Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, the first game in Naughty Dog’s Buccaneering franchise, celebrates its 15th anniversary today – meaning it’s old enough to apply for its learner’s permit in most US states. The game, first released on the PS3 in 2007, marked a seismic shift in California’s first-party approach, previously known for the Crash Bandicoot and Jack & Dexter games.
While characters like Nathan Drake and Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan are larger than life, they are much more grounded than the talking animals that Naughty Dog has promoted in the past. The developer helped pioneer performance capture, proving that video game heroes can be just as compelling and engaging as those in film. It would later complete the formula with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
While the first game in the franchise is admittedly a bit one-dimensional by today’s standards, it was a competent cover shooter with some great visuals on the PS3 at the time. You have to remember that in 2007 many third-party developers were struggling with the system’s complicated CELL hardware chip, but the studio proved what was possible with a little extra elbow grease.
The franchise won’t explode until its successor is unveiled during a memorial. E3 press conference, but it was the first game to receive a platinum trophy – and has since spawned several sequels, and a film starring Tom Holland. The series seems to be on hiatus for now, but Nathan Drake remains very much a PlayStation icon, along with the likes of Kratos and Aloy.
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