David is fond of the Uncharted series. But what does he think of how the fourth iteration is panning out? Will it be the adventure that Drake deserves?

Multi-platform is my friend…

There was a time when I only owned a Playstation console solely to play the next game from the Uncharted series. But that was the time I owned both a PS3 and XB360 after moving on from the PS2. Now I’m back to being a one console owner at the whim of developers and their exclusive deals.

So while disappointed that the sequel to last year’s rebooted Tomb Raider is to be a XBOne exclusive  (timed or not) PlayStation folk will always have Uncharted. And so it was that the first gameplay reveal for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has broken ashore with what many may consider a showcase of much more of the same.

Handling Drake

The reveal does give a clue that an older Nathan Drake still has an acrobatic flair to negotiating the most demanding terrain. But if we take a closer look at some of the more subtle mechanics of Drake’s world (see the above gameplay video) there are moments that can be overlooked. These small changes to gameplay mechanics may not be the groundbreaking refinement we had hoped for, I’m looking past that. The gameplay shows a very smooth mixture of combos, climbing, unarmed combat, stealth, gunplay and grapple hook. All look seamless but what has made it look so is the animations which seem to refresh the whole experience. The shooting from the hip while running for cover,  shooting blind from cover, using the left hand to aim and shoot while hanging from a ledge and environmental damage from story bullets are the ones that shone through after numerous watches.

During the quieter scenes too we see Drake pick up a note from an unfortunate soul, take a closer look before placing it into his notebook. It may not strike many as anything but the run of the mill for an Uncharted game but there’s a more organic feel to the scene. Scenes like these in the previous Uncharted titles took me away from the immersion of the story.

Revelations

This fourth Uncharted title could also be the swan-song for Nathan Drake and possibly a more personal story of adventure. We see an unnamed character (now known to be Troy Baker ) at the end of the gameplay video, make the comment ‘little brother’ directly at Drake. And so now we know Nathan wasn’t an only child or at least we are given that impression. It would be nice to see that after all Drake has been through in his past adventures, he’ll not resort to verbalising how tortured he is about using a gun. Rather it would show courage by Naughty Dog to let Nathan Drake accept who he is and let us enjoy the spectacle of living out the adventure with him.