Uncharted games are a narrative—driven experience that lives and dies thanks to its characters. While the dramatic scenery and action-oriented gameplay are good, the cast ties it all together. The main characters Nathan Drake, Elena Fischer and Victor “Sally” Sullivan have characters that make each record unique and interconnected.
However, one of Uncharted’s minor characters doesn’t seem to fit into the general scheme of things. Samuel “Sam” Drake—Nathan’s older brother—is noticeably absent for most of the series, and when he appears, he has poor character development that seems like he has interfered. Viewers don’t like it when Sam has to be the last survivor. a relative of the main character of the series.
The Return of the Prodigal Son
Sam Drake was introduced in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the last main game released for the Uncharted series. To explain his absence from other games, it turns out that Sam spent 15 years in a Panamanian prison – an unfortunate consequence of a failed job involving Sam, Nate and Rafe Adler. Sam was shot three times in the back and fell off the roof while trying to escape from prison guards, so Nate and Rafe assumed he was dead.
Sam survived both gunshot wounds and a fall, and spent most of Nate’s adult adventures locked up. After hearing that he survived, Rafe bribes the prison guard to release Sam, after which the two of them resume the treasure hunt for Captain Avery. Sam steals all of Rafe’s information about Avery’s treasure before tricking him, and when there’s no one to turn to, Sam goes to his only remaining blood relative: Nate.
Sam is a bad influence on Uncharted
Sam’s obsessive need to find Avery’s treasure allows him to break all the rules. He betrays Rafe and lies to Nate about owing crime boss Hector Alcazar half of the treasure in exchange for getting him out of jail. This deception pulls Nate out of retirement age back into a life of theft. While Nate initially enjoys a new adventure with his brother, he gradually begins to see the danger of Sam’s obsession.
Unlike Nate, whose friends are on the right path, Sam has fallen into a vicious circle of greed and pride. He is jealous of Nate’s exploits and strives to prove himself at any cost. In some ways, he is very similar to Nathan Drake, whom players meet at the beginning of the Uncharted series, but Sam is more reckless and tends to take shortcuts to try to catch up in prison.
Sam from Uncharted Shows That Some Things Never Change
Sam shows signs of maturity in Uncharted 4. He gives Elena some Libertalia coins to help start her business, and even gets a bullet meant for Nate. But these small acts of unselfishness cannot undo a selfish life. He remains focused on catching up with Nate, and can be seen helping Nadine and Chola in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
As a character, Sam adds little to the Uncharted universe. He was the catalyst for Nate’s return to adventure, but once Nate returns to the thick of things, Sam’s impulsive and selfish tendencies are not enough to make him a character, despite the fact that he serves as a backdrop for the main character. Because of his previous imprisonment, it is difficult for Sam to communicate with the rest of the famous actors. By default, he listens to his brother’s advice when more people join the conversation, and his lack of communication skills becomes obvious. The portrayal of an ex-convict in Naughty Dog is somewhat plausible, but adding Brother Nate to the last main Uncharted entry wasn’t a good idea. There are people who still love him, but Sam will always have problems making their way to people’s hearts.
The Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves collection is already available for PS5, a PC version is in development.