Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, the first game in Naughty Dog’s buccaneering franchise, celebrates its 15th anniversary this year – meaning its virtually old enough to apply for its learner’s permit in most American states. The game, first released in 2007 on the PS3, represented a seismic change in approach from the Californian first-party, which was previously known for the Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter games.
While characters like Nathan Drake and Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan are larger than life, they were much more grounded than the talking animals that Naughty Dog had promoted in the past. The developer helped to pioneer performance capture, proving that video game heroes could be as compelling and engaging as those in film. It’d later perfect the formula with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
As far as we’re aware, the game actually launched on 19th November, so we think Naughty Dog’s jumped the gun a little with its celebratory tweets – but we’ll let its community manager off. Close enough, eh?
Sic Parvis Magna — greatness from small beginnings ?
UNCHARTED: Drake’s Fortune released 15 years ago! Thank you to the fans for joining Nathan Drake in his fortune hunting adventures pic.twitter.com/LknhuFJU5a
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) September 19, 2022
While the first game in the franchise is admittedly a little one-dimensional by today’s standards, it was a competent cover shooter with some of the best visuals on the PS3 at the time. You have to remember that in 2007 a lot of 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 wouldn’t truly explode until its successor was showcased during a memorable E3 press conference, but it was the first game to receive a Platinum Trophy – and has since spawned multiple sequels, and a movie starring Tom Holland. The series seems to be on hiatus for the time being, but Nathan Drake very much remains a PlayStation icon, alongside the likes of Kratos and Aloy.