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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: Naughty Dog/Bluepoint Games
Genre: Action/Adventure
Players: 1
Rated: T for Teen (Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence)
Release Date: October 9, 2015
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

December 10, 2015 - Naughty Dog has been a strong supporting character for the PlayStation ecosystem for well on 15 years. With each and every subsequent release, this developer has been able to expand on their talents in order to create memorable experiences that still resonate with us today. With the launch of the PlayStation 3, Naughty Dog did away with their cartoon roots in order to venture forth on a new project; one that has defined a whole generation and associated the company with greatness. That project was the character of Nathan Drake and the Uncharted series. With the releases of Uncharted: Drakeís Fortune in 2007 and subsequently Uncharted: Among Thieves in 2009 and Uncharted: Drakeís Deception in 2011, Naught Dog opted for a more realistic approach to gaming where they were re-creating cinematic experiences; the likes of which you havenít seen anywhere else.

Fast forward to 2015 and the widely successful release of the PlayStation 4; Naughty Dog is hard at work on the final chapter of Nathan Drakeís epic journey in the form of Uncharted 4: A Thiefís End which will release early 2016. With so many gamers who never owned a PS3 console now picking up the PS4, Sony and Naughty Dog wanted to ensure everyone had a chance to play the original trilogy before the release of Uncharted 4. While some of course will go buy a PS3 simply to play these games, the mass majority wont and this is where Bluepoint Games steps into the picture. This development studio is the best when it comes to re-mastering previously released games for the current generation of consoles. Their handy work can be seen in the likes of the God of War Collection, The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection and many more. The teaming up of Naughty Dog, Bluepoint Games and Sony Computer Entertainment bares fruit in the form of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection which we are reviewing; arguably the best HD remaster collection ever released.

Newcomers and series veterans alike have a valid reason for picking up a copy of this collection. For newcomers, itís a chance to experience action adventure gameplay from a cinematic approach and with a thought provoking hook that you glued to your controller. Uncharted: Drakeís Fortune introduced the world to Sully, Elena and the half tuck master Nathan Drake. This game brought about a solid balance of action, platforming, puzzle solving and shooting which was a rarity in games that came before. Also what was different from the norm was the outstanding voice acting provided in order to bring the characters to life. Actors and actresses alike help fleshed out the characters and the world within Drakeís Fortunes. Names like Richard McGonagle (Sully), Emily Rose (Elena), James Sie (Eddy Raja) helped carry the burden of bringing Naughty Dogís story to life. The man of the hour Nolan North (Nathan Drake) showed the world that voiceover work can be a successful intricate part of the experience.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drakeís Deception took the successful formula and took it to new heights. Bigger and badder set pieces, more fleshed out and stylized visuals, deeper more engrossing story arcsÖ everything you could ask for from the talented individuals at Naughty Dog. Uncharted 2 and 3 brought about what I like to call the onion effect. With every layer you pull back on the onion, you find out more and more about your favorite characterís past; how they ended up on the course they are on, why they act the way they do and how they will do anything and everything for the ones they love.

For those familiar with the series, The Nathan Drake Collection is everything you loved about the original three, only better and minus any multiplayer components. Naughty Dog are masterful creation artists, but it takes a unique entity to perfect something already perfect in order to make it look and feel like a new experience. First and foremost, all three games in the collection are now rendered natively in 1080p running at 60fps. Let that sink in for a minute. What gamers have been clamoring for is finally realized within this collection. Every single piece of texture, character models and effects have been retouched and improved in this HD remastering. While all three games received special treatment, Drakeís Fortune receive the most love in order to get it up to par with the other two titles and to adapt a universal control scheme that can carry through the collection. While the original three had their technical issues, with the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection, I didnít run into any framerate hiccups or game glitches which is a testament to the talented individuals at Bluepoint Games.

Considering you are getting through fleshed out single player campaigns, the exclusion of multiplayer is not that big of a gripe. Developer Bluepoint Games did add some additional modes and features to the trilogy in order to make it more assessable to players. The first of the changes is the inclusion of an easy a far more difficult mode of gameplay. Explorer (Very Easy) is intended for those who want to be wrapped up in the story without worrying about the difficulty level. On the other end of the spectrum is Brutal, which isnít for the faint at hart. On the PS3 we thought Crushing was a difficult level of gameplay (now unlocked from the beginning), but with Brutal, PS4 players will be truly tested to see if they have what it takes to complete the game. Along for the ride is also the inclusion of a Time Trial Mode, which records how long it takes you to complete levels and the game as a whole. Look at it as a way of encouraging you to do speedruns to see who can get the fasted time of completion. Last, but certainly not the least, is Photo Mode which has cropped up in other PS4 games including the infamous games and The Last of Us Remastered. Here you can capture your own moments from the in-game action to share with the world or to simply marvel at yourself.

As we await the final chapter of Nathan Drakeís story with A Thiefís End, we can help but be amazed at the level of care, love and dedication that went into remastering the Uncharted trilogy by Bluepoint Games. A trilogy that defined a generation is now defining what should be expecting from a great remastering. Whether new to the series or returning for another outing, you owe it to yourselves and the talented individuals who made this possible to experience the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection.


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