Uncharted
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Uncharted

Uncharted is an action-adventure third-person shooter platform video game series developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation consoles.

The main games in the series follow Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter who journeys across the world to uncover various historical mysteries.

The main series began with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, released on the PlayStation 3 in 2007, followed by its sequels Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009), Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (2011), with the final installment, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, released on the PlayStation 4 in 2016. A prequel, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, was released for Sony's PlayStation Vita handheld system in 2011, followed by the card game spin-off Uncharted: Fight for Fortune in 2012. A standalone expansion to the series, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, was released in 2017, with Chloe Frazer as the game's playable protagonist.

The series has been universally acclaimed and commercially successful, having shipped more than 41 million units, making it the one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. The main series has been widely credited by critics and video game publications for raising the standards of single-player video games, praising it for high production values, quality in storytelling, character design and animation, voice acting, realistic graphics, technical innovation, musical score, gameplay mechanics, and delivering an enjoyable cinematic gaming experience to players. The series has often been likened to Hollywood-produced action adventure films.

According to former Naughty Dog developer, Lucas Pope, the franchise drew inspiration from the Gears of War series, with the first Uncharted game being delayed after the first Gears of War game released in order for various core gameplay and technical elements to more resemble and feel like that of the latter.[1]

The critical and commercial success of the Uncharted games have been pivotal to the success of PlayStation during the seventh and eighth generation of video game consoles, and has helped elevate Naughty Dog's reputation to a highly respected video game developer in the industry.

Titles

Year Title Developer Home release
2007 Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Naughty Dog PlayStation 3
2009 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
2011 Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Uncharted: Golden Abyss Bend Studio PlayStation Vita
2012 Uncharted: Fight for Fortune
2015 Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection1 Bluepoint Games PlayStation 4
2016 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Naughty Dog
Uncharted: Fortune Hunter Playspree Android, iOS
2017 Uncharted: The Lost Legacy2 Naughty Dog PlayStation 4
Notes:
1. Remastered version of Uncharted, Uncharted 2, and Uncharted 3.
2. Standalone expansion pack to Uncharted 4.

Main series

2007Drake's Fortune
2008
2009Among Thieves
2010
2011Drake's Deception
Golden Abyss
2012
2013
2014
2015The Nathan Drake Collection
2016A Thief's End
Fortune Hunter
2017The Lost Legacy

The Uncharted series is set in a shared real universe, and features a non-linear storyline. Each universe is considered shared with only antagonists, places, and background characters separate between them.

Drake's Fortune, the first game in the series, was released for PlayStation 3 in November 2007.[2] The system carried the following two installments of the main series, following a deal between Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment to result in exclusive release for their systems. Among Thieves was published in 2009, and the creative team were afforded a greater license to utilize a greater deal of the system's random-access memory (RAM), due to an improved propriety engine. It subsequently introduced more locales, higher free roam and combat abilities, and a larger map. Drake's Deception, released in 2011, built upon this aspect, while it also added an improved online multiplayer mode.

The following main instalment, A Thief's End, was published on PlayStation 4, and focused on realism and detail. The last in the series to feature the main protagonist, it added driving elements, as well as improving on other gameplay aspects, such as stealth and role-playing, and comprehensive upgrades to multiplayer. It was released to massive financial success, breaking multiple records.[3] A free-to-play game for iOS and Android titled Fortune Hunter was released to tie in with A Thief's End.[4][5]

Other games and compilations

Golden Abyss was published in 2011, and is the first in the series to be released on PlayStation Vita, marking the series' first on a handheld console. It is considered a prequel to the main series, although, some developers have stated that it acts as a separate, original story.[6] In 2012, a turn-based card game titled Fight for Fortune was released. It was developed by One Loop Games,[7][8] and contained interactive elements suitable for the Vita.[9]

The Nathan Drake Collection is a remastered collection of the series' first three installments, and was ported to PlayStation 4 by Bluepoint Games in October 2015. It was released to compensate for the delay in production for A Thief's End, which was originally slated for release in summer 2015. The game also included a voucher for the beta for the multiplayer for A Thief's End.[10] It received positive reviews, with most praising the technical improvements and visual enhancements.[11]

The Lost Legacy was released as a standalone expansion to A Thief's End, and marks the first entry in the series not to feature Drake. It features the characters Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, who previously appeared in Among Thieves and Drake's Deception, and A Thief's End, respectively.[12] It was released on PlayStation 4 in 2017.[13]

Common elements

Gameplay

During combat, Drake (left) can use corners and walls as cover, and then use blind or aimed fire from cover against his opponents.

Gameplay in the Uncharted series is a combination of action-adventure elements and 3D platforming with a third-person perspective. The player is given various physical tasks which must be completed to progress through the storyline, such as jumping, swimming, grabbing and moving along ledges, and climbing and swinging from ropes.[14] Other aspects, including shooting, combat, and puzzle solving, also regularly feature. In later titles, driving, boat riding, and other acrobatic actions were added or developed.

The Uncharted games grants a reasonable amount of freedom through the design of the maps. Later games contain elements of open world design, in order to encourage free-roaming to secure collectibles or stealth to avoid enemies.[14] In A Thief's End, role-playing was expanded to include side discussions with other characters. The Uncharted series follows the structure of traditional action games, where players complete a single track series of levels with linear gameplay, and is navigated through a third-person perspective.

Shooting is central to the game's function, as players are also required to bypass a string of foes. Although a wide variety of weapons are present in the game, the player can only carry a sidearm such as pistol, a primary weapon such as a rifle or shotgun, and a handful of grenades. These weapons are obtained by picking up weapons dropped by a downed foe, or from those scattered around the various maps. If the player dies, they will respawn at a specific level checkpoint.[15]

In A Thief's End, the use of vehicles in an explorable environment was developed. It provides the player with unheralded freedom to take vehicles wherever they please, albeit, must be driven to a certain location to progress the story.[16]

In Among Thieves, multiplayer was introduced. It features both competitive and co-operative gameplay. The co-op multiplayer mode allows up to three players to take the roles of Drake and two other "hero" companions and features missions involving gunfights, platforming, and teamwork-based objectives.[17] Players can also assist their comrades if they become critically injured or if they are grabbed by an enemy.[17] The competitive multiplayer allows a maximum of ten players to play against each other in two teams of five. Six competitive modes are featured, including single or team-based deathmatches, and team-based objectives.[18] In A Thief's End, survival mode was introduced, which features wave-based progression on swarms of increasingly powerful enemies, as well as completing other objectives. Furthermore, multiplayer allows players to accrue points and rank up, which can be used to purchase more skins for both heroes and villains.[18]

Setting

The Uncharted series is set in the real world, in a number of different time periods. In Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, the game is set off the coast of Panama, in the Amazon rainforest, and an uncharted island off the coast of South America. The second entry in the franchise, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, was the first in the series to experiment with several locales. The game is set in the snow-capped mountain landscapes of the Tibetan Plateau in southernmost China, a museum in Istanbul, the jungles of Borneo, and the urban landscapes of Nepal. Subsequent games followed this concept, with Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception featuring the streets of London and Colombia, as well as a château in France, a castle in Syria, a city in Yemen, and the sprawling deserts of the Rub' al Khali. To match the past in elements of the third game, some differences in terms of buildings and geography were designed to reflect the different time periods.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End features an estate in Italy, a cathedral in Scotland, several locations in Madagascar, and many uncharted islands in the Indian Ocean not too far off from Africa, to reflect Libertalia. Unnamed American cities are also included, in both the past and present, where the titular character resides.

Many of the locations represented were extensively researched for the series. The development team organised field research trips with tour guides and architectural historians and captured many photos and hours of video footage to properly reflect the settings.

Characters

Top to bottom: Nolan North and Claudia Black reprised their roles as the only single-player playable characters throughout the series.

The series has included a wide variety of voice actors, with the development team settling on the decision that prominent characters would be voiced by lower profile actors. Only three characters have featured in every main installment, while Chloe is the only other single-player playable character:

Nathan is portrayed as a professional treasure hunter with a shady background. He is highly intelligent, self-educated in history and various languages, and a supposed descendant of Sir Francis Drake. Naughty Dog gave Drake a very strong personality, as they did not want him to act blandly, and so, he often thinks out loud, and comments and complains on the absurdity of his situations.[19] Drake's appearance is generic, usually appearing in a plain shirt and jeans, to portray the everyman persona. North also strongly mixed in his own personality with Drake's, adlibbing portions of the character's dialog.[20]
Elena is an investigative journalist, who often finds herself on the same excursions as Drake. They begin a relationship, and eventually marry and have a child. Naughty Dog initially designed Elena solely as a sidekick and a romantic interest to Drake, and her personality to complement his. However, she grows to be as capable as Drake at gun battles and resourcefulness.[21] Rose commented, "In the first game, she's a lot younger, she's a lot more naive, and she looks at things as being very possible, and in the second [game], has seen murders and adventure...the way that any person grows, you see that in her. She's a little bit more hesitant, a little more cynical".[22]
A former U.S. Navy, Sullivan is a skilled traveler, able to navigate planes and submarines. He is also able to engage in similar gun battles as Drake, and is adept at star-based navigation. Sullivan is Drake's mentor and father figure, having picked him up as a wandering orphan in Colombia. Naughty Dog also designed him to fit the everyman persona, as he clads himself in odd guayabera-style shirts, khaki pants, and smokes cigars. He is also constantly in debt, and relies on other people to funds the pair's treasure ventures.[23]
The only other single-player playable character, Chloe was designed to be as a darker version of the main character, and a stark contrast to Elena. She is an impulsive and reckless adventurer, and is witty, devious, and fun seeking.[24] Chloe is also a very sexually forward character, using it to help further her interests. At first, she appears selfish, caring little for anything but her goal, but is later seen as a very loyal and determined character. She is as skilled as Drake and Sullivan in gun battles and fights, while Black also adlibbed segments of dialog to influence Chloe's personality.[25][26]

Other media

Game

Uncharted: Drake's Trail

Drake's Trail is a now-defunct 2007 online game. The game was a browser-based game with alternative reality elements. Consisting of ten chapters, the story, serving as a prequel to Drake's Fortune, recounts journalist Elena Fisher hiring a private detective to track down famous treasure hunter Nathan Drake believing he is onto something big. The game was played using a Google Maps plugin to locate game areas within the real world, in conjunction with a Flash Player to explore those fictional locations (such as Drake's apartment) for clues to the next location.

Uncharted: The Board Game

Uncharted: The Board Game is a board game published by Bandai in 2012. It was designed by Hayato Kisaragi and allows between two and four players to compete for treasure and fight enemies.[27]

Print

Motion comics

Uncharted: Eye of Indra

On October 23, 2009, Sony Computer Entertainment America released the first of a four-part series adventure called Uncharted: Eye of Indra.[28] It is a prequel to Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. The second part was released on November 25, 2009, while the third and fourth parts released simultaneously on December 7, 2009.[29]

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

A motion comic adaptation of the prologue of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, starting with the discovery of Francis Drake's coffin and up to the first encounter with Gabriel Roman. Uses the same voice clips from the video game.[]

Comic book

On July 19, 2011, Sony announced that an Uncharted comic book would be released by DC Comics around the time Uncharted 3 came out. Written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Sergio Sandoval and covers by Adam Hughes, it was released on November 30, 2011, as part of a 6 issue mini series.[30][31] In the story, a quest for the legendary "Amber Room" launches Nathan Drake on a journey to the center of the Earth.[32]

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth

A novel released in October 2011. The novel is written by Christopher Golden and published by Del Rey Books, and follows the search for Daedalus's Labyrinth, a maze used to hold the Minotaur, a monster from Greek mythology.[33]

Film adaptation

In 2008, film producer Avi Arad stated that he was working with a division of Sony to develop the film adaptation of Uncharted.[34] In response to a question posed to Richard Lemarchand, lead game designer of Naughty Dog, on whether he would like to see a film adaptation of Uncharted, he replied "no comment".[35] Since then, Columbia Pictures has confirmed that an Uncharted film is being developed.

The film was at first to be written by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer and produced by Avi Arad, Charles Roven, and Alex Gartner.[36][37] As of June 30, 2009, it was confirmed that the Uncharted film had been in development for the last year-and-a-half.[38]Nathan Fillion expressed an interest in playing Nathan Drake, and started a campaign on Twitter to encourage fans to support him in the endeavor.[39] In a 2011 interview, Naughty Dog told PlayStation University how close they really were with the development of the movie and that they had trust with all who were working on it.[40]

On October 8, 2010, it was announced by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, co-presidents of Columbia Pictures, that David O. Russell had been set to write and direct the film, an action-adventure based upon the first game in the series. The film would be produced by Avi Arad, Charles Roven, and Alex Gartner.[41] Following a screening of David O. Russell's film, The Fighter, he was approached by a fan of the Uncharted series who asked whether he had considered Nathan Fillion for the role of Nathan Drake for the upcoming film due to the high number of requests for him to fulfill the role. Russell was unaware of the interest in Fillion and who he was and seemed to quickly dismiss the idea.[42]

On November 24, 2010, an interview with Mark Wahlberg was published by MTV with the actor discussing his involvement in the film adaptation of the popular franchise. He stated that David O. Russell was currently writing the script and was excited for what he had in store, hoping to shoot in the middle of 2011: "I'm obviously in whatever David wants to do but the idea of it is so off the charts: De Niro being my father, Pesci being my uncle. It's not going to be the watered-down version, that's for sure."[43]

On May 26, 2011, it was reported that David O. Russell had dropped out from directing the video game film, with a new screenwriter being sought by Columbia Pictures.[44] On July 6, Variety reported that Neil Burger was stepping in for David O. Russell.

Burger landed the offer after the studio and producers Avi Arad, Charles Roven and Alex Gartner sparked to his new take on the film. Burger spoke out about the film in July, saying the following:[45]

We're re-writing the script from scratch, and I'm just jumping into that literally right now, about to close the deal and leap off. Until the screenplay is written you never know who's going to be acting in it or not. But there are a lot of good actors out there who even look like Nathan Drake and who could do it. I love the project, I think it's a great adventure and it's a wild insane ride ... the game is and the movie will be. I mean it has pretty great character at its core, Nathan is a bit of a con man, a hustler ... knows his stuff, ballsy..it's great. Absolutely. And then you know you have to do what a movie does best, as well ... build on what's cool about the game and then make it into a movie. Yeah there will be (balance) in this one, this one is a very great adventure, and it's just a matter of pulling out the the [sic] very cool intense stuff that works for the film story, and making sure the story supports those elements and also makes us really connected to the character.

On August 23, 2012, Burger dropped out to work on another film and the studio hired the husband and wife team of Marianne and Cormac Wibberley to rewrite the film.[46]

In an interview with IGN, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg said they were asked to write the film multiple times, but declined all of them.[47] On February 4, 2014, Deadline reported that Seth Gordon would direct the film with the latest script being written by David Guggenheim.[48] Production was set to begin in early 2015.[49] The film was originally scheduled for release on June 10, 2016.[50] On November 12, 2014, the studio hired Mark Boal to write the film.[51] After Wahlberg, Chris Pratt was in talks to portray Nathan Drake, but he reportedly declined the offer.[52] On June 24, 2015 Seth Gordon left the project over creative differences.[53]

In April 2015, the script written by David Guggenheim was leaked, having been obtained in the Sony Pictures hack.[54] On August 5, 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment pushed the film's release date back to June 30, 2017.[55] In an interview with Game News Official, Nathan Drake's voice actor Nolan North stated that he believed that fans did not want a movie.[56][57] Charles Roven did reveal to Collider that what they were working on was pretty exciting, there was a director that they did not have at the moment, and they were not ready to cast that vote until they were actually ready to cast.[58] In April 2016, Neil Druckmann, who had worked on previous Uncharted games, said that the most important aspect of the film is the character relationships.[59][60]

On July 29, 2016, Variety reported that Joe Carnahan will write the draft of the film's script.[61] On September 1, 2016, the film was removed from Sony's release calendar due to not having a director or cast, but Sony was still moving forward with the film.[62][63] Director Shawn Levy on October 25, 2016 was announced to be directing the Uncharted movie.[64] Carnahan said to Collider that he and Levy are knowledgeable about the game, and had been hard at work getting the characters right.[65] The filming was set to begin in early 2017.[66] Wahlberg told We Got This Covered in an interview that he was no longer attached to the film.[67] In early January 2017, Carnahan posted a photo on his Instagram to show that the script of the film had been completed.[68][69][69]Tom Holland will star as young Nathan Drake and the movie is a prequel to the games.[70] TV writer Rafe Judkins was brought on to rework the script.[71] On December 19, 2018, it was announced that Levy had stepped down from directing the movie.[72] On January 14, 2019, Variety reported that Dan Trachtenberg had signed on to direct the film.[73]

On March 29, 2019, The GWW reported that Chris Hemsworth, Matthew McConaughey, Chris Pine and Woody Harrelson are on the shortlist for Sully.[74] On June 6, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the movie is set to release on December 18, 2020, with Tom Holland set to star as Drake.[75] On August 22, 2019, Deadline reported that Dan Trachtenberg had exited the film, with the film scheduled to go into production in early 2020. The film will become the first feature production of Sony PlayStation Productions.[76] On September 27, 2019, The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Travis Knight will direct the film.[77] On November 13, 2019, Variety reported that Mark Wahlberg was in final talks to co-star in the film as Victor "Sully" Sullivan.[78]

Fan film

In July 2018, director Allan Ungar posted a fan-made 15-minute short film, starring Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake, who for years had been campaigning for the role. It was very well received, with particular praise given to Fillion's performance as Drake, and to an action sequence shot from an over-the-shoulder angle, similar to the shooting sequences in the video games. The short also features Stephen Lang as Victor Sullivan and Mircea Monroe as Elena Fisher, with appearances from Ernie Reyes Jr. and Geno Segers.[79][80] The reception towards the fan film has resulted in some speculation as to whether it is expected to influence and alter the plans of the official film. Druckmann, vice president of Naughty Dog, tweeted a heart emoji towards the fan film, with Shawn Levy also praising it,[81] while Ungar expressed his support towards the official film.[82]

Reception

The Uncharted series has been a major success, both critically and commercially; by September 2017, the series sold over 41 million copies worldwide.[92] Much of the praise for the series has gone towards the graphics Naughty Dog have produced and attained, as well as the writing and voice acting,[93][94] with GamesRadar ranking it the second best franchise of the seventh generation.[95] The Uncharted series is widely credited with bringing up Naughty Dog's reputation and has them regarded as one of the best developers in the industry.[96]

As the protagonist of the series, Nathan Drake is seen as a PlayStation mascot,[97] while Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is considered one of the greatest games of all time. It received over fifty Game of the Year awards,[98][99] with critics heralding it as a gaming milestone.[100][101] The game currently lies among the highest ever rated PlayStation 3 games on Metacritic.[102]Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is also ranked as one of the best in the series, and among the finest video games of the eighth generation.[97][100]

Sales

The series has broken several sales records.[101] The first installment was a member of the PlayStation Essentials range, having shipped over 2.6 million copies worldwide.[103]Uncharted 2 was the highest selling game in the month of its release,[104] and by the end of their life-cycles, the games combined sold over 13 million copies by 2011.[92] Sales for Uncharted 3 were revealed to have been over double that of its predecessor by Naughty Dog's product marketing manager Asad Quizilbash, which "far" exceeded their expectations,[105] and the game eventually helped bring the Uncharted series to verified sales of over 17 million copies worldwide.[106] Prior to the release of the fourth main installment, Sony revealed the Uncharted series has sold over 28 million copies worldwide.[107][108]

Uncharted 4 is the best selling installment of the series to date, with over 15 million individual copies sold,[109][110] making it the best-selling PlayStation 4 games of all time.[111] Sales accrued, which included from the Lost Legacy expansion pack, in a December 2017 panel in celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the series at the PlayStation Experience event, revealed that the series has sold 41.7 million units globally.[112][113]

Year Game Sales Acquired label(s)
2007 Uncharted: Drake's Fortune 4 million+ PS3 Greatest Hits, Essentials
2009 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 7 million+ PS3 Greatest Hits, Essentials
2011 Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception 6 million+ PS3 Greatest Hits, Essentials
Uncharted: Golden Abyss 0.5 million+
2012 Uncharted: Fight for Fortune
2015 Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection 5 million+
  • PS4 Greatest Hits, Essentials
2016 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End 15 million+
  • PS4 Greatest Hits, Essentials
Uncharted: Fortune Hunter
2017 Uncharted: The Lost Legacy 1 million+
  • PS4 Greatest Hits, Essentials
Total series sales: 41.7 million+[114][115]

See also

References

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Uncharted
 



 



 
Music Scenes