The Uncharted Collection is Not Worth Your Money
Sony has accidentally revealed that their latest remaster package coming to the PlayStation 4 is none other than... the Uncharted Collection. Since Uncharted 4: A Thief's End has been delayed into next year, this seems like a smart move on Sony's part, yes? No, not so much.
Even going past my personal reservations I have with the series, the Uncharted Collection just is underwhelming at best. You get the three campaigns from the core PlayStation 3 entries, a photo mode (previously included in The Last of Us and inFamous: Second Son), and no multiplayer except for access to the Uncharted 4 multiplayer beta.
So, let me get this straight -- the excellent co-op mode from Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 is completely scrapped. All that dynamic teamwork and substance in gameplay is just gone, even though people still even play Uncharted 2's co-op to this day on PlayStation 3.
Uncharted 3's also fairly dense (if sometimes questionably balanced) competitive multiplayer is also 100% scrapped for this collection. At best, day-one buyers get access to a limited-time multiplayer beta that will be unplayable after the beta concludes. Instantly, the replay value and extent of content in the package has dropped and we're just getting started.
Uncharted campaigns, love them or hate them, are not highly replayable experiences.
You play through once, you see everything. There are no new or alternate encounters to find. At best, a few sections in the third game allow you to try to be stealthy for brief intro and outro sequences. It's The Order: 1886 all over again, just with substantially longer run time and none of the cool weaponry.
Remember, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune released back in 2007. It is nearly a decade old.
Regardless of your nostalgia for the series, there are only so many times you can replay a campaign so highly scripted and linear, with no real progression system either. The biggest thing the game offers is the ability to unlock guns at any point in the campaign, like a cheat mode, but in past entries, those have required you to beat the game on its hardest difficulty. There are licensed tie-in games with more to do other than go through the motions, over and over.
This is also on top of the fact that Uncharted games are foremost praised and known for their visuals. The problem there being that only rose tinted glasses can hide the aging engine tech of these games. Remember, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune released back in 2007. It is nearly a decade old.
What was once revolutionary technology is now less powerful than the latest version of the Unity engine. There are games on tablets and Android consoles with more detail than Drake's Fortune, so the whole "eye candy" angle is pointless now.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is the only title that can arguably be held up to a similar layer of detail as The Last of Us, but even then, has far more cramped environments as a result. The games will all be at 1080p resolution and run at 60 frames per second, but that only gets you so far.
So, the visuals aren't going to hold up great because they're built around looking realistic instead of looking stylized. The multiplayer, which for some of us was the only redeeming factor, is completely scrapped save for a limited time beta. Golden Abyss, the PS Vita entry that tried to increase single-player replayability, is absent. There is no graphical overhaul, just standard 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. The campaigns have little-to-no replay value and are almost as linear and scripted as The Order: 1886.
Boy, I can't see any reason not to buy this collection. Especially when you could just, say, buy a PlayStation 3 for about $150, and get all three games for about $30 (and that's if you buy the Game of the Year editions). Along with access to tons of other, better exclusives for the PlayStation 3.
Because, you see, it actually has games released that are worth playing. From the creative oddballs like Fat Princess and Puppeteer, to the hardcore titles like Killzone 3 and Demon's Souls, you get a much better value for your dollar. They might not be at 60 frames per second, but if that's all that matters to you, then I don't think there's anything I can say to convince you otherwise.
[Image Credit: Uncharted Wiki, Softpedia, YouTube, Game Informer, Significant Bits]