When I think back to the days of Playstation 2 I will think of such beloved trilogies as TimeSplitters, Prince of Persia and of course, Grand Theft Auto. These games were action-adventure at their finest, they had interesting stories, fine gameplay and a healthy dose of comedy.
While writing this I came across the crushing news that we probably won’t ever see a TimeSplitters IV
But those days are over, I stayed loyal to Sony and got myself a Playstation 3, I don’t play it nearly as much as my old PS2, but I still manage to keep up with the modern gaming trends. I’ve completed Skyrim and everything.
Pictured: Keeping up with the times
On the PS3 The Uncharted Trilogy is a personal favourite of mine, they are a series of action-adventure games about a treasure hunter named Nathan Drake. The series has a very cinematic feel that makes you feel as if you are playing through a big-budget action movie.
Well there’s the star Nathan Drake (pictured above). He’s some sort of distant descendent of Sir Francis Drake and he spends a great deal of his time following in his ancestor’s footsteps in the hopes of finding treasure. When he isn’t doing this he spends his time making wise-cracks and rescuing his friends when they are taken hostage.
“Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy” – Sir Francis
He is joined by his best-friend Victor “Sully” Sullivan, who acts as a sort of a father figure/mentor throughout the games. I must admit that I thought that he would be killed off in the first game, as these mentor figures are prone to do.
And finally we have Elena Fisher, Drake’s love interest. I quite like her too, she’s basically the voice of reason, urging caution and suggesting that the missions are too dangerous. Boring in theory, but it’s handled well.
So here are my thoughts on the trilogy, however unlike film trilogies it is hard to reacquaint yourself with what has happened in the previous games without spending 8 hours replaying the story mode. I personally haven’t touched the first two games since at least 2010, but I will do my best to remember the highlights. Also, Spoilers!
Uncharted I aka Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Where Are We?: The jungles of South America
Why?: Turns out that the city of El Dorado is located somewhere around here
What Happens?: Well, El Dorado is in fact is cursed. It turns people into mutants, the main villain wants to harness this power and sell it on the weapons market. Also it turns out that some Nazis were looking for El Dorado during WWII so, it’s Drake vs. Mutant Nazis.
Nazis, jungles and lost treasure? Get Harrison on the phone!
Was It Good?: Yeah it was alright. I remember not being a big fan of the jungle, and if I’m honest my least favourite video game setting is the jungle. Jungles have little variety, maybe the developers can throw in some swimming sections or a Jeep chase, but that’s all that they can really do.
Although I remember the Jeep chase being a particular highlight
My main memory of this game was the final boss. He was absurd, it took me literally an hour of retrying before I could finally win the battle.
Plus he looks like a poor man’s Robert Downey Jr.
Verdict: I wouldn’t call the game forgettable, I just feel that the other games in the are far superior and have overshadowed Uncharted I. So I’m afraid that I am going to have to give it a lowly 6 Indiana Jones-style whips out of 10
Uncharted 2 aka Uncharted II: Among Thieves
Where Are We?: This is mainly in Nepal, specifically The Himalayas. So that means snow.
Why?: Drake is looking for the lost ships of Marco Polo, he eventually finds some sort of evil stone that turns people into these weird snow creatures that are stupidly hard to kill.
Hate these guys
What Happens?: Well it turns out that Drake and Elena had broken up between games, but they run into each other. I remember being genuinely happy to see Elena when she makes her first appearance at about the half-way mark.
Their sexually tense, “Will they? Won’t they?” relationship reminds me of a certain beloved television couple
I realised at that point that I was fully immersed into the world of Uncharted, the gang was back together, Drake Sully and Elena ready to hunt treasure and fight bad guys. And they even get back together at the end in a nice heartwarming ending.
Was it good?: This game was a marked improvement on the first one, it was very cinematic. There were a lot of big set-piece shootouts, most notably the level where you fight on a train. It had everything you want from a train sequence, there was fighting on the roof, helicopters and to top it all off the train derails and is left hanging precariously off the side of a mountain. Then you have to climb up the wreckage to safety as the train begins to slip off the cliffside.
A genuinely exhilarating action sequence
The Verdict: This game really made things a lot more interesting, there were varied areas to fight in, a village, a temple and the mountain tops. The variety and set pieces really improved things, plus with the characters having already been established it allowed the story to start much quicker and progress without the need to introduce a lot of characters. I give it a strong 8.5 abominable snowmen out of 10.
Uncharted 3 aka Uncharted III: Drake’s Deception
Where are we?: The desert. Brilliant. There aren’t a lot of games that use the desert as a setting, it is very refreshing and it let me live some of my favourite desert movie moments. Such as wandering through the desert for days without water.
Complete with mirages!
Why?: Turns out Francis Drake went on a secret mission to Syria to find the ‘Atlantis of the Sands’, and Drake is following in his footsteps to uncover the mystery.
What happens?: So towards the end of the game Sully gets shot and dies, (I actually gasped when it happened.) The villain lady unleashes an army of dudes with flames for heads, classic Uncharted, the supernatural enemies had arrived and they were predictable difficult to kill.
Seriously fuck these guys
But the level becomes increasingly surreal until it is revealed that the entire sequence was actually a hallucination , and we are greeted to Sully’s healthy face as Drake re-enters reality. It sounds like a very cliché plot twist, but the game sells it very well, and I felt very relieved that nothing had happened to Sully.
So, yeah Uncharted III sticks to human enemies, minus the dream sequence.
As is tradition Elena comes in about half-way through the game and helps Drake out, but she’s much more serious in this game. She questions why Drake is still trying to beat the bad guys and accuses him of being blinded by his pride. She’s right, he really has no other reason to keep going other than pride, plus he is also putting everyone else in danger by doing so.
It injects actual drama into the story, and makes you question Drake’s motivations and if the mission really is important.
Either way, Drake continues regardless and takes down the bad guys, the ending strongly implies that he is going to marry Elena as the gang flies off into the sunset.
hopefully they all decide to move in together
Was it good?: Good? Yes. Difficult? Incredibly. This may be one of the most difficult games that I have ever played, there are so many henchmen and they are all have stupid amounts of health. Each action sequence feels overwhelming and I most certainly struggled through this game.
Having said that the game itself is fantastic, there are so many great moments, the stand out example is when Drake is escaping from a sinking cruise ship. You have to run through the ship as it is sinking looking for a way to escape, plus there are still guys trying to kill you, the whole thing is genuinely exhilarating, like the last hour of Titanic. But with guns.
The thrilling conclusion takes place in the main hall of the cruise ship, which happens to have a literal glass ceiling. As you are going around killing the bad guys and what-not, you can hear the glass starting to crack under the pressure of the water, it is stark reminder that you need to find an exit quickly before the glass shatters like main hall of the Titanic.
The Verdict: This is the strongest of the trilogy, it has the best story and action sequences. I have no hesitation in awarding this game a prestigious 9.5 desert scarves out of 10.
Where next for the series?: Throwing it out there.
It just makes sense