Uncharted: Golden Abyss

 
Exciting action series now mobile but still violent.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a third-person adventure that focuses heavily on combat. As Nathan Drake, you can shoot enemies with guns, toss grenades, and even sneak up behind enemies to break their neck. As a result, it doesn't give a positive message to players about how a "hero" should act, but Nathan is doing heroic things.

Positive role models

Treasure hunter Nathan Drake uses all kinds of weapons and melee moves to maim and kill enemies. While he's fighting against a malevolent organization and he seems to be doing it out of necessity rather than pleasure, he's using violence to achieve his goals.

Ease of play

The game is easy to play, especially for those who are familiar with the console versions of Uncharted. Much of the action is controlled via the dual analog sticks and triggers, but players can also use the face buttons, touch screen, and rear sensor, too.

Violence

Much of the gameplay focuses on combat. Drake uses a number of weapons to kill enemies, such as pistols, shotguns, and grenades. Plus, he can sneak up behind baddies to put them in a choke-hold or snap their neck. Blood can sometimes be seen when enemies are shot.

Sex

There are a few suggestive remarks made by Drake and female characters, such as "if you show me yours, I'll show you mine," and "Don't rub too hard, they're gonna get excited."

Language

The game contains some profanity, including words like "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch" and "damn." In fact, Drake's first words in the game are "Son of a bitch, I'll see you in hell!"

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One scene shows cocaine on a scale, as well as people drinking and smoking. It's not a lot, and it's not the lead character's drugs (nor is he doing any), but it's in the game.

Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Sony says online content isn't rated, but it's unclear what downloadable content (DLC) will be available. It's a single-player game, but there will likely be DLC to expand the game universe.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a violent shooting game that, while not rated "Mature," still contains ample combat with realistic gun violence and blood. The protagonist can strangle enemies, snap their necks, toss grenades, or be stabbed. There is also some profanity in the game, sexual references, and images of narcotics (cocaine).

What's it about?

As with the console versions of the popular game series, UNCHARTED: GOLDEN ABYSS for the new, portable PlayStation Vita ("PS Vita") delivers the same cinematic, action-heavy gameplay, that is accompanied by platforming elements, puzzle-solving, and exploration. This third-person, single-player take once again follows Nathan Drake, a daring treasure hunter, who vows to uncover the dark secret behind the 400-year-old massacre of a Spanish expedition. Throughout the 30 levels, Drake attempts to find a legendary lost city in Central America, stumbles over a secret sect, and gets caught in a rivalry between his old friend Jason Dante and Marisa Chase, the granddaughter of a missing archeologist.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is worthy of the name Uncharted, but a little more time and care with the game could've made it an extraordinary adventure instead of just a good one. On one hand, Sony Bend's Uncharted: Golden Abyss delivers a number of thrilling moments, memorable sequences, and intense combat throughout big set pieces -- just like Naughty Dog's console versions of the game. The story is interesting, graphics are outstanding, and the orchestrated music is as good as the other games in the series. But the enemy artificial intelligence (A.I.) is quite dull, the frame rate takes a hit when there's a lot of action onscreen at the same time, and some of the touch screen mechanics are cumbersome and thus detract from the engaging shooting elements. For $50 -- for a portable game, no less -- Uncharted: Golden Abyss should have more polish and offer more replayability than it currently does. It does show what's capable on the new PS Vita, though, which is turning out to be a promising piece of hardware.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Sony is going after an older market with its PlayStation Vita platform, just as Nintendo is now allowing more violent and gory games like Resident Evil: Revelations on its Nintendo 3DS.

  • Families can discuss how to find age appropriate content for portable game systems. These systems are challenging for parents to supervise because the small screen makes it harder to see what your kids are playing compared to a big TV screen.

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation Vita
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:February 15, 2012
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship
ESRB rating:T for Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence (PlayStation Vita)

This review of Uncharted: Golden Abyss was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byPastelEarth May 18, 2012
age 10+
 
LEARNING

Other Uncharted games are better...

The game has 2 knife fights and a lot of guns and blood. Also the cussing is way more than the other Uncharted games. The worst of the series but still good.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 March 14, 2012
age 10+
 

Graphics greatly enhanced for the Vita.

I got this game for my Vita as I mostly had M rated games in it and needed a change so getting this,it wasn't at all a single bit of disappointment.The game never gets dull and the graphics,no matter how high your expectations of the Vita,can be tailored to suit you.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byhublub February 26, 2012
age 15+
 

Action game plays out like violent Indiana Jones

As a teen who is a pretty serious gamer, I had to get the Vita day one. And, of course, with it I got Uncharted, the most anticipated Vita game. This game mainly plays out like an action movie, reminiscent of Indiana Jones. You're searching for a treasure (of sorts) and hunting down enemies as you do it. And like Indiana Jones, the enemies can never hit you, but you always hit them. When you hit enemies, blood will fly out, which is not all that graphic, but is very noticible. Also, you can kill people in melee combat, snapping their neck, which makes a noticeable "crack", or crushing them into walls. And in this game, bodies actually stay in place instead of disappearing, which can be a little odd when you have 5 or ten around you. There is also a lot of swearing, although no f's or c's, and theirs plenty of sexual jokes that younger players will not understand. However, this game is no worse than a typical tv show, and it's likely most teens have seen or played worse.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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