Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is an action adventure video game for the PlayStation 3 developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer entertainment. A third person perspective that combines action, adventure and 3D platforming.
The main protagonist is Nathan Drake, the descendant of the famous explorer Sir Francis Drake and with the help of his friend and mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan and the curious journalist Elena Fisher, he embarks on a journey to discover the lost treasure El Dorado.
Naughty Dog wanted to take maximum advantage of the new PlayStation 3 system, so they opted to leave the Jak and Daxter franchise behind and create something “fresh and interesting” and their inspiration was taken from movies such as Indiana Jones and National treasure, but also Movie serials and pulp magazines. Naughty Dog wanted the environments to be a lush and vibrant realistic world that encouraged exploration.
Aiming for a photorealistic character design, the artists portrayed Nathan Drake as resourceful and adamant hero with more human qualities and more relatable as an everyman character than most heavy duty armor-wielding heroes.
Uncharted has an action adventure platformer type third person view gameplay that takes full advantage of its features. The platforming aspect allows the player to climb, jump, scale along ledges and swing from ropes, that let Drake progress through the areas he explores. During combat, Nate can only carry one primary weapon (rifle) and one secondary weapon (pistol) at a time, and eventually grenades. He can also engage in a melee fight using combo attacks to take out foes.
There are also vehicle sections in a jeep and a jet ski where the player wields more powerful weapons.
The player can achieve medals (later trophies) by collecting treasures or accomplishing challenges, and in later playthroughs of the game, they can unlock special options and extras.
The game starts with Nathan “Nate” Drake uncovering the coffin of Sir Francis Drake from the ocean, with the help from Elena Fisher who is filming for a documentary. The coffin however, only had Sir Francis Drake’s diary with the map to El Dorado, the mythical city of gold. Their enthusiasm doesn’t last as they are attacked by pirated that followed Nate, but they manage to escape with the help of Sully. Nate and Sully double cross Elena leaving her behind as they follow the coordinates in drake’s diary. They find that El Dorado is actually a huge gold statue, but that it was taken long ago. Soon after they find an old wrecked U-boat where Nate finds a page of Drake’s diary pointing to an island where the statue is.
They are soon discovered by Gabriel Roman, a treasure collector Sully owes money to, accompanied by Atoq Navarro an archaeologist also searching for the statue and Eddy Raja, the leader of the pirates that attacked Nate. The heroes refuse to help and Roman then proceeds tho shoot Sullivan in the chest. Nathan manages to escape, running into Elena who followed him there.
Nathan and Elena then fly to the island where the statue was taken however, Eddy Raja’s pirates are already there. They fight their way through the island discovering more and more about the treasure, they find out that Sully survived the gunshot and rescue him. They finally discover that El Dorado is actually cursed, and that it somehow mutates humans into raging beasts with superhuman strength and speed.
With many turns of events Nate uncovers the truth that Sir Francis Drake actually died on the island stopping the curse from spreading and that Atoq Navarro knew about the curse all along and intended to sell the statue as a bio-chemical weapon. Nathan manages to save Elena and sink the El Dorado statue and Navarro along with it.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was unanimously praised by critics for its graphics and visuals, character depth and immersive gameplay, the few criticisms the game received was for the playthrough time being rather short and having some repetitive firefights.
It won several Game of the year awards and awards for best graphics technology and best original score.