Uncharted 4 has arrived. What else is there to say, really?
We all knew what was coming. Naughty Dog was going to show up with a fourth installment of their critically acclaimed PlayStation exclusive, it would look flawless as hell, and we’d all be ready to experience its greatness. So let’s talk about the greatness.
The game looks stunning. Each iteration of this title trumps the last in terms of graphical detail. The demoed city shines with color and texture, colors and textures that looked especially great while they were being strewn about by Drake’s reckless driving spree. Uncharted 4 was by far one of the most visually stunning games at E3 this year, not just continuing the cinematic style of the series, but leaping forward in bounds.
Uncharted 4‘s facial technology stole the show, however. Characters are more lifelike than we’ve ever dreamed, expressing every ounce of the story’s drama. This visual achievement punches with Nathan’s feelings of victory, Sully’s wise fear, and Elena’s crippling sadness… but we’ll get to that heartbreak later.
Combat seems to work similarly to that in previous titles. Aside from a variety of guns, Nathan is able to fist-fight his opponents, with different attack animations cropping up depending on nearby props or surfaces. For instance, Drake straight up punched a guy straight through a wooden wall. He’s only getting stronger with age, and it’s a little terrifying.
Many favorite action mechanics return in Uncharted 4 – leaping from cars, swinging from ropes – but not without a few new adrenaline-pumping feats added to the mix. Behind closed doors, the demo continued, showcasing breathtaking scenes filled with danger and Oscar-worthy lighting. Drake gets violently dragged through the mud, trapped under a flaming car, thrown onto a motorcycle – every second dynamic and exhilarating. It looks like players are in for the ride of their lives this time around.
Most prominent through the demo was the ability for players to smash through things, because Drake destroyed everything. He demolished this city, and I imagine he did way more damage than the armored tank following him. No fruit stand or backyard fence is safe long as Drake and Sully are in the country.
Speaking of the dynamic duo, Sully and Drake are as snarky as ever. About half-way through their destruction of this poor town, Sully comments that they would never, ever be able to come back to this city. Drake simply responds, “add it to the list.”
Their life-threatening car chase is packed with hilarious banter that changes depending on what route or obstacle the player encounters. The chemistry is as tight as ever, and players will easily jump back into their complex father/son partners in crime dynamic.
As for story, it seems Uncharted 4 is repeating the annual tradition of Drake and Elena troubles. Drake is gallivanting around with his brother, Sam, and Sully, hot on the trail of an old pirate treasure. In the final scene, Drake returns to his room with a memorable “That treasure’s as good as ours–shiiiiiit.”
The camera shifts to Elena, distraught, on the verge of tears. She asks Drake how his “trip to Malaysia” is going, and notes that he’s a hair off course. The devastated looks on both of their faces were unexpectedly gripping, considering we’ve all seen these two go through their fights and breakups before. This time was different. There was a palpable sadness, and clearly a whole new level of emotional narrative is coming with Uncharted 4.
Uncharted 4 is ready to burst into the scene and give series fans the rousing final chapter they’ve long awaited. Overall impression? An Uncharted game with groundbreaking graphics, breathtaking action, and a deeper storyline than we’ve ever seen before. We’re in.