As a game, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
is equal part FPS and platformer. That's not to say that the game tries to hide its roots: this is a game that, just like Nathan himself, knows exactly where its roots lie. Think Lara Croft meets Marcus Fenix and you'd be fairly close.
The platformer parts of the game are pure Tomb Raider
and see you leaping across deep chasms and dangling from your fingertips in a way that Ms. Croft would be proud of. Mercifully, the control system lies somewhere between the pixel-perfection required in Tomb Raider: Anniversary
and the almost automatic control used in Assassin's Creed
There are times when you'll find yourself dangling from a crumbling precipice but the game always gives you plenty of time to react. On those occasions when you get distracted and fall, checkpoints are frequent enough that you shouldn't find yourself replaying too much of the game to catch up. What's more, most checkpoints occur just before your leaping skills are called upon, so at worst you'll usually find yourself having to start jumping all over again.
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If you ever get really stuck, the game has a hint system that will make suggestions once you've been wandering aimlessly for a couple of minutes. These aren't obvious hints and you won't see a big arrow saying "jump here". Instead, the camera will pan around and point in the general direction of where you should be heading. It's a useful little feature that means that you're never really stuck for long, and helps keep up the frenetic pace of the game.
The whole thing harks back to other classic platformers, like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
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One innovation in the control system is the way that the SixAxis controller is used when Nathan walks across narrow bridges or fallen trees. Nathan teeters along these with his arms outstretched to keep his balance – something which is achieved by tilting the controller in the right direction.
So, if Nathan is leaning to the left, tilt the controller to the right to keep his balance. It's a nice little touch, and is actually quite intuitive: most people unconsciously tilt the controller in moments like this, and Naughty Dog has cleverly turned this into part of the gameplay.
SixAxis isn’t over-used either thankfully, so it never turns into a gimmick that feels like it's just in the game to showcase the SixAxis' capabilities.