Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is one of the most anticipated releases of 2016 and with good reason as the software product is the latest from the acclaimed developers at Naughty Dog. If you haven’t heard already, the sequel will also mark the end of Nathan Drake’s journey.
So, if you are looking to jump into the Uncharted series for the first time, is it worth playing the previous installments before starting the fourth mainline title? Let’s look at several factors.
The Previous Titles
The first game of the series, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, first came out for the PlayStation 3 in 2007. The original set the foundation for the sequels as it mixes third-person cover shooting with platforming elements. While the formula has been refined in the later installments, the first game still hold up pretty well.The second title, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, is considered to be the best of the first three mainline games. It manages to refined elements from the first game to craft an unforgettable experience. Not to mention that the second game, which came out for the PS3 in 2009, also introduced online multiplayer to the series.Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, which came out in 2011 for the PlayStation 3 console, was seen more as a lateral step for the series (some fans are very vocal that it isn’t as good as Uncharted 2). With that said, the third main game still provides a stellar single-player campaign along with robust multiplayer modes.Uncharted: Golden Abyss came out for the PlayStation Vita in 2012. The handheld game is the first in the series to be developed by another company (Sony Interactive Entertainment Bend) instead of Naughty Dog. Even so, Golden Abyss managed to retain the same solid shooting and platforming elements from the console installments while also adding some twists via the Vita’s touch screen.Released in 2015, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection comes with the remastered releases of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The three games featured improved graphics along with some gameplay tweaks on the PlayStation 4. With that said, the compilation does not include any of the multiplayer modes of the second and third games of the series.If you are interested in any of the above titles, you can purchase them with the following links: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Game of the Year Edition, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Game of the Year Edition, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.
Although released after the other titles, Uncharted: Golden Abyss actually takes place before the events of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. However, the Vita game was left off of the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection as it doesn’t quiet fit Naught Dog’s story arc that they were trying to conclude with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception take place in chronological order.
The stories is these games are written in a way that you do not really need to play the previous installments as each one contains a standalone storyline. With that said, you will miss out on the character development while some callbacks may go over your head as well. So, while playing all the prequels is not necessary, it is highly recommended if you want to get the most out of the narrative in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
As we mentioned above, the gameplay formula for Uncharted has been refined and expanded over the years. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is shaping up to be the best one in the series as it features improved computer A.I., more traversal options along with a bigger emphasis on stealth. Not to mention that the sequel also added a rope mechanic, giving Nathan Drake more options when it comes to moving around and attacking enemies.For the above reasons, it would be pretty hard if you decide to play the previous installments of the series after playing Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. So, if you are planning to play all of the games, we highly recommend completing them in order of release.
While not necessary, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception are worth playing if you want to get the most out of the story of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. On the other hand, Uncharted: Golden Abyss is not requirement although it is still a solid game on its own.
If you only care about the campaign, then we highly recommend picking up Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection for the PlayStation 4 as the three mainline games come with enhanced graphics and some gameplay tweaks. You can buy the game compilation via this page.
If you would like to try out the multiplayer modes of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, then you will have to purchase the original PS3 versions. You can find both with the following links: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Game of the Year Edition and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Game of the Year Edition.
Sony Interactive Entertainment is launching Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on the 10th of May. So, if you are planning to jump into the series with the four mainline game, make sure to check out the previous titles we mentioned above as well.