It feels a bit odd to put the word “nostalgia” alongside the Uncharted series, doesn’t it? The first game released just seven years ago (technically eight, seeing as we’re in the beginning of 2015).
Wait a second. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune released seven years ago? Wow… It still feels like a relatively new game series, to me.
Anyway, I wanted to give some quick thoughts on Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.
So! The first Uncharted game released on November 19th, 2007, exclusively on the PlayStation 3. This was back during the time when exclusive titles on the PS3 were slim-pickings, so the arrival of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was a breath of fresh air to many PS3 players. At the time, I hadn’t picked up my own system yet to play this game, and it surprisingly didn’t intrigue me until an entire year later. In late December of 2008, I decided to buy my own PS3 and a copy of LittleBigPlanet and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. LittleBigPlanet was the first game I booted up so that I could play a few levels with my family, but once I popped in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and heard that awesome up-lifting, adventure-themed menu tune, I knew I was in for something special.
The game starts off wonderfully, with a short cinematic to set up the scene. Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher are alone aboard a small boat in the ocean, holding the coffin to Sir Francis Drake’s remains. The premise is immediately similar to stories from the Indiana Jones series, one that focuses on history’s fortunes and how the enemies of Indy can suffer the consequences of these fortunes if not careful. The story of the first Uncharted game is one that I hold very dear, filled with memorable characters and a cast that performs spectacularly in each scene. As far as cinematics and storytelling go, I’m a huge fan of the way Uncharted 1 handles its script.
Now, on to the chunk of the game’s experience, and the one that most people nowadays have an issue with: the gameplay. Now, you may immediately wonder: How could a game like this, with semi-decent gunplay and platforming elements, be one of someone’s favorite titles from the last generation of gaming? Well, the answer is rather simple. “Nostalgia glasses”, as they call them. I recently went back and visited Uncharted 1, to relive the early gameplay scenes of the title. I was a bit surprised to find that the gameplay isn’t quite as engaging as it was back when I played the game in 2008; controls are a tiny bit sluggish, with shooting enemies feeling a bit… Off. Enemies duck and dive quite erratically in this game, as opposed to their not quite as frantic counterparts in future Uncharted titles. At first, it takes a bit to get accustomed to these enemies, but it doesn’t take long to predict their patterns and finish each battle.
Despite the mediocre gameplay by today’s standards, I greatly enjoyed my time with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, both years ago and recently. The dialogue and cinematics are just as enjoyable as they ever were, with characters that I truly care about. While the gameplay leaves a bit to be desired, it still holds up well enough to keep me going through the adventure.
For anyone looking forward to the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, more often than not I’d assume you’ve played previous games in the series. If not, then I would definitely recommend playing through the trilogy. Despite the fact that many people recommend skipping the first game and jumping right in to the second, I think the journey through Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is well worth it. Thanks for reading!