Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PlayStation 4) Review

By Az Elias 25.01.2016

Review for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on PlayStation 4

The Uncharted series is often described as the reason to own a PlayStation 3. Sure enough, the system held firm in its battle against Xbox 360 thanks to the consistently high quality titles that developer Naughty Dog churned out every couple of years, which included three Uncharted titles and The Last of Us. Sony owes a huge part of the PS3's success to Naughty Dog's efforts over the last decade, and the subsidiary studio is looking to replicate that once more in the fast-approaching Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. What better way to prepare for this final chapter than with Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, a set of Drake's three PS3 outings, remastered for PS4.

With just how well the PlayStation 4 has taken off and how many previously Xbox 360 owners have made the switch to Sony's machine this generation, it's made perfect sense to bring Naughty Dog's hits to the system for those that missed out. Following in the wake of The Last of Us Remastered, Nathan Drake's escapades have been ported over to PS4 (minus the PS Vita exclusive Uncharted: Golden Abyss), with porting expert Bluepoint Games handling the transition, having successfully brought many classics into the realm of HD, including the Metal Gear Solid and God of War series.

Screenshot for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on PlayStation 4

More than any of the three games, the title that kicked it all off in 2007 needed the revamp the most, and the difference really is night and day when comparing the PS3 and PS4 versions side by side. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune benefits greatly from the technical advantages the PS4 holds, whilst incorporating tools of the trade that Naughty Dog learned and applied to future entries. The most obvious, and immediately striking, upgrade is in the visuals, where anti-aliasing, improved textures and rebuilt geometry breathe new life into the Pacific island Drake traverses in search of El Dorado. Drake's model from later releases has been used in place of his original here, and entire parts of the game have been recreated to produce a title that looks on par with its successors. Screen tearing and texture pop-in is eradicated, frame-rate has increased to 60 frames per second, and forced motion controls for grenade throwing and beam walking are done away with, culminating in a vastly superior experience over its initial outing.

Whilst notably updated in a number of ways, akin to Drake's Fortune, the enhancements aren't as pronounced with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and especially so with Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. All the necessary 1080p resolution, 60fps and AA updates are there, but it is clear that Naughty Dog's progress jumped massively after the first Uncharted and really helped to solidify its status as one of the most talented studios in the business. Bluepoint Games has naturally touched the games up with the expected bells and whistles, though, delivering beautiful locations and characters that don't look out of place on current hardware.

Screenshot for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on PlayStation 4

Drake's Deception has seen a much-required gameplay upgrade, with latency issues and sluggish aiming that Naughty Dog tried to rectify with a patch on the PS3 now redesigned and running as smoothly as the other two titles. At last, Uncharted 3 now plays as it always should have.

Extra features include a photo mode with an array of options and filters; a speed run mode that allows for individual chapter and full game playthroughs with an on-screen clock recording fastest completion times; and friend stats that update in real time for number of kills, kills with explosions, kills with hand-to-hand combat, and more. The same consistent user interface has been applied to all three, and loading up one game from another is an extremely quick process. No lack for effort has been put into this collection, although all forms of multiplayer modes have been removed entirely. This is strictly the single-player Uncharted experience, which is pretty understandable given that Naughty Dog will want to be focusing on running Uncharted 4's online multiplayer exclusively, but is a small shame that the likes of co-op survival is missing here.

Screenshot for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on PlayStation 4

As for the Uncharted titles themselves, it's not a series that necessarily evolved the third-person shooter genre by any huge leaps and bounds, but it is one that crafted some fantastic characters through motion capture and voice actors that set the standard for the industry as a whole. It is Uncharted 2 that demonstrated exactly what Naughty Dog is all about and how much it had learned between the two 2007 and 2009 releases, though, as this technical marvel featured some of the most notorious sequences and gameplay sections of the last generation, on top of a much-improved stealth system that allowed quiet kills to actually be pulled off without being spotted.

Of the trilogy, Among Thieves is, without a doubt, the best entry; the third adventure sadly took a bit of a nose dive, as it seemed things went to the creators' heads a bit. A massive overreliance on set-pieces and a poor, unelaborated storyline made for a naturally disappointing adventure coming off the back of its predecessor, despite being jaw-dropping graphically, but there is hope that Uncharted 4 can reach the lofty heights of the second title after what was achieved with The Last of Us, Naughty Dog's critically acclaimed project that followed Uncharted 3. Well-paced and entertaining throughout all three outings, though, this is still some of the finest linear TPS adventure-platforming around.

Screenshot for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Unlike a number of remastered games that somehow tend to fall way off the mark, Bluepoint Games has crafted the optimum versions of each of the three titles in The Nathan Drake Collection, with Drake's Fortune, in particular, benefitting greatly from the work that has been put in in terms of visuals and gameplay. This is hardly a quick and dirty cash-grab; it is evidently a package that has seen a talented studio put effort into delivering the ultimate Uncharted trilogy experience, and the results are there for all to see, especially when going back to compare to the PS3 versions. There has been no better time to join Drake on his past expeditions and to prepare for his final adventure in A Thief's End.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (as well as other Uncharted games in the series) can be bought from Play-Asia.com in disc format today, or credit can be bought for the PlayStation Network, along with many other great digitally released titles on the likes of Nintendo's eShop, on PC via Steam, and so on, across all regions.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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