Developer: Naughty Dog
Release Date: 26/27th April 2016 (NA/EU)
No Man’s Sky has certainly had me jittery with childlike in more than a few instances, but there’s always going to be a special kind of enthusiasm reserved in me for Uncharted. Naughty Dog is a developer that has proven consistently strong since formation, and with what we’ve seen of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End so far, their efforts aren’t about to run dry.
E3’s demo this year oversaw the beloved Nathan Drake literally being pulled through the dirt, engaged in bombastic car chases and intrepid endeavours that reminded me in an instant just how much I miss Drake’s sparky misadventures.
Though alongside the obligatory adrenaline came the inevitable effects time has had on the dauntless protagonist; something made more striking by the 1080p display. Face a little more lined than we remember, Drake’s now retired from his life on the edge and has settled down with his wife, Elena.
Exactly how long that retirement lasts, however, is another question. One that I’m very much looking forward to seeing answered.
Co-director, Neil Druckmann explains in an interview with Gamerant that their intent for Uncharted 4 was to “give the player more options, more ways to approach, whether it’s exploration, traversal or combat”. Druckmann’s previous work on post-apocalyptic triumph The Last of Us seems to have represented a crucial point of development for Druckmann, and as such The Last of Us’ complex AI has since been translated into Uncharted 4. Drawing a closer comparison, we might also speculate that a heavier emphasis on stealth may feature (as was the case with The Last of Us), and maybe even a slight raise in challenge level accompanying the greater variety of traversal options.
It’s a reassuring thought, especially considering Drake’s Deception’s disappointing reliance on quicktime events.
This being said, A Thief’s End also marks the loss of writer, Amy Hennig. As the cocky one-liners and well crafted character relationships have always been a strong point of the series, it will be fascinating to observe how writers Druckmann, Bissell and Scherr will approach Hennig’s construct. Druckmann’s credit for The Last of Us is a confident starting point, and, overall, I’m looking forward to seeing his styles adapt to the more jovial rollicks of Uncharted’s buoyant cast.
With the multiplayed beta available now to owners of The Nathan Drake Collection on PS4, it really feels like Naughty Dog are as excite to unveil Drake’s latest adventure as we are to receive it. Implementing taunts, killable sidekicks, customisable items and a range of different explosives and weapons to endow your online experience, there’s already much the company wants us to see, which is only turning my attention more towards how the characters I’ve come to adore will develop in the series’ final entry.
Naughty Dog described A Thief’s End as Nate’s “greatest adventure yet” that will “test his physical limits, his resolve, and ultimately, what he’s willing to sacrifice to save the ones he loves”. That’s a bold statement considering the delightful chaos of Fortune, Thieves and Deception, but it’s one Naughty Dog hasn’t disappointed on before.
What are your most anticipated games of 2016? Do you think they’ll live up to your expectations? Jot down a comment below. Thanks – and here’s to 2016.
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