Need a guide to the world of Uncharted? Nathan Drake is a bit of a Renaissance man. He's been there, done that, and has the long-sleeved henley to prove it. Always traveling with lovely ladies and the shadiest of company, unearthing the world's greatest treasures, this adventurer is about to set off on his biggest yet. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is set to be an epic entry into the Uncharted saga, and if you haven't been around from the start, you'll have missed out on one of the most explosive series the PlayStation 3 library has to offer.
With the third game's release just around the corner, we thought it'd be a great time to give all of you Uncharted neophytes a relatively spoiler-free breakdown (though you've been warned, I've gotta let some details slip) of the previous two games and a peek at the third. By the end you'll be itching like the rest of us to uncover the secrets of Drake's past, as Uncharted 3's luscious trailer teases. Suit up, and let's get moving!
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Release: November 17, 2007
- Nathan “Nate” Drake: The titular Drake (Drake's Fortune), possible descendant of English explorer Sir Francis Drake. Fortune hunter extraordinaire. His rugged good looks and sly personality are matched only by his resourcefulness and the way he can always get out of any situation with an impish grin on his face. He's well-read and can read both Latin and Spanish, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better climber. Proficient with handguns and many other armaments, Drake is a dangerous man, particularly when the odds are stacked against him. He's dedicated to his work, and even more dedicated to those he cares about.
- Elena Fisher: The beautiful and intelligent journalist who originally accompanied Nathan Drake while uncovering Sir Francis Drake's coffin, following the story for a documentary she meant to film. This tenacious and incredibly stubborn young woman can easily match Nate tit-for-tat on any issue, and she's never one to back down from a challenge. She produces and hosts her own archaeological television show as well as handles all of her own equipment, and travels around the world for investigative journalism. She's a capable companion, even when forced to share the spotlight.
- Victor “Sully” Sullivan: A senior fortune seeker much like Nathan who's always up for a good adventure or two. He plays the role of a father figure to Nate, though a womanizing old man who's no stranger to his vices. An infamous swindler with a chronic cursing problem, Sully's a good guy deep down, even the man Nate trusts with his biggest secrets. Just don't cross him, or you'll regret it. He has a particular issue with debts in the past as well, including run-ins with the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar.
- Atoq Navarro: The primary antagonist of Drake's Fortune, Navarro is a fellow archaeologist in cahoots with Gabriel Roman, in hot pursuit of the El Dorado treasure for his own selfish agenda.
- Gabriel Roman: Part crime lord, part treasure hunter, Gabriel Roman lent an exorbitant amount of money to Drake's partner in crime Victor Sullivan, and now he's after the El Dorado treasure as payment for the enormous debt left in Sully's wake.
- Eddy Raja: Leader of a band of Indonesian pirates, said to have been one of Nathan Drake's best friends, long ago. Don't mess with Eddy Raja. No, really. He says so himself.
The game that started it all --- we join Nathan “Nate” Drake knee-deep in his quest to recover the late Sir Francis Drake's coffin. This treasure-seeking fortune hunter believes himself to be a descendant of the renowned English explorer. Never without his half-tucked, long-sleeved shirt and baggy khakis, Drake is a fast-talking, impish young man who can back up his silver-tongued speech with rugged toughness and cleverness. Joined by the intelligent and inquisitive journalist Elena Fisher, along for the ride to record the events about to unfold, Drake is ready to lift the lid on what could be his biggest find ever. The duo uncover more than they bargained for when it's time to open the coffin: it's empty, except for a diary left behind by Sir Francis, filled with clues that all point to the fabled city of gold, El Dorado.
Nathan and Elena are headed down a decidedly negative spiral from there: while Drake could have the biggest fortune the world's ever seen on his hands, the pirates who soon appear in the heat of the moment have other plans. As they launch an all-out offensive on our heroes, it looks like Nate's dreams might soon be going up in smoke...until his longtime pal Victor “Sully” Sullivan arrives in his plane to scoop them up and save the day.
So much for Elena's documentary – after discussing the events that unfolded back on the ill-fated boat, Sully and Drake decide to leave behind the quizzical journalist for greener pastures in the Amazon, where Sir Francis Drake's journal and the clues held within lead them on a hunt for El Dorado. It turns out that the “lost city” may well in fact be an enormous statue rather than a location, which What the trio uncover along their journey is certainly one for the books, filled with supernatural beings, mystical prophecies, and even a mummy – all in a day's work for Nathan Drake.
In A Nutshell:
Nathan “Nate” Drake, fortune hunter extraordinaire, is on a quest to uncover the body of Sir Francis Drake's body. When he and journalist Elena Fisher uncover the coffin of the famous explorer, it's actually empty, but for a diary filled with pages and pages of clues about where the famed lost city of El Dorado can be found. With the help of father figure and best buddy Victor “Sully” Sullivan, Nate and Elena set off on a far-reaching quest to uncover the truth behind Sir Francis Drake's death as well as the location of El Dorado. Chaos ensues, secrets are unlocked, and in the end Elena never actually gets her documentary.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Release: October 13, 2009
- Harry Flynn: Yet another treasure hunter who seeks riches for his own gain, though Harry hails from Britain. His dry, sardonic sense of humor meshes well with Drake's and the two often share jabs at each other, even during bleaker moments, meant all in good fun (until they become enemies). Capable in combat though a little dim when it comes to ancient languages, Flynn is just as sly as Drake, and if things had turned out a little differently, the two likely could have grown to be great friends.
- Chloe Frazer: The beautiful Australian siren, fellow treasure hunter whose achievements in Drake's world make fellow fortune seekers tremble with envy. She and Drake share a romantic past, and it is unknown why Drake might have walked away from her back then. This no-nonsense, tough-talking is ready for anything, especially if it means she will ultimately benefit.
- Zoran Lazarevic: A former war criminal turned enemy to Nathan Drake who has been seeking the Cintamani Stone for years. This Serbian powerhouse has committed several unspeakable acts and sports the scars to show it. He aims to become a powerful commander through use of even a fragment of the stone, reaching immeasurable power and hoping to succeed in all of his future conquests. You know, typical villainous ideals.
Two years after the events that unfolded in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, we find Nate in a bit of a tight spot – hanging from the wreckage of a train whose edge protrudes over a cliff. As Drake fights to stay on solid ground and fight his way to safety, we're treated to a series of flashbacks that recall the actions set in motion to have caused this disaster. Before getting himself into this mess, Drake was previously approached by fellow treasure hunters Harry Flynn and Chloe Frazer to yoink a decorative Mongolian lamp from a heavily-guarded museum. After learning this lamp could well unlock the secrets of Marco Polo's lost fleet and the treasures carried within, Nate is all in – it's that fortune hunter's spirit, you know.
Drake and Flynn recover the lamp, discovering a map within that fills in a bit more of the Marco Polo story than Drake knew previously: the lost fleet had actually been transporting a relic known as the Cintamani Stone to the land of Shambhala. After a particularly nasty set of events revolving around Harry Flynn's true intentions and his female companion Chloe's tendency to play dumb about the entire situation, Drake is actually imprisoned. As he waits in jail for a whole of three months, his old friend Sully comes to the rescue.
As the dynamic duo work their way to war criminal Lazarevic's camp, they glean information from Chloe, who has been working as a mole of sorts the entire time, and learn some important information about the Cintamani Stone. Marco Polo's fleet actually never carried the Cintamani Stone, and Drake and Sully uncover the next clue as to where the Stone may be located – Nepal. Sully ascertains the journey is too dangerous for him to continue, so Drake and Chloe continue onward on their quest.
Lazarevic ravages the city, and soon Drake runs into journalist Elena Fisher, as seen in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Elena's on assignment to prove the hardened criminal is actually still alive and wreaking havoc, and eventually our heroes discover they're in the wrong place entirely. The Himalayas are actually where everyone wants to be, but not everyone can soldier forth. Previously forged relationships are torn apart and after some intense backstabbing and spirit-breaking, we find Nate back at the beginning of the game, escaping the wreckage of the devastated train.
After living in the care of a kind elderly Tibetan man, Nate's finally given up on the search for the Cintamani stone and instead goes on a search for a band of men who had previously gone looking for the fabled artifact 70 years prior. The mystery only deepens further as Drake and village elder Tenzin stumble into some particularly creepy-looking inhabitants of the cave the men had searched in.
As Lazarevic nears and the real secret of the Cintamani Stone is revealed, it's an all out battle to the finish. Who will ultimately wield the stone and what powers does it possess? Will we finally see Nate and Elena share the kiss the first game teased us with, or will Nate choose his former flame? It all leads up to a harrowing finale and the perfect wrap-up for an explosive, action-packed sequel to the critically-acclaimed Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
In A Nutshell:
After meeting up with fellow treasure hunters Harry Flynn and Chloe Frazer, Nathan Drake ultimately uncovers the possible whereabouts of the treasure of Marco Polo's lost fleets. The Cintamani Stone holds an unimaginable lot of power, and hardened terrorist Zoran Lazarevic, previously thought to be dead, is ready to kill whomever gets in his way to take it from him. Uneasy alliances are formed and plenty of backstabbing ensues, but in the end we discover the real power behind the Stone and Marco Polo's treasure. Nate chooses which relationship he wants to pursue and isn't eligible for the “Paramour” achievement. Oops, wrong game.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Release: November 1, 2011
The third entry into the Uncharted series is about to launch in November and though scarce details are available just yet, there's just enough juicy tidbits floating around to whet your appetite for Nathan's latest excursion.
Nathan Drake and pal Sully are on the hunt for the city of lost city of Iram, known also as "Atlantis of the sands." As they make their way around the world traveling through a host of exotic locations, they're tailed by Katherine “Kate” Marlowe, who happens to think Drake's ring (Sir Francis Drake's ring) is primarily her property. From current trailers and what we can glean from the information leaked about the game so far, it seems she and Drake have had run-ins before, and she isn't one to be trifled with. As the leader of a secret organization that is said to date all the way back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, it will be interesting to see how her previous relationship with Drake will factor into her ruthless pursuit of his ring and her other shadowy interests.
This new villainess should add a very different dynamic to what has otherwise been a more purely action-oriented series, filled with its share of twists and turns and more betrayals than you can shake a stick at. I'm particularly interested in seeing how co-op play and multiplayer will be expanded upon, and if we'll be seeing Elena again in this go-around.
If you've reached the end of this handy little wrap-up, you should either consider yourself fully pumped and primed and ready to go when November 1 comes around – or, you could do yourself a favor and grab the first two games. Give them a go, and let us know what your favorite scenes are while we're all anxiously anticipating what could be Naughty Dog's magnum opus.
Brittany Vincent is a freelance writer who routinely eviscerates virtual opponents and tempts fate by approaching wayward Zoloms. A connoisseur of all things bloody and bizarre, she's available to chat via Twitter @MolotovCupcake, and is always ready to take on new projects. You can peruse her archived work at PfhortheWin.com