Listen up, busters. Today we’re off to do a light review on the incredible, 3-in-1 series Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection for PS4. The widely acclaimed series has sold over 21 million copies across the world, and to get the PS4 gamers excited for the impending launch of the series finale, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Uncharted is currently a top selling action-adventure series for PS3, winning numerous Game of the Year awards and is held as one of highest rated PS3 games ever. The story features the wild adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake as he explores all ends of the Earth solving historical mysteries. There’s trivial puzzles, there’s ass-kicking, and there’s a captivating story to keep players itching for more “Drake”.
The collection includes the first three instalments: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, remastered and revitalized for PS4 with a ton of technical and visual improvements, while adding new features to enhance gameplay for all types of adventure travellers.
Technical and Visual Improvements
Avoiding the technical nitty gritty stuff, the visual and technical departments were given a healthy bump this time around. The biggest upgrade is to the resolution, bringing all three games into the 1080p and 60hz standard. Bugs that existed in Uncharted 1 are fixed (including that messy screen tearing that plagued the original release). Improvements in most of the visual aspects are expected, and to specific, you can see a nice finish on the environment lighting, character models and shaders, particle effects, and draw distance shadows. As a remastered version, it looks absolutely stunning.
Although minimal, gameplay enhancements are limited to small tweaks. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? For experienced Uncharted players, you may not even notice the baseball grenade throw from Uncharted 2 and 3 appearing in Uncharted 1, or the ability to play Crush difficulty from the start. If you’re really accustomed to the PS3 version, you might notice a small change to the weapon feel and aiming logic, but in our opinion it’s not something to write home about.
New features in the Nathan Drake Collection aren’t the true purpose of the product. However developer Naughty Dog did spend an adventurous amount of time adding new features that will improve your likeliness to replay.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection has three new game modes: Brutal mode (for super difficulty), Speed Run (to track your gameplay speed vs. your friends), and Explorer mode (for beginners who enjoy a good story over a tough challenge). They’ve also added a new Photo mode feature for the site seeing type.
New trophies are available, as well as changes to existing ones, which is mildly exciting to anyone who isn’t crazy over the achievement system. The soundtrack and music have been remastered for an even more engaging experience to discrete 7.1 surround sound.
Probably the most obvious inclusion is the exclusive access to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End multiplayer beta, which begins December 4. It’s the bridge to give the franchise a new home on PS4.
- Don’t expect to see the full use of the Playstation 4’s capabilities. No Touchpad, no overutilized PS4 power. This is a remaster, not a redevelopment project.
- Uncharted 1 and 2, with all the bells and whistles added, still suffers from looking like a PS3 game. Which is totally cool, because it’s not like we’re expecting a full blown PS4 version until Uncharted 4. You’re playing a PS3 remaster of one of the best games on PS3 – there isn’t much to fix when it was never broken. The improvements to environments, textures, and shading, as well as the fluid movements of Nathan Drake, are very noticeable and will keep you engaged all the way through.
- Since Uncharted 3 was just released in 2011, it already came with a lot of visual improvements out of the box. The PS4 enhancements have lead to sharper colours, crisp lighting, harder edges, and rich shadows. The visual depth is more apparent in the third instalment. If I may be frank: they took a great thing and made it look prettier.
- Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is meant for two audiences: (1) new PS4 owners that have never owned or barely played the Uncharted series before, and (2) die-hard Uncharted fans that love to replay it. Since the first group is most likely larger than the second, the collection’s purpose is to get people onboard that don’t generally jump into a series mid-way. Getting through even one of the three Uncharted’s will prep them for the ultra exciting and visual gratifying Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Assuming you’ve never played Uncharted before, or you did but never quite finished it before dumping your PS3 for a PS4, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection was built specifically for you. You’ll love the well-thought-out puzzles, the action packed fight sequences, the historical references, the humorous banter, and the compelling storyline. It’s three of PS3’s best games wrapped into one disc. You can’t go wrong on the fun metre here.
If this isn’t your first rodeo, the replay factor may entice you to pick it back up to get yourself primed for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Whether you’re saving shelf space or planning to ditch the ol’ PS3, if even one of the Uncharted games were in your top 5 list, having an extra (enhanced) copy might be what the doctor ordered.