YMMV / Uncharted

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Nathan Drake a happy-go-lucky adventurer who regrets but doesn't dwell on the high human cost of his endeavors, or is he a high-functioning clinical sociopath hiding behind a jokey facade, whose friends are mostly unaware of the true depths of his ruthlessness? You can read one argument for the latter here.
  • Author's Saving Throw: In response to the Unfortunate Implications some felt with the first installment having Drake shooting non-white enemies and trying to steal treasures, Naughty Dog made several narrative changes in the sequels.
    • Among Thieves and Drake's Deception had Renegade Russians and Evil Brits as the predominantly caucasian antagonists of the respective entries. In addition, A Thief's End has Drake going up against Amoral Afrikaners for a Pirate Booty, the lead bad guy Rafe Adler is American, and the seemingly stereotypical Latin American druglord set up as the Greater Scope Villain turns out to be part of a lying flashback made up by Sam Drake precisely to appeal to Nathan.
    • Drake's motivations become more altruistic as he is more focused on helping his friends and stopping the villains from threatening the world rather than stealing treasure.
    • The sequels also feature more emphasis on heroic non-white characters. Both Tenzin and Salim have rescued Drake from near-death and have plenty of badass moments.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Uncharted 4 brings in Nadine Ross. People either perceive her as a badass, complex Anti-Villain who deserved to surivive the game unscathed or a boring Invincible Villain who should have been defeated in the end. The fact she utterly destroys Drake in combat not once, but twice, being the only villain in the whole series to do so also being a point of contention.
    • Sam as well. Some fans love Troy Baker's chemistry with Nolan North and view Sam's introduction to the plot as a welcome element, while others feel his insertion to be more than a little clunky. The fact that Sam's existance goes against previously established lore in Drake's Deception is also a contentious topic.
  • Breather Level: Each of the games have a few chapters which focus on story, exploring, climbing and/or solving puzzles, with little to no enemies appearing. The following chapters often have a lot of firefights and explosions to balance this out, though.
    • Especially on harder difficulties, the chapters with the Zombies in Drake's Fortune are this to some, as the enemies have no ranged attacks and aiming is more or less unnecessary when compared to the cover-based gameplay of the rest of the game. The enemies are easy to keep at bay, and despite the lower health on some difficulties, Nate can take at least one hit before being killed by his enemies.
  • Broken Base:
    • In Uncharted 3, aiming was changed: the lag between moving the controller's joystick and the reticule moving on the screen was dramatically increased, and there is resistance to movement when aiming over an enemy. Some people were very upset about this, while others accused them of nitpicking. Naughty Dog has released a patch to fix this to a degree, but it's still a noticeably different experience from Uncharted 2's aiming.
    • The lack of multiplayer in the Drake's Collection remastering. Some viewed the stated reason (Uncharted 2's multiplayer was still being played on the PS3) as a rather weak reason, especially since 2's multiplayer was critically acclaimed. Others felt the Collection was still worth the money with the three games within.
    • The casting of Laura Bailey as a South African was met by some with hesitation (Most notably by Greg Miller, who openly wondered about the casting choice in an interview with Naughty Dog), which others responded to by calling them hypocrites (As black actors like Cree Summer, James Earl Jones and Kimberly Brooks have been playing white characters for years without anyone caring, or that no one cared that a black actor was playing a white character in the 4th game itself). Word of God said this issue was an unintentional effect of casting Bailey while the original design of Nadine was still a white South African, before eventually finalizing the finished look, and they didn't want to replace Bailey after-the-fact.
  • Complete Monster: Zoran Lazarević, the Big Bad of Among Thieves, is a war criminal responsible for mass murder and torture across the globe, and is working to find Shambhala throughout the game. Invading a Nepalese city currently engulfed in a civil war, Lazarević begins tearing the city apart and killing anyone in his way while looking for clues to Shambhala's location. Lazarević introduces himself to Nathan Drake by killing one of his wounded friends, then trying to do the same to him. Pursued by Drake into the mountains of Nepal, Lazarević leads an attack on a defenseless village in an effort to kill him, murdering numerous innocents in the process. Shooting one of his own soldiers after Nate tried to use the man as a hostage, Lazarević takes Drake's love interests as hostages to force him to find a way into Shambhala, where Zoran plans to use its power to make him and his army invincible, then Take Over the World. When beaten, Lazarević tries to force Drake to kill him and embrace his merciless outlook on the world. Viewing leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan, and Pol Pot as "great men," Zoran Lazarević made his mark as the most evil villain in the Uncharted series.
  • Crossover Ship: For whatever reason, Nathan x Cole MacGrath is pretty popular amongst fangirls.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Greg Edmonson did the score for all three games.
  • 8.8: No matter the score given, every review of the third game has pissed someone off. Hundreds of scathing comments were made on Eurogamer's site for daring to give the game an 8 out of 10, while detractors of the series aren't pleased at the near-universal acclaim.
    • The A.V. Club's review and its accusations of "faulty gameplay" prompted numerous negative responses in the comments section.
    • The fourth installment intially received an 8.8 from an IGN reviewer. Adding fuel to the fire is that she also gave Rise of the Tomb Raider a higher score. Cue angry messages to her Twitter accusing her of being a "feminist". Worth noting that reviews for the game came out 5 days before the release date, and is not final.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: There's been many an argument on who's hotter - Rafe Adler or Harry Flynn.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Tenzin in Among Thieves seems to have quite a fan following, despite most players not speaking Tibetan, even after he first appeared in the second multiplayer beta. It may be because one of his first acts is a Crowning Moment of Awesomestabbing the shit out of a suited Guardian with a massive kukri just before it bitch-slaps the life out of you. Or perhaps his awesome hat.
    • Eddy Raja in Drake's Fortune. A little bit crazy wise-cracking rival with a (slight) sense of honour? What's not to love? Some people found him more interesting than the actual main antagonist of the game.
    • Charlie Cutter in Drake's Deception. He's cocky, sarcastic, and has excellent banter with Nate. He's also one of the better representations of a British character. He's even got a more vulnerable side to him that's just endearing, and fits into the main cast like he's been there all along. You can't help but feel sorry for the guy when he's tripping balls on the hallucinogenic water, or freaking out about small spaces.
    • Nate and Sam's mother never actually appears in A Thief's End, but the appeal of an Action Mom Adventurer Archaeologist in the 1980s is pretty undeniable.
  • Escapist Character: Nathan. Highly skilled gunfighter, ladies' man, expert in adventurous archaeology, smart enough to know every bit of world history (and language) that's relevant, excellent climbing skills? Check. Average outlook, frequently panics? Check.
    • Subverted in Uncharted 3. It turns out that Nate's an escapist character for himself as well. In actuality he was never related to Francis Drake and was just an orphan abandoned by his parents
  • Even Better Sequel: Among Thieves improves on all the good points of its predecessor, and fixes most or all of its problems. It ended up winning more than twenty-five game of the year awards.
    • A Thief's End brings in new gameplay features such as the rope and driving, greatly increases the size and openness of the levels, while at the same time featuring graphics and animation quality that really show off what the PS4 can do in the right hands. Coupled with a more emotional story and a more fulfilling send-off to the characters than Drake's Deception offered.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Hector Alcázar made a pretty big impression in Uncharted 4 as an Affably Evil, eloquent drug lord who takes an interest in Sam and is set up as the game's Greater Scope Villain. Fans were not pleased when it turned out that Sam made the whole thing up - the real Alcázar died six months ago, and Sam never even met him.
    • Nadine Ross made an even bigger impression, in that while she does shady things she's also the Only Sane Woman in the game and cares about her fellow mercs. Fans were quite happy that she pulled a Karma Houdini and survived the game. There was also loads of cheering when she socked Rafe in the stomach - even Rafe fans were cheering her on!
  • Fanfic Fuel: The insight A Thief's End gives into Nate's family's history can prompt some players to imagine all kinds of new adventures.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Both games foreshadow their twists subtly enough that noticing the hints when replaying the games can cause this.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The "Skylaunch Glitch" in Drake's Fortune. Rolling on upwards angled surfaces and then hitting L2 at the right time can cause Nate to be launched high in the air. This can be used to skip parts of the game when speedrunning.
    • Uncharted 4 has a tendency to break one way or another when being demoed, including Drake clipping through the ground during The Playstation Experience and the controls not responding during a demo in E3 2015. Fans have actually responded well to these, as it shows that the game's actually being played and it's not pre-rendered.
  • Guide Dang It: Good luck finding all the treasures on your own, unless somehow you're extremely proficient at finding tiny little sparkles tucked away in every freaking nook and cranny.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: At the end of the second game, Lazarevic tries to convince Nate that the two of them are Not So Different. Three years later, Nolan North voiced the main character of another game, the whole purpose of which was to make such accusations more difficult to shrug off, especially for the player.
    • Nate's quip about nothing being worse than a Panamanian jail in the opening cutscene of the first game takes on a new resonance in Uncharted 4; as far as Nate knows, his older brother Sam was killed during their attempt to escape a jail in Panama.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The creepy deep breathing of the 'Choker' mooks in Uncharted 3 Co-op/Multiplayer. If you hear that, you need to run, and try and find out what direction they're coming from. Made even worse if you're playing with someone on the same console; you can't tell if the Choker is coming after you or after them.
    • The sounds of the Descendants scuttling about in Drake's Fortune. Made even more creepy by the fact that you can hear these noises in one of the first locations, even if you don't actually encounter them until later on.
    • The spiders in Drake's Deception make this nasty, chattery scuttly sound, and are accompanied by creepy high pitched music. If you hear that noise or music, basically, RUN.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: General Ironicus kept insisting during Chip Cheezum's Let's Play of Drake's Fortune that Nate was going to England (due to the map coordinates UK2642 found in Chapter 3). It becomes much funnier when it was revealed that the primary anatgonist/Mooks in Uncharted 3 are English, and that the game does in fact start in London.
  • Ho Yay Shipping: Drake is frequently shipped with both Sully and Flynn.
    • He's now shipped with Sam, who is also often shipped with Rafe.
  • It Was His Sled: In the first game, the twist that Sully survives being shot by Roman early on. The fact that he's continued to be a mainstay in the sequels helped with this.
  • It's the Same, so It Sucks: The biggest criticism of Uncharted 3. While the game still received a good amount of praise, most reviewers noted that aside from a few tweaks it didn't really do too much to set itself all that apart from Among Thieves.
  • Memetic Mutation: Nate's indestructible hair, thanks to his hair never reacting to stimuli like water, wind, gunfire...
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The level up music in Drake's Deception's multiplayer, which is a short rendition of Nate's Theme. It'll really make you feel like a badass adventurer.
  • Narm:
    • Some of the character dialogue in Uncharted 3 multiplayer can become this, but special mention goes to Eddy Raja's "Goddamnit, NOOOOOO!" and Harry Flynn's "Oh no, OH NO!"
    • An example from Nolan North himself: the scene where a drugged Charlie Cutter tries to strangle Nate was very hard to do because his neck is ticklish, causing him to break into giggles and ruin the take.
  • One-Scene Wonder: In A Thief's End, Hector Alcázar only appears in one chapter because he is actually dead and the story that chapter tells was a fabrication.
  • Player Punch: Towards the end of the third game, Sully's death. Nate is PISSED, and he lets the enemies know all about it. Thank God it's just a hallucination.
  • Polished Port: The Nathan Drake Collection. Not only does it port the first three games to the PS4 in 1080p at 60fps, it also corrects gameplay niggles fans had from certain games, such as the awkward Waggle and grenade system in Drake's Fortune and the aiming lag in Drake's Deception. Chances are the only complaint you'll see online is that is doesn't include either of the later games' multiplayer modes.
  • Recurring Element: A Thief's End will be the first 4th installment of a Naughty Dog property to not be a Kart Racer; but, as if to give a nod to their roots, it will be the first game to feature controllable cars in certain levels.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: Four games in the series, all of them very successful, and highly rated (Drake's Fortune, the lowest rated, has a Metacritic score of 88). They're renowned for combined great dialogue and storytelling with excellent gameplay and breathtaking visuals. Within the series, Among Thieves, the winner of more than twenty Game of the Year awards, has this reputation.
  • Special Effects Failure: Nate's hair never responds to water. For instance, the first trailer for Uncharted 4 shows Nate groggily climbing out of a river. It's very realistic, except for his hair, which is stiff as a brick and barely looks wet. This wouldn't be that noticeable if the games didn't love showing off how his clothes get wet.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: These are the best Indiana Jones games ever, with the third game getting ads in Japan featuring Harrison Ford himself playing it.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The Distant Finale epilogue to A Thief's End for some. Especially the way it wraps up everything so neatly and perfectly. Some fans and reviewers have even compared it to the similarly diabetic epilogue to Harry Potter.
  • Tear Jerker: Has its own page.
  • That One Boss:
    • Lt. Draza in Uncharted 2. He has tough-as-hell body armor, and needs to be finished off with a melee QTE, in addition to his small fighting space.
    • While he isn't marketed as a boss, the armored guard you fight near the end of Chapter 14 in Uncharted 3 is a pain in the ass. Unlike most armored mooks who can still be killed with 2-3 well-placed headshots, this guy's armor covers him from head to toe and makes him completely impervious to bullets: the only thing that can harm him is a Hammer Grenade Launcher, which you have to wait until a mook carrying one arrives so you can kill him and take it. Until then, you have to try and survive the guy as he chases you all around a wide open area with very little cover, and a few rounds from him will finish you quickly.
  • That One Level
    • The first game has two segments (Chapters 8 and 12, respectively) where Nate and Elena ride a jet ski that handles very poorly while being shot at by several enemies and either dodging or blowing up explosive barrels in their path that will kill them instantly if touched. In spite of this, the first one isn't so bad, due to Elena wielding a grenade launcher with unlimited ammo, and taking place on a flat, calm riverbed, making it easier to move around and find cover to pick off both the enemies and barrels. The second time though is beyond frustrating, due to having them climb up a series of rapids and falls which is constantly making the vehicle control even worse than normal, the barrels are constantly moving down the rapids and some of them can't be seen until right after you climb the top of one leading to surprise deaths, and there's very little cover making it far easier to have multiple enemies pick you off. Elena also loses her grenade launcher for a standard handgun, and while it also has unlimited ammo it takes far more shots from it and precision aiming to pick off enemies from afar as opposed to the wide-ranged one-hit kill power of the grenade launcher, giving them more time to get a lucky shot off, kill you, and force you to do the whole thing over again.
    • The levels with the Descendants in the Nazi bunker in the first game, especially if one dislikes Survival Horror. The enemies are very fast, hard to aim at, can kill Nate with 1-2 very quick melee attacks depending on difficulty, love to sneak up behind you to surprise you with said move while you're fighting one of their friends, or otherwise appear from behind corners right as you're about to turn them, you're basically stuck with a fairly weak sub-machine gun through the entire level (so no shotguns), and the level itself is quite dark and mostly lit through your Infinite Flashlight.
    • Gets even more frustrating right after, when Roman's men are fighting the creatures, since the game is otherwise a cover-based shooter, but the creatures will sneak up and kill you from the other direction while you're in cover, and waiting for them to kill each other doesn't work because fresh enemies pour in the further you progress. At least the Yetis/natives in the sequel are fairly easy to see coming and you have allies for many of your fights with them.
    • Towards the end of the game we revisit the cathedral. This now contains six Laser Sight mooks and two or three with rocket launchers, all trying to One-Hit Kill you.
    • The finale on Navarro's cargo ship. The enemies are behind indestructible cover while the cover you are given is not. They're at a range where they can kill you almost immediately. You are not given any grenades. And through it all, Navarro himself is invincible and popping shots off at you with a one-hit kill rapid-fire shotgun.
    • All of "The Settlement" in the third game. The chapter consists of several gunfights with mooks of all kinds - armored, snipers, shotguns, RPGS, and more, and all at the same time. At the same time, although there's several bits of cover, they primarily consist of several shoddy pieces of rubble that don't hide Drake well making it unfairly easy for several of them to flank around you and take potshots at your backside. To top it all off, the chapter starts you off without any weapons, which means you're going to have to try and get some guns from some of the soldiers you've killed before the remaining enemies, all still armed to the teeth may we remind you, can finish you off, and they'll often do so in a matter of seconds.
    • The second part of "Caravan" in Drake's Deception. The sandstorm greatly limits your depth of view and you have to kill turret gunners on Jeeps to advance forward, which wouldn't be very hard if you know where they are before they kill you.
    • In 'Golden Abyss,' the river rapids level, while short, is truly frustrating, especially on harder levels. You have to use the motion control on the Vita to move him, and the last several rocks will be your undoing many times.
  • That One Puzzle: The 'lining up the body parts' puzzle in chapter 11 of Drake's Deception. The idea is to place a make shift 'torch' into one of several holes in the ground, and the light from it is supposed to cast a certain shadow onto the wall. You can switch to first person view to line it up, and the guide hints that a shadow should be cast to help you. However in game, this doesn't happen. For the uninitiated: stand at four o'clock relative to the center of the room facing the wall, and face ten o'clock. The aligned shadows will create the image of the man, and inserting the torch into the slot at that position will make it look like he's attacking the other guy in the mural. The game's hints on this puzzle are unhelpful, making this one an exercise in trial-and-error.
    • Golden Abyss has one puzzle involving invisible ink that reacts to bright light. It's solved by exposing the Vita's rear touchscreen to light... and somehow, holding it half a damn inch from a blazing light bulb isn't enough to make it react. And when it does work, the progress crawls along maybe 2% and stops until you get light on another spot by waggling it around and cursing.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Uncharted 3 mentioned that Nate isn't really Francis Drake's descendant and suggested that he made up his heritage and he's escaping his sordid past as an orphan whose father abandoned him and mother committed suicide. It's an epic twist that turns the whole series on its head, as it casts many of Nate's actions from earlier games in a new light but it's only mentioned twice in a one-off line from the villains and never directly touched on again.
    • While A Thief's End deals with the issue head on and even provides an Origins Episode, many felt that the suggested theory of Nathan being a conman living out a Changeling Fantasy was more meaningful than the sentimental family romance offered in the game, which by a series of contrivances, such as a long-lost brother who went unmentioned (and who apparently even Sullivan knew about) explains away Nate's life choices and actions rather than present a more critical view of it.
  • Uncanny Valley: Largely averted, but fingers in the second game look very... rectangular. It also seems as if there are floodlights hooked up to the characters' lower eyelids. They constantly have shining, wet look to them, and look rather bug-like.
  • Unfortunate Implications: There are some who feel the series doesn't exactly treat non-white non-Americans the greatest. The first installment suffers the most for featuring mooks being ethnic minorities and Nathan being the only one capable of doing any actual treasure-hunting and clue-solving.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was noted at the time for it's lush and wonderful environments even though it suffered from a few graphical issues. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves fixes those issues and gives some of the best graphics you can ever have from the PlayStation 3. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception takes it a step further and refines those graphics to make it one of the most visually pleasing games for the system. Then Uncharted 4 came along, blowing all the previous games out of the water in this department, to the point where most people didn't think the first trailer was actually possible in game. It's considered one of, if not the best-looking PlayStation 4 games out there—which is saying something since the PS4 is only two years along in its life when 4 came out, setting the bar ridiculously high for any game released after it.
  • Waggle: The first game forces you to control the throwing distance of the grenades with the SIXAXIS function of the controller...making placing grenades quite awkward. Luckily, this was made optional in the sequels.
    • Golden Abyss is made of Waggle, with such well-thought-out features as using the touchscreen to zoom the camera (with your finger inevitably covering the scale), the light exposure puzzle, and a main menu that does not respond to the d-pad and scrolls chapters eight at a flick.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Uncharted