Review: Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

B_STORY

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune released on the PS3 in 2007. It was the first game in my mind to truly combine realistic visuals and storytelling with incredible action based gameplay to create an incredible gaming experience like none before it. The first game in the series introduced the characters that we know and love. Nathan Drake who is the supposed descendent of Sir Francis Drake is found seeking the lost treasure of El Dorado. Drake quickly acquires the help of Elena Fisher and Sully who are persistent throughout the series.

Uncharted 2 sees Nathan Drake, Elena and Sully across the Himalayas and Nepal to provide gamers with even more of a visual feast with snow-based set pieces as well as even more drama and plot-twists through the introduction of multiple new characters. UC_STILL_0000_Layer 2

Uncharted 3 was the last game to release in the series and focuses on Nathan Drake’s backstory, mainly his early relationship with Sully. It is a fitting end to the Nathan Drake trilogy and once again provides a bunch of new scenarios that make the visual tastebuds water. ??The story of Uncharted is seen to be quite predictable and one dimensional to many gamers but I can’t help but absolutely adore it.

Each game is 8-12 hours of pure non-stop brilliance and whilst being cliche at times, each story provides enough difference to keep the series remaining fresh whilst also providing different plots and advancing relationships between characters. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is the perfect collection story-wise. It provides gamers that haven’t had the chance to experience the trilogy, the perfect entry before Uncharted 4 hits next year. it also provides fans of the series the chance to experience the story in one amazing package.

B_PRESENTATION
The Uncharted series has always been praised for it’s exceptional presentation. Each game on the PS3 has seen incredible visual advancements and Naughty Dog have always been setting the standards for other publishers with each release. Bluepoint Games have done the unthinkable and made Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection an even bigger visual masterpiece. It’s evident from booting up the collection that each game runs at a solid 60FPS in 1080p which makes a massive difference to the overall graphics, mainly set pieces which are even more visually stunning.

UC_STILL_0003_Uncharted_2_UNDC_Warzone_Demo_Pool_1436528259 ??Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune benefits the most from these technical improvements with far less screen tearing. Bluepoint have worked extremely hard to increase texture resolution, improve environment lighting & character models and improve draw distance wherever possible. All of this is incredibly noticeable and legitimately make all 3 Uncharted games look like they were made for the PS4.

Remastered Collections menu systems have often felt clunky but i’m happy to report that The Nathan Drake Collection’s menu system is extremely seamless and true to the feel of the entire franchise. You’re able to go in and out of each game seamlessly and intuitively. Whilst this might seem like a minor detail to most, I really appreciated the details added into making this into a well-presented collection.

B_GAMEPLAY
Each game in the Uncharted series is full of action-packed fun from the opening credits of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune all the way up until the closing credits in Uncharted 3: Deception. Each game has incredible pacing and is a brilliant mix if platforming, treasure hunting, hand-to-hand combat as well as a health dose of third person shooting. Each subsequent game in the series features even more brilliant set-pieces which you actually need to see to believe.

Those who have played the Tomb Raider reboot will be in extremely familiar territory with similar platforming mechanics and gunplay. Although, it’s important to mention that there aren’t any upgradable skill sets in the Uncharted franchise to date which has left a certain something to be desired after playing Tomb Raider.UC_STILL_0004_Uncharted_2_UNDC_Warzone_Demo_Chloe_Helicopter_1436528249

As mentioned above, The Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection consists of the first three games and their single-player story which means that multiplayer is not included. Whilst this is a massive omission, as the multiplayer in the Uncharted franchise is quite good, it’s easy to understand why this has been left off and there is more than enough content throughout the 3 games to warrant the value. ??There have been minor changes made to the core gameplay such as adding in the baseball grenade throwing ability to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune as well as minor changes to how aiming works across all 3 games for a more unified experience.

Crushing difficulty has always been the holy-grail of the Uncharted franchise. Gamers would usually have to beat hard difficulty in order to unlock it but this is no longer necessary in the Uncharted collection. Naughty Dog have been extra nasty and completing Crushing Difficulty will unlock the newly-added in Brutal Difficulty across all 3 games which is a whole new world of pain.

UC_STILL_0002_Uncharted_2_UNDC_Warzone_Demo_Drake_Rope_Slide_1436528255Photo Mode has been added in order to provide gamers with the ability to capture the brilliant scenery and set pieces of the Uncharted franchise. This is something that has been really successful in recent Playstation games and there’s no better game graphically than Uncharted so it feels right at home. I have no doubt that most gamers will spend hours creating the perfect snapshots.

Also exclusive to this remastered collection is the inclusion of Speed Run and Explorer Mode. Speed Run mode allows you to track your gameplay time against PSN friends throughout different sections of the game in order to see how quickly you can get through certain sections. Explorer Mode on the other hand is for the more casual audience who might be looking to pickup a hardcore story-driven game this holiday season without the extreme difficulty. Both are welcomed additions to an already complete package. A number of new trophies, as well as renders and skins have been added for the biggest Uncharted fans. It’s important to mention that purchasing this game will allow you exclusive access to the Uncharted 4 Multiplayer Beta come this December.

B_CONCLUSIONNaughty Dog have been one of my favourite developers since the PS1. Each of their franchises have revolutionised gaming in one way or another and the Uncharted franchise doesn’t disappoint. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is without doubt the best remastered collection to date. It includes 3 absolutely brilliant games and improves performance ten-fold, letting them shine on an even larger scale. I would not hesitate in recommending this to the most hard-core Uncharted fan or someone who is lucky enough to be going in fresh.

Story9
Presentation10
Gameplay10
Incredible Presentation & Polish
Thrilling Gameplay
Incredible Value
10

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