There are many reasons as to why Uncharted 4 has received, and in most cases deserves, the praise it’s been shown. While it’s a classically fun tale of a hunt for lost pirate treasure, Uncharted 4’s real strength comes from its dynamic characters and the interactions they share. These interactions not only drive each character’s motivations, but are also incredibly human, making them relatable on a very personal level. Here are the top 5 most beautifully human moments of Uncharted 4.
5. Drake and Elena Discover the Table of Libertalia’s Founders
We’ve all seen that look in Nate’s eye. In fact, you’ve probably given that look at one time or another. That is the look of a man impassioned. Nathan Drake has always been a historian first and a treasure hunter second, and this scene just serves to further that idea. Discovering the final resting place of some of the “greatest pirates in history,” his words, wasn’t met with excited flailing or happy laughter, but with a little mental puzzle solving followed by quiet disbelief that he was lucky enough to be part of their history.
Nate experienced something we all yearn for, a true moment of self-fulfillment. In that moment nothing else mattered, not the treasure, not his marital problems, not even his brother being kidnapped. For just a few minutes, Nate was completed enveloped by something he truly loved. And Elena’s loving gaze toward the end was the perfect way to cap off an already beautiful scene of pure humanity.
4. Cassie Drake Discovering Her Parent’s Past
It has more or less become a cliche for the epilogue of long stories to introduce the main character’s children. However, Uncharted 4 manages to introduce Nate and Elena’s daughter, Cassie, in a nostalgic and satisfying way. Upon searching for her parents, Cassie discovers a locked cabinet dedicated to trinkets from her parents’ old adventures. Cassie is subsequently caught by her parents and after a few verbal back-and-forths they decide to finally have “the talk” with her. “The talk” in this case being of Nate and Elena’s exciting, yet dangerous past. While against it at first, after the story begins Nate appears to revel in telling Cassie of his escapades with Cassie anxious to know what happens next.
This event is really fantastic as it speaks to both the curious children who’re eager to know more of their parent’s former lives as well as to excited parents who want nothing more than to pass down their stories to the ones they love. Genuine interactions between children and their parents are rare to come by in media. But with simple moments like “language!” and the explanation of El Dorado, Naughty Dog manages to capture a heartwarming moment of a father telling captivating stories to his wide-eyed daughter using some well-written dialogue and extraordinary actors.
3. The Brothers Drake and the Search for the Journal
Do you remember the point at which something you were fascinated by grew into a passion you would chase for the rest of your life? This is that point for both of the Drake brothers. While this scene is rather long, the sibling-bonding romp through the mansion of antique treasures serves as a launching point for the brothers’ futures collecting and hunting lost fortunes. It is also an experience the brothers are able to share together. Many of us have shared a similar experience with a sibling or friend and while it may not have involved millions of dollars in artifacts, it’s still a memory we carry with us to remind ourselves that we’re not alone and that someone, somewhere out there understands us.
All of this is delivered through a stirring scene of brotherly love and is further compounded when the boys encounter Evelyn and uncover their mother’s secret life. Nate and Sam went searching for their mother’s journal, but they found so much more in an old samurai helm, a first edition pirate book, and an old polaroid camera.
2. Dinner with the Drakes
Ahhh the infamous dinner scene. This segment has gotten much buzz over the course of Uncharted 4’s release and definitely for good reason. In a game of fast-paced action and lost pirate treasure, something as mundane as watching characters sit down for dinner to discuss their day seems rather… bland. However, Nate and Elena’s dinner comes off as anything but. The couple feel amazingly real and their bouts over who’s doing the dishes and Nate’s lack of Crash Bandicoot skill comes off as very natural and entirely relatable. But there’s something else here as well. Nate is clearly conflicted over what he wants to do and what he should do, which does not escape Elena as she ribs him for zoning out during their conversation.
It’s a wonderful look into the mind of a man torn between living a life of safe, simple happiness and one of dangerous adventure. Nate and Elena may not be the perfect couple, but it’s clear that they care a tremendous amount for one another. If that’s not easy to connect with, then I’m not sure what is.
1. The Pirate Elevator and the Drive of Quiet Self-Reflection
After one too many bad decisions, Nate is hurled off a cliff and left for dead. Lucky for him Elena comes in for the rescue, but is pissed off due to all the lies and excuses Nate has given her. This tension continues on and is a driving force for this moment. Nate, being fully aware he’s put his marriage in jeopardy, wants nothing more than to make up with his wife, but with everything in the way he struggles to find the right words and the right time to do so. We’ve all messed up at some point and sometimes finding the right thing to say seems like a herculean task. So we keep quiet or try to play it off hoping everything will end up alright, but eventually we have to confront our mistakes.
On the elevator, Nate speaks with Elena and while we sit at the edge of our seats telling him to apologize, it never comes and instead he receives a well-earned lecture on relationships being a team – a lecture I’m sure many of us are personally familiar with in some fashion. After their conversation, the music sets a somber tone and the two take a silent drive through a gorgeous landscape creating most serenity-inducing moment of Uncharted 4. This part is incredibly short, but in many ways it feels as though it goes on forever.
After leaving his life behind, being lied to by his brother, and endangering his marriage, Nate is left to contemplate the consequences of his actions that have led him to this exact point in time. There are so many things left unsaid that you can’t help but wonder what’s going in these character’s heads. In fact through subtle, stolen glances to one another each character appears to question what the other is thinking. “What is she thinking about?” “What is he thinking about?” “Have I ruined everything?” “How can I fix this?” So many simple questions with complicated answers that we ask ourselves each and every day reflected in the lives of data projected on our screens. These questions are the epitome of what it means to be human and for it to be displayed so beautifully is a true marvel of artistry and storytelling.
Uncharted 4 is game unlike any other with remarkably human characters. The trials they face and struggles they endure are all translatable to audiences everywhere and connecting with these characters can be very satisfying. Thanks to the video’s author, IZUNIY, for splicing together every scene in this extraordinary game. What are some of your favorite character moments from Uncharted 4? Leave a comment and let us know!