Since its debut in 2007, “Uncharted” has been one of the most well regarded modern action-adventure franchises around – and for good reason. Games rarely rival the explosiveness and excitement that people can find in cinemas, but the adventures of Nathan Drake are on par with some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. The set-piece moments in this series are thrilling and, even after eight years, are still a blast to experience.
The “Uncharted” games were some of the best PlayStation 3 fare, and the collection is definitely one of the best PlayStation 4 features that players can get their hands on right now. Everything about these games, from the story to the characters is wholly engrossing. Stepping into the shoes of Nathan Drake is as close to playing an Indiana Jones game as one can possibly get. And who doesn’t want to be Indy? Drake is charismatic and grounded, often in as much awe of his situation as the players are. This makes him the perfect conduit for players to see the world of the game through.
The supporting characters are top notch as well. Victor Sullivan, Nate’s friend and father figure, is always a riot on screen. He does his best to accompany Drake on his adventures, but as Sully so eloquently states, “I’m getting too old for this bullshit!” Elena Fisher is Nate’s longest lasting love interest, and she has a significant presence in all three games.
The best things about her are that she keeps our hero’s moral compass on track and that she’s far from a typical damsel in distress. Elena has no qualms picking up a gun to help Drake, and often calls him on his BS to some great comedic effect. “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves” introduced Chloe Frazer, a woman much more similar to Drake than Elena. Her introduction produces a lot of friction between Drake, Elena and herself. Seeing the tension unfold adds some nice drama to the mix.
The gameplay of “Uncharted” is as fun as ever, with players quickly changing between furious gunfights and exploring the environment. Platforming is a major part of the game, and while it isn’t meant to be a challenge, it adds some breaks between the shootouts. As a player, you feel a sense of coolness as Drake clambers his way through the environment, comically speaking to himself the whole way. Yet the most impressive thing about the “Uncharted” formula is the balance achieved between these elements. Players never feel bored, as exploring and climbing is broken up by intense battles. Vice versa, gamers never get too overwhelmed by action.
The real stars of the franchise are the choreographed set piece moments. Whether it be fighting atop a moving train, falling out of a plane mid flight or clambering across rooftops in Nepal, the “Uncharted” franchise has some of the most jaw-dropping action in all of gaming. These scenes are the kinds of moments gamers remember for years to come, and even now as I play through “The Nathan Drake Collection” these scenes leave me in awe.
There’s not much extra content on the disc aside from the three campaigns, but in the end it’s not that important. For gamers who’ve never played the series “The Nathan Drake Collection” is a must buy, and as a veteran of the series myself, I can say that fans of the series will definitely have a blast playing the games again. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who did it better than Naughty Dog did with “Uncharted.”
Ben Wagman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.