There was a point where I thought The Last of Us wasn’t a great video game. I decided to replay it on my PlayStation 4 recently. It’s a great experience, it’s a great story, but is it a great game? Well, the answer is a glaring yes. The gameplay is solid (especially in the variety ways of killing the undead), the story is emotionally gripping, exploration and gathering collectibles is rewarding, the characters have depth; it’s one of the best, if not the best game of its generation. Now I think about the Uncharted games. It has amazing set pieces, but the gameplay itself is mediocre. The stories are uninteresting. Nathan Drake is an Indiana Jones wannabe. The games are just not that good and Naughty Dog should let the franchise die after the latest installment, Lost Legacy.

Lead Characters

The two lead characters in The Last of Us and Uncharted are Joel and Nathan Drake, respectively. Without a doubt Joel is the deeper, more interesting character. His character arc in The Last of Us is one of the best in any game, period. He begins as a hardened loner in the Zombie Apocalypse to actually showing love and compassion, albeit in his own way. He goes from seemingly not caring about anyone but himself to possibly dooming the whole human race by killing for the sake of a young girl, Ellie. And speaking of Ellie, she is not to be trifled with. She’s resourceful, witty, and the time playing as her in The Last of Us is one of the best parts of the game.

Nathan Drake, on the other hand, feels so shallow. He’s like an Indiana Jones wannabe, yet he’s nowhere near as funny or as clever as he thinks he is. I don’t even think you can call Drake a character; he’s more a caricature if anything. He’s incredibly shallow and the writers try so hard to make us like him that it actually makes us like him even less. Drake should leave the treasure hunting to Indiana Jones.

Gameplay

While the set pieces in Uncharted are fantastical, the gameplay itself leaves a lot to be desired. The gunplay feels generic. You’re simply going from one place to next like a feature film. The games are trying to be movies more than video games and that’s a problem. No amazing set pieces are going auto change that. The puzzles are also beyond bland.

On the other hand, The Last of Us surprisingly has some very strong gameplay. There are very many different ways to play it but stealth is always your friend. It’s not even infected you have to worry most about either; it’s humans. The game’s variety of weapons, upgrades, and overall strategy is just one of the very many reasons The Last of Us is superior to Uncharted.

Story

The Last of Us, by far, has one of the most gripping stories of any medium. It is everything AMC’s The Walking Dead should be. Joel’s journey as a hardened, soulless man with almost no regard for human life and his “redemption” at Ellie’s hand is one of the best story arcs in any video game. Ellie literally saves Joel’s soul. He’s a broken man, simply wavering his way through life. Ellie and Joel’s journey together and the many hardships they endure and tragedies they fall witness to is absolutely tragic, but cause the two to grow closer together. Joel even makes the decision to damn the entire human race to save the girl who redeemed his soul.

Uncharted, on the other hand, has no such depth. It’s literally taken straight out of Indiana Jones. Wisecracking, smooth talking, witty treasure hunter goes on an adventure, gets shot out, and uncovers historical mysteries. Literally that’s all to it, except maybe a few characters here and there who provide support. It’s hard to become invested in them though if you can’t even become invested in the main character. The worst offender is Uncharted 4, which introduces a random brother who supposedly died only to have him appear to be alive and well! It’s something out of a soap opera and lacks any kind of grounding in reality.

Let Uncharted Go

Naughty Dog said Uncharted 4 was going to be the last in the series. And…then they come out with Lost Legacy, which granted was actually an improvement, but after five installments let it go. Naughty Dog actually considered the idea of bringing Nathan Drake back as a secondary character! The series is over. There are much better exclusives coming out for the PlayStation 4. Let it die. It’s the past.

The Last of Us, on the other hand, is the future. It’s not shallow like Uncharted and it’s a deep narrative that actually examines the human condition. What does a person do when they’ve lost everything in a chaotic, inhuman world? How far will people go to protect the ones they love, even if it’s at the expense of the fate of the world? These are heavy questions, and The Last of Us asks them in such a perfect manner.

Looking side-by-side, it’s not even close. The Last of Us is far superior to Uncharted, and The Last of Us: Part II will only prove this point even further.

About The Author

Founder/Owner/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VG Culture HQ. He has been writing about games for over four years and has written over 1,500 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

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