A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is a compilation of three third-person-shooter games starring charismatic treasure hunter Nathan Drake. Play comprises a mix of exploration, puzzle solving, and frenetic melee combat and firefights. Nathan uses a variety of weapons to shoot and kill hundreds of ill-meaning human enemies over the course of all three games, rarely expressing remorse over his actions. He's also a very likable guy who generally tries to do right by his friends and those he cares about. His romantic relationships, while an important part of the narrative, result in nothing more physical than kissing and a bit of innuendo. Light profanity occurs occasionally in dialogue, and a major character is fond of cigars. Note that the online play originally found in the second two games has been removed for this release.
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What's it about?
UNCHARTED: THE NATHAN DRAKE COLLECTION is a compilation of Nathan Drake's adventures on PlayStation 3, including Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Drake's story begins with the roguish relic hunter following in the footsteps of Francis Drake, the real-world English explorer from whom he believes himself to be descended, as he romances journalist Elena Fisher and jokes around with longtime friend Victor Sullivan. The epic narrative takes Drake on dangerous treasure-hunting quests all over the world. Players explore ancient ruins, solve Indiana Jones-style crypt puzzles, and get into firefights with rivals, goons, and even more dangerous enemies. The campaigns of all three games are presented with noticeable enhancements to frame rates, textures, and character models. There's also a bonus speed-run mode to add an extra challenge for series veterans. But the competitive multiplayer in the original versions of the second and third game are absent.
Is it any good?
As this game was launched only months before the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, it would be easy to write it off as a promotional tool designed only to build hype for the next game in the series. But to do so would be to ignore that the three games in Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection were among the very best ever to come to PlayStation 3. These were filled with fun exploration, smart puzzles, fast-paced action, and Hollywood-style storytelling made all the more memorable by a talented cast of voice actors who breathed life and personality into great characters. These games are about as close as the medium of games has ever come to giving audiences interactive Indiana Jones movies.
Plus, it's clear that no small amount of work went into this remastered collection. These three games can't quite compare to the most visually sophisticated games designed specifically for PlayStation 4, but the characters and the worlds they inhabit are nonetheless loaded with fresh detail and an impressive crispness absent in the original games. The only real downside is a lack of additional features, such as actor and writer interviews, retrospective mini-documentaries, or an analysis of developer Naughty Dog's growth as a studio. That's a missed opportunity. Still, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection will be tons of fun for any fan of epic adventure, new or returning.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. What factors do you consider when determining whether a game is too violent for your children? The victims of the violence? How bloody or gory it is? The context? What your kids seem to be able to safely handle?
Talk about Nathan's character. Nathan makes some questionable decisions and often doesn't seem affected after killing people, so if you were one of the writers, would you change his behavior, or is it appropriate for an adventurer?
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