This whole mini-series has been dragging on for some time now. I’ve had a short break from it all whilst i’ve been on holiday, but I’m back with a vengeance and a steely determination!
I’ve finished Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection; the first three games of the series in their remastered format for PS4.
Honestly, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the ride I’ve been on over the past few weeks but has my opinion changed? Are the games still overrated? Well, I think I’ve played enough to form an opinion without the need for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and my answer is yes, they’re still massively overrated.
Now that I’ve finished the third instalment, I’m going to take a short break between now and starting the fourth. I feel like I’ll grow tired of it and it’ll cloud my judgement of what I actually think of the game; instead of it being a grind just to get through it and say that I’m fully up-to-speed, I’d prefer to enjoy it for what it is.
So from here, I’d expect there to be another 2-3 posts in this little blog series of mine, that’s not including this one of course. Whilst on my travels, I’ve been collecting a lot of stats through my play throughs so I’m really looking forward to collating them all for the finale and making sense of it all.
In the meantime, let’s have a brief overview of each game…
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
This was gash, plain and simple. How the hell this game sprouted such a successful franchise is beyond me.
Now, i’ve had a think about this and the only game I can compare it to, and this will sort of makes sense when I explain, is the original Halo.
Yes, Halo: Combat Evolved.
It’s a classic, it’s renowned as being one of the greatest FPS game ever made, but when did you last play it? I’ve got so many sweet memories as a kid playing this game, kicking back with buddies after school and playing split screen on the original Xbox together. They were some of my fondest times, only playing it now infuriates me. I couldn’t wait to play the whole thing again in glorious 60 frames-per-second when it was re-released for it’s 10th anniversary but in reality, it was pretty much a painful grind from start to finish. The level design was so drab and uninspiring. The gameplay was pretty boring too, despite the great and fluid controls, the combat was just similar regurgitations of:
1) Enter a large room.
2) Kill everything.
3) Move on to another room that looks almost identical to the previous.
4) Kill everything.
1) Charge plasma pistol
2) Swap to handgun or Battle Rifle
(mind you, that tactic still rings true for me throughout the entire series!)
Bar the first few missions with the Flood, there’s not all that much to sing and dance about. It’s harsh, but unfortunately it’s true. I still hold in in high regard though, that game was revolutionary. Which, brings me back to Uncharted: Drakes Fortune; its boring, tedious and no fun at all but has clearly been revolutionary in the way games portray characters and build storylines. It is the root of this revered game series, which is why I believe it to be so loved by so many.
In reality, the only saving grace this game has is Nolan North. Without Nathan Drake, there would be no Uncharted. In the first game, I can’t recall any other character’s name. Of course, we have Sully and Elena, but it’s only through them being so heavily features in the sequels that I’m familiar with what they’re actually called. In Drake’s Fortune, every character bar Nate is boring, flat and lives short in the memory. The gameplay is poor, the level design is cramped, dull and feels too linear and the overarching story in average at best. This game clings onto its fantastic voice over work and script like a small piece of poo clinging for life on the hairs of your arsehole. Naughty Dog owe everything they have recently achieved to Nolan North and his perfect performances. Without him, we wouldn’t have had the sequels, and I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have been treated to The Last Of Us either. Crash Bandicoot was obviously a huge success for them, and Jak and Daxter was too in some degree, but I think this game would have fallen flat on it’s face without it’s on-point writers and ol’ Nolan.
That man deserves so much more than a medal. Take a seat Nolan, your back must be killing you.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Thankfully, this game improved on pretty much everything wrong with it’s predecessor. Naughty Dog took their greatest assets and made them better. The combat itself still feels iffy, but the level design’s drastic improvement helps to cover up the small cracks on show. There’s a lot more character building in this game, and it’s through playing this title that I actually managed to start putting faces to names, so to speak. Nate, Elena, Sully, Chloe and even Flynn (seriously though, why is it alway the Brit that’s cast as the bad guy?). All of this character development and interesting story was enough to entice me through the mediocre gameplay. The puzzles were still basic and I’ve already spouted my hated for the shooting mechanics, but the storyline and the scripting were enough to pull me through. It was during this game that I started to understand why the series is held in such a high regard.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Storyline and voice acting; Uncharted’s two saving graces. That pretty much rung true during this game too, although I have to admit this is the game that I enjoyed the most. I’ve mentioned in the previous post (Pt. 5), the focus on Drake and Sully’s relationship was a welcomed turn. I’ve clearly shown already that I’ve got a small man-crush on Nolan North here, but he’s just so, so good at what he does. His quips, the sarcastic comments, the snide little remarks… it’s great script writing by the writers, and equally great voice acting.
It’s not without it’s problems, but, and as much as it pains me to say, the series is ridiculously lovable and I find myself glazing over this issues. It’s a shit Hollywood blockbuster that people can’t help but enjoy.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Well, who knows? But considering that this is the first game in the series bred for the Playstation 4, I’ve got high hopes.
I’m in two minds right now about what to do, I’ve opted to play Final Fantasy XV to take my mind off of Uncharted. I don’t want to get to a stage where I’ve had too much of it and feel burnt out. However, I’ve also got The Last Of Us to play through as well. I desperately want to sink my teeth into the post-apocalyptic gut wrencher, but I feel that it might be too similar to Uncharted in terms of it’s actual gameplay. Either way, I think Final Fantasy XV will do just fine.
I’ll hopefully be getting my hands on Uncharted 4 in the next week or so, so we won’t have to wait too long before I can finally form may own, informed opinion on the series.