Previews

Games of 2012 - Uncharted: Golden Abyss

New console and a new adventure for young Drake...

No game showcases the raw power of Vita quite like Golden Abyss.

This is the full Uncharted experience on a handheld - not some compromised spin-off. It's got the huge vistas, cinematic cutscenes and seamless blend of combat and exploration that defines the series. Except now you're playing it on a screen no larger than a ham sandwich, possibly on the toilet.

It's set years before the first Uncharted and sees a young Drake searching the jungles of Central America for a Spanish expedition that went missing four centuries ago. Exactly why he's so interested in these guys has yet to be revealed, but you can bet your antique coin horde that treasure is involved.

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It's not a prequel, though - SCE Bend Studio (better known as creators of the Syphon Filter series) have stressed this in every interview about the game. It's a completely standalone story, and won't interfere with Naughty Dog's main series in any profound way.

As in the main series, cutscenes are acted out in a motion capture studio. Nolan North, of course, returns as our hero, and two brand new characters have been revealed: an old pal of Drake's called Jason Dante, and a potential love interest named Marisa Chase. Expect the same level of emotional engagement that makes the PS3 games so compelling.

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Sony are, wisely, releasing Uncharted as a Vita launch title. It's the perfect way to show what the new hardware is capable of, with clever use of Vita's touchscreens and motion sensors. If the new developers can capture Naughty Dog's irresistible magic, we'll be falling in love with Drake all over again.

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