When Uncharted hit the stores in 2007, gamers all over the world were introduced to Nathan Drake and his world of explosions, treasure hunting and an awful lot of running. Not only did Uncharted bring a whole new era of storytelling to games, it brought cities, tombs, and civilisations that felt real and immersive. Here, we look at five of the most awesome locations from the Uncharted games.
Coast of Panama (Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune)
The Coast of Panama may not be the prettiest location in the Uncharted series, but this is where everything begins. Nathan, Elena, and Sully are on the hunt for the coffin of Sir Francis Drake. When the game came out, this looked amazing. Sure, it hasn’t aged well considering what games can achieve today, but it still had breathtaking views. When I first saw this scene, I just knew it as going to be one great adventure.
Then we are thrown into that adventure when a load of pirates turn up and start raining bullets. This sudden change throws you straight into the action and that’s why its one of the best locations in the series: It introduced us to a world where danger lurked in every corner, it set the scene for adventures and mishaps to come and gave way to a group of characters who would become gaming icons.
The Ice Temple (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
The Ice Temple was a location explored in the second Uncharted game, Among Thieves. After arriving at a Tibetan village, Nathan and Tenzin explore this icy landscape and it looked awesome. There was no other word to describe it – except maybe cold. The detail of the snow, the feeling of trepidation as you look down and see just how high up you are, and the scale of the temple itself just makes it an incredible place to be.
Not to mention the great statue in the temple and its face changing from a smiling deity to a snarling beast indicates that not everything is at it seems. Everything, of course, was not as it seemed, as Nathan and Tenzin soon find themselves battling Yetis and trying to escape on a giant elevator in the middle of the temple. The adrenaline, the surprise, the sheer scale makes the Ice Temple one of the best locations in Uncharted.
Ship Graveyard (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)
Another fantastic location was the Ship Graveyard from Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Situated off the coast of Yemen, this is where Nathan Drake finds himself after being abducted by pirates. The rush of the waves, the clanking of straining metal, and the familiar sound of bullets ricocheting off walls and floors are all here. The graveyard wasn’t purely made up of ships though, there was also a handful of damaged houses and pontoons.
This is one of the most interesting locations in the series because it allowed players to test out their stealth skills rather than go in all guns blazing. Parts of the location were very focused, and while not claustrophobic in scale, it did leave you feeling vulnerable – if you sent off a shot, nearly everyone would hear. That wasn’t the full story of course, as some parts did allow you to unleash your inner gunslinger.
Atlantis of the Sands (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)
Hidden somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula was the Atlantis of the Sands. This huge city was one of the final locations of the third game. It is shrouded in a huge sandstorm, allowing it to go unnoticed. When first arriving in the city, all seems well, but this being Uncharted, things soon pick up. Nathan takes a drink from a strange fountain and suddenly there’s an eclipse in the sky, Sully is shot dead, and Nathan becomes a raging monster, shooting everything in sight. But don’t worry, it was just a hallucination.
It’s one of the best levels in all of the Uncharted games because it throws you into the deep end and surprises you with twists and turns. The city itself is the important thing, however, and what a city it is. The architecture is amazing, everything looks and feels as it should. The colours — the oranges and the silvers of the buildings and the swirling reds of the desert sands make it a treat for the eyes. You can explore the open rooftops or the narrow, squashed housing districts below. It’s like something out of a Hollywood movie — just breathtaking.
Libertalia (Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
Libertalia is the mythical island players explore in the fourth Uncharted game. Situated on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this is where Nathan and his brother, Sam, find themselves when hunting for the treasure of Captain Henry Avery. By the time Nathan and Sam arrive on the island, Libertalia is in ruins. Instead of a bustling community of blacksmiths, stable hands, and carpenters, it’s a run-down, ruined city — and it’s beautiful. PlayStation 4’s power makes Libertalia one of the nicest looking locations in the entire series.
You have the lush greenery of plant life, the gloomy tops of great mountains, the ruined and decaying wood of villages and huts. Climbing onto a rooftop and surveying this city-in-a-jungle is just awe inspiring. The island of Libertalia also hides the city of New Devon and the huge mansions open to exploration.