Naughty Dog are a company that basks in the love of the PlayStation community as they have released cult-classics for every single generation. Whilst I have been a huge fan of Jak and Daxter since my childhood, I’ve only ever dipped my head into the waters of their work. To fix this glaring problem, I bought Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection for the PlayStation 4 and jumped straight in.
The game opens with Nathan and Elena stood atop a boat uncovering the secret of Drake’s ancestor. The story already being in motion and skipping the origins helped immensely with pacing as what may have been boring build-up is replaced with shooting pirates in a hilarious spectacle as boats explode in goofy action-movie fashion with the wonderful ragdoll physics of games-gone-by.
The selling point of Uncharted is the parkour, even though it’s unrefined and slightly limiting. Being able to climb around the beautiful and vibrant ruins is a much more refreshing way to traverse the world as you get to be more involved in the environment.
The beautiful landscapes within Uncharted are nothing new for Naughty Dog. Even The Last of Us, set in a dystopian apocalyptic future, is oddly surreal in terms of its visuals. The island that Nathan Drake finds himself on is very similar in terms of design as it is set around an ancient civilisation long abandoned and succumbed to nature. The key difference that makes it far less bleak is that it is not a familiar landscape like the collapsed modern America of The Last of Us.
I guess the Nazi’s didn’t pay their electric billsNathan Drake
The characters also help bring the game to life whether it is through Nolan North’s Nathan Drake, Richard McGonagle’s Sully or Emily Rose’s Elena. She is a journalist that tags along with Drake and Sullivan with a similarly charismatic and light hearted personality but, in my honest opinion, I think she stands out from having what is arguably the best character arc in the game as she grows from a simplistic, story-hungry and naive journalist to an invested, caring and more three-dimensional character. With two brilliant friends tagging along comes fantastic interactions that truly make this otherwise generic story feel like a worthwhile quest to embark on.
-> FINAL THOUGHTS
Uncharted is a short, amazingly fun and beautiful game. It may be old, it may be less refined than the sequels and it may have its flaws but even just the visuals alone make the game worth playing. To anyone who has yet to try it, I highly recommend it. Even twelve years later, Uncharted holds up as a monumental game worthy of delving into.