“One last time.”
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, developed by the beloved Naughty Dog, is due for worldwide release on May 10 2016 and is shaping up to be what seems to be a promising game. One would even go as far to say the best in the series; the main question is, could it potentially be the394 best game of this console generation?
It has been confirmed by many employees of Naughty Dog Studios that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s end will be Nathan Drake’s final outing, but does the story sound like it’s worthy of being Drake and the gangs final adventure? Well, to be honest, yes it does.
The game is set several years after the third game, where our main protagonist Nathan Drake has retired and has landed himself a pretty boring job working by himself in an office on a harbour, and to his surprise, his brother Sam, who Drake thought was dead, shows up requiring Drakes help. What for? We currently have no idea, but I assume he’s run into trouble with someone who wants money from him, which is where the treasure comes into it.
In previous three instalments of the franchise, Drake has hunted for treasures belonging to Francis Drake and Marco Polo, however in this final chapter in the saga, Drake & co will be searching for the treasure of one of the most famous pirates of all time, Henry Avery.
From previous gameplay releases, we have seen that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will be predominantly set in Madagascar and judging by the last two games, there’ll more than likely be more than one location.
So how about the ending? Well, Neil Druckman (Creative Director) said that the game will have a divisive ending what this means, we don’t know; what we can assume is that someone will die, whether that be Elena, Sully, Sam or Drake. My bets are on Elena.
You can also expect to meet the new villains Nadine and Rafe, who will make for what I am hoping are interesting characters. We’ve already met Nadine in a gameplay segment from a conference, but we haven’t really seen much of Rafe which is slightly mysterious.
With the advancement in technology from the PS3 to the PS4, Naughty Dog have devised a more realistic game, using the consoles features to its maximum. The attention to detail in this game in phenomenal as we have seen from gameplay trailers and demos. For instance, we have seen a car pulling up in Madagascar and as it brakes, a swarm of sand springs up from the tires.
We also know that whatever dirt, water or anything in between that your car goes into stays on your car realistically. Also the characters in the car react realistically with the environment, for instance in the Madagascar Demo, Drake drives the characters under a waterfall, to which Sam and Sully react harshly.
Another thing to mention is that the other characters seem to have conversations amongst each other while Drake goes to find something else, which gives it a sense of realism instead of them just sitting there with each other in what feels like an awkward silence, like in the three predecessors.
Talking of things Naughty Dog have added in, Drake now has 800 individual facial animations compared to a previous 120, which is just incredible. Speaking of things Drake and his body, the game is that realistic that even Drake’s chest hair moves in the wind.
One big problem with the first three games was that when the game went into a cut scene, the screen went black and any damage Drake sustained throughout the mission or any weapons you were carrying would all just disappear.
Well, not anymore, with seamless transitions that run in real-time, meaning the gameplay runs smoothly into the cut scene and Drake will have any dirt sustained on him with the guns he was just carrying.
As for other things added to the game, driveable vehicles are now in the game (as previously mentioned), the now is a pretty nifty grappling hook, which I would quite like to learn how to use, and he can also use this to climb certain rock faces (yes, they’ve ripped it straight out of the recent “Tomb raider” instalments).
A final improvement worth noting is the improvement to the AI. Instead of all going in one direction, enemies will now flank Drake & co and co-operate with each other to try and take Drake out.
Stealth mechanics have also been included within the game (they were previously in the game to some extent but were pretty naff) so drake can evade the enemies if found or can do the mission in hand without being caught.
If you choose the loud option, there are plenty of things to take cover against, for instance there are sandbags, but can be shot at, which forces you to change cover as sand will be leaking out the bag. According to developers at the studio, there are over 100 destructible environments that players can engage with in the game.
So we’ve had two multiplayer betas now, a closed one for owners of the Nathan Drake Collection and a stress test one back in March.
The multiplayer which featured on the past two games didn’t exactly have a major following, people would often just play the campaign and that would be the end of that. Well now, Naughty Dog have appeared to have taken a pinch out of The Last Of Us’ multiplayer which was more of a success amongst fans, adding things such as the ability to revive or be revived.
There’s not much to really be said about the multiplayer as we don’t know too much about it apart from what we’ve seen in the two betas. The addition of mysticals make the gameplay more interesting. For example, players can use the cintamani stone to revive multiple people simultaneously.
Players can now also use sidekicks too to give them one up on the opposing team, such as a sniper, a character that runs around the map strangling people or a heavily armed juggernaut type character.
As for the map design, we learned in the beta that Naughty Dog are using a three lane map system, similar to the ones used in Treyarch’s Call of Duty Games (e.g. the Black Ops series), where players can choose to take one of two side lanes, where the action will be quieter or battle it out in the middle lane which is typically more open and where most of the intense action takes place.
So judging by Naughty Dog’s previous games, we should be in for something exhilarating. Also seeing as it’s Drake’s final outing, we should expect see some shocking revelations inside what I am predicting will be a gripping story; due to it being written by the writer of The Last Of Us instead of the write from the previous three games, the story will probably be a lot darker but have added bits of humour.
The campaign will run at 1080p with a locked frame rate of 30fps. Where as the multiplayer will be 720p running at 60fps to give it a really smooth feel.
Overall I feel as if Naughty Dog have a lot to live up to, and if they reach the expectations of the players, the game will probably be the best game to be released on this generation (so far anyway). I mean to be quite honest, it doesn’t exactly have a lot of competition as this generation hasn’t seen many show stoppers compared to games released on PS3/Xbox 360 such as Heavy Rain, ironically the Uncharted series, the Bioshock series or the Batman Arkham games (except for Arkham Knight which was this generation).