Following Sony's E3 2011 Press Conference, they were demoing several in-development games for the upcoming portable, PlayStation Vita. Uncharted: Golden Abyss had by far the longest line. This isn't a Naughty Dog game, however, but is being helmed by Bend Studios, the guys behind Syphon Filter and the PSP game Resistance: Retribution.
First off, this is not any of the existing Uncharted games or the upcoming Uncharted 3 dumbed down and ported to the Vita. This is an original adventure taking place before Drake's Fortune (but not a prequel, just an earlier adventure) built from the ground up to take advantage of the Vita's unique features.
The demo puts you in what looks like a ruined jungle temple. Immediately you can sneak up and perform one of Drake's classic stealth kills. This can be done with standard buttons you're used to or with a touch screen prompt. A little fist on the screen appears when you're in range. Tap it and Drake will take them out. This also holds true in melee combat. You can use the normal buttons, or tap the screen when prompted, finishing with a couple swipes up and down to finish them off.
Most of the controls are just what you're used to. Aim with the left shoulder, fire with the right. Jump with X, get behind cover with circle, you know the rest. The only things you're missing are the second shoulder buttons, but you have so much more. Want to pick up a different weapon? Just tap it no the screen. Need to reload? Tap the weapon icon in the upper right. Climbing (as Drake loves to do) can be done once again with buttons, or by tapping on the ledge you want to move to. You can even "paint" a series of ledges you want Drake to move over.
After taking out some bad guys, I came to a section with a sniper rifle, other snipers across an expanse, and groups of baddies down below me. To throw a grenade, all you do is tap on the grenade icon in the lower right and drag it to where you want to throw it. When zoomed in with the sniper rifle, moving the Vita aims the rifle. You can also use the back touchpad to zoom in or out further.
The final challenge before finishing the demo was a rope swing. I jumped on the rope, then you climb up or down with your fingers on the back touchpad. To swing, you actually swing the Vita back and forth, then jump to clear the gap.
Overall, this is the same great Uncharted experience we've all come to know and love, just shrunken down. It also takes advantage of many of Vita's great new features, making Uncharted: Golden AbyssTHE must-own title for the PlayStation Vita.