Top 100 of 2012: 4 – Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Uncharted: Golden Abyss’ status as a prequel seems somehow less interesting in the wake of Uncharted 3. Sure, we’re seeing another of Nate’s adventures and that’s all well and good, but with Uncharted 3 covering a lot of the background between Sully and Drake the idea of something set before Drake’s Fortune is less instantly intriguing.

On the other hand I’m sure many will be more than happy to get to grips with another of Drake’s adventures, even if the game doesn’t come directly from Naughty Dog. That’s right, the wizards of Santa Monica aren’t directly responsible for the Vita title’s development but don’t let that put you off; they are overseeing the team over at SCE’s Bend Studio. Bend have a good pedigree of working on portable games, having spent a lot of time with the Syphon Filter series and its PSP titles as well as Resistance: Retribution, the first portable game in the series.

If you haven’t heard much about Golden Abyss before, it’s worth noting that Bend haven’t just shoe-horned a scaled back version of the series on the portable console. In fact it’s fairly safe to say that this latest Uncharted easily competes with its PS3 based siblings. Nothing’s been trimmed to get the game working on the Vita, it sits at around the ten hour mark and back in June Blair remarked that it had the graphical sheen that has come to be expected from the PS3 entries in the series.

In fact, not only has nothing been cut back to get it to fit onto the Vita, but features have been added to take account of what the hardware has to offer. This centers largely around the machine’s touch capabilities, although motion controls have been refined and revamped. With the touch screen you can control Drake’s climbing, although the normal analogue based controls remain. The back touch pad also gets some love, being used for controlling the sniper rifle’s zoom amongst other things.

What Bend and Naughty Dog have been keen to stress about the touch controls is that they’re an extra, something to make use of the Vita’s capabilities. Whether you want to use these new controls is entirely up to you, if you feel more comfortable with playing the game as if you were holding a DualShock 3 then you’re free to play that way. There’s a number of Vita games that have taken this approach to touch controls and it’s refreshing to not have the functionality shoved down our collective throat.

Of course the game is out in Japan now, having launched alongside the console. There’s a trickle of English language coverage coming from those who have taken the plunge and imported a copy, along the with a Vita to play it on. Initial reports are positive, and it seems likely that Golden Abyss will be elevated to “must buy” status for those picking up Sony’s new portable.

15 Comments

  1. Had a feeling this would be the highest placed Vita game. Really looking forward to this although not too keen on the touch-to-climb controls, but if they’re optional then that’s fine. A must buy for whenever I get a Vita. Am really struggling to think of the top 3 now though, surely Bioshock Infinte is up there.

    • Couldnt have said it better…wonder what number 1 is? Last year they dropped journey, it was the first time I had heard of it. Hope it’s a newbie :-)

      • I know I’m being really hopeful but PES2013 hasn’t been listed yet :). My guess is either Bioshock or Tomb Raider for no.1 though.

      • i’d make a guess at GTA 5

  2. The motion stuff where you tilt the device when going on a log or something was taken out of Uncharted 2 for a reason. The motion and touch stuff in this game is the sort of features you try once and show a friend or someone, and then don’t want to use again.

    Even after all this negativity, I’m really quite looking forward to this game

  3. Really want this game, its uncharted after all, but gonna wait for the price of PSVita to drop first tho

  4. Sounds great. Not sure about the vita yet, due to the price. Hope it doesn’t fail due to me and seemingly many other people thinking that. Uncharted sounds great though, although not sure about the tilty stuff.

  5. I don’t think I’ll be able to splash out on a Vita por moi until 2013, but I hope I can see this in the flesh soon on someone else’s! It’s a massive shame this Uncharted doesn’t have multiplayer though, a big whopping shame.

  6. Surely this is technically a 2011 game? :D

    Considering officially it was released in 2011 in Japan but anyway it’s the one game i’ll definately be getting with my Vita.

    • We’re a UK site, we do UK release dates for these (See Ni No Kuni for a massive example)

  7. Wouldn’t be surprised to see this topping sales lists for the Vita but personally it’s a title I couldn’t be less interested in.
    To suck me in, I want new ideas on Vita, not franchises shrunken from PS3.

    • This, all of this. I can’t believe this got this high, no one is seriously looking forward to this more than ME3, or many other lower placed games.

      • Speak for yourself. Personally I’m looking forward to Uncharted waaaaaay more so than ME3. Admittedly my top 10 would be a little different to TSA’s but that’s the way it goes.

  8. it looks bloody good, but as i’d need a Vita to play it, it probably won’t be a 2012 game for me.
    hopefully i’ll get a vita before the end of 2013 though.
    and when i do, this will be high up on the list of games i want.

  9. On the one hand this is the type of game i want to play on the Vita but i’m not as excited about it as i was before i played UC3.

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