Over the course of the past 12 years, there's been a lot of development in the gaming world. We have better graphics, better motion capture, better consoles, better equipment, better open worlds. Hence, it would be safe to say that gaming is no longer the same.
However, there are some games that stand the test of time and no matter how old they become, they still make you marvel at the thought and imagination behind each of them.
The Uncharted series, first debut in 2007 with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, 12 years back and even today, the games is monumental breakthroughs in gameplay, design and storytelling. Here, we revisit the Uncharted series and give you our two cents on it.
Starting from Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, all the way to the 4th game in the series, Uncharted: A Thief's End one thing is kept constant- Nathan Drake's improvisational and exploration skills and of course, his sense of humor.
In the first game, you start off to find a long lost treasure, El Dorado, and since it's Drake we're talking about, there's no way you can take the road that leads to the front door.
One often doesn't think of good facial capture when speaking about older games but this one had us marvelling at the facial capture, which was way ahead of the time. The character moves realistically (except for when he leaps from building to building) and it doesn't feel like a game.
The mix of puzzle solving, the occasional platforming and shooting up the bad guys does a lot to improve the overall experience and it is perhaps why Naughty Dog went on to make a sequel for it.
However, since the game is old, it's got a fair number of glitches- some characters get stuck in walls, some cutscenes don't show and worst of all, the controls seem janky and jarring to say the least.
At the end of the day, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is a game that feels a bit too arcade-y but manages to keep the player hooked.
For Naughty Dog, creating just one Uncharted game wasn't enough and for good reason. Nathan Drake was a likable adventurer who's explorations would surely go on even after he found out that the treasure in El Dorado was cursed.
This brings us to the second game in the series, Uncharted: Among Thieves, which revolves more around the characters and has a more in depth look at relationships and story rather than sticking to the formula adopted by the first game.
The second game also improves on a lot of issues that often crop up in the first one. For one, the controls are no longer as jarring, but they seem more smooth.
By far one of the longest game in the series, and the only Uncharted game to be host to a boss battle (or at least as far as a boss battle can get in a game like Uncharted), the game doesn't feel all that long. With an intense opening and gripping sequences that are a mix of challenging as well as fun, the game comes around on it's own.
As for the story, it throws a whirlwind of emotions at you and really shows a bit of a character development on the part of Drake. The addition of Chloe Frazer as an intriguing character adds to the appeal and realism of the game.
Drake's feelings towards her are largely believable and once you're through the story, you feel like you were part of something bigger than yourself and the characters. Faced with some really monumental decisions, Nathan Drake seems to take the most humane option.
On to the third game, Uncharted: Drake's Deception, which is an even more refined game and is probably the most grounded in the series. In this, the story seems largely believable and less far fetched. The third one feels more homely, for a lack of a better word.
Taking the player on a journey through the jungles of France, the high seas around Middle East and finally a seemingly never ending desert in Iran, the player can't help but feel like a globetrotter. Often times, you'll find yourself wondering how exactly Drake pays for it all because the treasures they're looking for don't always pay off.
Of the first three games, Uncharted: Drake's Deception is the most polished and well written game. Leaving little to the imagination and putting everything out there, you really feel a connection with the main characters.
In fact, this game also delves into the past of Nathan Drake, which is a nice added touch. Several years after it's release, this game still manages to captivate you and wraps around you.
Finally, the fourth game, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End takes everything that made the first three games so memorable and turns everything up to 11.
The game design, attention to detail, the indepth picturization of characters, the intricate puzzles all make for the best game in the series.
Rather long, the game is paced extremely well and delivers a story full of twists, turns and all sorts of surprises. The addition of new mechanics, revamped gunplay, exciting parkour and a lived in city make the game a pleasure to play.
Some of the parts are exciting enough to give you a hair raising experience and the beautiful pacing makes sure that you're never too bored or doing the same thing over and over. The improved environment and the care that's been taken with everything in and around the game, makes it all the more immersive.
Bringing Nathan Drake's journey to a well rounded ending, the game gives you the feels and confirms that Nate is leaving the life of adventure behind.
At any rate, the Uncharted series of games are truly memorable and revolutionary. These games have propelled Naughty Dog into the lovable developers they are today and all we can say is "In Naughty Dog we trust."