When it was revealed that Bluepoint Games were remastering all the three PS3 Uncharted games, I was filled with happiness because these are some of my most favourite games and in the hands of an excellent remaster studio. Stripped of multiplayer and co-op elements, the collection still offers three excellent singleplayer Uncharted games for a price of a full game.
People who’ve never played an Uncharted game are in for a ride as these games have aged beautifully. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (henceforth UDF) which introduces us to the great cast of the series; Nathan Drake, Victor Sullivan, and Elena Fischer, still looks gorgeous as ever. Of course, the gameplay systems are outdated and the game still throws tons of bullet sponge enemies at you, but it’s a testament to the art direction of Naughty Dog for still making the visuals look impressive.
Now UDF has a lot of problems. People who’ve never played it before may find it outdated in a lot of ways. However, it still has a fun story and the humour is excellent. Shooting enemies is not satisfying, neither is the platforming, and you do a lot of these things in the game. The entire game took me around 6 and a half hours to complete on normal and there’s a speedrun option too in the remaster for people who like running through the levels ignoring the story.
There are two new difficulty levels as well. Explorer mode for people who want to enjoy the story and a brutal mode for people who want that extra challenge, as if crushing mode wasn’t challenging enough. Thankfully, you don’t need to beat the game on the brutal mode to get the platinum trophy if you are into that sort of a thing. Collection trophies are extra and that’s a very good decision.
UDF has been enhanced by Bluepoint Games to such an extent that players who’ve beaten the game before will immediately notice the difference. The character models look better, the textures have been improved and there’s some change in the lighting as well. Considering UDF came out 9 years ago, it’s still amazing that it manages to look so great.
Moving on to the second game, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, this is where Naughty Dog’s mastery is at full display. It’s widely regarded as one of the best games of all time and for very good reasons. The visuals, pacing, character development and incredible set pieces makes this game very fun to play. With the new enhancements in the remaster, it can still give many current gen games a run for their money in the visuals department. A weak final boss fight aside, this is one of the best single player games you will ever play.
Playing Uncharted 2 remaster made me nostalgic and was a good refresher. The attention to detail and incredible performances by Nolan North and co. was a standout. This game also marked Naughty Dog’s ascension as a top tier game developer and they’ve been maintaining that reputation ever since. This game is one of the best reasons to buy Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is a great game too but personally it doesn’t meet the highs of Uncharted 2. It’s still a fun romp and there are tons of setpieces and amazing visuals. While the theme of Uncharted 2 was snow, for Uncharted 3 it’s sand. Glorious, glorious sand. The entire level where you roam around in a desert is complete eye candy, and it looks even better in the remaster.
Uncharted 3 does have some improvements though. The melee system is great and allows you to grab an enemy’s weapon or set off their grenade and fun to watch it explode while the enemies fumble to throw it away. The game also tells you the origins of Nathan Drake. The villains in this game aren’t memorable at all and the story isn’t that gripping.
The performance of all the three games is great and it shouldn’t be surprising considering they all run at 60fps. The games are also updated to 1080p so you can expect some crisp visuals. Technically the games have no fault and it’s the best time to jump into the Uncharted series if you haven’t played these games.
For people who have played the games on the PS3, it’s hard to justify the cost considering these games are quite a few years old. However, buying the Collection is the only way to access the Uncharted 4 beta. Uncharted fans would’ve no doubt already bought the Collection and the remaster is mostly targeted at specific audiences who’ve never had a PS3 last gen.
I can’t say that there’s great value in this collection but you do get three fantastic single player experiences with no technical faults, and the chance to experience Uncharted 2 again on the PS4. The Collection is definitely recommended if you haven’t played these games before.