Seven years ago the Uncharted series debuted to the world. It quickly joined the elite, influencing action-adventure game design for years to come. With Nathan Drake’s final Uncharted adventure coming soon, let’s look at where his journey began and how he plans to leave a lasting legacy.
Nathan Drake introduced himself to players by showing them what he does best: treasure hunting. He is first seen in Panama where he locates the legendary coffin of Sir Francis Drake laid beneath hundreds of feet of ocean water.
It’s at this point that Nathan Drake’s unquenchable thirst for treasure is given reason. It's revealed that he’s a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, a famed English sea captain who spent his life embarking on dangerous expeditions. As much as they have something in common, Nathan Drake would forge a path of his own.
The coffin that Nathan Drake uncovered contained proof that Sir Francis Drake had faked his own death. This would be the beginning of a dangerous journey that would send Nathan Drake to El Dorado, the mythical city of gold, where he would encounter enemies and get in a whole lot of trouble.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune arrived a year after the release of the PlayStation 3 at a time when the console was looking to break into a stride. Naughty Dog’s creation would become one of the most beautiful visual presentations seen in the industry up to that point, in addition to providing a glimpse of what potential was unlocked by a new generation of PlayStation.
After making it out of El Dorado alive, Nathan Drake found himself wanting more. So began his second daring adventure.
Following breaking free of captivity, Nathan Drake would head to Nepal in search of the lost city of Shambhala. Although elusive, he would eventually discover where the location laid hidden for millennia. It was everything he expected and more.
What made the adventure so great wasn’t just that it was well-refined, exciting, and full of great moments, it was how the greatest mysteries of the real-world were interwoven into the experience. As with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, noteworthy historical figures and treasure were featured, and provided fictional narrative that gave explanation to puzzles that have baffled historians for centuries.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was the pinnacle of action-adventure during its era. Its sense of discovery, compelling interaction between characters, action sequences, and platforming set a new bar in 2009 that many developers would attempt to emulate, but never duplicate.
By the end of his adventure to Shambala, Nathan Drake had earned a reputation with the rich and powerful of the world. Opposition would confront him in London two years later.
Nathan Drake would endure his harshest challenges yet, including finding himself lost in the mass expanse of the Rub’ al Khali desert. Hallucinations and physical struggle would test his will to survive, but unrelenting perseverance would lead to his triumph.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception’s set pieces remain some of the most ambitious of any game even four years after launch. Having larger environments and complex interactions than action-adventure had seen before, it was a testament not only to the power of the PlayStation 3, but to the talent of Naughty Dog.
It was also equipped with more thoughtful puzzles and a more well-composed multiplayer component. It would be the perfect send-off for Nathan Drake on PlayStation 3 before a remastered collection and sequel were announced a few years later.
A Thief’s End
Nathan Drake has one more adventure in him. On March 18th, 2016 he will embark on a quest that has plenty of adversity in-store, but even greater reward. This time, he heads to the mysterious pirate colony of Libertaria. Everything he has achieved to-date has led him to this momentous point in time.
As usual, Nathan Drake won’t be alone. Mentor Victor Sullivan and Elena Fisher are all the older, all the wiser, yet once again get caught up in Nathan Drake’s daring escapades. They will support him in his fight against pirates in a global conspiracy that will conclude his chapter.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End brings with it open environments unlike the franchise has ever seen before, allowing players to explore and tackle challenges from many angles. Along comes the most beautifully imagined Uncharted yet, with realistic character models that make Nathan Drake and others more true-to-life than ever before.
The final adventure soon approaches. To make it easy for gamers to get caught up on what has happened to this point, an Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection has been released which includes all three of the above adventures and improvements that take advantage of the PlayStation 4’s class-leading hardware.
Soon, the collection will be followed up with the long-awaited Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which will signal the end of Nathan Drake’s remarkable eight year adventure.