Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Review: Back on the Map

Naughty Dog’s highly popular PlayStation 3 series, Uncharted, has been remastered and re-released for the PlayStation 4. But does it hold up to the pedestal of quality and epic-adventure that fans place it on? Or is it lost in time like the crumbling temples that Nathan Drake and friends explore? Our review.

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Nathan Drake’s story might not be the oldest one in the book, but it is still as good as legend when it comes to action adventure games. Now released in a full collection, Naughty Dog has remastered their acclaimed hero’s journeys into a remastered trilogy of romance, adventure, beautiful women, and dangerous places.

Aging (Somewhat) Gracefully

I’ve enjoyed every second of my journey through Nathan Drake’s perilous adventures, but the later games certainly stood the test of time better. The first game is the roughest, and though the story can take a few wide turns at times, weaving massive plot holes and breaking character quite often, it’s still a tell worth sitting through. While the remasters have definitely made things more beautiful, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune can’t be wholly saved from the finicky controls, somewhat broken cover system, and terrible jet ski sequences that pockmarked the middle section of the game. Uncharted 2 and 3 don’t suffer quite as badly from these issues, but it’s still something to keep in mind when going into the games.

Drake vs The World

As a shooter it’s expected that players will be mass-murdering enemies over and over throughout. But having played The Last of Us, and seen how Naughty Dog can weave the killing into the story, it’s sometimes hard to connect with Drake and his companions as they quickly move from making jokes to committing genocide. It’s a flaw that many games suffer, and while it’s inherent throughout the entire trilogy of games, it doesn’t break things down completely.

Drake’s story is still a thrilling and fascinating treasure hunt set among some of the most beautiful set pieces we’ve even seen in video games. The various puzzles and obstacles placed before our hero and his friends are always on point, aligning with the setting that Naughty Dog has placed you in. The pacing is magnificent, pulling you from cinematic scene to action-packed fight in seconds, and while the combat might not make complete sense at times, in the world the Drake lives it never truly feels out of place. There were a couple of moments in the first game that really caused me to disconnect from the story, but overall it’s a gem worth having, and Naughty Dog has delivered a brilliant prelude to the next story in Drake’s journal.

While the Uncharted series does have few bumps and bruises, and Drake’s wrinkles have deepened over time, fans of the Drake’s story, and action adventure games alike, couldn’t have asked for anything better. The collection highlights everything great about the Uncharted series, and offers up a sizeable, and thrilling adventure for those willing to brave the wilds. Sure, there are cliché moments, and the supernatural twist in the third game feels a bit pressed and out of place, but overall the scattered ruins of this series are worth exploring again and again.


This review is based on a Retail copy provided by the publisher. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection will be available in retail and digital stores on October 9, for $59.99. The game is rated T.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

Pros
  • Fine-tuned details and smoother framerate
  • Brilliant storytelling and set-pieces
  • Complex characters and relationships
  • Fantastic pacing throughout
  • Beautiful remastered visuals
Cons
  • Uncharted: Drake's fortune hasn't aged as well as the others, making it hard to play through at first
  • Disconnecting dialogue and actions make the story tough to swallow at moments
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