Prime 1 Studio Reveals Their Uncharted 4 Nathan Drake Statue!

If you keep up with the Uncharted fandom, you might remember that Naughty Dog announced in May 2021 that they teamed up with Prime 1 Studio to celebrate Uncharted 4’s 5-year anniversary. Fast forward about a year to April 2022's Prime 1 Studio Next Level Showcase 4, and Prime 1 has finally announced their prototype Nathan Drake statue! It looks absolutely amazing. So, as a dutiful Uncharted fan, I’m going to briefly break down all the Easter eggs from the game that I spied on the statue (at least, as shown during the aforementioned Showcase).

Coming Soon!

First off, the mandatory disclaimer: The statue shown was a prototype. Their artwork is not yet final, so changes may be made.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start with the iconic outfit! Obviously, we’ve got the blue henley, and the detail work is phenomenal. You can see the fraying threads, people! The wear and tear, the dirt, the blood, sweat, and tears! Okay, maybe not tears, but…ya know. I got carried away. Back on topic, Nathan is wearing actual boots. I seem to recall in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, he wore something that looked almost like…Converse? Cheers to better traction in these shoes!

Only a fraction of traction…

I also want to focus on the flashlight on his hip, which is very reminiscent of the one used in Uncharted 4 Chapter 16: The Brothers Drake. In the chapter, Sam and Nate explore a retired explorer’s home using flashlights to search for their mother's journal. Those flashlights look very similar to the one featured on the statue. Very nice callback, Prime 1!

On to the weaponry. First off, can we appreciate the classic holster? Though he's probably gotten a few upgrades (or a new holster altogether) over the years, the overall style has been Nathan’s go-to since the start. I loved the gameplay in Uncharted 4 Chapter 4: A Normal Life when he’s using the holster to hold toy guns instead of the real deal, and it's nice to see it "in action" on the statue. As far as the handgun itself, this one looks like the Para .45? Now, I have terrible, terrible aim in video games, so the Para was my go-to because it had low recoil and was good for the mid-range fights I usually got myself into. It was basically the only reason I didn’t die way more than I already did, so I fancy I have a sharp eye for it.

For God and Liberty

For the base of the statue, Nathan is balanced on a gibbet. We saw many gibbets like this one in Uncharted 4 Chapter 18: New Devon. In it, Nathan and Elena approach the walls of New Devon, and the path is littered with the suspended cages. Additionally, I spotted a stone carving featuring the very pirate-y skull and crossbones and the phrase “Pro Deus Quod Licentia,” which in Latin roughly translates to, “For God and Liberty.” In the game, it was the motto of Libertalia, the mythical pirate colony Nathan and Sam discover over the course of the narrative. The phrase is also featured on the coin decorating the cover of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Collector's Edition Strategy Guide. As far as the texture of the piece's non-Nathan elements, the rust looks highly realistic, as do the wood and weathered stones. The pirate’s hat even has me thinking of Jack Sparrow, who rarely parted with his beloved tricorn hat in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

And finally, Nathan’s face! First of all, it actually looks like him. There have been some statues that didn’t quite capture his likeness. But this one definitely looks game-accurate, complete with cuts, scratches, and an “I’ll be the last man standing” expression Uncharted players are familiar with.

I, for one, was super excited when I saw the reveal during Prime 1’s Showcase. While there’s no word on when it’ll be made available for pre-order, you can guarantee I’ll be watching my email non-stop for that highly anticipated alert. And I may or may not place my order before I write the next article about it…

Will you be pre-ordering this glorious Nathan Drake statue, too? Better hurry!

Well, Well, Well, The Uncharted Movie Has Arrived and It's… Alright?

As a massive Uncharted fan, the day they announced the movie, I immediately went into panic mode. Why? Well, let’s be honest here. There aren’t many actually GOOD video game movies out there.  So the fact that the people behind this film wanted to turn these already incredibly cinematic games into movies that were basically very long films by themselves—it definitely scared me. How will they translate more than 20 hours long game runs? Who will they cast? Which game will they adapt? I mean, there are 4 main Uncharted games about Nathan Drake out there.

Now that we have all the answers to all these questions, it's time to review the final result that seems to be dividing critics and fans as the movie has a 39% Rotten Tomatoes score from the critics but a high 90% from the fans. Who’s right? Warning, this is going to be a treasure trove of SPOILERS! 

I have to go all the way back to the marketing campaign. It was brilliant, and it definitely helped me adjust my expectations. The behind-the-scenes look with Neil Druckmann and Tom Holland talking about the movie’s take on the game was key. They assured us that this is their own spin on the story of the games, and we won’t be getting a word-for-word adaptation. That helped me keep an open mind about the film. Adding to that was Nolan North’s honest support from the beginning: if Nathan Drake himself says it’s gonna be good, you should listen to the man. 

And here’s the thing… It is a really fun ride from beginning to end.

Tom Holland as Nathan Drake

It was a great choice not to adapt one specific story from the games but, instead, put together their own origin story for Holland’s Drake. I'm also a hardcore fan of seeing familiar things referenced in new stories, like the orphanage from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End along with Sam and Nate’s beginnings. Even though I originally hated that Mark Wahlberg’s Sully didn’t have a mustache, the feeling disappeared pretty quickly, seeing the chemistry between him and Tom Holland is one of the bright spots of the film.

Hold up! Before I get too deep into the good stuff, let me do a run-through of things that weren’t great at all. And I will start with the one that bothers me immensely. 

Here's what I didn't like in the movie. 

Chloe Frazer. It wasn’t her. Simple as that. No hate towards the actress at all (Sophia Ali) who tried her best, but this role definitely wasn’t for her. What annoyed me the most is that they downgraded Chloe’s character (and Sully’s for that matter) in order to make Nate appear smarter. In the game franchise, Chloe is just as knowledgeable as Nate. In this film, though, she barely adds anything to the actual treasure hunt. She feels like a tag along character, it’s always Nate who figures things out, there’s only one or two instances where she adds anything to solve the puzzle and it’s the tiniest bit. She was there, sure. She did things, yes.

But it was nowhere near to the badass, smart, witty, great con artist she is in the games. I missed her remarks towards Nate. She radiated confidence in the games, but here I didn’t feel any of that. Most importantly she didn’t have any chemistry at all with Nate or Sully. As much as you could feel it between Wahlberg and Holland it was basically non-existent between her and the others. The only thing that really felt like the Chloe we have come to love from the games is her ability to play both sides of the conflict for her personal gain. She's a chaotic neutral character so it's great to see that come to life in the film as well. 

Sophia Ali as Chloe Frazer

Chloe is one of my all-time favorite video game characters, and I’ve found my way into cosplaying through that character. Therefore not really seeing the tiniest bit of resemblance (even in the clothes or hair like they did with Nate) was very disappointing. Moving forward, the writers need to really flesh her out more when it comes to her in possible future films for me to be able to say ‘Yes, this is it.’ But, to be fully honest, based on this movie I also don’t think that Sophia Ali can bring the whole energy and aura that Chloe has.

The "enemies" of the story, Antonio Banderas’ Santiago Moncada and Tati Gabrielle’s Braddock, were both incredibly underdeveloped, probably because of the small amount of time they had to fit them in. This is another disadvantage that watching a movie has compared to playing a game. All the villainous characters from the games were memorable, but not just because they were formidable (Braddock in the movie), but also because we had the time to get to know their motives and them a lot better. The backstory to the Moncada family could be fully left out in this film and it wouldn’t affect anything in the story. In fact, his whole character could be scrapped out entirely streamlining the runtime and giving the more interesting villain more screen time. Speaking of, the character Braddock is giving off some serious Nadine Ross vibes (a mercenary in Uncharted 4). Her introduction in the film has similarities to Nadine’s story arc in the fourth game and even her position as a mercenary leader. But we barely got to know her at all. Although they hinted at her connection to Sully multiple times it was never entirely clear what happened between them.

Now back to the good things. 

First up: Nathan Drake. I can say with a big smile on my face that Tom Holland was an excellent choice. It is so obvious throughout the entire movie that he loves playing Nate, and that warmed my heart. During the fight scenes or when they are on the actual treasure hunt itself, you could just feel it on his every move and the way his face lit up. I loved how they built him up from a petty thief to the treasure hunter who we all love so much. Smart-mouth all around, a bit clumsy sometimes—it was his first time running after treasure after all. He really did a kickass job with the character. Although they changed Nate’s origin story (he didn’t escape from the orphanage with Sam, his whole introduction to Sully is different) but I can see his Nathan Drake turn into Nolan North’s (Uncharted game series) wise cracking older Drake in future installments. 

Sully (Mark Wahlberg) and Nate (Tom Holland) on a 16th century ship.
Sully (Mark Wahlberg) and Nate (Tom Holland) work together to protect the treasure.

Next, Sully got “upgraded.” He is more involved in the action, but of course that’s because he is much younger in the film vs the games where he is quite a bit older. I thought that Wahlberg was pretty fun in the role and really made a great team with Tom Holland. The creators were onto something when they paired them up. In the games, Sully’s character wasn’t as knowledgeable as Nate, Chloe, or Sam, but he definitely knew his way around and picked up on things really quickly. Even though Sully in the movie started out a bit cold-hearted and selfish, the writers slowly built him up to be the character we all love. He begins to care about Nate and even a cat that becomes a recurring joke throughout the film.Through this, I was once again reminded that this is an origin story for both us game fans and for those who knew nothing about the games beforehand.

I also absolutely adored that they choose to open the movie in a similar manner to the second and the fourth game where we get a glimpse into the trouble that our hero gets into later on in the story. It all starts with the scene we already saw in the trailers, the whole falling out of the plane with the crates bit, timeline-wise it happens closer to the climax. That’s exactly how they opened Uncharted 2 where Nate wakes up in a train that’s hanging down from the edge of the cliff. Uncharted 4 opens with Nate and Sam on the sea trying to get away from the mercenaries chasing them. Such a good callback. There were a lot of callbacks like that along the way. Some made me smile, others made me straight-up giggle. There was even one where I literally gasped and laughed at the same time. Lagasped? I don’t know, but I do know that my loud reaction came as a surprise to all the fellow people in the cinema. 

Nolan North talking to Tom Holland on the set of Uncharted.
Nolan North talking to Tom Holland on the set of Uncharted.

And, of course, Nolan's cameo in the movie is no longer a secret. I don’t even know if it was secret to begin with: I think we all expected it since cameos in movies from the original actors are pretty common (Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street, David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser in Starsky and Hutch etc.), and Tom Holland obviously “spoiled” it during his Jacksepticeye video appearance. If there were other people in the cinema with me who played the games, they either didn’t recognize Nolan or were very quiet about it. What it confirmed for me is how many people watch these movies without knowing anything about the games. 

The action throughout the movie was spectacular, and it was very clear that they put all they had into those sequences. It didn’t just come out as fun but also extremely exciting. A big highlight was the part where Nathan and Sully fight together in the end, it was the peak of their chemistry, and it made the movie even more enjoyable.I loved how it was the first time they fought side to side and they were able to help each other, the whole choreography of the scene added so much to it.  

The treasure hunting parts themselves were also well done, even if the puzzles got solved a bit too quickly to my liking and didn’t really come close to what we experience in the games. What I mean here is the secret entrances to tombs or hidden temples that no one has ever been in, but our main characters run through them like it’s nothing, figuring stuff out almost without a problem. Sure, this is the result of the time limit they have when it comes to movies. I also think that it is a common problem when it comes to movies like this. 

Sully and Nate walk through an old church following the next clue in their treasure hunt. Nate shines a flashlight on the wall.
The treasure hunt begins.

All together, what we got is a very fun movie that pulls away enough from the game to be different but definitely keeps important details enough to feel familiar to the fans. It was a welcome surprise how much I actually liked it, and it is easily among the better game adaptations I’ve seen so far. Then again, given the part about movies that were based on games, this wasn't a hard trophy to earn. There’s an after-credits scene where the filmmakers open the door for even more live-action adventures for Nate and Sully. The movie already made $44,155,000 on opening weekend in the US so we can most likely expect news of a second movie, which I honestly wouldn’t mind at all. 

And don't forget: Sic Parvis Magna - Great things from small beginnings. Alright, my fellow Uncharted game fans, have you seen the Uncharted movie yet? What were your impressions? Let's get out those good and bad reactions in the comments!

My Journey to Platinum in Uncharted 4

The Platinum Trophy is the most coveted award PlayStation games offer. It is the mark of achievement certifying that you've earned every single trophy in your favorite game. Serial Platinum earners shoot for this in every game they play. 

When my friend first introduced me to the Uncharted franchise, I was not what I would call a "gamer." I never expected to earn a Platinum trophy in my life. In fact, I couldn't even control the camera and character at the same time. Meanwhile, my friend has played the Sly Cooper games since their inception and is that franchise’s biggest fan, so they’ve had years of valuable gaming practice. There I was, watching them show me the controls like a smooth criminal… and I was bumping into tables, cars, trees, people, lemurs. You name it; I couldn’t maneuver around it. 

Sony PlayStation's Platinum TrophyBut Uncharted 4 has everything I love in a franchise: charismatic and morally grey characters, sweeping vistas, history, lore, and (almost above all) pirates. Ask anyone I know, and they’ll tell you I adore just about anything to do with the swashbuckling misfits of yore. So, when my friend decided to institute what is now known in our family as the Fandom Wars, I knew Uncharted was my choice. 

To provide you with some context, the objective of the aforementioned Fandom Wars is to share your passion for your favorite franchises by competing with friends and family through gathering rare collectibles, achieving accomplishments, or creating presentations to demonstrate why you are the most dedicated to your respective fandoms. Obviously, we decided it must be majestic and planned a whole afternoon of themed awesomeness, complete with individual fandom T-shirts and an award ceremony. The winner gained bragging rights for being the top fandom in the house, and I’ve learned that healthy competition encourages us to achieve things we otherwise may never have thought possible. Is my family the coolest? Probably.

Nathan and Elena playing Crash BandicootFor Uncharted, I pulled out all the stops. Homemade music video? Check. Slideshow presentation? Check. A friendly reminder that Jeremy Jahns gave Uncharted 4 a rating of Awesometacular? Absolutely. I’ve even completed all the Uncharted games on Crushing, excluding Uncharted: Golden Abyss (on PlayStation Vita), which I haven’t played. However, I didn't have a single Platinum trophy to show for it, so I decided that had to change. Even after the Fandom Wars concluded until next year, I wanted the bragging rights that I completed my favorite game in its entirety, multiplayer add-ons excluded.

So, I went to work. After my initial play-through, I printed out the trophy guide and dedicated as many hours as possible to working through each objective. At one point, I spent at least two days in Chapter 13: "Marooned," as I grappled with "Shoreline" mercenaries. Then, I boated for hours around an island in search of dolphins (which are well worth the trouble, by the way) and nearly hurled my controller at the television after sending Crash Bandicoot falling through a hole for the thirtieth time. Nevertheless, one brutal, quick-time sword fight later, and I’d earned my Uncharted 4 Platinum Trophy. I’ve never been happier with a gaming moment in my life. In addition to the priceless experience, I learned a few things after completing the game nearly seven times and–needless to say–gathered some takeaways to share.

Crash Bandicoot trophy in Uncharted 4

Nathan beating Elena's high score on Crash Bandicoot.

 

TIP 1: Download a guide.

Find and print out the Platinum trophy guide. Several websites offer a guide like the one I’ve linked here, which offers additional instructions for each trophy, and it saves so much time. The guide features a description of each trophy, including the hidden ones, and it provides resources and directions for how to get them. I’m not ashamed to say I wrote all over my printout.

Young Nathan Drake at an orphanage

A young Nathan Drake

 

TIP 2: Trophy hunt on Normal difficulty first.

Play the game through on normal first. Take your time, and collect as many trophies as possible during your initial run. Cross off every trophy as you earn it so you have a clear list of which trophies you’ll have to earn to complete the Platinum. 

TIP 3: Choose your Platinum screenshot mission.

Possibly most important, if bragging rights are your motivator, choose which mission you want to be your Platinum screenshot. Depending on settings, PlayStation can automatically capture your screen when your Platinum pops. If this is something you want to have framed or share, it’s best to make sure it looks great. 

Sam and Nathan on a motorbike

The Brothers Drake.

 

TIP 4: Choose how to complete your hunt.

You can work through your trophy list in several ways. If you’re interested in growing your skillset as a gamer, you can progress from easiest to most difficult. If you want to put the work in early for a more effortless final sprint, you could complete the most difficult trophies first, then complete the easiest. Or you can wing it and finish whichever task you feel like based on the day. 

TIP 5: Keep a checklist.

Whatever your gameplay style, I found it very helpful to keep a running checklist. As you’re progressing, you can mark off each trophy as you earn it. Be sure to keep a resilient mindset. It can take a while to complete the longer trophies, such as gathering all the collectibles. In fact, you’ll probably play the game through more than once. Use both Chapter and Encounter Select to save yourself time, and leave your chosen screenshot trophy for the last one.

TIP 6: Be diligent and patient.

As far as tips and tricks, the most important thing is patience and diligence. Many gamers can progress through Platinums very quickly. Others take time. Mentally prepare to spend an extended time gaming, and don’t rush the process.

Sam and Nathan in Libertalia

Libertalia.

 

TIP 7: Optimize your trophies in each playthrough.

Try to complete as many trophies as possible in one linear play-through. Do not wait to do this on the higher difficulty settings; that's a whole lot of extra work to do while trying not to die repeatedly. Instead, earn as many trophies as possible on your first Normal play-through. 

TIP 8: In the speed run, be efficient, not rushed.

This next tip may sound counterintuitive, but it is helpful: don’t rush through the speed run. Instead, focus on being efficient and mitigating unnecessary risks. When you rush, you make errors...like dying a whole bunch in the last chapter racing through the mountains because “I have to fight Rafe RIGHT NOW!” No, you don’t. Am I speaking from personal experience? Maybe. Did my friend have to tell me to stop being ridiculous and focus? Also, maybe. Did not rushing work? Why yes, yes it did.

Nathan and Rafe face off in Uncharted 4

Come on, Legend.

 

TIP 9: Slow motion isn't "cheating." Use it.

Some think you shouldn’t use slow-motion cheats when earning a time-dependent trophy like the Best Score trophy with Crash Bandicoot. However, as someone who struggled for days to complete this particular trophy, activating this perk enabled me to finally complete the run, gain all the necessary apples and extra life points, and reach the end of the track. If you can’t hack the Bandicoot trophy at regular speed, don’t worry about people judging you for using the Slow Motion modifier. 

TIP 10: For that final trophy, don't use Encounter Select.

My final and most important tip is, above all, do not complete your final trophy using Encounter Select. It will destroy your priceless screenshot. I repeat: I don’t care if you have to play through the whole game again just to earn that trophy without using Encounter Select–you better do it. Because in the time it takes the Platinum trophy to pop, the encounter will time out, and your hard-earned trophy will be sitting directly atop an ‘encounter complete’ dimmed screen instead of that epic action shot you planned. Not very aesthetic.

Don't use Encounter Select for your final trophy in Uncharted 4

With all that said, I loved earning my Platinum on Uncharted 4. Not only is it my favorite game of all time, but I am also deeply invested in these characters, the gameplay and controls are the smoothest in the series, and the vistas are visually stunning. I had to do the speed run twice, and each time I truly missed watching the cutscenes (you have to skip them to make it through the game in time), especially the fight scene in Chapter 15. At the end of the day, a Playstation Platinum trophy is an achievement in your fandom that no one can take away. Even if your system crashes (yikes-always back stuff up!), you’ll always know you earned that coveted goblet of gaming, so print that thing out and save it!

What Platinum trophies are you proud of or hoping to work toward? Any tips for Uncharted 4 that I may have missed? Share your stories and suggestions in the comments!