Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection: The Basics

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection: The Basics

What it is: Why, it’s a PS3 game ported to PS4! Make that three of them, three excellent PS3 action-adventure games, Uncharted 1-3 (just the singleplayer), ported by development studio Bluepoint, coming out in lieu of the delayed-out-of-2015 Uncharted 4 on October 9.

What’s been changed: I saw it at a PlayStation demo event yesterday, I played it, and I’d tell you that it looked like the PS3 games running on the PS4. Bear in mind that these are three of the best-looking, best-playing PS3 games, all Indiana Jones-esque climbing and shooting adventures set in exotic places around the world. Without benefit of the game running on PS3 right next to it, I can’t easily spot the difference between the ports and the originals, but Sony is talking about it being 1080p, 60 frames per second, says it uses the better character models from the game’s cinema scenes in its gameplay sequences, has better lighting, better shadows, improved draw distance.

Less motion control: Did you play the first Uncharted? Did you enjoy when you had to use the motion sensor in the PS3 controller to keep hero Nathan Drake balanced as he walked across a log? If your answer is yes, you’re weird. If no, well, you might be happy to know that motion control for log-crossing has been excised from this collection, according to a rep for the game’s original development studio, Naughty Dog. They are leaving a motion control option (not mandatory) for tossing grenades.

Difficulty tweaks: The new game will not have dynamic difficulty, which they’re saying will be coupled with some balancing tweaks to make the game flow better. I asked specifically about whether enemies in the first Uncharted wouldn’t be bullet sponges anymore. I got a general affirmative that damage to and from enemies is being recalculated across the games. Bluepoint is also working on a special “brutal” (not final name) difficulty level that is designed to be challenging even for the game’s most skilled testers.

We played it… briefly. Just the building collapse sequence from Uncharted 2. It seemed faithful. There isn’t anything to the collection that seems like it will merit a replay for people who were satisfied playing the games on PS3 — they’re trying to hook some of those people by offering voucher for a forthcoming Uncharted 4 multiplayer beta — but for newcomers, the collection should be fun. Those Uncharted games are really good.


  • I’m eager to give this a go! I’ve never played an Uncharted game, having had an Xbox 360 and then jumping ship and getting a PS4, and I’ve always heard great things. Excited to give them a go.

      • Haha, thanks! I’ve got high hopes! I’ll be sure to comment on the eventual Kotaku review about how I go with them!

    • PS3 was my least-used console last gen, and Uncharted was the only thing guaranteed to give it screen time. The games are pretty simple in the end, but oh-so-satisfying.

      • I hardly used my PS3 so I only played Uncharted 1. I meant to get 2 & 3 and just never did. The Nathan Drake collection, especially if it has been fixed to take out the tedium of bullet-sponge enemies, will be my first port of call whenever I get around to buying a PS4.

        • the bullet sponge enemies was fixed for 2 and 3, just the first one that had the woeful pacing issues and tons of enemies meaning a lot of restarts of long shooting sections. 2 was the superior of the 3 games in my opinion but only because 3 did little to change the formula like 2 did to 1. It did have some fantastic set pieces though, the oceanliner flood takes the cake but for 2, the falling building mentioned in the article is definitely up there.

    • you are in for a treat, cracking good games, I enjoyed them enough that Im dropping the coin to pick this up on launch

    • Lucky you 🙂

      Playing these games for the first time was a revelation. The Last of US is well worth a purchase too.

    • Me too. also jumped from 360 to PS4.
      bought The Last Of Us remastered and was not disappointed.
      Also can’t wait for God Of War 3 as well as the Uncharted collection.

    • The first one is a little crusty these days (although if they’re transferring some of the mechanics from the other 2 games into the first one it may help it), but the second is one of the best games you’ll ever play, and the 3rd one is also great (but not as good as #2).

  • Ive played them on PS3 and i think i might get a PS4 to play them again. That and UC4 when it comes out 🙂

  • All adding to the growing argument in favour of me buying a PS4 – as if Bloodborne wasn’t enough.

    Having never owned a PS (and correspondingly having a backlog of PS3 exclusives I’ve never played, including titles like RDR), if they made the PS4 backwards compatible I’d buy one today. It makes no sense to me why they wouldn’t?

    But then, there’s probably some technicality to it I don’t understand?

      • Right, so I just had a quick look at this PS Now thing you speak of (sorry PC gamer)…

        So you can “rent” PS3 games to play on your PS4, yes?

        Not ideal I’d rather own, but I guess better than nothing?

        • It’s basically streaming the games… think kind of like Netflix but for games i.e. all the processing work is done on the server side, it streams the image down to your PS4 (or whatever device you’re using), and that sends your control inputs back to the server. It’s a nice idea in theory, but I suspect it’ll be pretty ordinary when it crashes into the cold, hard reality of internet speeds – especially in this country.

          Long term it’s not really about PS3 games on PS4, though – I suspect their goal is more to do with PS3 games (and potentially PS1, PS2, PS4, etc) games on smart TV’s, tablets, etc – i.e. the ability to get their games into the hands of people who don’t have, and would never buy, a console.

          • And here’s me living in the country with rural wireless internet speeds…. crikey..

            Nevertheless, with Bloodborne (most importantly) and Last of US, GoW3, Journey, the 3 older Uncharted games and Uncharted 4 on the way, the PS4 is becoming compelling.

          • If you can, get to an EB Games somewhere and try one out if you haven’t already. I can’t tell you how good the Dualshock 4 controller is to hold in your hands. So good.

            I was a PC gamer until about 6 years ago when I picked up a PS3. Never looked back. I used to like fiddling around with hardware, drivers and the like, and I occasionally miss RTS games like Starcraft, but the joy of being able to put in a game and just play it beats everything. It’s a little worse with the PS4 generation because of the size of the patches and all, but overall, fantastic experience.

      • and the fact that the hardware of the ps3 will be insanely hard to software emulate on the ps4

        • Basically this. PS3 had a great (if complex) CPU whereas the PS4 has a mediocre CPU and a fantastic GPU. The PS4 just doesn’t have the grunt required to brute force an emulation, since it would be CPU intensive for the most part. Maybe GPGPU could do it, but I’d be staggered if they achieved it. It’s kind of a ‘square peg in a round hole’ kind of problem.

    • Completely different architecture. Trying to implement PS3 backwards compatibility on PS4 would be horrendously expensive to do in software (if it was possible at all), and still probably quite expensive to do in hardware – remember they had to remove the hardware PS2 emulation from the PS3 in order to get the price down to a level that people were actually willing to pay for a console. From Sony’s point of view it’s not going to make them much money anyway. People might play their old PS3 games with it, but they’re unlikely to buy a whole bunch of new PS3 games once they have a PS4, so probably not much return on their investment.

      But to be honest, if you didn’t have a PS3 previously and thus don’t already own the games, then these PS4 remasters are probably better for you than just playing the original PS3 versions anyway – the same games but with better resolution, frame rate, models and, in this case, some tweaks to the gameplay, too. Especially to the first game which, while great for its time, suddenly looked and felt pretty dated the moment Uncharted 2 came out.

      If you do get a PS4 make sure you get the remasters of God of War 3, The Last Of Us and Journey as well – some of the best games of the previous generation.

      • Good info and advice. I didn’t know they’d done a remaster of God of War 3 for the PS4 (though Last of Us is already on my list).

        • The GOW3 remaster just came out this week. The Journey one is out next week on PSN (apparently there may be a physical release of it, too, but not sure when that might come out). You can also get thatgamecompany’s previous couple of PS3 games on PS4 as well – Flow and Flower. They’re both worth a look – especially Flower. And all 3 are cross buy! Which probably doesn’t help you much since you never had a PS3, but for those of us who did it means we get the PS4 versions free – in cases like that, that’s actually better than backwards compatibility 😀

  • I played like the first 2 hours of Uncharted, then life got busy.
    Once I heard about this HD remake, I quickly sold my unfinished Uncharted 1 and 2 games so I am ready to start afresh!

  • The motion controls in the first game were a bit of a pain, but I seem to remember that they could be disabled back then too, no?

    • I only ever played the first game and have no recollection of motion controls whatsoever. I did play it pre-Move (and pre-trophies) so maybe I didn’t get the complete experience. If anything, there might have been some completely pointless six-axis tilting for walking across logs and other narrow bridges? I could also be thinking of another game entirely, though the only other full-length game I played on PS3 was Heavy Rain.

      • Yeah, there was the stupid SixAxis tilt thing for walking across logs, which was rubbish.

        But it was also used for tilt control for arc-throwing grenades – great for lobbing a grenade out from your cover and behind an enemy’s cover without having to poke your head up. That was actually pretty cool – I was a bit sad they removed it from the sequels.

      • I actually liked the motion controlled aiming in Golden Abyss: using the analogue stick for coarse aiming and then gyros for smaller corrections worked pretty well.

        It felt like it was improving my control, rather than just being a gimmick like the first game’s sixaxis bits.

  • Apparently they’ve dropped the 3D from Uncharted 3, which is a shame, I was looking forward to playing that in a decent resolution. Also, it’s single player only isn’t it? No multiplayer or co-op levels are present.

    • Single player only. They said they don’t want to split the MP community between PS3 and PS4 (although that might be a convenient excuse).

  • Uncharted 3 has MP not sure about 2 and 1.

    2 was too long ago and i don’t think i played #1, i will be picking this up in excitement for 4 though!

    ……..so many numbers

    • 2 and 3 had multiplayer, most people, myself included agree that Uncharted 2, prior to patch 1.50, had some of the best multiplayer available on the PS3. Uncharted 3 was more of the same but messed too much with what made Uncharted 2’s so great. This collection/remastering, only includes the single player campaigns.

        • Yeah, believe so. I didn’t know what the general consensus about the patch was at the time but it put me off and I stopped playing for a while. Hard to believe they didn’t just amend their mistake, whether to save face or they just really didn’t know they’d mucked up the balance.

      • This is oh so true, 2 was fantastic. 3 just didn’t feel so well balanced. Similar to my Gears of War online experience where 1 was amazing and seemed to drop off after that.

  • I’ve played all three games multiple times, and nothing is going to stop me from picking this up immediately.
    The difference between TLoU and its remaster is night and day. I’m expecting no less from this collection.

  • I jutst bought the Uncharted 3-game boxset for PS3 a few months ago, I still haven’t played it. Now I’m wondering whether it’s worth just shelving it and waiting for this to experience them all for the first time, or at least play the originals first as they were intended. Hmm…

    • I’d pawn off that boxset and wait for some reviews to make sure the remastering isn’t botched, then get it. Sounds like they’re really trying to make it perfect for first timers. Up to you though!

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