Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection PS4 Review

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Adventure
 
Rating: MA 15+
 
Release Date: Out now
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Positives


Remastered visuals | Charming characters and narrative | Uniform gameplay

Negatives


No 'making-of' features | We have to wait until next year for Uncharted 4


0
Posted October 12, 2015 by

 
Full Article
 
 

The Uncharted games helped define the PlayStation 3 era and herald a new benchmark for interactive storytelling. We fell in love with Nathan Drake and his band of fellow adventurers in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Their next adventure followed in the second game Among Thieves and onto the trilogy’s conclusion, Drake Deception. With the final chapter Uncharted 4 set to close Drake’s story next year, Sony has teamed with remaster specialists Bluepoint Games (who developed the excellent Metal Gear and Ico remasters) to bring the original trilogy to PlayStation 4. With a recent report showing 80 percent of PS4 owners have not played Uncharted, the Nathan Drake Collection is a great package for new players and a stellar remaster for all existing Uncharted fans.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Nathan Drake story, the first game debuts with the explorer and his mentor Sully searching a deserted island for hidden treasure. Journalist Elena Fisher joins Nathan to document his findings, but an army of goons and their insidious leader crash the party with plans of using the treasure for malevolent purposes. The three games follow a very similar narrative – Drake looking for treasure, getting into a fist fight with the bad guys and trying to resolve his feelings for Elena. While simple, the Uncharted narrative stands out due to it’s excellent characters, witting banter, voice acting and a genuine sense of adventure.

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Long-time players shall feel a wash of nostalgia going back to the first Uncharted. Nevertheless, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves still holds up as the best part of the trilogy, with an engrossing journey taking players all over the world and a number of jaw-dropping set-pieces also thrown in for good measure. The train chase sequence and exploring the snowy peaks of Tibet rank as some my personal favourite video game memories. Experiencing the Uncharted games one after another also feels similar watching Star Wars or Lord of the Rings back-to-back. The first game drops you into an addictive adventure, with the stakes only getting higher with each new chapter. New players shall also appreciate being able to play the games together in the one collection.

Uncharted‘s iconic gameplay remains largely untouched in the Nathan Drake Collection. For anyone who is yet to play the Uncharted titles, the games expertly balance third-person gunplay with exploration and platforming. This careful mix ensures that gameplay never feels too samey and helps break up enemy encounters. Playing Uncharted 2 immediately after Drake’s Fortune, you can see how the gameplay evolved between the games, with Naughty Dog introducing more dynamic enemy encounters and challenging – but never frustrating – platforming sections. The aiming mechanics of the three game also feel much more consistent in the Collection. Originally, going from one game to the other on PS3 was a rather jarring experience, so Bluepoint should be applauded for creating a more uniform system.

While the first Uncharted has aged slightly, the trilogy still holds up to today’s visual expectations. The level of graphical fidelity is still stunning, with the bump to full a 1080p resolution really bringing out the finer points. Naughty Dog’s attention to detail, such as Drake’s pants dampening after he walks through water, is really refined by Bluepoint’s remaster. Character models, textures and lighting have also seen noticeable improvements. As some of the best looking games of the PS3 era, the Uncharted titles look fantastic on PS4, continuing to immerse players of this newer hardware generation while still retaining the charm of the original games. The upgrade to a fluid 60 frames per second further improves the gameplay experience, especially during shooting sequences.

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In addition to the remastered trilogy, the Nathan Drake Collection also includes a few other small new features. Players can perform speed-runs with a timer displaying their total game time in the corner or play photographer in Photo Mode. A new difficulty setting known as ‘brutal’ mode, which is said to be even more challenging than the series’ original crushing mode, shall also test the most hardened fans. The omission of ‘making-of’ features is a little disappointing but does not detract from the overall quality of the remaster. Further, while the collection does not include any of the previous multiplayer content, but it isn’t missed in the slightest and helps focus the experience on Nathan’s Drake’s solo adventure.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection ranks as one of the best remasters of this generation. Bluepoint have expertly retuned the visuals to the PlayStation 4’s capabilities while also making gameplay feel more consistent. The trilogy only includes Uncharted‘s single-player adventures, but the three lovingly remastered games feel no lesser of a package without multiplayer. Revisiting the series’ unforgettable locations and seeing some of the most charming video game characters in action shall be an absolute delight for all long-time Uncharted fans. Moreover, new players shall experience an even better iteration of one of gaming’s most loved franchises. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is highly recommend gaming for existing and new players alike, and is out now on PlayStation 4.


Anthony

 
While not scouring the galaxy, Anthony is Editor and PR machine of Rocket Chainsaw.


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