Uncharted: Golden Abyss PS Vita review

But enough of the touchy-feely stuff – although obviously not for Nate, who’s fluttering his big browns at yet another tasty biscuit – and on to the what, where and who. It’s most closely reminiscent of Drake’s Fortune – all jungles, temples and ruins as you follow in the footsteps of a centuries-old Spanish mission in Central America – and a fairly straightforward ‘get to the treasure before the men with the evil intentions’ plot.

But it’s typically well-told, with excellent voice acting and a boatload of nicely presented cut-scenes. The cast is a mix of old and new: Nolan North and Richard McGonagle are wisecracking as ever as Nate and Sully, but neither of the PS3 games’ lovely ladies have made the step to the small screen. Instead there’s Marisa Chase, a young treasure-hunter with family ties to the task at hand, who fits the existing template: young, likeable and a pleasure for Drake to follow as she shimmies up ropes.

The male cast members fare slightly less well. Your initial partner in-crime Jason Dante plays his role of irritating douche-nozzle just a tiny bit too well (although he’s fleshed out slightly more as the game goes on), while local warlord General Guerro is simultaneously a clichéd monster and maybe in the right the whole time, when you stop and think about it. So don’t do that. Enjoy the ride, taking in the death-defying leaps, over-the-shoulder shooting, white-water canoeing and stealth neck-snapping.

There’s no multiplayer on offer here, but what might keep you playing (if you’re a completist nutbar) is the bizarre trophy/collectible system. The set of 56 trophies on offer is not in itself weird, but the amount of things you need to do to get them is mind-boggling. 50 kills with a pistol? No problem. 138 mystery tasks to complete? Sorry, I’m, uh, washing my hair that night.

Counting these – which are things like taking pictures of certain locations or those aforementioned rubbings – plus treasures and bounties (for killing certain enemies) totals over 450 collectibles to find. Which is, to use the technical term, madder than a tumble-dried weasel.

And while not exactly a problem in itself, this padding is the game’s biggest flaw. Because although it’s enjoyable from start to nearly finish, the game’s 11-or-so-hour running time (told you it was fully-fledged) is about two hours too long. The last sections just recycle the same set-pieces and environments, dragging out the run-up to a conclusion that, although fitting, comes more as a relief than a busting great climax.

It’s an issue that detracts from the game as a whole, halting momentum just as it should be building. And yet Golden Abyss’ qualities mean it’s still what we’d hoped: Vita’s best launch title, and a fine way to start its life. It just goes to show, there are no small heroes, only smaller screens.

Our Score

Score: 8
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