A Look Back at the Uncharted Series

With the Uncharted movie coming out soon, I figured now would be a good time to look back on the series of games that inspired it! This won’t be a review of every game in the series but rather my impressions of the series as a whole. I may try and review each game individually at some point, but for now I’ll just stick to speaking about the series in general.

So let’s get started!

The Uncharted series is a series of games exclusive to the PlayStation. They are action adventure games starring Nathan Drake, a wise cracking and cunning treasure hunter, and follow his adventurers searching for famous treasures. In terms of the story, each game is pretty lighthearted and generally doesn’t take itself too seriously. Even though there certainly are some moments that will pull at your heart strings just a little. Especially in the later games. You could honestly call the games pretty ‘simple’ and you wouldn’t be wrong. But who says ‘simple’ can’t still be enjoyable?

I suppose I’ll go ahead and say this now, I am quite the fan of the Uncharted games! I feel like most people who play them are. This is probably due to the fact that, as I said before, they are relatively ‘simple’ games. Nate wants a treasure but a bad guy also wants the treasure. A race for said treasure ensues, the fate of the world is suddenly at stake as the treasure turns out to be much more than a simple treasure. Big crazy action scenes happen, and Nate beats the bad guy, gets Elena (Again. Seriously, they break up and get together again in literally every game.) and the world is saved for another day until some other treasure is discovered. Now getting to each of these points is different in every game but that’s the general overview of every game. And honestly? That’s far from being a bad thing!

Uncharted is one of those series that when you put in a game you’ll almost always have a good time with it. The games don’t exactly try and push the boundary or be super innovative. They don’t try and rock the game industry with each new entry. Instead, each game is just a solid, fun experience with good writing, enjoyable characters, and a story that is normally pretty basic but always fun. The same could be said for the game play, too. Uncharted is a third-person cover based shooter with some puzzle solving elements and a minor amount of stealth that is never really required. Despite being a game about finding treasure there really isn’t much exploring to do. Each game is a rather linear affair. The only exception would probably be a particular driving section in Uncharted 4 where you can explore a rather small area for some extra treasure and goodies. This linear level design keeps the game going at a great pace though. It moves you from one bombastic set piece to the next. Making sure there is never a dull moment. You’ll go from chasing down a plane at an air port with dozens of enemies, to then climbing up the cargo of said plane as that cargo is dangling out the back as the plane crashes into the desert. Only to then be fighting your way through ancient ruins in the middle of that desert! That’s not even mentioning the literal first scene of Uncharted 2 where you have to climb your way out of a train car as it hangs over the edge of a cliff with a bullet wound in your stomach. My main point is that the games always make sure you have a reason to never put the controller down until you hit the credits.

And that leads us to another strong suit of the series, the length of the games. Each game can be completed pretty quickly. Normally in just two sittings if you play for multiple hours at a time. And while you could argue that this is actually a negative, I’d argue that it’s a positive instead. By keeping the experience somewhat brief it makes sure the player never really gets tired of playing. Even if they were able to keep making bigger and crazier set pieces, it would still get stale after awhile. Uncharted never feels like a game that drags on or ends too soon even if, looking back on it, each game is pretty short. Of course, you can always have multiple playthroughs and there’s the multiplayer aspect of each game, but we’re mainly talking about a single first playthrough.

Taking all this into consideration, the Uncharted series is one of the rare series of games that I feel like I can recommend to just about anyone. Mainly because it’s not so much that there is a lot to love about each game, even though there is plenty, but rather that there really isn’t much to hate about them. That’s not to say that anyone who dislikes the series is wrong. Far from it! But I feel like it’s really hard to call the series ‘bad’ exactly. I mean, if you don’t enjoy third-person shooters, or shorter experiences, or any number of things you most likely won’t enjoy the series. But in terms of design and direction? It’s really difficult to find things ‘bad’ about the games. They are just solid but safe games to play, which is probably why they are so popular to begin with!

That simple, safe, and linear style is also why I feel like the movie has pretty decent chance of actually being good! But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see on that one, huh?

Those are just my thoughts on the series though! What do you think? Are you a fan of the series? Do you dislike it? Never played it? Maybe you find the safe and simple approach hurts the experience more than helps it. I’d love to hear what you all think!

And once again, thanks for taking the time to read this! Feel free to comment or share the post or blog around if you enjoyed it. The interaction is always appreciated!

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