Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Review – Thanks for the Input, Jeff!

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Review – Thanks for the Input, Jeff!

I played through all 3 games in Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on the PS4. The games ran perfectly at 60 fps. Uncharted 1 had some weird stuff with enemies glitching into stuff. Also, at one moment early on Nathan decided to T-pose after knocking down a gate multiple times. It was weird. In Uncharted 2, I did notice some oddities with certain enemies glitching into the environment and one disappearing all together. Uncharted 3 seemed fine. Other than that though, they ran smoothly at 60fps.

(N.B. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection includes a Photo Mode, so please enjoy my pictures that I like to call ‘Nathan Drake Hanging Off Shit’, a collection coming soon to an art gallery near you.)

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Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series is undoubtably the finest Sony first party IP of the PS3 era. It may not sell as much as Gran Turismo, and may not be as open-ended as Infamous, but if you wanted a PS3 back in the day, Uncharted was probably one of the games you would pick up. I got a PS3 very late on the release day of The Last of Us, also by developer Naughty Dog, and got Uncharted 3 and Infamous 2 with it.

My relationship with Uncharted has been backwards. Literally. I played 3, 2 and then 1. I saw elements of gameplay regress, graphics get slightly worse, and worst of all, find myself suddenly unable to throw back grenades. It was weird. Don’t play them backwards.

Luckily, with The Nathan Drake Collection on PS4, I got a second chance to experience Playstation’s flagship franchise, the right way round this time, as well as in glorious 1080p, 60fps. Playing all three games in less than a week was not only a lot of fun, but also an interesting voyage into the development of a game franchise. All three games remain largely untouched although some balancing to level out the experience has happened. So if you’ve played these games to death already, there’s not much to be surprised by here.

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For me though, I hadn’t played 1 before and it had been a long time since I played 3, so I found the experience to be exciting, charming and extremely satisfying. For anyone who doesn’t know, Uncharted is basically the video game version of an Indiana Jones movie. Protag  Nathan Drake travels the world in search of lost treasures and artifacts. Along with his old mentor Victor Sullivan, and kick-ass partners Chloe and Elena, Drake finds himself in all manner of precarious situations. Throughout the games, you’ll find yourself in exotic locales such as Syria, Borneo and…uh…London.

Uncharted is mainly about the story, and Naughty Dog nails that aspect entirely. Tight characterisation, colourful dialogue and enigmatic staging make the stories feel alive. The characters actually talk like real people, which is odd to say, but makes sense once you hear them. Even when Nathan is spouting one-liners, he really feels like a real person. Which is good because when he finds himself in a train hanging off a cliff, or in the centre of a sinking cruise ship, you really feel the danger he is in.

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Naughty Dog are masters of this stuff, but it’s interesting as someone who never played the original Uncharted to find that they nailed it all the way back in the original. The first time you meet Nate and Elena, they are on a boat in the middle of the ocean having supposedly found Francis Drake’s coffin. From then on, the collection is an adrenaline-fuelled adventure that can’t really be matched in video games.

The gameplay of Uncharted is mainly split between exploration and third person shooting. Exploration involves climbing, traversing and puzzle solving through various lush locales with the occasional set-piece. The combat is a traditional third person cover shooter against thousands of goons, hired goons. The shooting improves over the games but for me, is not the strongest part of the games. It’s fine – there’s just nothing particularly special about it. And there are parts that are quite finicky, especially in the first game.

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The Nathan Drake Collection is a great deal. You get three remastered 10-12 hour games for £40. There is also tons of stuff to do, with three separate platinum trophies and extra modes, like the speed run mode, and unlockable treasures. The games aren’t inherently replayable per-say, but they’re enjoyable enough to survive a few playthroughs. If you’re a completionist like me, then you’ll have fun playing through the games multiple times. And with an included Uncharted 4 multiplayer beta coming later this year, The Nathan Drake Collection has a lot of staying power.

 

In Short…

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is a fantastic package. All three of these games are classics, and an important milestone in Playstation history. If you’ve never tried an Uncharted before, this collection is a must buy and even if know the games back to front, it’s more than worth another trip into the jungle.

 

UNCHARTED: THE NATHAN DRAKE COLLECTION

9/10

 

 

 

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