It can be bad being a console exclusive game player, if you focus exclusively on a single console there are so many amazing games that you don’t get a chance to play. I faced this problem last generation, up until 2013 I was an exclusive Wii gamer, meaning I missed out on some of the big games that arrived for the Playstation 3 and the 360. Among these games that I regrettably missed was the Uncharted games, ones that caught my attention and are widely considered to be among the Playstation 3’s best games, now thanks to the Nathan Drake Collection and having a Playstation 4 I have gotten the chance to play these games and in all honesty I regret not playing them all sooner.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection brings forward the three biggest Uncharted games to the Playstation 4 including Drake’s Fortune, Among Thieves and Drake’s Deception (leaving out the Playstation Vita game Golden Abyss). Bluepoint Games has handled the job remastering this collection for the Playstation 4, updating the game graphically for the new generation pushing the game up to the modern standards of 1080p. With this collection Bluepoint has provided an amazing collection of three great games though these don’t celebrate Naughty Dog’s great franchise it is still great.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is the oldest game in this collection, at this time the game is now eight years old and it shows. Although Bluepoint Games has done a decent job with the remastering Drake’s Fortune still shows its age and that it is a native Playstation 3 game, just looking and the world you can see this game belongs on the Playstation 3. However that never meant the game was bad even graphically there are many moments that provide a sense of wow and I felt my jaw drop in amazement at how incredible things looked, it is in these instances that you can see Bluepoint took as much care as was possible.
Much like the general graphics the gameplay also feels a bit dated as Bluepoint has remastered the game without changing the eight year old mechanics, and this is more evidenced when you play the sequel which has refined everything in every possible way. However even though the gameplay does feel dated it does feel like magic to play especially when you play this before moving onto the clearly better sequels. But by the same note of dated gameplay the balance presented throughout is masterful and does make this game great to play and a rare gem even by today’s standards.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is by far the definitive game in this collection, where Drake’s Fortune looked dated it was rare I noticed this within Among Thieves. Every moment of this game is eye catching and is worth just staring at, the Playstation 4 really brings out the details of Naughty Dog’s masterpiece really showing just how the game was ahead of its time. This remaster really brings out the beauty of the dilapidated buildings and shows off many major sequences with pure wonder, a particular section where I was running along a moving train was particularly wonderful.
Of the entire collection the game mechanics feel at their best within Among Thieves, it is hard to explain why things seem better but honestly everything from the gunplay to the general mechanics just felt better here. The game balances a perfect story filled to the brim with terrific action sequences, plenty of fun exploration and what is essentially perfect gameplay. Better still Among Thieves shined with personality, from the highly enjoyable banter shared by the characters to many of the excellent scenes shown throughout the game. Right from the beginning the game throws you into the action and masterfully, keeping you busy and happy right from start to finish really cementing the games place as the best game in the collection and the series thus far.
From a gameplay standpoint Drake’s Deception does not really do anything new, though for this game it was the story that truly acts as the grabbing point. Drake’s Deception is a lot more ambitious than the previous games when it comes to story as the game takes you down a more cinematic path journeying deeper into Nathan Drake’s past and his relationships with certain characters. These were great for the game to explore because as I learnt while playing these games you come to them for the characters as much as the adventure so it was great that the game opted to explore these key things. Uncharted 3 never quite reached the same level as its predecessor but still is a great game that has to be played to fully enjoy what it is that makes the series great.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection does not really bring anything new to the table for the franchise, though it is worth remembering that this is a remaster of three great games so we really shouldn’t expect anything new and the game didn’t need it. All three of the games are tightly packed leaving no room for additional content or any other things to be added but I didn’t mind this, all three games are great on their own and I was glad they were left untouched.
However while the base games are still the same I was glad to see some difficulty modes added, while personally I was quite happy with easy mode I know others prefer a good challenge and these difficulty settings are perfect for that. New difficulty settings such as crushing difficulty present a nice challenge which is great for veterans of the franchise, likewise those for an easier time are also covered with the new explorer mode. This particular mode is calm and allows the player to receive more of an experience rather than dealing with the difficulty, these modes are good for varying players really meaning you can have the experience your way and enjoy the game in a way that fits your skill level. One of the more interesting new modes to be added is the speed run mode, while it is extremely simplistic only providing players with a time in the corner of the screen it does provide a new challenge which is greater for those who like to compete with friends as the mode allows you to compare your times.
With this collection the only thing that has really been changed is the lack of the multiplayer modes which existed in the Playstation 3 versions, if I am being honest these modes not being present are actually a good thing. While I may have never played the original games just from the collection it is easy to see that the core experience comes from the single player and this loss is actually more of a positive then a negative, it was nice to see the campaign play a focal point in the collection and not have to deal with the shoehorned online modes.
If you missed these games on the Playstation 3 then this is a must play for the Playstation 4 as this is the definitive version, and without a doubt Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is one of the best games offered on the system. Naughty Dog created an amazing franchise with the Uncharted games and this collection show it off perfectly, Bluepoint games has taken a decent amount of care with the job of remastering and has made this a truly memorable experience. Sure Bluepoint hasn’t given us anything new but what we get is three excellent games that make this collection worth every cent. I really regret not getting a Playstation 3 and playing these games originally but playing them now was truly worth it.