|Publisher(s)||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
|First release||Uncharted: Drake's Fortune|
November 19, 2007
|Latest release||Uncharted: The Lost Legacy|
August 22, 2017
Uncharted is a series of action-adventure games created by Amy Hennig. The games are developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation consoles. The main series of games follows Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter who travels 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 game 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 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.
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.
|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 Collection[a]||Bluepoint Games||PlayStation 4|
|2016||Uncharted 4: A Thief's End||Naughty Dog|
|Uncharted: Fortune Hunter||Playspree||Android, iOS|
|2017||Uncharted: The Lost Legacy[b]||Naughty Dog||PlayStation 4|
|2022||Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection[c]||Naughty Dog, Iron Galaxy[d]||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5|
|2012||Fight for Fortune|
|2015||The Nathan Drake Collection|
|2016||A Thief's End|
|2017||The Lost Legacy|
|2022||Legacy of Thieves Collection|
Drake's Fortune, the first game in the series, was released for PlayStation 3 in November 2007. The system carried the following two installments of the main series, following a deal between Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment to exclusively release the franchise on Sony's systems. Among Thieves was published in 2009, and the creative team were afforded a greater license to utilize a larger amount of the system's random-access memory (RAM), due to an improved proprietary 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 installment, 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. A free-to-play game for iOS and Android titled Fortune Hunter was released to tie in with A Thief's End.
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. In 2012, a turn-based card game titled Fight for Fortune was released. It was developed by One Loop Games, and contained interactive elements suitable for the Vita.
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. The games feature enhancements such as new trophies, an in-game Photo Mode, and improved textures and gameplay. The multiplayer modes from Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 are excluded. It received positive reviews, with most praising the technical improvements and visual enhancements. The game was offered for free as part of Sony's Play at Home initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic in April–May 2020.
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. It was released on PlayStation 4 in 2017. Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, a remastered version of A Thief's End and The Lost Legacy, will release in early 2022 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 5. The Windows version, in development by Iron Galaxy, will be released after the PlayStation 5 version.
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. 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 grant 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. 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.
In A Thief's End, the use of vehicles in an explorable environment was developed. It provides the player with freedom to take vehicles wherever they please, albeit, must be driven to a certain location to progress the story.
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. Players can also assist their comrades if they become critically injured or if they are grabbed by an enemy. 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. 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.
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.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End features a Panamanian jail, an estate in Italy, a cathedral in Scotland, several locations in Madagascar, and many uncharted islands in the Indian Ocean not far from Africa, to reflect Libertalia. Boston and New Orleans are also included, in both the past and present respectively, where the titular character resides.
The prequel game Uncharted: Golden Abyss features a dig site and several other locales set in the forests of Panama while the standalone expansion Uncharted: The Lost Legacy features the locales set in and around the mountain ranges of Western Ghats in India as well as a small bazaar and a city in Tamil Nadu.
Many of the locations represented were extensively researched for the series. The development team organized field research trips with tour guides and architectural historians and captured many photos and hours of video footage to properly reflect the settings.
Main article: List of Uncharted characters
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:
Main article: List of Uncharted media
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 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.
Sony Computer Entertainment America released the first of a four-part motion comic series adventure called Uncharted: Eye of Indra in October 23, 2009. It is a prequel to Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. The second part was released on November 25, while the third and fourth parts released simultaneously on December 7.
A motion comic adaptation of the prolog 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.
An Uncharted comic book was 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. In the story, a quest for the legendary "Amber Room" launches Nathan Drake on a journey to the center of the Earth.
A novel titled Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth was published 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.
Main article: Uncharted (film)
A film adaptation is currently in post-production. Ruben Fleischer is helming the picture, from a script by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. The film will serve as a prequel to the games, with Tom Holland as Nathan Drake and Mark Wahlberg as Victor Sullivan. Antonio Banderas, Sophia Taylor Ali, and Tati Gabrielle have also been cast in undisclosed roles. It will be theatrically released in the United States on February 18, 2022, produced by Columbia Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, and Arad Productions. PlayStation Productions is executive producing, while Sony Pictures Releasing is distributing. Principal photography began on March 16, 2020, shooting in Berlin, but was shut down in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was believed filming had resumed on July 15, but Sony Pictures clarified, while production has not yet resumed, they were undergoing preparations with the hope to start production soon. Production resumed on July 20, shooting in areas around Germany, with proper social distancing and mask requirements being implemented on and off the set. On August 5, Banderas temporarily left production after he tested positive for COVID-19, during the pandemic. Banderas later recovered from COVID-19 in late August, with the intention of returning to production imminently. On September 16, filming moved to Berlin, with set photos being released online. Filming wrapped on October 29, 2020.
Main article: Uncharted Live Action 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. 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 film director Shawn Levy also praising it, while Ungar expressed his support towards the official film.
|Uncharted: Drake's Fortune||88/100|
|Uncharted 2: Among Thieves||96/100|
|Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception||92/100|
|Uncharted: Golden Abyss||80/100|
|Uncharted: Fight for Fortune||67/100|
|Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection||86/100|
|Uncharted 4: A Thief's End||93/100|
|Uncharted: Fortune Hunter||77/100|
|Uncharted: The Lost Legacy||84/100|
The Uncharted series has been a major success, both critically and commercially; by September 2017, the series sold over 41 million copies worldwide. 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, with GamesRadar ranking it the second best franchise of the seventh generation. 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.
As the protagonist of the series, Nathan Drake is seen as a PlayStation mascot, while Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is considered one of the greatest games of all time. It received over fifty Game of the Year awards, with critics heralding it as a gaming milestone. The game currently lies among the highest ever rated PlayStation 3 games on Metacritic. 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.
The series has broken several sales records. The first installment was a member of the PlayStation Essentials range, having shipped over 2.6 million copies worldwide. Uncharted 2 was the highest selling game in the month of its release, and by the end of their life-cycles, the games combined sold over 13 million copies by 2011. 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, and the game eventually helped bring the Uncharted series to verified sales of over 17 million copies worldwide. Prior to the release of the fourth main installment, Sony revealed the Uncharted series has sold over 28 million copies worldwide.
Uncharted 4 is the best selling installment of the series to date, with over 15 million individual copies sold, making it one of the best-selling PlayStation 4 games of all time. 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.
|2007||Uncharted: Drake's Fortune||4 million+||PS3 Greatest Hits, Essentials, The Best|
|2009||Uncharted 2: Among Thieves||7 million+||PS3 Greatest Hits, Essentials, The Best|
|2011||Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception||6 million+||PS3 Greatest Hits, Essentials, The Best|
|Uncharted: Golden Abyss||0.5 million+|
|2012||Uncharted: Fight for Fortune|
|2015||Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection||5 million+|
|2016||Uncharted 4: A Thief's End||15 million+|
|Uncharted: Fortune Hunter|
|2017||Uncharted: The Lost Legacy||1 million+|
|Total series sales: 41.7 million+|
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was awarded as PS3 Game of the Year by IGN.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves received several awards by 2009 Spike Video Game Awards (Game of the Year, Best PS3 Game and Best Graphics) and by 2010 BAFTA Game Awards (Story, Action, Use of Audio, Original Score). The game also won in 10 categories, including Game of the Year, at the 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards and in 5 categories, including Game of the Year, at the 10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards. It was the game that won the most GOTY awards in 2009.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception received several awards by 2011 Spike Video Game Awards (Best PS3 Game, Best Graphics) and by the 15th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering, Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction, Outstanding Achievement in Animation). The game also was awarded in the category VideoGame Writing by Writers Guild of America Awards and in the category Best Visual Arts by Game Developers Choice Awards. It was one of the most awarded games of 2011 in the category Game of the Year.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End received several awards by The Game Awards 2016 (Best Narrative, Best Performance) and by D.I.C.E. Awards (Adventure Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Story, Outstanding Technical Achievement, Outstanding Achievement in Animation). The game also won as Best Game at the 13th British Academy Games Awards, as PlayStation Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards and as Best Video Game at the Empire Awards. It was the game that won the most GOTY awards in 2016.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy won in two categories (Game, Franchise Adventure and Sound Editing in a Game Cinema) at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards and in the category Best Music/Sound Design (People's Voice) at the Webby Awards.