Developer: Bluepoint Games / Naughty Dog
The Uncharted series is one of the most in depth adventures to ever grace the PlayStation 3. Following the exploits of Nathan Drake, the series stretched across 4 complete games, 3 on the PS3 and one made exclusively for the PS Vita. The Nathan Drake Collection for PS4 combines the 3 major stories from the PS3 so players that may have missed this fantastic series can experience the expansive story arc and fantastic adventure. While all the games have been bumped up visually, some of the collection really does show it’s age when compared to later Naughty Dog titles.
For those who have never heard of it, the Uncharted series follows the adventures of one Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter looking for fortune and glory. Along with his partner Victor “Sully” Sullivan and various other secondary companions, they travel the world discovering and uncovering countless historical mysteries. Drake and Sully have made many enemies along their way, and some of them will be making their presence known during the adventure, constantly engaging Drake and his crew in some nasty situations.
Beginning with the very first game in the series, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Nathan begins his long journey for fame and glory. Originally released in 2007, the increase in the visuals, while amazing, do little to hide that this is an 8 year old title. Walking animations sometimes look a bit off, while some areas have muddy textures here and there. But unless you are really looking hard for imperfections, you won’t notice much. Since this was the first outing, things like aiming, climbing and driving were all vastly improved as the series progressed. In the first game, there was little room for error, and you’ll be attempting many scenes over and over until you get it right. The frustrations are worth it though, as the story will leave you wanting more.
The second game, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves improves much over the first, most notably with the aiming and climbing controls. The visuals have also been improved, and really take advantage of this collection’s higher resolution and increase in frame rate. The story is also more fleshed out, and gives the characters more depth than before. With the third game, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, even more fine tuning was made to the controls, giving you more of an even flow especially for the exciting chase sequences across rooftops, and the fast paced gunfights you’ll be encountering. Many of same visual improvements from Part 2 carry over as well, with even more animation and realistic looking backdrops. The PS Vita game, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, is not included with this collection, but its storyline is more of a prequel or side story to Drake’s Fortune, so it doesn’t really fit with the story arc.
It is worth playing all three games in succession, so that you don’t miss a single part of the fantastic story arc presented with Uncharted. With the 4th game in the series nearing completion, it won’t be long before the story continues, so players will benefit from knowing the backstory. The main sacrifice that was made for this collection was the online modes for parts 2 and 3. This is strictly a single player experience with all of the different online modes removed. While this may be a bummer for some, the servers for the original games dried up a while ago so no one would be online if they had included them. A PlayStation Plus membership gives you access to the multiplayer beta of Uncharted 4 with this collection, so, once it’s available for download, you won’t be lonely for long.
As stated previously, the visuals for every game have been bumped up to 1080p and everything runs at a constant 60fps with no stuttering. Originally the first two titles maxed out at 720p, while part 3 was presented in up to 1080i. Needless to say this increase in visuals is a welcome addition as everything looks fantastic. Sound has also been improved slightly, but since the original games nailed down the audio department, not much tweaking was really needed. Controls start out a bit stiff with the first game, but gradually get better as the series moves on. That’s not to say anything about the controls are broken by any means, it merely shows how Naughty Dog improved over the years with the Uncharted series. Like I said before, it’s beneficial to play the games in succession so you can experience all of the improvements both visually and in the controls as you move through the games.
Even if you already own the originals, it is recommended that you check out what has this collection has to offer. Even without the multiplayer modes, the entire series is enjoyable and extremely well written. With all three of the main games on a single disc, players can experience the fantastic adventure uninterrupted, and prepare themselves for Uncharted 4 later this year!
If you have never experienced an Uncharted game before, you owe it to yourself to pick up this collection as soon as possible, as you are missing out on an incredible journey. This is a fine example of how to re-release a great collection of games for a shiny new console. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection definitely belongs on every PS4 owner’s shelf.