Uncharted 4, the most anticipated game of 2015, has finally been revealed to the public - and it looks absolutely astounding!
Sony unveiled the first gameplay footage of the next chapter in Nathan Drake's epic saga at their recent Playstation Experience fan event, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. There's a heck of a lot to digest in the 15 minute video, but I'm here to break down the highlights and point out some hidden secrets you might have missed.
A More Mature Drake
Developer Naughty Dog has already confirmed that the game takes place 'several years after' Uncharted 3, following Drake's retirement from his high-octane lifestyle. The intrepid adventurer certainly looks a lot older and his demeanor is much less flippant. The trademark wise-cracking side of Drake is also noticeably toned down during the demo. Could this be a more sophisticated man; one who's become slightly jaded, perhaps?
Here Be Pirates
As Drake explores an ancient cave he comes across a rather decrepit looking corpse, a machete protruding from its chest. The Jolly Roger symbol above the skeleton confirms rumors about a pirate-themed narrative.
Plot Details Revealed?
This handwritten note Drake finds on a dead body is only shown briefly, but if you take a closer look there are major clues to be found within it. The note begins by talking of the author's captain who was "struck by a serpent" and has "succumbed to fevered derangement" as a result. If I were a betting man, I would put good money on Drake encountering this mysterious breed of snake before his adventure's end. He's already encountered man-eating spiders and hallucinogenic toxins in Uncharted 3 - why not insanity-inducing serpents?
The anonymous writer continues by declaring his intent to "pursue this remnant of Captain Avery's fortune." So, who is this Captain Avery? Well, if you look closely at Drake's journal, partially hidden behind the note, you can see a sketch of a ship marked "Amity." Amity was a known alias of a ship captained by Thomas Tew, an ally of one Henry Every - also known as Captain Avery.
So What Does This Tell Us?
Well, it could tell us quite a bit about what we can expect from Uncharted 4's story!
Henry Every was an English pirate who sailed during the mid-1690s and was known by his contemporaries as 'The King of Pirates.' Every was one of the few captains to successfully make off with his loot, after an infamous attack on a 25-ship convoy in the Arabian Sea. The convoy was made up of Grand Mughal vessels on their way to Mecca, and were led by a treasure-full ship named the Ganj-i-sawai. In what was one of the most profitable raids in history, Henry Every stole over $800,000 of precious jewels from the Ganj-i-sawai, becoming one of the richest pirates of all time!
But here's the really interesting part: Every vanished from the face of the earth in 1696, his whereabouts from that point on remaining unknown to this day. No doubt Naughty Dog plans to explore the famous pirate's eventual fate, and you can bet Drake is after that grand Mughal treasure!
No Mountain Too High
New climbing mechanics are introduced, with Drake given the ability to scale soft segments of cliff-faces with his handy dagger.
These helpful grapple points give players more traversal options, letting Drake swing around the environment to flank unsuspecting enemies.
Get Off Me!
In previous games, you could simply fling an enemy off a ledge and savor his fading screams as he plummeted towards a bloody end. But now, they're a lot more persistent and will hang on to Drake's leg for dear life! A kick in the face seems to do the job though.
At One With Nature
Can you see Drake? Neither can his enemies. Taking a cue from Solid Snake, Nathan has now learned to blend in to his environment. An increased focus on stealth mechanics paired with significantly larger levels allows for much more player freedom.
It seems Naughty Dog has taken some inspiration from their previous title, The Last of Us, adapting their stealth systems for Uncharted. If it means more varied gameplay, I'm all in.
A New Character
Right at the demo's end we're introduced to a brand new face, and he seems to be pretty chummy with Drake, saying "good to see you're alive little brother." 'Little brother'?! Wait, Drake has a BROTHER?!
He's never mentioned anything about a sibling before, so it's likely these two probably aren't on good terms. I can't wait for this relationship to be explored further!
That's all we know so far, and from the looks of the game it's shaping up to be a classic. Uncharted 4's release cannot come soon enough!
Watch the gameplay reveal in full below: