Despite reading solid reviews, the concept of Uncharted looked very stale (treasure hunting, pirates etc). In addition, every Sony release since Motorstorm has been a huge waste of time. Therefore, I was convinced I'd be disappointed with this. However, Uncharted turned out quite the opposite and is without doubt the best PS3 exclusive to date. The characters are very likeable (in particular Drake, far from the clichés they first appear as). Graphics are another high point, each section is incredibly detailed. Character animation falls just short of Assassins Creed, but not by much. However, Uncharted is a far superior game overall. Naughty Dog has done very well to provide variety to a game set on just one island; a Nazi U Boat encountered early on being a typical example.
Gears of War has obviously been an influence on this game. Even the way enemies spill blood is reminiscent of Gears. By far the best element borrowed is the cover system, which works incredibly well. As do the platforming sections, familiar to anyone who has played Prince of Persia. Other games that came to mind when playing Uncharted were Resident Evil 4, Tomb Raider and Far Cry.
Where Uncharted succeeds with this cheeky plagiarism is that it takes the finer elements from these titles and combines them to create an extremely enjoyable game. Although nothing feels particularly new, its mechanics are refined to the point where it's almost perfect.
One final point that made me admire Uncharted was how it played out. The ending doesnt finish on a cliff-hanger and neither does it set up a sequel. Uncharted actually has a conclusion, which may seem like a small point, but can be infuriating. Assassins Creed, Ratchet & Clank and countless others take note.