It’s taken me some time to adequately summarise my opinions regarding Uncharted 4. It’s more than likely going to be the last Uncharted game I’ll ever review so I wanted to treat it with the utmost significance that it’s expiration deserves. I needed to make absolutely certain that every subtle detail, every mild irritation or emphatic set piece is addressed with regulated neutrality. That every conceivable disputant is equally judged. Bias is a difficult thing to subvert, requiring processes that can generate adaptive, analytical persuasions, allowing you to perceive distinctions without preferential mandates. For me it’s like saying that my daughters smile is the most heartwarming moment of my day (and it is!) without it sounding biased. Hopefully my views will contain a resonating parity, rooted in admiration and passion for a project I’m firmly beguiled by. Not a sceptical cynic or an obliviously ignorant fan who will not listen to any negativity levelled at Uncharted. In any case I have conveniently separated my review into accessible, less congested portions consisting of game-play, story, a comprehensive overview, a special anonymous segment reserved for later and today’s topic; graphics.
Do you remember the ring Drake wore around his neck, carved with the inscription “sic parvis magna”, which when translated means “greatness from small beginnings?” That’s an adage that perfectly illustrates Uncharted 4’s visuals. When you compare this to Drakes Fortune it’s like comparing Leonardo Da Vinci with Banksy. One dedicated their effort into concealing every brush stroke, conveying a visible subtlety of the person depicted. The other uses stencils, defacing public property with vaguely defined political agendas. I’m sorry, but there are far more talented graffiti artists that don’t generate half the recognition this charlatan does. The environments, the atmosphere and characters in Uncharted 4 are laced with such resplendent decadence that its almost pornographic. It’s luxurious settings are so rich and vibrant, with even the rippling oceans glimmering with radiant obedience. The trees and foliage swaying as if an actual elemental force is encouraging movement. Even the mud and the versatility of the brick work on a building is exquisite?! It’s any number of descriptive, wholly pretensions words you can formulate. It is utterly STUNNING! I want to own the concept art, frame it and just stare at it for days. It’s remarkable. I want to lick it! It’s like ocular cocaine, you’re just addicted by the enthralling beauty that reconciles the visual parity between console and PC. And I know you PC elitists will rebuke that and you’re probably right, but this is a demonstration of a developer utilising every sliver of information at there disposal to create the best looking game possible. And a company at the peak of its creative stride.
“See, that’s my house down there. The grey one.”
Because of the exquisitely rendered locations the environments feel extensive, granting a sense of exploration in an otherwise linear setting. Though exploration is confined to deceptively restricted fixtures it always felt much bigger, malleable, with tangible structures that could conceivably be hidden in some far reaching wilderness, as well as a world that can be traversed, adding new and exciting tactical variation to combat. The only thing more captivating is the character animations. Every blemish, every scar even the pores on the skin are visibly genuine. The authenticity of characters facial reactions, the subtle inflections, the way they emote is done in a way you’d expect a human being to react, not an automated representation imitating human emotions. It’s like the characters have been sculpted by God himself/herself that provides much more depth and credibility to the emotional interactions.
In short the graphics are astounding. The locations are so generously sumptuous that it’s impossible not to smile just thinking about it. The characters don’t just look like farcical representation of people, they look and most importantly feel REAL. I can totally imagine the likes of Drake, Elena and Sully inhabiting our world somewhere, living happily in some kind of converted bungalow in New Delhi. NaughtyDog haven’t just set the bar high, they’ve done away with it and said “don’t even try”.