Note: This review focuses on the remaster more so than the original Uncharted gameplay, which we all know was already great to begin with.
It’s almost two years since this generation of consoles were released and we’ve seen our fair share of remastered last-gen games. It’s become a comedic act that everyone knows the punch line to but continues to pay the cover at the door. Love it or hate it, remasters are a thing and I’m sure it’s not going away anytime soon. in the case of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, it’s a very good thing companies are remaking our beloved previous gen games because this one is well worth the cover charge.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is a three game collection of Uncharted 1, 2, and 3 remastered by Bluepoint Games. What sets Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection apart from most other remasters is Bluepoint not only upscaled the game to 1080p and doubled the frame rate but also redid assets like textures. The differences between the original and remastered content was most noticeable in Uncharted 1 where screen tearing and frame rate dips were regular occurrences back in the 2007’s version but were completely smoothed out in the remaster. In fact, I’d say the upgraded frame rate is probably one of the bigger reasons to replay these games because, regardless of what anyone says on the interwebs, frame rate does impact gameplay. In a way, this game has ruined any chance of a purchase for any remaster that doesn’t put this much effort into it – it’s visually that good.
I’m sure many people think porting a PS3 game to the PS4 should be a cakewalk because the PS4 is obviously more powerful. Unfortunately, there’s way more to it than that and Naughty Dog explained why that is with their GDC presentation with The Last of Us remaster, as reported by this Euro Gamer article. Remember the PS3’s magical “Cell” processor? In the case of the Uncharted games and The Last of Us it does seem like it worked magic for Naughty Dog. A lot of the overhead and gameplay code was run by the Cell processor alleviating much of the instructional computations. The PS4 on the other hand does not have a cell processor so most of that pipeline work had to be re-architected to run on an x86 based processor. According to Naughty Dog’s GDC presentation, that wasn’t an easy thing to do. When Naughty Dog ported The Last of Us to the PS4 last year, the initial unoptimized port ran at 10 frames per second! Comparing another recent remaster like Dishonored, which ran 25-30 fps and had zero optimization or added visual benefits to it, It’s very safe to say that Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is more than just your regular remaster.
Being that Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is a remaster of an older game, many of the original issues are still present in Bluepoint’s rendition. The series still has it’s repetitive formula shoot outs in similarly laid out locations, the end boss battle of Uncharted was still infuriating, weirdly inaccurate weapons and equally super accuracy of the people shooting at you, and enemies are still bullet sponges that do their best impression of Michael Jackson’s Thriller whenever you shoot at them.
Even with the occasional platforming issues, cheesy AI, repetitive gunfights, and inaccuracy problems, the Uncharted series is one of the best games of it’s kind. At it’s heart, it’s an adventure of Indiana Jones proportions and presentation with enough well written wit, and talented voice acting to put a smile on any gamers face who’s willing overlook it’s flaws. Even the once king of raiding of jungles and tombs, Tomb Raider, bit off a lot of what Uncharted was doing with it’s 2013 reboot – that alone tells you how solid and epic of a world Naughty Dog created with the Uncharted series.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
Best in class, Awesome stories and characters, Top notch voice acting, Smooth 60 frames per second, Drake's outbursts
Bullet sponge enemies, Repetitive Shootouts, Accuracy issues
Oct 9, 2015