Before I get into the review I just want to say I know this isn’t a new game, but Pure PlayStation is a new website, so I felt it would be a good idea to start building up a back-catalogue of reviews for PlayStation exclusives. The site is dedicated to PlayStation after all. Hopefully it will help those of you that haven’t purchased the game yet to decide whether you want to or not.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is, in a word, incredible. As this is a review you’ll probably want a little bit more to go on than that. This collection groups together three of last-gen’s greatest games, upscales them and adds in a few new features. In terms of menu navigation, it’s easily the most accessible collection of games I’ve played in a long time. I had to think long and hard about my approach to this review, but here’s how it’s going to go down. I’m going to keep it as short and concise as possible and that means two paragraphs looking at the collection as a whole, followed by one paragraph on each of the games and finally a summary. Let’s begin.
As I mentioned in the introduction, The Nathan Drake Collection is easily one of the greatest game collections ever. I’m not even talking in terms of the individual games, although as you’ll see further on they’re all great, but I mean in terms of presentation. When you boot up the collection you’re met with a screen asking you to select between Drake’s Fortune, Amongst Thieves and Drake’s Deception. Now back in last-gen game collections you’d have to switch off the collection if you choose the wrong game and then boot back up the collection in order to select another one. However, The Nathan Drake Collection fixes this, if, for example, you accidently click Drake’s Fortune but want to play Drake’s Deception you can just quit back to the collections menu instead of having to quit the game entirely and reload it from scratch. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s nice and makes navigation that bit easier.
However, if you’ve already played the games on PS3 you’re probably wondering what extras have been added in to make this collection worth your money? Well first and foremost there’s been a huge graphical overhaul, particularly noticeable in the first game, but more on that later on when I’m discussing the individual games. Bluepoint have added in two new modes: Brutal difficulty and a speed-running mode. If you’ve ever played Uncharted on Crushing you’ll know it’s pretty damn difficult, well Brutal dials that difficulty up to eleven, which if I’m honest is a little unfair and frustrating at times but it is playable. The speed-running mode does exactly what it says on the tin, which means it will allow you to set records for beating the games quickly. They added in a photography mode as well, which can be turned on and off in the settings of each game, it’s quite simple but fun to play around with. There’s some new skins to play as in each game and you can even unlock golden guns by beating the games on Brutal. On top of that the only other significant thing is trophies, they remain much the same as they did in the original games, with a few minor exceptions, but trophies specific to the collection are kept on a separate trophy list for each game, which means you don’t need them to platinum the games. Depending on how you feel about multiplayer you may be saddened to know Uncharted 2’s and 3’s multiplayer modes have not been included in the collection. Obviously some people only want Uncharted for the single player anyway, but the omission of multiplayer could be a deal-breaker for those of you who enjoyed it on the PS3.
Going chronologically, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is the first game most of you will play upon loading the collection. Drake’s Fortune was the first Uncharted to be released, so naturally it had the weakest graphics on the PS3. Well it still has the weakest graphics in the collection, but the graphical overhaul is most noticeable in this game, in fact it might be the biggest graphical leap I’ve ever seen an upscaled game make – well done Bluepoint. It looks way better that I ever thought Drake’s Fortune could and the character models don’t look like they’re made of plastic, which they did on PS3. The gun-play has also received a little boost and handles very nicely. The story follows Nathan Drake as he finds his ancestor’s (none other than Sir Francis Drake) journal in a coffin and begins to follow its clues to the lost treasure of El Dorado. You’ll also be introduced to Nathan’s love interest Elaina and mentor/best friend Sully, two characters that appear in all of the games.
Next up is Uncharted 2: Amongst Thieves. This one was my introduction to the Uncharted series, back in 2009, and after replaying all three games it remains my personal favourite. Graphically, this game was pushing the PS3 pretty hard back in 2009, as a result there’s not as much room for improvement in this as there was in the first game. However, it’s still performs a little better in the looks department than it did back in 2009 and can proudly stand beside most PS4 games as one of the best looking on the console. Again, the gun-play has also been slightly improved, but not drastically. The story follows Nathan, Sully, Elaina and new comer Chloe as they race a ruthless warlord to the mythical Cintamani Stone. Let’s just say things don’t exactly go smoothly for Nate and his friends, but on the upside you’ll be introduced to a fan favourite character – Jake the cameraman.
Last, but certainly not least, is Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Fans of the Uncharted series are often caught hotly debating which game is better: Uncharted 2 or 3. There’s a good reason for that, which is both games are bloody amazing! As I’ve already established I come down on Uncharted 2’s side because I feel it’s just slightly more bloody amazing. Anyway, if Uncharted 2 was almost pushing the PS3 to its limits back in 2009, then Uncharted 3 reached its limits (the Last of Us shot right through them). Again, this means that the graphical improvements aren’t all that noticeable in 3, but they are there and everything looks that little bit smoother. There’s also some slight improvements in gun-play here, but nothing major. The story follows Nathan, Elaina, Sully, Chloe and this game’s new comer, the claustrophobic tough guy, Charlie as they search for the lost city of Iram of the Pillars. This time around Nathan travels all over the world visiting location like France, London, Syria and more in his search for clues.