Uncharged: The Nathan Drake Collection

The Uncharted Series of games was the definition of PlayStation 3 games as they grew and adjusted over the life of the console. The recently released collection is a nice addition to PlayStation 4 library and good value for the purchase price.

Including the single player games of the previously released PlayStation 3 Games:

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

All have been changed to 60 frames per second and fit on a single disc. The multiplayer features are gone, but this logistically makes sense due to the shift to PlayStation 4.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

The game was new and the formula was not quite established yet. The graphics probably experienced the largest improvement due to age, but it stays very true to the original. The aiming feels a bit off, but I cannot tell if this is due to the change to 60fps or just my memory failing.

Graphical achievements:

Dynamic wet clothing up to what is submerged and Flowing water.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

This game had the best pacing among the trilogy and refined the formula of the crazy set pieces, the interplay of character banter with rotating on screen cast, and great escalation of danger and risk.

The supporting characterization that Nathan Drake is a realist and is not above giving up on the treasure as the hero comes out of his hidden core. He plays the hero because he feels he is the only one who can, not because he wants to be a hero.

The only complaints with this game is there two spots of intense difficulty spikes and sometimes it is due to the AI of your teammates who decide to break cover and just start shooting while you were letting your enemies thin themselves out. The first is the water passage late in the game as you struggle between and RPG firing enemy far away and a closing group of armor clad shotgun wielders (head shots are only way to kill them). The other is the end boss fight and this fight gets me yelling at the screen every time. The execution is so tight due to facing a double barrel shotgun that reloads faster then anything in the real world.

Graphical Achievements:

Snow accumulation on clothing,

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Pacing just felt poorer in this installment. The locations were more varied and efforts were made to improve the characterization with some new additions. This fits with a story that returns to Sir Francis Drake and the resulting back story of Nathan and Sully.  Where the first game was focused on Nathan and Elena, the second game on Elana, Chloe, and Nathan, the 3rd game has vignettes with the others but the focus remains on Nathan and Sully. Their meeting and what they mean to each other.

Complaints however need to be leveled at Marlowe, Talbot, and their endless army of men in suits. Their motivation is left completely blank outside of “POWER” and the abilities of Talbot are unexplained. The hallucinogenic powers of the water I can except, but when people unaffected by mind control darts see a man disappear into thin air it breaks down.

The set pieces are grand, but the level design suffer believability at times and seems more intent on making you slog through enemies more so then because they would actually be there. It is ultimately due to the combat encounters they want you to experience, but some of the combat waves are just out of sync and the checkpoints feel like they make you suffer if you screw up and have open combat when stealth fails. The pirate levels in the ship graveyard are the best examples of this.

Graphical Achievements:

Fire burning buildings and Sand environments.

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I am certainly looking forward to Uncharted 4 on the PlayStation 4 next year. The previews look wonderful and they seem to be focusing on some mud effects.

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