Nathan Drake. Victor Sullivan. Elena Fisher. Chloe Fraser. Sam Drake. Nadine Ross. Just a few names to remind us all of the amazing uncharted series. Of course, there are just as iconic villains, but I didn’t want to bore you with an endless list of names because there were some cool villains as well. This blog post is just my introduction to all the games of Uncharted, and I plan on going back and playing all of them individually, so I can write about them. Let us begin.
Uncharted. What an amazing game right? What an amazing series right? Unforgettable characters. Unfathomable adventures. Beautiful landscapes. Wonderful graphics. Rich gameplay. And let us not forget those “Give me a break! What?!” survival moments of Nathan Drake. I must be honest, I believe that Uncharted in a way is ahead of its time, in so many ways, and Naughty Dog only improved Uncharted as it grew. Every Uncharted game only got better, both in graphics and gameplay and/or platforming. I believe that most game series out there just stay the same, but not games developed by Naughty Dog, they really challenge themselves, and only got better. Yes, I will have criticisms and praise, and to make sure I give credit where it due, my opinions come from a mix of my own gameplay, and watching walkthroughs of other players (Seraphim17 and Mike Bettencourt are my two favorites they can both be looked up on YouTube).
I remember first playing Drakes Fortune, a friend by the name of Joanne had asked me to come over and help her get through her game because she was stuck. That my friends is when I found Uncharted. Prior to this, I never played video games for almost 13 years of my life. When I first played this game, I could not believe the graphics and the world of Uncharted. Then I noticed it was a Naughty Dog game and the last game developed by them that I knew about was Crash Bandicoot! And that series was ahead of its time for the late 90’s. I love action adventure and Uncharted was great at providing that gameplay, like the action and adventure in the Indiana Jones movies. I love maps. I hate puzzles. I love shooting. I love hand to hand combat and the fast-paced action of Uncharted, but I also love the chapters where all your doing is climbing around, because they had a way of incorporating those chapters either right after a brutal combat section (so you get a breather), or right before one (as a calm before the storm). I loved the idea of collecting the treasures as a side mission. In a Thief’s End, they added the ability to use a rope to grapple with. Naughty Dog incorporated all of this beautifully.
It takes a few play throughs to really see the changes through all the games. Here is the breakdown from my perspective: Uncharted Drakes Fortune to Among Thieves (major changes), Among Thieves to Drakes Deception (minor changes), Drakes Deception to A Thief’s End (Major changes) and A Thief’s End to The Lost Legacy (minor changes). You see the pattern? When I played Drakes Fortune, I thought it was amazing (and it still is), but when I played Among Thieves’, I was like, whoa, this is different. Years down the road when I played A Thief’s End, I was like, dang this is nice. The major change I noticed that made the series great is platforming. What do I mean? I mean the way the character responds to your commands, especially when it comes to climbing and grappling. In other games I found myself sitting there like, “come on man grab the ledge!” We all remember those times, where your trying to progress, or escape a fire fight, and Drake doesn’t grab the ledge and just falls to his death, or you simply die getting shot at trying to get away, frustrating right? Over time Naughty Dog improved this. I just want Drake to jump onto that ledge for cover. Nothing is perfect, but after playing A Thief’s End, and looking back at Dakes Fortune, your like, wow, the platforming is smooth. I thought the same thing about Drakes Fortune, hindsight is perfect vision.
The number one criticism I have heard from others about the Uncharted series, is the grenades. And every game is different, sometimes the grenades deal great damage, other times they don’t. Or the enemies’ grenades do more damage to you than your grenades do to them. And don’t get me started on trying to aim a grenade at an enemy from cover, when you can’t see crap. You totally miss, but the computer A.I. throws it perfectly at you. We all remember the Tree of Life in Among Thieves where Lazarevic throws five grenades at you at once. Not to mention these issues on Crushing difficulty. In Drakes Deception they allowed you to throw the grenade back, which was cool, and I thought they would continue with that, but they didn’t. What I learned was that they changed the gameplay based on what environments you will be in. That was one major issue I have experienced in all of them. What a gamer wants more than anything else is telling the character what to do and he does it. How can the A.I shoot you and hit you, even when you are behind cover? Sometimes the angle your shooting from and the environment you’re in don’t match, so you may think you’re behind a wall when you’re not, because of a force perspective error. This improved over time.
Character development to me is everything, Nathan Drake, the soul searching, purpose finding, mister know it all about history. Victor Sullivan, the father Nathan never had, and come on, Victor Sullivan is the dad we all want, the accepting/understanding dad. Elena Fisher, the faithful one, lover of Nathan Drake. Chloe Fraser, the adventure finding flirt, good girl caught up with bad people, Drakes one-time fling. I have to say I grew with these characters, and only in a Thief’s End do they really reveal the depth of these characters. As you start to put the pieces together, especially with Nathan, with his mom committing suicide, dad abandoning him, and his brother left alone in an orphanage. And Sam Drake, right? Maybe the developers wanted us to feel like Elena in a Thief’s End, “You have a brother?” Yep. Sam made a good older brother to Nathan, and their history together is perfect. Nathan thought his brother was dead, no point in mentioning him, because there is too much pain there. Victor Sullivan’s protective attitude toward Sam in A Thief’s End, and even Sam’s distrust of Victor. We must admit, some villains in these games Victor had previous relationships with. In Drakes Deception with that witch lady Marlowe, and in a Thief’s End, he knew Nadine Ross, and did work for Hector Alcazar. He always remained faithful to Nate and his family. I must admit when I first played a Thief’s End, I cried a few times, simply because you grow with the characters, it’s pathetic I know.
Now I have only played these on Crushing difficulty, and I have no desire whatsoever to even attempt Brutal on the remastered Uncharted. Crushing is the perfect challenge for me, because honestly, I love a challenge, but if I can’t do it in 4-5 tries, forget it. I’m not a good gamer and I have watched guys play it on Brutal. Just watching them I’m like, no way. I do think that the Remastered versions of the first three uncharted games are better. They are clearer and smoother, they even load faster, but the gameplay remains the same throughout. Overall Uncharted has been a great series to play.
My friends, this is only an introduction and I look forward to going back and playing all of them individually. I will also be writing about the Last of Us, Shadow of Mordor, and Shadow of War, maybe even Days Gone when it drops or Call of Duty WW2. Until then take care. God Bless.