The PS4 Uncharted bundle was delivered to our house by Santa on Christmas Day. This was my first step into the next gen console market and my first go of the highly rated Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.

Unchartered, nathan drake collection

A friend of mine had raved to me about Uncharted at a funeral wake (long story) a little while ago; he talked to me about how much he enjoyed the gameplay and the action, I also think he had a bit of a thing for the girl in the game.

The Uncharted Collection came with the shiny (well, matte) PS4 console. I moved to the PS4 from a 360, and if I’m honest I always felt a bit dirty buying Xbox items and going into the green aisle at Game – I’m a Sony boy at heart and loved the PS1 and PS2.

This was like moving away from your ugly b-grade green girlfriend, and coming home to a new shiny powerful box that could make your dreams come true (I may be getting carried away, or a little confused).

Uncharted 4 comes out later this year (and is already being talked about as a potential game of the year), there is also an Uncharted film in the pipeline in 2017, so catching up on the series so far seemed like a good introduction to next gen gaming. This is a little overview of my experiences so far, around 65% into the game (no spoilers).

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune looks groin-grabbingly beautiful and reminds me so much of one of the original Tomb Raider games. Great landscapes, enemies that hide around various corners and fun puzzles that can be a little taxing but are ultimately pretty easy to complete. The graphics didn’t initially wow me as much as I maybe expected from a next gen console (last time I use that term, I promise), but the smoothness of movement, frames and cut scenes were noticeable and helped to develop an interesting story.

You are Nathan Drake, a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, on the hunt for treasure. The game was developed by Naughty Dog and originally released in 2007 on PS3; this is probably why the graphics didn’t wow me quite as much as I expected (even though there has been some ‘remastering’ afoot). The game gained good reviews when released because of the Tomb Raider-esque gameplay and features; with some saying that the game did Tomb Raider better than the newer Tomb Raider games could.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider
What are you looking at?

The original game has been remastered and bundled with the second and third Uncharted games (also along a similar format with the same main protagonist) to be released on the PS4 as a trilogy, and has no doubt appeared in many homes over Christmas. The series trilogy had already sold over 21 million copies worldwide as of June 2015, a number which I expect to have increased significantly after last Christmas.

The storyline itself requires you to take a little leap of faith (especially as it progresses), but it is engaging with good dialogue and quite a bit of humour too. You interact with a couple of main characters, who are believable and at times quite funny.

Gameplay takes the form of a traditional action-adventure/platformer, with a little bit of driving thrown in (in the form of a jeep and a jetski so far). There are a lot of weapons on offer (including some pretty hefty ones like an M79 grenade launcher, and a cool sniper rifle), and a seemingly infinite number of enemies that pop up in various locations on your journey.

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Stop, or my mom gun will shoot!

Each chapter will require you on regular occasions to jump from one ledge to another, crawl along roofs, up vines, down dales (maybe not) and use your folio (via the middle pad on the controller) to work out clues and solve puzzles as you make your way through the various buildings and spaces. The puzzles generally take the standard form of moving one stone onto something, or turning a statue in a particular direction. Some are a little head scratching but (so far) all are easily resolved.

The background landscape graphics are impressive throughout; there was one moment where my 11 year-old son, who was stood at the top of a ledge (in the game you understand), stopped and said out loud – “wow, look at that view!” – the background was a stunning blue sea with visible waves and luscious surrounding landscape. It wasn’t something that I expected my 11 year-old to come out and say during a game, but I guess it could have been a lot worse.

unchartered scenery
Some of the spectacular scenery, yes that is a U-Boat

The gameplay does become a little repetitive after a few chapters, but despite this you always go back for more, this has to be the mark of a good game. The story does have some interesting twists and turns, timed well just as you begin to sigh and think “another ledge to climb?”.

I give the game an 8/10, I am looking forward to reaching the final part of the game and getting some sort of resolution on what is happening on there at the moment – and then following it up by playing the second in the series, which has received the highest reviews out of the three by many review sites (so I’m expecting big things bub!).

What is your favourite Uncharted game (no spoilers on the story please!)? Did you get the trilogy for Christmas – if so, what do you think of it?

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