Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Uncharted is undoubtedly one of Sony’s marquee franchises. I’m not an expert when it comes to the series – I played the original game before my PS3 died, but admit I only have a fleeting knowledge of the games. That might change with the upcoming release of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, but I still knew enough to be all over Naughty Dog’s newest offering.
The live demo of Uncharted 4 shown at EB Expo 2015 tells us exactly what we’ve been expecting – we’re in store for another massive adventure with Nathan Drake, and Naughty Dog brings everything to the table with the latest instalment.
The opening shot is a sprawling vista, with the camera overlooking an expansive South American city. It isn’t long before the action turns into a deadly gun battle, but the way the cinematics seamlessly transition into gameplay makes me certain this will be a stunning experience. Did you want an epic game or a non-stop thrill ride? Good news, you’re getting both.
Real time destruction changes the feel of combat, as the environment reacts to ever wayward bullet. Shooting tiles or bags of flour sprays dust and debris into the world, and even racks of meat hanging at a butcher’s stall are flung around by gunfire. The mechanics haven’t changed, so cover once again plays a big part of your approach to battles, whether you want to duck in, out or even over trouble. Nate isn’t alone either, with long-time companion Sully sweating through the majority of the level shown, and really holding his own in combat.
My favourite bit from the demo was the car chase through the city. The vehicle careens through fences and stalls, bystanders scattering away as you roar past, all while trying to escape an armoured truck blasting away with a mounted machine gun. This culminates in a setpiece reminiscent of classic Uncharted moments, where Nate jumps from car, to truck, to bike – all while fighting his way through enemies and being chased by the truck.
Bullets and mud fly everywhere as Nate shoots out the tyres of cars and bikes, causing them to flip and crash in fiery burning wrecks, and bodies of enemy soldiers fly about everywhere.
In the words of Uncharted 2 villain Zoran, “How many men have you killed? How many – Just today?” Yes, Nate is once again that charming wise-cracking one-man army that leaves an extremely high body count in his wake.
The demo ends with another graceful blend between the gameplay and cut-scenes, and it really showcases the graphical power of the PS4 – details like mud covering Nate, flames sprouting around after a car wreck, and much more means we’re at the forefront of visuals for this console, just as we were for Uncharted on the PS3.
This is a great looking game that I cannot wait to get my hands on, but it’ll be March 18 2016 for those with a PS4 who want to grab what might be the final chapter in Nathan Drake’s story. Let’s hope it’s worth the way, and that it’s the send-off he truly deserves.