A Death-Defying Trilogy

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It’s almost been 8 whole years since Naughty Dog originally released Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune in 2007. I never played any of the Uncharted games before this trilogy was released and I was really excited coming into it. I always wanted to play Uncharted and have finally gained the opportunity. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection takes Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (all originally released for the PlayStation 3) and rebuilds them for the PlayStation 4 to make for one of the best video-game collections I have ever played.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

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The Flooded City is one of the prettiest environments in the game

Drake’s Fortune starts up with Nathan finding the coffin of the explorer of Sir Francis Drake on the ocean floor just off the coast of Panama using co-ordinates inscribed on a family ring. All that was found in the coffin was a diary with directions to the El Dorado, The Fabled City of Gold. Drake, together with Sully and Elena set out to find El Dorado and take it’s riches.

Uncharted’s gameplay mainly consists of 3rd person shooting, platforming and some light puzzle solving throughout it’s 8-10 hour campaign. The shooting feels and plays fluently, just like a 3rd person cover based shooter should. The controls feel tight and responsive and the gun-play in general is good. Rarely would I find myself getting annoyed apart from the odd occasion where an enemy shrugs off a few bullets and kills you with one shotgun shot. Platforming feels great, especially when a set piece takes place. The overall spectacle and adrenaline of said set pieces are bound to make your mouth drop in awe as Nathan narrowly escapes death multiple times. The puzzles are far and few between, but it’s a nice change of pace from the usual high octane gun play and set pieces. Finally Drake’s Fortune looks and runs amazingly. Kept at a consistent 60 frames per second and 1080 P, the game always looks and runs superbly. Drake’s Fortune has stood the test of time very well.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves starts with Nathan waking up on a train in Nepal. Wounded and bleeding, Nathan realizes the train is hanging off a cliff and is slowly sliding off. The opening for this game is absolutely amazing. Climbing up a falling train, escaping another near death situation, Uncharted at it’s finest. We then get taken back to a few months before where Drake is met with Harry and Chloe. Harry gets Drake in on a plan to steal a Mongolian oil lamp from a museum in Istanbul which originally belonged to Marco Polo. This sets up the rest of the story and I won’t go on to avoid spoilers. The main characters of Drake, Sully and Elena have been developed significantly and seeing how their relationships and characters have evolved since Drake’s Fortune is satisfying.

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Yes, the train is literally hanging off the cliff

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves much like Drake’s Fortune consists of 3rd person shooting, platforming and puzzle solving but to a much greater extent. The range of guns and encounters have been expanded greatly and gun-play in general just feels better. Platforming in Among Thieves feels a lot tighter and quick compared to Drake’s Fortune and benefits greatly from it. The many set pieces in Among Thieves will leave you speechless one after another and they are a lot more abundant than they are in Drake’s Fortune. The puzzles play a greater part in Among Thieves. They’re a lot more frequent and noticeably more difficult but nothing that will annoy you. The technological jump from Drake’s Fortune to Among Thieves is a mighty big one. The snowy mountainous region of Nepal are very very attractive on the PlayStation 4 and it still runs at 60 frames per second. Among Thieves looks significantly more beautiful than Drake’s Fortune does and is truly a pleasure to look at and admire. if there’s one thing that irks me about Among Thieves, it’s the removal of the supposedly excellent multiplayer.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

The third, final and in my opinion best installment in the trilogy is Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Two years after Among Thieves, Drake and Sully enter a bar to meet with a man called Talbot who wants to purchase Drake’s ring which originally belonged to Sir Francis Drake. However the deal backfires when it is discovered that the money offered for the ring is fake. A fight breaks out and after a short while Katherine Marlowe is introduced as Talbot’s client. I don’t want to go any deeper to avoid spoilers. Drake’s Deception’s story is in my opinion the strongest of the three, with twists and turns you won’t see coming if you haven’t played it before. It explores Nathan and Sully’s past and how they came to meet. It really brings out the characters and it feels like you really get to know them well.

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One of Uncharted 3’s many set pieces

The Uncharted formula has never been this good. Gun-play has been slightly tweaked from Among Thieves such as new aiming reticles which make small, but meaningful differences. Melee combat is a good as it’s ever been, with cinematic combos and counters. Platforming in Drake’s Deception feels smooth and tight, just as it should. The controls are flawless in my opinion and the set pieces are absolutely mind-blowing. Whether it be getting sucked out of a plane or trying to get out of a burning mansion, none of them disappoint. Puzzles are once again a lot more frequent and challenging as opposed to the other two games and they are once again, a nice change of pace from all the adrenaline and gun-play. Drake’s Deception definitely feels the most cinematic, looks the best and runs the best out of the trilogy. In my honest opinion, it’s the best of the three, however I know some would disagree and say Among Thieves won game of the year for a reason. None the less, a fantastic game.

Verdict: Must Buy

Having never played an Uncharted game before but knowing of their legacy and popularity, I expected a lot going into this trilogy…. and I was definitely not disappointed. I loved every last second of all three games and if you haven’t played them before, pick this trilogy up, I beg you. You will not be disappointed. I am as a result very excited for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End so keep a look out for a review when it comes out early next year.

Positives

-All three games have aged very well

-Compelling story and charming characters

-Set pieces bound to get your adrenaline pumping

-Three great games in one package

Negatives

-Multiplayer from Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 is not present

Thanks for reading guys.

-Harry

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