This was a first, a PS3 game that I was genuinely excited about and looking forward to playing. By god was I not disappointed. This game is a revelation. It could be a real watershed in gaming, insofar as everything else may start to look pale in comparison. The graphics are stupendous. Everywhere you look you see visual flourishes. The way the snow clings to your boots and gradually climbs up your clothes, the wet clothing after swimming, the particle effects of your breath in the cold. The game uses a fantastic depth of field effect frequently. The character animations are superb, varied and numerous. Perhaps best of all though is the liberal use of colour. The world they have created for us is such an interesting place to be in. There is an awesome sense of scale to the surroundings. You can almost feel the crispness of the air in the Himalayas and I almost expected Nate to die of exposure in the Himalayan blizzard.
The way the story progresses is expertly managed and the cleverness of the transition between the tropical environment and the mountains was staggering. The story itself was interesting, the real stars though were the main protagonists who were very entertaining to watch and engendered real warmth and involvement. The voice acting was streets ahead of anything else I have ever played. This was further embellished with incidental details in the vocal quips for example investigating a cow or improvising a punch to the gonads during a fight.
Naughty dog also got some of the other important things right. They nailed the controls. Nate was very intuitive and rarely decided to plunge to his death despite ill advised button presses at times. The check-pointing was sensible and unobtrusive. The difficulty level was very well judged on normal and the level design must have been perfect because I rarely found myself unsure of the next place to go, usually because of appropriate visual or audio cues. The game was also very generous in its amount of content given the quality of what was being offered.
All in all. It is an unbelievable achievement. What a game!
10 / 10