Uncharted: Golden Abyss Review

A few months ago, I decided to purchase the Uncharted 4 Bundle for Playstation 4. I received a custom-skinned limited edition PS4 skinned with Uncharted graphics. I also received a copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. It’s my very first Uncharted game and I’ve enjoyed it a lot so far.

Which brings me to the first Uncharted game I actually have completed which is Uncharted: Golden Abyss available on the PS Vita for $14.99.

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Uncharted: Golden Abyss brings us onto another Nathan Drake adventure. Nathan is helping his friend Dante explore the ruins of an ancient city filled with gold (The Golden Abyss) to find treasure. He ends up meeting Chase, a girl who inherited her grandfather’s love of history.

Nathan and Chase develop a friendly romance. I find Nathan and Chase to be pretty likeable characters – likeable enough that I actually care about helping Chase carry on her grandfather’s legacy or help Nathan help Chase (which he does – a lot). Chase initially refuses to engage in combat or arm herself in the beginning of the game. Thus, there’s a lot of saving Chase that goes on which was a bit annoying.

For most of the game, Chase will only hide behind rocks during combat so you’ll have to fend off most of the enemies yourself. You also can’t let her die. This is in contrast to Elena in Uncharted 4, who’s a complete – I’ll just say it – badass. Chase is charming in her own way however, but that also brings me to how no one really knows how she or Dante fit into the Nathan Drake story. The whole plot of Golden Abyss seems to be just a random episode of Nathan Drake’s life.

But who plays a video game for the story, huh? :o)

What I Liked:

Fun Mechanics: There’s still the trademark shimmying and climbing that comes with the Uncharted series. On the PS vita, you can actually trace your finger across a series of ledges so you don’t have to press X each time to jump.

PS Vita Interactions: There are parts where you have to interact with the rear touch pad of your PS Vita to uncover clues or you’ll use the touchscreen to wipe dirt off a dusty artifact. There was one part where I had to hold up the PS Vita to my phone’s flashlight because of ‘invisible ink’. Although other reviewers found these features to be inconvenient or cheesy, I really enjoyed it. I play video games for the experience and to become immersed in another world, and these interactions helped me feel like I was in an actual adventure.

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The Graphics: The graphics in this game do not disappoint with Uncharted’s trademark breathtaking and lush landscapes filled with waterfalls and greenery. It almost compared to the PS4 graphics which is saying a lot for a handheld console that’s meant to be a companion to the PS3.

Also, the graphics on the PS Vita are beautiful. I used Remote Play for Uncharted 4 to my PS Vita and it almost took my breath away how clear the graphics looked on my PS Vita.

What I Didn’t Like: 

However, out of all the games I’ve played on the PS Vita, Uncharted has the most bugs and glitches which are enough to lower the replay value for me. I experienced a game-breaking bug that you can see in this video here:

Basically, if you retreat from combat in this stage, the enemies stop appearing and you can’t progress. I spent about fifteen minutes trying to figure out what was wrong before looking up a walkthrough and realizing. Then I had to restart the checkpoint.

There were also glitches with climbing too, where Nathan refuses to grab a certain ledge and you just have to press X repeatedly or wait a few minutes for him to grab it.

There were multiple glitches too with poor Sully (po’ thang). For instance, there’s a part where Sully has to help you climb up a building but he was stuck behind a rock and you had to restart the checkpoint. There’s also another part where Sully is supposed to run after and follow you but he also gets stuck behind another piece of debris.

Although the bugs somewhat hindered my enjoyment of the game, it’s not surprising because the PS Vita tends to not receive as much support from game developers as other consoles.

I also didn’t like Dante’s character. He’s your first sidekick in the game and in the first stages he makes the most snide comments.

In Conclusion:

All-in-all, Uncharted is fun and well worth the cost. Even though there are bugs, it’s still worth at least one play throughout. With a good storyline, likeable characters, fun gameplay and crisp graphics, this would be a great pick for your library.

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