Until the day comes when there is no distinction between handheld consoles and home systems a mobile gaming production will never have to it the same depth and the same graphical quality that a home console game has. That isn't to say that handheld games are no good - there are some absolutely cracking titles out there, but none of them have the quality to them that they would have if they were freed from the technical barriers of the handheld. Thankfully the gap is narrowing and with Vita on the horizon we are beginning to see titles that are looking more and more like they have been made for the PS3 itself - a prime example of this being Uncharted: Golden Abyss. With Naughty Dog working full time on Drake's Deception another team has stepped in to take the reins; Oregon-based Sony Bend, the company responsible for Resistance Retribution on the PSP. Utilising their already proven skill with portable Sony hardware Sony Bend have produced for us a brand new Uncharted title, a story taking place before Drake's Fortune, that fits in alongside the current series and returns to the jungle scene familiar to players of the first game. This time around Drake will be travelling to the jungles in order to follow "the murderous trail of an ancient and secret Spanish sect" to investigate the massacre of a Spanish expedition 400 years ago. "Caught in the middle of a rivalry between Jason Dante - his old friend - and Marisa Chase - the granddaughter of an archeologist who has mysteriously vanished without a trace - Nathan Drake races into the treacherous river basins, undiscovered temple ruins and karst caverns of Central America in search of a legendary lost city, only to find himself pushed to the edge of the Golden Abyss". For a handheld game the visual results that the developers have produced are stunning. The game really does a great job of imitating the environment style of Uncharted 1 with jungle scenes seen in the available footage feeling alive and packed with small details - things that in past games would have been plain textures are now models, and some beautiful dynamic lighting has been pulled off. Character models are beautifully done with Drake looking very much like his console-going self, his half-tucked shirt in place and characteristic swagger animated just as well as all the other host of movements he can pull off in fantastically animated style.
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment