A few months back, I was asked by a friend to contribute to a blog post. It was an anniversary post for his website, and being a film critic and a game lover, he asked me to write about the most cinematic moments in video games. The decision on which game to cover was easy: one of my favourite series of all time is Uncharted, and it’s a natural fit. There’s something about the way the scenes are set, the story is told, the emotional strings are pulled… It has created a memory in gaming that stands alongside some of the greatest media productions of all time.

Nathan Drake

Nathan Drake. Image via PlayStation.

Uncharted in a nutshell is a story much like Indiana Jones: you’re a treasure hunter, chasing the ultimate score. Money, notoriety, friendship, and love all end up being part of the end goal. Since initially playing the three games on my Playstation 3, I haven’t got back to relive the fun. So getting the chance to not only play again but a remastered 1080P 60 fps version, got me chomping at the bit.

My plan for this article was not to review the games in whole, that has already been done and the scores have been out there for years. The intention was to jump into each game for a few hours, get the feel, see what’s new, check out if anything was broken. I was going to mention that as well in my article, to make it very clear that since this was 3 fairly large games, I wanted to give you an overview, like I did with Rare Replay. It’s a testament to these games that this wasn’t possible for me. I started with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and played for a good 5 hours one evening. The end of the night I put the controller down for bed and said to myself, “Tomorrow, Uncharted 2”. While that game plan happened, I haven’t been able to move on to Uncharted 3. Among Thieves sucked me back in and now I am one chapter from finishing the game… again. I’ve streamed most of my play through on twitch and viewers have witnessed me relive the fun all over again. There are moments I remember clearly, and some that I am surprised by for a second time. It’s been a wonderful experience and I am happy to share it.

Uncharted The Nathan Drake Collection graphics comparison from DigitalFoundry on youtube

Uncharted The Nathan Drake Collection graphics comparison from DigitalFoundry on youtube

There is a good reason why these games got such high reviews in the previous generation, and my nerves were on edge, hoping that everything in the game felt as good as it did my first time. Lucky for me, and for those experiencing this for the first time, it felt like getting back on that old bicycle. The controls are smooth and what changes were made (like using the DualShock 4 touchpad to access Drake’s diary), are a natural fit. The graphics look amazing; better textures, further draw distances, more polish. And because this is a remaster, the original wit, story, voice acting and epicness remain intact. The only complaints I could mention would be having to be re-taught the game’s controls at the beginning of each title, and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune feeling like an older game. But neither of these complaints can be blamed on a remaster. That was the state of gameplay mechanics in 2007 when Drake’s Fortune was released, and the games were not designed to be played one right after the other like I am today. You had years between releases and needed those in-story built tutorials. Such minor details but they show the evolution of gameplay.

The debate over remasters and HD collections are a constant topic with us here on Girls on Games and here is a clear reason why they need to exist. There are currently 22.5 million PlayStation 4 systems out in the world, and according to series developer Naughty Dog, over 80% of those PS4 owners have never played an Uncharted game. Well my friends, here is your chance. Go get this game. Play through it. Enjoy every minute of it because the conclusion is coming March 18th, 2016 with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. You will be glad you did. As for me, I am off to play Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.