Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Uncharted Series: a review

A strategic combat game and action-packed must play

One of the most popular video game series for Playstation is about to get a new installment. Here’s a look at some of the features that helped make the “Uncharted” series so successful.

It’s not every video game that will open up with the protagonist clinging precariously to the hollowed out carcass of a train with no explanation. It’s also not every video game that will provide its players with an informative history lesson in the middle of a gun fight. The Uncharted series, however, does these things and more.

With the newest installment in the franchise poised for release in 2015, it’s a perfect time to play the three main games in the series: “Drake’s Fortune,” “Among Thieves,” and “Drake’s Deception.”

These games, created by Naughty Dog, are exclusive to PlayStation, and although this makes them inaccessible to many buyers, the Uncharted series has continued to make tremendous sales and win numerous awards.

Centering around the witty and daring treasure hunter Nathan Drake, each game focuses on a specific historical explorer and an artifact that must be located before it falls into the wrong hands. Through his Indiana Jones-esque understanding of history, his ability to follow clues, and his trademark acrobatic prowess, Drake makes the perfect protagonist for a game that combines combat with puzzle-solving.

Though the plotline and gameplay are linear in nature, the writing is clever and the voice acting is entertaining.The controls are simple, sensible and consistent throughout the three games. The graphics are beautiful, and only improve with each new installment (a tradition that will continue in the fourth game, if the previews are any indication).

One popular criticism of the game is the lack of choice on behalf of the player: there is only one solution to every puzzle; there is only one action that will progress the story; there are no dialogue options; and often the cutscenes leave the player as a fly on the wall. While these are certainly weaknesses, the storyline of every individual game is extremely entertaining, and there is replay value in small side quests, such as finding treasures in various locations and exploring the setting thoroughly.

Truly, what is most remarkable about these games is the attention to detail; Drake stumbles on uneven ground, flinches when bullets pass by too close for comfort, and emerges dripping wet from lakes and rivers. When Drake moves unnoticed by his enemies, the player can hear their conversations.

These enemies are quite smart, too. It is possible for Drake to pass by them unnoticed, but once he is seen, they will communicate with one another on whether he is armed, where he is hiding and if he has run out of ammo. The combat in the game is not mindless button mashing, but rather a system that requires a borderline frustrating amount of strategy.

Overall, the Uncharted series is a remarkably entertaining one that is well worth playing. Many fans wait with baited breath for the release of Uncharted 4: Thieves End. The game will feature the returning voice talents of Nolan North as Nathan Drake and Richard McGonagle as Victor “Sully” Sullivan, Drake’s faithful friend and sometimes sidekick. Though no specific release date has been announced, the game is slated to be released this year.