Uncharted Series Review

By Anisha Koilpillai

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My latest obsession has been with the Uncharted series. I recently binge played through the entire series, and now I am left with a sort of empty feeling inside, which is usually how I feel after finishing a game. There is so much I want to talk about in regards to this game series, but for this article, I’m going to stick with a general review of the series. Eventually, I think I will write some more pieces on this series, but for now, I want to review it.

The Uncharted series is something I’ve always wanted to play. I finally got a PS4, traded in some old Xbox One games I didn’t use anymore, and I picked up a copy of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Uncharted: A Thief’s End. I later got a copy of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy from Amazon.

Without a doubt, for me, the fourth game and the standalone follow up, The Lost Legacy were the best games in the series. I wasn’t super impressed with 3, and 1 and 2 were fairly decent. At first, I thought that the games reminded me of the Tomb Raider Series, but with a straight white male protagonist. Nonetheless, I was still having fun: the games are very hilarious, not super difficult (depending on the difficulty level you choose of course), and reminded me of Indiana Jones.

A part of my enjoyment for the last two installments of the game definitely had to do with the updated visuals that came along with the PS4. Yes, the Nathan Drake collection is technically remastered, but it does not hold a medal to the last two games. Moreover, the more open world nature of the last two games was really enjoyable. Plus, the grappling hook was an amazing advantage I wish we had in the first three games.

The last two games, to me, really seemed like a nice farewell to all these characters. Yes, we are introduced to two characters in A Thief’s End that also appear in The Lost Legacy, but it is noticeable that these characters aren’t pretty young, and thus any future the franchise might have might not revolve around them as main characters (I would love to see them appear as NPCs though. That’s an article I can write about another time).

The overall plots of the games were interesting enough. I think my biggest problem was with Uncharted 3. Nathan became quite obsessive over the treasure he was looking for in the game, which resonated with Sam’s obsession in A Thief’s End (bravo for the similarities). While it was understandable that he was upset since the treasure had to do with Sir Francis Drake, I found myself reluctant in wanting to continue because it felt as if I was helping Nate down a destructive path. Also, there were a lot of gaps that kinda went unexplained in between 2 and 3. We got a bit of an explanation as to what happened in between 1 and 2, but not for 2 and 3. I think maybe that is why 3 is my least favorite of the games. But, again, it was still fun! It was just not one that I think I would ever play again. I would definitely play the last two games again.

It was really cool seeing how Nathan Drake grew as a character over the four games that he is in, including his relationship with Elena Fisher. The fourth game really gave his character an amazing farewell, and without a doubt, it is Naughty Dog’s intent to move to a new protagonist if they continue the series (most likely it will be Nate and Elena’s daughter, Cassie, but again, an article for another time).

Moreover, Chloe Frazer was my favorite secondary character in the series (sorry, Elena, but you’re cool, too). So, playing as Chloe in The Lost Legacy was amazing. I am Indian myself, so playing as a character of Indian descent looking for lost Indian treasure and ancient cities was really exciting. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so excited about a character in a game. That feeling of representation was incredible (again, another article for another time). Even though I would love to play as Chloe again in future games, I think that going with someone new and younger (and more Drake) is the best path Naughty Dog can take.

That being said, I think they should continue the series. The Tomb Raider trilogy is releasing its last game in October, so its main treasure-hunting competition will cease moving forward. The Last of Us Part II is also coming out soon, so Naughty Dog can focus on other projects. I think they should continue the Uncharted series. They have built up many characters that could potentially be protagonists for future games, especially Cassie Drake. There are always treasures or artifacts that you can look into history to try to find (or just ask Nick Cage how he stole the Declaration of Independence). Sales and reviews for the games have typically done well. All in all, Naughty Dog has enough incentive to continue the series. Whether or not they do is up to them of course (though I have a good feeling they will continue it).

If you’re into Indiana Jones or the Tomb Raider games, you should definitely play the Uncharted series. It’s worth a shot at the very least. Plus, the directors for The Last of Us were the directors for A Thief’s End, so if you’re ready for emotional stabs to the gut, then this game series is for you.