Changing My Play Style for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

Originally published on Trevor Trove on November 2, 2015

Replaying through the adventures of Nathan Drake on the PlayStation 4 was a enjoyable way to kill some time as I wait for Fallout 4 on November 10th. Having played Uncharted: Drake’s FortuneUncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception on the PlayStation 3, I figured I knew what to expect. However, whereas I didn’t fall down the trophy-hunting rabbit hole during the last generation, I set the goal this time out of getting the Platinum on each one, which meant playing through on Crushing difficulty.

The closest I came to any Platinum on the PlayStation 3 games was the original Drake’s Fortune. I played through on Hard to unlock Crushing but I never played through on Crushing difficulty. That is the lone trophy keeping me from that Platinum. With the latter two games, I didn’t even hunt the treasures, let alone play on the harder difficulties. I prioritized enjoying the pulpy action-adventure over the difficulty challenge. That’s by and large how I play games. I play video games to relax and unwind, not to stress myself out or challenge myself by playing on the hardest difficulties. But since I’d already played through this series, I figured I’d mix things up a bit.

With Crushing unlocked from the start on these games, I dove right in on Drake’s Fortune. The story beats immediately came back and it felt good hanging out with Nate, Sully, and Elena again. The cover mechanics at the core of this game however felt less so, especially in a mode were about three bullets kills you. Far and away my biggest complaint as I played through these three games again was the cover of this first game. Time after time I was dying not because of the onslaught of enemies (though I will echo the general consensus that there tend to be just a few too many enemies or one too many waves in most of the arenas in this game compared to the more evenly balanced second and third installments), but because I’d hit the button to move into cover and go rolling out into the middle of the firefight instead.

Even with that major gripe, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Remastered was still a pretty enjoyable time on Crushing. Sure, I died a couple hundred times, but when I’d finally complete a section after dying 10+ times, I felt awesome! Of course, the whole time I was dreading the Descendants in the games final chapters because I remember those guys messing me up a lot playing through the game on Normal. How bad were they going to be on Crushing? But then I got there, and the run and gun method worked just fine. Phew! A couple more chapters and that final section on the boat and I was done.. Hurray!

After that, I went through and grabbed any of the treasures I’d missed on Easy. One of my favorite features of this collection (that may have been  in the originals but I certainly didn’t remember it) was being able to see “5 of 7 treasures collected” on the Chapter select screen. This way I was able to hone in on a chapter and find the guide online rather than review every single location and ask “did I get that one?” With all the treasures collected, I chased after the combat trophies. Steel Fist Expert (Kill 10 Enemies in a Row with a Single Punch After Weakening Them with Gunfire) was probably the most tedious because I’d get four or five and then I’d accidentally kill them with gunfire or not weaken them enough for the punch to kill them so I’d have to restart at the checkpoint and try again. Lastly, I would run through the new-for-this-edition Speed Run trophies where you have to beat three chapters within the time alotted to nab the trophy. For each of the three games there was always one of these that I’d find irksome just because I’d miss the time by a few seconds and have to play through the whole thing again cutting whatever corners I could. Not difficult, just a bit of extra time put into it. And that was my first Uncharted Platinum.

For the second and third games, I pretty much just repeated this strategy. The biggest change was that I combined my Crushing runs with my treasure runs and just followed along with the guides as I played through. As mentioned above, the second and third games were a lot more balanced so they were easier to play through (with the exception of the train boss and Lazarevic…eff those guys) and now I have the Platinum trophy on all three of them.

I might throw together a more formal review on the Uncharted Collection soon, but until then I thought I’d share this little tale. Now onto the Master Chief Collection to play through the Halo games for the first time as I tide myself over for a few more days…

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