The Uncharted series will go down as the best in terms of quality as far as the seventh generation of video game consoles is concerned. The games were a shining light in Sony’s then dark gaming environment. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves effectively wrested the sales winning position from Nintendo to Sony in 2009 and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception solidified the franchise as Sony’s crowning jewel.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End continued this upswing in quality, although by this point Naughty Dog had had enough of Nathan Drake’s adventures and retired the character. It was a fitting end to a superb story spanning four major console games. Now that we know of Nathan’s story from start to finish, we can dissect the things that did not make sense in his journey. Most of our findings have to do with the story which, while being impeccable in terms of delivering quality, has numerous plot holes that do not add up.
Many of these are plot holes along the lines of those that can be easily waved away but that does not make them nonsensical where they are. The in-game characteristics of Uncharted could never be expected to remain entrenched with realism, not when three of its games had to do with supernatural elements. And yet, even within the confines of a supernatural world we have found flaws.
It’s important to remember that these things don’t make the series any less awesome as there can be no gaming or other material which will be flawless. With that in mind, here are 25 things about Uncharted that don’t make sense.
25 Elena's Athletic Prowess
In the first Uncharted, she demonstrated expert Jet-Skiing skills that allowed Nathan to mow down enemies while on water, in Uncharted 2, her driving skills allowed Nathan to jump on a moving train. What magical journalist university did she attend? The fact that Elena can compete in the big leagues with life ending situations is impossible.
Elena can climb just about any small crack in a mountain without any training.
It requires immense strength for one to do so, much less a reporter with a brittle physique. Elena can also defeat military grade enemies with her sub-par shooting skills.
24 How Does The Rope Work?
The mechanics of roping make no sense in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Nathan swings the rope over to a point where it attaches itself, enabling Nate to swing toward his intended location, after which the rope instantly zips back onto Nathan’s person. But how can the rope grapple over tightly enough on a spot to lift the weight of a full grown man like Nate and not collapse?
Even if that were plausible, how can the rope easily return to Nate once he’s on the other side?
23 Nathan’s Regeneration (In Story)
In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Nathan had already achieved the impossible task of finishing off an entire train’s worth of mercenaries before defeating their leader and reclaiming the Phurba along with rescuing Chloe. Following this, he would take impossibilities to new heights by surviving a gunshot wound inflicted by Harry Flynn.
Nathan passed out for what seemed to be hours, only to climb his way out of the train, mow down hundreds of well armed enemies, and make it to safety where Tenzin found him. He achieved all this while suffering from the wound from hours earlier. Nathan didn’t intake any magical resin, but it seems he had some magical ability to survive bleeding out and recuperating with ease within 2 days.
22 Unnecessary Cliche Confrontation
In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, we had the cliché ridden final scene with Lazarevic and Nathan wherein the latter refused to take the life of the former. We’ve seen this trope time and again where the protagonist spares the antagonist as taking his life would make him no better than the bad guy.
However, Zoran had a very good point in stating that Nate was like him as he had bulldozed numerous men just to get to him. Had he shot Zoran, no one would have held it against him.
21 What Were Those Monsters?
In Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, we saw similar monsters that were found in hidden locations. In Drake’s Fortune, it was the remnants of the Spanish expedition who had survived in zombie form while in Among Thieves, the monsters were guardians protecting Shambala.
Both types of monsters had the strangest kind of immortality.
They had survived centuries seemingly without food but met their demise quite easily. This throws in significant doubt as to what kind of immortality these creatures had achieved if they could be harmed with weapons that could end normal human lives as well.
20 Drake Surviving The Desert
The desert sequence in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception dragged the novelty of Drake in an impossible situation to awfully unbelievable lengths.
Nathan survived literal days in the scorching heat of the desert with no food or water.
He suffered from sun exposure and saw hallucinations, yet none of the ill effects of being stranded on a toasty desert were apparent when he once again destroyed an army of men. Think about it: A malnourished, sunburned, hallucinating man won against well fed and well equipped mercenaries. That’s Mr. Fantastic level of stretching, Naughty Dog!
19 Tenzin's Expert Guidance
Tenzin not only cared for Nathan for couple of days, but revived the man to the extent that Nathan was well enough for combat against Lazarevic’s forces and the guardians in the ice caves.
Speaking of which, Tenzin may have been a literal angelic being as he seemed to be blessed from the heavens with the powers of direction. He guided Nathan through a path that had not been traveled on for 70 years. The question is, though, why did Schafer expect Tenzin knew the way, and why did Tenzin not raise this query to anyone?
18 Nate's Sudden Love For Sully
Nate’s utter devotion for Sully’s well being in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception came out of nowhere if one were to consider Drake’s Fortune.
In the first game, Sully was shot in the heart, only to survive due to pure luck. At that time Nathan was visibly shaken but at no point did he give any indication of deep mourning. Within a few minutes he had reverted to his wisecracking personality and would resume his treasure hunting agenda later on with Elena. Sully must have done Nate a real solid for the latter to love him so dearly years later.
17 Drake Brothers Getting Stomped By Nadine
Sam and Nathan both fought Nadine at separate and the same points and got clobbered every time.
Naughty Dog expects us to believe Nathan can beat the likes of Talbot and Lazarevic but has no chance against Nadine.
She may be trained, athletically gifted, and skillful, but the no holds barred beatdown she gives the Drake brothers is by no means believable for someone her size and with her limited speed. Two grown men against an average built women will never end up in the latter’s favor.
16 Nathan Didn't Check Up On Sam
The elder Drake’s absence was explained as not surviving an escape attempt from prison. This is proper justification for the lack of references toward Sam’s existence earlier, but it does open up certain questions.
Chief among these questions would be why Nathan never went back to the prison to recover Sam’s body. After becoming an expert treasure hunter, he must have become supremely talented enough to acquire some knowledge of Sam’s survival (like Rafe did) but evidently Nathan never attempted to find closure in this regard. Still, it doesn’t tie up well why he didn’t give it a try.
15 Monsters Don't Pack A Punch
The Guardians in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves were a weird box of cookies. On one hand, they seemed to be so strong and durable that it took dozens of shotgun shots to put them down; on the other, we see them losing to Nathan singlehandedly. In their first appearance the monsters attacked Nate and Tenzin where their strength was on display.
However, this strength was unclear as Nate could take clean hits from the guardians with nary a scratch. If their power levels were magnified by the resin, then how could Nathan be unaffected by their hits just moments later?
14 Nathan's Upper Body Strength
There’s no escaping the reality that it requires supreme levels of upper body strength. Nathan and his friends routinely ignore this aspect of their physiology by demonstrating flawless climbing skills. The amount of clinging that Nathan does in just one situation is more than what any normal human would do in their lifetime.
We’ve seen him fall storeys only to grab onto a tiny ledge–by one hand no less–and haul himself over to safety. This level of upper body strength is not even diminished as he aged and Nathan retained this skill as if it were second nature.
13 Free And Easy Travel
The Uncharted universe government seemingly ignores war situations and allows its citizens to travel to a guaranteed life ending environment. In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Nate travels to a war torn sect of Nepal and saunters into a civil war scenario as if walking over to the local Walmart.
Also, Nate and Sully were shown to be strapped for cash around this time yet had enough money to travel to Borneo and then to Nepal. There seem to significant benefits to being an illegal treasure hunter: you get free travel and finances.
12 Sully’s Prowess At His Age
Victor was around 60 as of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Sully fought, and won, against mercenaries in their physical prime.
The only instances where the old man has had difficulties were where climbing or scaling were mandatory. In Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Sully took part in a number of skirmishes against Rafe and Nadine’s men, at a time when the old guy was pushing into his late sixties. The best display of his agility was in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, where he saw a sneak attack from a mercenary coming and casually tossed the man aside.
11 The Out-Of-Nowhere Solution
The ending of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves saw a powered up Zoran Lazarevic going up against normal human Nathan Drake. Just when it looked like things were at their worst, the most convenient of escapes presented itself.
As it happened, Nathan only needed to shoot the pockets of resin in the surroundings to defeat a super powered Lazarevic. At no point was there any indication in the game that this would be the way to overcome a person who had ingested the sap from the tree of life. But hey, whatever works, right?
10 Peaceful People
In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, the nice people of the village where Nate and Elena took refuge kept displaying one surprising trait after another.
Somehow these people had expert marksmanship training.
You could see them combat Lazarevic’s mercenaries with guns of their own. They didn’t have much of a hard time until the Tank came into play, but where did they even learn to handle firearms in the first place? The manner with which they took cover and paced their shots indicated this wasn’t their first rodeo.
9 Nathan's Total Lack Of Remorse
Everyone loves Nate. Except, there’s the one snag of Nathan being a violent man who is single-handedly responsible for ending the lives of thousands of men! Nathan personally shoots, snaps necks, pushes off cliffs and uses other colourful ways to dispose off his enemies.
Yet, Naughty Dog has painted this man in such a way that we are supposed to believe he could live with himself after committing such atrocities. For a man of Nathan’s personality, taking any life should spiral him into remorse but not once do we ever see him reflect on his actions.
8 Literal One-Man Army
In every game we see Nathan pinned down by mercenaries who shoot relentlessly at him–often everyone at once–but inevitably fall to this one man.
Whether it is in the desert, the icy tundra, or a speeding locomotive, entire armies are shot down by Nate with no one landing a single shot back.
In Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Nate defeats enemies after being exhausted in the open desert for days! Similarly, in any situation he finds himself, he is always against hordes of men.
7 Finding Henchmen Everywhere
The most infuriating aspect of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was repeatedly locating a hidden route or room only to find a bunch of mooks patrolling within. You’ll find more secure locations that require a lot of clue solving to uncover, and yet as soon as Nate enters these places he is sure to come across henchman lurking around.
There’s no way these guys can even be in there as once you finish them off you are required to find the exit path. So are we supposed to believe these buffoons could solve a clue to the hidden locations before Nate could?
6 Elena's Continued Survival
In Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Elena was in the crashing helicopter but survived after only having passed out for a few minutes. She took this plot protection onto Uncharted 2: Among Thieves where she survived a close distance grenade blast.
Elena was visibly hurt by the explosion and could barely remain conscious let alone walk. After about two seconds’ worth of suspense, she was shown to have recovered from the event. Without any doctors in the vicinity–and the village already having been mostly destroyed–it could only have been grace that brought her back.
5 Skewed Moral High Ground
Nathan doesn’t display tendencies to act this way toward innocent bystanders...usually. In the heist sequence from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Nate is hesitant to shoot security personnel of the museum as they aren’t a threat, his conscience remains unscathed as the bullets are non-lethal.
However, mere moments later, Nathan reverts to his aggressive ways when he pulls down a guard to the depths of the river below. Not only does he not feel bad about it, he even partakes in Flynn’s quipping about the man being “below (him).” Turns out Nate isn’t such a Gandhi after all.
4 Chloe And Cutter's Complete Disappearance
The series has always favoured the formula where characters weave in and out of the story with only Nate remaining the mainstay, but here was a case of obvious swerving in a storyline sense.
Chloe and Cutter had accompanied Nate and Sully through a whole lot of tribulations before Cutter’s leg gave out. There wasn’t much incentive for either of them to back out the way they did but not only did they do that, they were never mentioned again after event.
3 Nate's Insane Durability
Let’s see how durable Nate really is. He has plummeted down to depths that would spell a certain end to anyone else but Nathan never even shows up at a hospital for a check up after his ill fated encounters.
In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, he fell dozens of feet to the ground after a zipline snapped, only to get back up after some minor complaining. In Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Nate survives a clear smack against a mountain boulder after falling what seemed like at least fifty feet into the river stream. No internal bleeding, no worries.
2 Lazarevic And Flynn Trusting Chloe
Anybody with half a brain could see that Chloe was a traitor but both Zoran and Harry seemed to have a special place for Chloe.
Flynn even prevented Zoran from taking Chloe’s life.
This served no purpose as by that point Chloe was already exposed as a traitor. Then what was Harry’s intention to do with Chloe if she wasn’t even by his side anymore? Lazarevic had stated earlier he did not suffer traitors but clearly he did judging by how the story played out.
1 Drake's Regeneration (In-Game)
Nate takes several hits from bullets before perishing. The screen progressively blacks out before Drake is finished off. There was a burning question as to how Nate survived these shots. The answer would be that the blackening of the screen represented Nate’s luck running out. Once it was completely darkened, it meant that a bullet had finally penetrated him.
However, this still doesn’t answer why Nate grunts in pain any time he gets hit. If the screen was meant to convey luck, then canonically Nate never was getting hit at all, thus he shouldn’t react until the game is over.