Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

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Uncharted:
The Nathan Drake Collection
Nathan Drake Collection cover art.png
Developer(s)Bluepoint Games
Publisher(s)Sony Computer Entertainment
SeriesUncharted
Platform(s)PlayStation 4
Release
  • EU: October 7, 2015
  • NA: October 9, 2015
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is a 2015 remaster of the first three games in the Uncharted series, developed by Bluepoint Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released for the PlayStation 4 on October 7, 2015. The three games follow treasure hunter Nathan Drake as he travels across the world to uncover various historical mysteries. The three games were originally developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation 3. The collection received generally positive reviews from critics who deemed it a worthy remaster of the original trilogy, though the omission of multiplayer and lack of additional content received some criticism.

Gameplay[edit]

The Nathan Drake Collection includes the single player campaigns of the first three mainline titles in the Uncharted series: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (2007), Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009), and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (2011). Played from a third-person perspective, they are action-adventure video games with platforming elements. In these games, the player assumes control of treasure hunter Nathan Drake, and must explore dangerous ruins, defeat enemies using various firearms and solve various puzzles.[1] All three remastered games run in 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second,[2] while the music was enhanced to support surround sound systems.[3]

Bluepoint attempted to unify the gameplay across all three games. To achieve this, it overhauled the aim assist system and grenade gameplay from Drake's Fortune to match that of the other games, and altered Uncharted 3's camera movement. The team also remapped buttons to ensure that the control schemes across the three games are consistent. The aiming mechanics across all three games were improved. The game also features graphical improvements, with Bluepoint re-rendering the cutscenes, enhancing the lighting and the visual effects, making the models and textures more detailed, and incorporating ambient occlusion and motion blur, both of which were not supported in the original games.[3] The team added friends leaderboards, new difficulty settings, trophies and a photo mode into the game, though the multiplayer components in both Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 were not included in the package.[4][5]

Development[edit]

While the three original games were produced by Naughty Dog, the remaster games were developed by Bluepoint Games, who had previously worked with Sony on God of War Collection and The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection. Naughty Dog wanted to bring the Uncharted games, which were originally developed for the PlayStation 3, to its successor, the PlayStation 4, following the success of The Last of Us Remastered (2014). According to the studio, about 80% of the PS4 owners at that time have never played an Uncharted game before.[6] The team originally considered remastering Uncharted: Golden Abyss, a spin-off of the franchise developed by Bend Studio, but the plan was scrapped as the team felt that the story from Golden Abyss was too tangential and strayed too far from the narrative arc established by the trilogy.[7] The multiplayer modes from Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 were not remastered because Naughty Dog felt that its inclusion in the collection could potentially divide the PS3 community who were still playing the game at that time.[8]

According to Bluepoint's CTO Marco Thrush, the studio began working on The Nathan Drake Collection in June 2014 when The Last of Us Remastered shipped. Development for the collection took 15 months, and became one of Bluepoint's largest projects since its establishment. During the peak of the game's development, the team had 48 people, including 13 engineers and 17 artists. Bluepoint designed the gameplay adjustments, and met with design leads from Sony and Naughty Dog for feedback and guidance. The team first ported Uncharted 2 to the PS4, and then Uncharted 1 and Uncharted 3 in succession. During the improvement phase of development, the team likewise started with both Uncharted 2 and then switched to Uncharted 1 once work on the second game was finished, while the production of Uncharted 3's remaster ran parallel to its predecessors. The team adjusted the gameplay for Uncharted 1 and Uncharted 3 in order to align with Uncharted 2's. The first Uncharted required the most work as it was the oldest game in the series. According to Thrush, "almost every system in U1 was touched" and that it "needed the most love to get it to the state of "how you remember it" from the PS3 days".[9]

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection was announced by Sony on June 4, 2015. It was released for the PlayStation 4 on October 7 in the same year in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and October 9 in Ireland, the UK, the US.[10] Players who purchased The Nathan Drake Collection would gain access to the multiplayer beta for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.[11] Sony released the three games individually in Europe on November 16, 2016.[12] The collection was released as a free title for PlayStation Plus subscribers for the month of January 2020.[13] Sony later announced that as a part of its Play at Home initiative that Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection would be free for all users to purchase from April 15 - May 5, 2020.[14][15]

Reception[edit]

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection received generally positive reviews upon release, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[16]

Most critics believed that the game was a worthy remaster of the three games and praised Bluepoint for introducing the graphical updates. Sam Byford from The Verge described the collection as a "perfect primer" and an excellent entry point for players who have not played any Uncharted games in the past, and the "perfect way to get yourself up to speed before Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End drops next year".[22] Uncharted 2 remained the highlight game in the trilogy, with critics praising its pacing and attention to detail, while Uncharted 3 was lauded for its spectacle and cinematography.[17][19] However, Uncharted 1's remaster received a mixed reception as many critics wrote that despite the graphical enhancements, the design of the base game did not live up to modern industry standards.[20][18] Many critics considered the omission of multiplayer and behind-the-scene videos as well as the lack of extra content as missed opportunities.[17][21][19]

The Nathan Drake Collection was the second best-selling retail game in the United Kingdom during its release week, only behind FIFA 16. It was the eighth largest launch for a PS4 game at that time.[23] It was the ninth best-selling retail game in the United States in October 2015.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ingraham, Nathan (November 13, 2015). "'Uncharted' for beginners: My first romp with Nathan Drake". Engadget. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  2. ^ Linneman, John (August 22, 2015). "Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection is more than just a remaster". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Harris, Victor (October 9, 2015). "Everything you need to know about Naughty Dog's latest, out now on PS4". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  4. ^ Nunneley, Stephanny (August 22, 2015). "Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is more than a remaster or "simple port"". VG 247. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Honorof, Marshall (September 30, 2015). "Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection — Worth Upgrading?". Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  6. ^ Karmali, Luke (October 8, 2015). "Naughty Dog: 80% of PS4 Owners Have Never Played an Uncharted Game". IGN. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  7. ^ Williams, Katie (September 28, 2015). "Why Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Doesn't Include Golden Abyss". IGN. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  8. ^ Rosenberg, Adam (July 21, 2015). "Fans are why there's no online play in the PS4's 'Uncharted' collection". Mashable. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  9. ^ Leadbetter, Richard (October 18, 2015). "The making of Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  10. ^ Porter, Matt (August 17, 2015). "New Modes Revealed for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection". IGN. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  11. ^ Webster, Andrew (June 4, 2015). "The original Uncharted trilogy is being remastered for PS4". The Verge. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  12. ^ Arif, Shabana (October 6, 2016). "Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection's titles will be sold individually in Europe this November". VG 247. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  13. ^ Michel, Adam. "January's Free PS Plus Games: Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Goat Simulator". Playstation Blog. Sony. Archived from the original on 29 June 2021. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  14. ^ Ryan, Jim. "Announcing the Play At Home Initiative". Playstation Blog. Sony. Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  15. ^ Holt, Kris. "'Journey' and Uncharted remasters will be free on PS4, no PS Plus required". Engadget. Engadget. Archived from the original on 26 March 2021. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Critical Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  17. ^ a b c Ingenito, Vince (October 2, 2015). "Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Review". IGN. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Burns, Steven (September 30, 2015). "Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Review". VideoGamer. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  19. ^ a b c Kietzmann, Ludwig (September 30, 2015). "Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Review". GamesRadar+. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Mahardy, Mike (October 12, 2015). "Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  21. ^ a b Gilyadov, Aleksander (October 12, 2015). "Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection makes the PS3's best action games even better". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  22. ^ Byford, Sam (October 14, 2015). "If you haven't played the Uncharted games, play them on PS4". The Verge. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  23. ^ "FIFA 16 holds off The Nathan Drake Collection from reaching No.1". MCVUK. October 12, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  24. ^ Grubb, Jeff (November 12, 2015). "October 2015 NPD: Halo 5 leads gaming to $805M month". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 23, 2020.

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