Now before I get into this, I want you all to know that Naughty Dog is my favourite developer, The Last of Us is my favourite game, and Uncharted 4 is a masterpiece (in my opinion), just in case you believe I am being prejudice to the game. With that out of the way, let’s get straight into it.
Also, this article MAY contain spoilers.
7. Crates for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If there’s one thing about Uncharted 4 that’s not the most favourable, it is how conveniently placed everything is; in particular, the crates. They’re everywhere. So many perfectly constructed crates with casters on them.
There’s been times in the game where a simple boost from whoever is with you would do the trick. One scene that comes to mind is right after you escape the cave system (Avery’s hidden estate) and all the traps in there. Once you emerge from it, you are stopped by a high ledge.
Of course, that means you must now scour the area for a crate (with casters, don’t forget the casters) to help you up. Or just before you entered Avery’s house and you’re forced to move through a river system, you have to find a crate (with casters of course) and make your way up a certain ledge.
In retrospect, what really has me laughing is early-ish into the game during the “At Sea” act, you have to make it across a bridge. However, it falls (like all century old bridges do) and now you have to find a new way up. There is another way to make it up but Sam leaves you for a bit to “find something to help you up” with. With much surprise (as you’re about to make it up to him), he stops his effort of pushing yet another industrial crate complete with, yes, casters.
Too damn convenient! However, Uncharted 4 is such a big game that it’s only in hindsight that you can really focus on these things and call them out for it.
I don’t know if I’m the only one who thought this, but along with Nathan’s great parkour skills and the ability to avert death (and dish it out), the rope-hook/swing he has really makes him like Spider-Man.
There are certain parts of the game that make you think, “Without this conveniently placed branch or bulging ledge, Nathan would literally just die and the game would be over.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. It is incredibly fun to use it and the physics that make it are just superb. Game play wise, it is brilliant.
Story wise, it’s too easy in a sense. Falling from a broken ledge or hanging over an abyss? ROPE SWING. Gunfight getting too intense and you want to escape? ROPE SWING.
However, with a world as big as Uncharted 4 you need some way to distinguish what you can do to what. Hence the white rope always attached to a place you can swing from.
5. So…Elena. How did you find Nate?
Right after the world’s best chase scene in video game history, you come bumbling in through a door and Elena just pops up. Ehh…hey?
Obviously the scene happened to highlight the two life styles Nate was chasing. One of relaxation and calmness with his wife, and another of adventure and danger with Sam, Sully and whoever else joins the party.
However, the problem is how the hell did Elena find you? Elena does note that Nate was “a hair off course” from the “Malaysia trip” but nothing actually explains how she found them.
Unless she’s been trained by Batman while Nate was away, I don’t see how she went from journalist to detective so fast.
4. Elena just became Lara croft?!
So, not only was Elena trained by the world’s greatest detective, Batman, but she seemed to have a run with Lara Croft. So, what do I mean by that?
Well, if you played Tomb Raider you’d know that Lara drops bodies left, right and centre. So my only conclusion to how Elena can be snapping necks like nobody’s business in Uncharted 4 is that while she goes out (during her alone time) she must be escapading with Lara Croft and had her own little “Malaysia trip.”
In all seriousness though, when the hell did Elena became a mass murderer?!
3. I call shotgun!
You’re always first on the scene (the crucial scenes that is). Now, that isn’t a problem usually (since after all, “adventure” is Nate’s thing) but you’re up against an extremely rich enemy who has many men scouring the area and Nate…well he has a rope with a hook on it.
Of course the story favours Nate and is linking Nate’s thieving etiquette to that of Henry Avery’s crew but once again, just a bit too convenient my opinion.
2. Nate is Superman (or at least Wolverine).
From the very first Uncharted game, Nate has been shot with more bullets, punched, kicked, choked, stabbed, etc than there are individual grains of sand on the planet.
The game doesn’t require the caution required in The Last of Us, where bullets matter (ESPECIALLY those godly shivs, never forget to craft a shiv when you can) and stealth is worth more.
I understand that Naughty Dog would have to sacrifice the fast-paced action scenes that make you feel like you’re in, well, a face-paced action game. It’s a very small…quirk of the game (and genre). There’s no real problem with it in but in some ways it hinders certain story possibilities.
Such as, it wouldn’t make sense for your character to sustain damage in a cut-scene as you probably took more during the first one minute of the action scene so you’d find it hard to believe the main character is hurt or invest yourself in the injury if you can take as many bullets as Superman.
1. The trailers spoiled major parts of the game
It’s not only video games that do this but movies too. Batman V Superman did this and suspense and surprise were somewhat drained from the movie.
Uncharted 4 suffered from the same thing. One of the game play videos released for it reveals Sam, Nate’s older brother, which only happens later in the game as you’re supposed to believe he was dead. However, that feeling is stripped from anyone who viewed the trailers for the game.
That’s only one example. There are other major “spoilers” in the pre-released footage. A big one being that chase scene (I can forgive them for this at least because that was the best chase scene in video game history and showing that early would really impress people – and it did!).
Don’t get me wrong though. There are many things you don’t see and the game is very long for a linear RPG. It’s just, you feel as if the game is going to end all the time, as when you arrive at the parts in the trailers in your play through of the game you begin feeling as if you’re getting close to the epilogue. Luckily I restrained from digging too deep in the pre-released footage and images so this wasn’t too much of a problem for me but for others, it may have been.
With all that has been said, I have come to notice one thing. Naughty Dog is not striving to create a game that models real life but rather, make an unrealistic world with unrealistic events seem as realistic as possible. Uncharted 4 grounds itself by utilizing classic video game tropes. Getting shot at by 20 different people and only getting hurt permanently when the game wants you to, being able to wield all sorts of weapons with relative ease and surviving the environment because of how each part is catered for the weapons and tools you have at that moment.
When a video game developer can present this clearly in your face, yet make you forget about them, that’s when you know the game is good. As, at the end of the day, video games are an escape from reality and are supposed to cater to your wildest imaginations, not simulate the boring stuff you have to endure in real life.