviewOverview

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is an action-adventure game. It's a spin-off of the Uncharted series, although also a substantial experience in its own right that features the series protagonist, Nate. As with the other games you explore, run, jump and shoot your way through a blockbuster adventure with voice acted scenes interspersing the action and a focus on character and narrative.

It takes place before the events of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Nathan Drake get embroiled in a search for the lost city of Quivira with fellow treasure hunter Marisa Chase. You follow clues left by Marisa's mentor, who succumbed to his illness. Along the way you encouter various allies and enemies along with an appearance from series-favourite Victor Sullivan.

You progress through the game by running, jumping, shooting and solving puzzle elements. It's a linear experience although there are some larger areas to explore as you want, including jungles, temple ruins, caverns and encampments. On Vita, the normal gamepad controls are joined by some touch-screen elements as well as the use of the motion detection for enhanced aiming (something that is available in later versions of the main game).

The result is a game that offers new and welcome innovations while also offer considerable open-world style exploration. Through the action we get foreshadowing of the nagging doubts Nate has about his treasure hunting obsession -- a questionable side of his character we will see play out fully in Uncharted 4.

DetailsGame Details

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 15/02/2012

Platforms: PlayStation Vita

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Developer: @Naughty_Dog

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 11 hours and 13 hours to complete. Although there are treasures to find in all the Uncharted games, The Golden Abyss offers more hidden items and the incentive of taking pictures of specific views. This makes it more likely to be played multiple times.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 16 because it features strong violence. Not suitable for persons under 16 years of age. Violence is realistic and involves both hand-to hand combat and the use of weapons, including guns and grenades. Blood effects occur when characters are shot. There is also use of bad language ('*!@?*', 'damn' and '*!@?*').

ESRB TEEN for Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes and Violence. As players explore tropical jungles and ancient ruins, they can use stealth moves (e.g., neck-snapping, chokeholds) and melee attacks to incapacitate armed thugs; some fights are highlighted by slow-motion effects and knife-stabbing (e.g., if players fail to match on-screen prompts, their character may get stabbed in the chest or neck). Players also use realistic pistols, machine guns, rocket launchers, and grenades to kill nearby enemies. Injured characters emit brief spurts of blood when shot, and one scene depicts blood stains inside an empty torture chamber. During the course of the game, some of the dialogue includes suggestive remarks (e.g., “If you show me yours, I'll show you mine,” “Don't rub too hard, they're gonna get excited,” and “You are looking a little stiff.”/"That's what Consuela said.”). In one sequence, players can walk through a manufacturing plant that depicts coca leaves and white powder on scales. The words “sh*t,” “b*tch,” and “a*shole” can be heard in dialogue.

AccessibilityAccessibility

There are difficulty and other settings but all menus can only be access via the touch screen. During play you also have to use the tilt controls and touchscreen (to swipe in a series of directions).

The Zoom Remember option in controls only applied to the magnification of scoped weapons.

When you are able to take a photo in the game an icon pops up. You are also guided in the right direction with colour coded Yellow or Flashing elements in the environment. There is an aim assistance that you can turn on.

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.

Adjustable Between Levels: You can adjust the difficulty between levels/rounds.

Assistance

Assistance When Stuck: The game notices if you get stuck and provides assistance, such as skipping levels, hints or tutorials.

Assistance With Controls: You can get the game to assist aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc.

Assistance With Direction: Indication of where to go next with arrows, cookie trail and the like.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

All Dialogue is Voiced: All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

One Motion Targeted: Play with touchscreen, tap and swipe or hold gesture.

Motion Controls Available: You can use motion controls, tilting the controller to steer for example.

Invert X/Y Axis: You can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming.

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Outline Interactive Elements: Characters, platforms and enemies can be outlined for visibility.

Audio Cues for Visual Events

Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events.

Audio Depiction of Event Location: Indication with stereo audio of where directional events are on the screen for things like damage, footsteps, environmental elements or way-finding.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Audio Events

Visual Cues for Audio Events: Text or other visual indicators of audio events.

Visual Depiction of Directional Audio: Indication on screen with arrows, icons, located colour splashes and the like, to show where directional audio for damage, footsteps, environmental or way-finding sounds are coming from.

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @GeekDadGamer


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