Nathan Drake, one of the most beloved characters in the Sony franchise stable, is about to embark on an epic new adventure – that is to say a turn-based PS Vita card game adventure. For weeks, we’d been hearing rumors of a new downloadable Uncharted title yet to be announced for Sony’s handheld – with several reports claiming the title would merely be an Uncharted-themed digital card game not a full-on sequel to this year’s Uncharted: Golden Abyss (as some had hoped).

Now, Sony Bend has officially unveiled Uncharted: Fight for Fortune to the gaming masses and reaction is, putting it mildly, extremely negative.

The official announcement went live on the PlayStation Blog earlier this morning and within seconds frustrated gamers began branding the title as little more than a shallow attempt to “milk” Uncharted series popularity (while also landing unwarranted criticism against the relevance of the larger adventure game genre).

You can check out the Uncharted: Fight for Fortune trailer below:

There’s no doubt the title is capitalizing on Uncharted series loyalty – but is it fair for gamers to be outraged? The title is a $4.99 download – not a full-featured retail title that would drawn significant resources from Golden Abyss developer Sony Bend. Additionally, some commenters scoffed at the trailer’s mention of DLC expansions but, given that a lot of Fight for Fortune purchasers might not have much experience with adventure card games, isn’t it better that Sony Bend start with a low $4.99 basic package and then allow players to delve in further if they’re enjoying the experience?

Obviously, the internet can be an overwhelmingly negative place at times but the strong dissenting reaction to the Fight for Fortune announcement is largely rooted in Vita gamers and Uncharted fans who were hoping for something different – and, as a result, the criticism distracts from the real question at hand: Is Fight for Fortune going to be a fun and worthwhile game for players that do enjoy card game adventures and multiplayer competition?

Several commenters on the announcement post ask some form of the question: “Who is this game for?” or “Who wanted this game?” The answer, of course, is Adventure Card Game fans – a genre that is very much alive and thriving on portable devices even if card game titles don’t sell Black Ops 2 blockbuster numbers. Sony Bend obviously intends to draw-in some cautiously curious fans of Nathan Drake with the Uncharted branding and, for anyone willing to give Fight for Fortune a try, the title looks like it might provide a worthwhile mash-up.

Uncharted Fight for Fortune Gameplay

Sure, claim of an 8-hour + campaign is a silly assertion (given the cinematic action that is a staple of the franchise); however, unlike a lot of similar card game offerings, the customizability available in the upcoming Vita title, coupled with the matchmaking through the PSN, and a proven developer like Sony Bend, Fight for Fortune could actually deliver one of the better digital card games on the market – even providing uninitiated players with a fun (and classic) gaming experience. We recently reported that Golden Abyss was coming to the PlayStation Plus instant game collection, and considering in-game Golden Abyss collectibles unlock content in Fight for Fortune, gamers who enjoy both titles will definitely benefit from the calculated marketing synergy. The card game is not going to be for everyone but that doesn’t mean that some players aren’t going to be excited about the announcement.

The reaction to the Fight for Fortune announcement raises an interesting question, with so many people already dismissing the game (a “waste of money,” “too old school,” etc) only to list off things they’d rather see announced by Sony Bend (Uncharted: Platinum Precipice, Soul Sacrifice, etc), is it always a developer’s job to give people what they want (or what they are expecting)?

Isn’t it also a developer’s job to offer new (or in this case classic) game experiences for players looking for something different? Obviously, Sony Bend is using the Uncharted brand to push a different (and less popular) game experience but is that a bad thing – especially if Fight for Fortune actually delivers a quality adventure card game for players who are interested?

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

Uncharted: Fight for Fortune will be available December 4th 2012 for the PS Vita.

Source: PlayStation Blog