Parent gaming considerations for the Uncharted series, including Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Being a gamer with kids, gaming time is limited. So when I can pop something on when the kids are around I always need to make sure it is something that is appropriate. Sometimes there are games that on the surface are not suitable for kids, but are fine if played in a certain way, like GTA V, Nier: Automata or Horizon: Zero Dawn (to a certain extent).
Here I’ll be giving my considerations and concessions for the phenomenal Uncharted series of games, including the most recent entries, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. There will be no story spoilers!
Concession 1: Experience the story first
I can’t make this recommendation strongly enough. Each game in the Uncharted series tells a story you’ll really want to follow. Having little ones around will inevitably lead to you missing the quips and banter between the characters, something that will take away from the brilliance of the games, particularly Uncharted 1 to 4 with the often hilarious Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher back and forth.
Being familiar with the story will also help with Concession 2 below, but more on that soon.
The Uncharted games aren’t particularly long. Uncharted 4 tops the list at about a 15 hour playthrough. Now as a parent gamer, I totally understand that getting to spend any extended length of time with a game can be difficult, so if you’ll only get to have a single playthrough of any of the Uncharted games, pause and distract the kids through the obvious pivotal cutscenes and more intense action scenes where the main character finds him or herself in a bad situation.
Concession 2: Stick to the exploration and non-combat sections
Now this concession relies on you having followed Concession 1 above and replaying certain chapters of the games when the little ones are around. Either that or playing the game with a walkthrough and having some familiarity with what’s about to come next (which I do not personally recommend as it’ll spoil the fun).
There are plenty of chapters (and stretches of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy) that have no or very minimal combat. From climbing, exploring, puzzle solving and driving (along with other parts that I don’t want to spoil), your little one can even have a play of the game themselves and try and figure out the many interesting puzzles along with you. That said, many of these are interspersed with action scenes, which leads to the next concession.
Concession 3: You will kill a lot of people in the Uncharted games
Nathan Drake is quite the contradiction (not so much Chloe Frazer). For me, he is one of the most lovable, human and down-to-earth characters in any medium. How he is so together after mowing down what must have been thousands of people throughout the course of the Uncharted series is beyond me. And I shouldn’t just say “mowing down”, because the Nathan Drake I played as got up close and personal and choked out, beat up and threw off ledges a whole heap of foes.
While not overly graphic, there are heaps of action scenes in the Uncharted series and there is no hiding the snapped necks and headshots from your little ones.
You might play through an action scene or two and think that it’s perfectly fine to have your kids watch. I’d say check it out for yourself first.
The way to play
By following these concessions it’s possible to play parts of the Uncharted games in front of the kids, but I don’t recommend playing them straight through with little ones around (for your sake and theirs!).
The fact of the matter is that the Uncharted games have plenty of absolutely gorgeous environments and stunning set pieces that you’ll want to show off to the whole family, gamers and non-gamers alike. The shooty-shooty action and story of the games are targeted at a mature audience and really are not for kids, but there are stretches of each game in the Uncharted series that are perfectly fine.
I really recommend you experience the Uncharted games as a complete package and then replay certain parts, letting your little one have a go at climbing and polishing off those last few trophies. I don’t recommend that you play any of the Uncharted games all the way through with kids about, as the action and certain story beats are not little kid friendly.
Oh, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has what is now my favourite photo mode (followed closely by Horizon: Zero Dawn). Taking the perfect picture of the beautiful environments or (my favourite), Chloe flailing in the air is family friendly fun at its finest.
CAN I PLAY IN FRONT OF THE KIDS? is a semi-regular series on VERSUS PLAYER. The hope is to give those parent gamers out there a bit of a heads up on ways to play some of the more mature games in ways that are kids friendly. Either that or I suggest you to steer clear!
As always, let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy gaming (and parenting)!