Content of the article: "Finally got a PS4. Here’s a brief overview of my experience and opinions on the Uncharted franchise. (Spoiler Free)"
Little preface. I had played 2 and half of 3 but that was many years ago and this felt like I was mostly approaching it blind.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
The game that started it all! Having already played 2 (albeit a long time ago) I had at least an idea of what these games would become and I found it really interesting to see the seeds being planted here. The game is definitely the clunkiest of the 4. Climbing doesn't feel nearly as fluid and while some of the action set pieces are fun they definitely pale in comparison to what is to come. If you've had any experience with the later entries this one may fail to impress but if it's your introduction to the series it's a fine enough few hours and the introduction to certain characters and relationships pays huge dividends in the long run.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
I don't think I've ever seen as much of a jump in quality between franchise entries as there is between the first game and this game. The first isn't even bad this one is just spectacular. Climbing and combat immediately feel more fluid and are in turn, more fun. The story feels more epic. The action set pieces are larger and more exciting. The humor that makes Nathan Drake such an iconic character really starts to come through here. The only frustration I had with this game is that they're often presenting certain sections as being able to be accomplished through stealth when it's debatable how possible that is. I was retrying one section over and over until I finally googled it out of frustration only to find out that it wasn't possible through stealth. That's super frustrating! I know it fits Nathan's character to be scrappy and constantly surviving by the skin of his teeth but don't code in stealth take down's start a section by saying "let's do this quietly", and then don't make it possible to do it quietly! Very frustrating.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
What a strange game to try and analyze. Playing this game so close to the second almost felt like an expansion or DLC of sorts. In the Nathan Drake Collection the graphics are almost unchanged they're so similar and game play is almost identical except for a revamped melee system. The good news is that means this is a really good game. The bad news is that since I played this so close together I didn't really find myself as in love with this one. I'm not sure if that's because I was expecting more of a rise in quality between each entry, I was getting fatigued from too much Uncharted too close together, or if something about the exciting set pieces were making me numb. Regardless, I still love it. The final area is exciting and the final fight is extremely satisfying. I just don't quite love it as much as the second.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
The only game developed natively for the PS4 and it shows here. One of the most notable things I remember hearing about each Uncharted game as they were originally releases is how beautiful they are. The first three all hold up too but this is something else. The graphic's on this game are absolutely gorgeous and were definitely the first thing that caught my eye. The story took some turns right off the bat that I didn't immediately love, the new grappling hook mechanic stretched my suspension of disbelief to the limit (and trust me, these games already stretch that enough), and the beginning of this game is much slower than any of the others. Despite this rocky start I stuck with it and once the ball gets rolling this is an excellent game! The gun play, climbing, and melee are all improved even if they take some getting used to. The story really started to pull me in and by the end had me feeling very emotional. One thing that I really loved about this game is that stealth is finally a viable option! Nothing feels more satisfying than taking out a huge group of mercenaries without them knowing you're there. The great thing is that's absolutely not necessary! If you want to shoot your way through you're more than welcome.
This is such a brief summary. I can think of so much more I want to say about each game but I guess for now…
Uncharted is fun. Play it.
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