Surprising no one, Sony decided to give a gameplay demo of the 2016 title Uncharted 4 at their conference. Apparently, Nathan Drake is a big enough deal for the last slot. You know, the slot that is usually reserved for the biggest announcement of the day. Bear in mind, they did this in a show that included announcements for The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Shenmue 3. Now that’s showing confidence in your IP.
I digress. Though the gameplay demo started off a bit bumpy, the car chase brought back the best memories of the franchise, reminding everyone that there’s still witty banter, explosive set pieces, and the ever endearing Sully. Everything comes to a crashing halt when Nate is going right into some wooden structure. But what then? Lucky for you guys, I had a chance to get a look at an extended demo that went past the cliff hanger and I’m ready to share the juicy continuation.
As per usual, our favorite daredevil/treasure hunter crashes through the obstacle in his way unscathed. Yay, sort of. He finds himself dragging through some muddy turf as the vehicle he hooked onto is speeding ahead. What was impressive was the animation of his clothing — it got grimier by the second.
If his situation wasn’t dire enough, he had to avoid the gun fire coming from enemies. In true Uncharted fashion, Drake pulls himself up the rope he was being dangling from and commandeers the speeding truck. The chase from the armored car then continues with no end in sight. Just then, his brother pulls up to the truck, riding on a motorcycle. Some insightful banter was exchanged before Drake’s whip was t-boned by some other vehicle on the road.
With his vision still a bit muddled, Drake wake. Of course, he was stuck in the upside down vehicle, now starting to light up like a Christmas tree. Injured and disorientated, he and his brother find their way out. The armored car resumes chase onto a pier, and finally Drake finds a way to rid he and his brother of the nuisance. So, it’s everything you expect from an Uncharted action section.
Excuse me if I am underselling the gameplay here. From what we saw, the gameplay looked as smooth as it’s ever been. It looks fantastic, fluid, and a whole lot of fun. It’s just that I’ve come to expect high quality from this franchise, so I may be taking it for granted at this point. Just know that it will be amazing.
What occurs next is the more interesting aspect of the demo. Sully and friends find the location of a new hidden pirate treasure. Pirates apparently had a safe haven where they all conveniently stashed all of their booty. Who thought that was a good idea?
Things get juicier when they walk into their hotel room…finding Elena waiting in disgust. Nathan had lied to her about his treasure hunting days being over. Now that’s a cliff hanger.
This is exactly what fans of the franchise want to see. We’ve had plenty of jaw dropping set-pieces and action sequences but this is supposed to be the end of our adventures with Nathan. Seeing his more human side and witnessing his battle with the reality of having to give up his antics is special.
We’ve watched our hero battle inner demons before — his lineage and upbringing. He’s now older, battered and worn down, and clearly isn’t the young buck he once was. Not being in his prime anymore will be the toughest reality to accept. Will he ever be fine with settling down?
Whatever the outcome, it already looks like this is turning out to be the most emotionally impactful game in the series. How do you want to see the end of Nathan’s story?