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Drake’s journal and armband review: Off the cuff

As part of Sony’s marketing push for the upcoming release of Uncharted 3, a couple of interesting promotional items are being offered to fans – namely, replicas of Drake’s journal and wrist cuff. If you live in one of the handful of cities where the AMC / Uncharted 3 theater events are taking place and you attended one of them, you should have received the pair in your gift bag, along with a few other goodies. If you want to try your luck, they’re also being offered together as a level-2 prize in the Subway “Taste for Adventure” contest. With the release of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception quickly approaching (and because I just received them last night at the Dallas AMC event), I thought it would be worth taking a closer look at them to find out if they’re remarkable replicas or terrible tchotchkes.

The journal is fashioned in the style of the one Nathan Drake carries around on his many exciting adventures, with the most obvious difference being that the upcoming game’s name is prominently displayed on the front cover, thereby completely breaking the illusion that this is actually his journal. Just below that lies a large compass rose symbol which features a full compliment of directional points (North, South, East, *and* West are all on offer). Both the inside-front and inside-back covers are decorated with simulated scribblings and photos resembling those found in Drake’s journal. For a brief moment during my initial inspection, I forgot I was looking at a replica and actually started to feel a little guilty for peering into Drake’s personal possessions. The inside pages are printed so that they appear old and weathered, but are otherwise blank. I didn’t actually count, but I’d guess its about 100-pages long – not a ton, but surely enough to keep at least 4 or 5 adventures’ worth of notes (depending on the length and complexity of said adventures). To top it all off, there’s a lovely sewn-on ribbon bookmark and an elastic band for holding the journal shut. Though the band is nice, I really would have appreciated an actual lock-and-key enclosure for maximum privacy.

The leather wrist cuff measures 1.5″ x 9″ and is embossed on both sides. One side features a coat of arms of some sort, while the other side features the game’s title, the “Uncover the truth” tagline, and the release date (see photos for detail). I personally prefer the coat of arms side, but the band’s reversibility is not lost on me. This way, I can wear it title-side out for the time being and buzz-market the game on Sony’s behalf with little to no effort required. Once the game’s release has passed, I’ll simply flip it back over over and I’m back in action, stylish as ever!

It uses a two sets of double snaps, allowing the wearer to adjust the fit between two different sizes. On the tighter setting, it’s still a bit loose on me, but that may be due to the fact that I possess skinny, little-girl wrists. One of the two snaps on mine seems to slip out of the locked position a little too easily, but that could just be specific to mine and not indicative of a general design flaw. Overall, the cuff is simple and nondescript enough that it could be easily worn without seeming out of place, assuming you’re the type that would wear a leather wristband in the first place.

Generally speaking, neither the cuff nor the journal are exactly super-high quality gear, but they do seem a couple steps above the typical promotional crap that I’ve seen in the past. As far as I can tell by smelling them, they’re both made of actual leather. The fact that they’re both actually usable items is a nice touch. In the end, I can’t say that I’d ever seek these items out, but as relatively hard-to-find freebies, they do the trick quite nicely.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the bottom!

Score: 3 out of 5

4 out of 5

Recommended if you like:

* leather
* pretending to be a handsome adventurer
* writing down clues to the location of hidden treasure


* Reversibility of wrist cuff
* Modeling both items in that stupid last photo
* Charming photo of Nate and Sully inside journal

Journal and wrist cuff were given to me at the AMC / Uncharted event. Wrist cuff worn for approximately 4 hours; journal thumbed through from front to back. Smelled both items a couple times each.



  1. Petey Kay
    Petey Kay October 20, 2011

    Awesome review. Best leather wrist band writeup I’ve ever read.

    • Randy Dickinson
      Randy Dickinson October 21, 2011

      Thanks! We appreciate your support (as well as your finely-tuned ability to detect a joke).

  2. Stupidity
    Stupidity October 20, 2011

    Seriously, the most stupid review ever written. You guys surpassed Edge in stupidity. Reviewing ITEMS (???) and giving scores and also give this score to N4G. Why would you do that, what purpose? You just wanna down the average score U3 is going to get. Why did you tag Uncharted 3? Right, because of the score. Why didn’t you tag Uncharted 3: Items. Stupid!!!

    • Paul Sandhu
      Paul Sandhu October 20, 2011

      Hey, thanks for telling us how you really feel!

      It’s a joke yo, chill. =)

      We love Uncharted. A lot.

    • Matt Kernan
      Matt Kernan October 20, 2011

      Hey- we’re still new to N4G and I didn’t realize that by denoting it as a review it would be factored in to Uncharted 3’s overall score on N4G. My sincerest apologies. We can’t edit it now that it’s been approved, but we’ve put in a ticket to see about having it altered or deleted.

      Just trying to make a funny post is all. We’re all big Uncharted fans (we all went to the AMC event this week!) and would never purposefully sabotage the actual game’s score.

  3. NinjaT
    NinjaT October 21, 2011

    Guys, i don’t know who was the dumbass who posted this on N4G, but he posted it as a Real Uncharted 3 review… screwing up the average score before the game even comes out.

    I think you’re right to tell people the site is a joke 🙂

  4. NinjaT
    NinjaT October 21, 2011

    My bad, didn’t noticed that you … noticed.

  5. StrandedBrit
    StrandedBrit October 22, 2011

    I just love this controversy!

    • Matt Kernan
      Matt Kernan October 22, 2011

      I’m finding it pretty amusing myself.

  6. freakyzeeky
    freakyzeeky October 22, 2011

    Only 3 out of 5 hungover aliens? Meh, I’ll get the GOTY version of the swag next year. They’ll probably include a compass, or a ring or something… and they’ll probably patch the leather to give it a stronger smell too. >.>

  7. Mr.bob
    Mr.bob March 8, 2013

    Where do I get one

    • Matt Kernan
      Matt Kernan March 13, 2013

      These were handed out as promotional items around the launch of Uncharted 3. So, I don’t know… perhaps check eBay?

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