September 1, 2013
Seventh Generation Reflection: Uncharted
As this console generation comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to highlight the most iconic video game series and franchises of the past seven years. Today, we’re taking a look at Uncharted. Starting in 2007, Uncharted has been the go-to series for action-adventure on PS3.
After finishing the Jak & Daxter series on the Playstation 2, Naughty Dog decided to start their run on the Playstation 3 with a new franchise that included a more realistic graphics and gameplay approach to push the capabilities of the console. Out of this new project came Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune in 2007. The story follows the exploits of Nathan Drake, descendant of Sir Francis Drake, as he tries to find El Dorado, suspecting that his ancestor found it, leaving clues to its location. Along the way he makes two friends who would come to assist him in Elena Fisher and Victor “Sully” Sullivan. Together the three uncover the mysteries of Sir Francis Drake’s discovery while escaping the pirates and mercenaries who are after Nathan and El Dorado. The game is a third-person action-adventure game with 3D platforming strikingly similar to Tomb Raider, and cover-based shooting. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune received good reviews of 8’s out of 10. The game was praised for its over-the-top action sets, similar the Indiana Jones films. Critics also gave the game high marks for its realistic graphics and fluid animations. The game won several awards for best PS3 Game, Game of the Year and Best Action Game.
Naughty Dog followed up on the success of its original outing with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves in December 2009. This entry in the series has Nate, Sully, and Elena on another adventure, this time in the Himalayas searching for the ancient city of Shambhala. This time around, Nate reunites with old acquaintances Chloe Frazer and Harry Flynn. The gameplay didn’t change much from the original, but Uncharted 2 received a huge graphical overhaul and several multiplayer modes. The competitive multiplayer features game modes where two teams of five fight against each other in death match or objective-based games. Also included are co-op missions that play out similar to campaign missions where three players can play as Drake and two other characters. In other co-op modes are Gold Rush, where three players fight against AI opponents to retrieve statues spawned on a map and take them back to the base. A “horde” game mode type is also included. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was extremely well received with 10s across the board. It won several Game of the Year awards and has been deemed by many reviewers as the greatest game of all time. Critics praised it for its stunning graphical quality and blockbuster-movie cinematic gameplay.
The Uncharted series had its final run with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception in November 2011. This installment of the series features Nate and Sully’s struggle against Katherine Marlowe, the current leader of a secret order to which Nate’s ancestor, Sir Francis Drake, belonged. Their adventures this time around take them to the Middle East, looking for the Iram of the Pillars, a legendary city from the Quran. The gameplay received an update in this title, with Nate now able to fight multiple enemies at once with melee attacks that vary based on the surroundings. The multiplayer was also made more accessible and given more depth with character customization and a better integration with the PlayStation Network. Drake’s Deception was met with great reviews, with many awards for Best Action-Adventure Game and Best PS3 Game, but didn’t seem to achieve the same success as its predecessor review wise. Many reviewers said that the game is shallower and had big shoes to fill, ultimately not living up to Uncharted 2. It received 9s and 10s.
What did you think about the Uncharted series? Leave a comment below!
Image Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment