Charted! – Hard

Uncharted: Golden Abyss • PlayStation Vita

Today I completed the Uncharted franchise’s PlayStation Vita effort: Uncharted: Golden Abyss. It’s a fun little romp through Naughty Dog’s imagining of heritage-rich South America, and it maintains the same look, feel and gameplay that has made the series a favourite for PS3 owners.

Golden Abyss is a standout title for the Vita. In the few games that I’ve played on Sony’s handheld, I’ve been somewhat perplexed by the volume of second-rate PC indie game ports, versus dedicated development such as this. The latest addition to the Vita catalogue, Killzone: Mercenary, shows the level of ingenuity and quality that can be milked from Sony’s handheld masterpiece.

The Hard completion of Golden Abyss was a walk-in-the-park compared to the same difficulties on the PS3. Navigating tricky ledges is made idiot-proof thanks to the touchpad, with even the most complicated gun battles taking, at best, only 4-5 attempts. A few glitches, particularly when scrambling up and down rock faces required the occasional ‘Restart from Checkpoint’ solution, but the frequent auto-save limited the inconvenience.

This was a good game. I’ve started another dabble in a few select chapters on Very Easy to try and collect some missed secrets, photos and charcoal rubbings, but I have had some difficulty solving these puzzles and, while this is a solid gaming package, I will probably get sick of the game before I complete them. No matter how much I love adventuring with Nathan Drake, there’s only so many times you can push through a story only to have a cutscene close off an area behind you that may have had that treasure …

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