You maybe surprised to learn that I’ve been playing “Uncharted:The Lost Legacy”. As if a connoisseur of this franchise wouldn’t be engaged in another exhilarating exhibition of wilful genocide?! The provocateur of many dangerous expeditions, demolisher of precariously constructed structures, eradicator of rare mythological antiquities and hoarder of every Uncharted Platinum. It’s good to be back! Espousing the wretched deeds of a man with the sheer tenacity and fortuity to destroy every last archeological city/ruin/ship he’s ever discovered. Despite this concentrated level of callous destruction Nathan Drake remains an endearing, if accident prone rogue with all the charismatic distinction that made Nate him such an affable protagonist. Sadly with the retirement of Drake into matrimonial domesticity the Uncharted franchise has pandered to the aspirations of feminist vocation, further diminishing the influence of modern masculinity by replacing Nathan Drake with Chloe Frazer. A women. The inferior gender with none of the rugged strength, intelligence or flatulence that makes man a much more viable option for heroism. And it’s glorious!
I’ll miss Drake, of course I will but Chloe isn’t merely a replacement but a necessity. She has always been one of my favourite supporting players so to see her in a more prominent role is deeply gratifying. Her omission in “A Thief’s End” may have been necessary, but it was a glaring absence that betrayed her more illustrious presence in Uncharted 2. Here she’s as sharp as she is wryly. Focused and unyielding yet compassionate and vulnerable. The abrasive dynamic between Chloe and Nadine infuses their tentative relationship with a fluctuant chemistry never explored in the series before. They argue and bicker yet support one another to achieve their mutually independent goals. I’ve yet to finish Lost Legacy, so I’m reserving further analysis until then. But for my money, not that I have any, this could be the start of something new. Nathan Drakes tenure as Uncharted’s chief architect is over, his personal fortune found. But Uncharted itself may have discovered a whole new legacy to commence.
If history has taught me anything is that Brussels Sprouts are evil, drinking on an empty stomach is like juggling with knives, that my feet could be used to pasteurize Stilton and that ignorance is a far more appreciative endearment than the paternal inflections of opinion. While consuming German cuisine at a Bavarian themed festival last Saturday, as well as large flagons of malted liquids that may as well have been inseminated through dialysis rather than orally, little did a striking, devilishly handsome man of considerable repute know (elaborate dramatization may have been embellished for self repletion) that information regarding a certain treasure hunter, that isn’t Indiana Jones or that Albino fellow in Guardians of the galaxy were being demonstrated. Though I had coveted any professions regarding Uncharted 4 with earnest anticipation, connectivity was limited to jarring commentators on social media, with voluminous hyperbolic penchant. “The shooting is exactly the same!” expressed one tweeter. “It doesn’t look any different from the previous games” reflected another equally ruffled observer. From my observatory perspective scrolling through the documented revisions, the immediate antipathy that resonated through gamers expressions further incited the procedural, accusatory fan backlash, that thereby decreed Uncharted 4 a charlatan! “They’ve gone a messed it up” I renounced, as I reverted to the less suggestible state of plaintive foreboding. But fans, by definition are fanatical……..or a rotational series of blades designed to cool ambient humidity, but the prominent connotation is the former. So by association fans are also mad! By which I mean crazy. The contradiction that wants something new, yet exactly the same?
And I for one would like to congratulate their blanched, rasping retaliations and express deep personal appreciation for your subordinate deviations from rational sentiment, because with my previously effusive expectation greatly diminished by your damnable rhetoric, and having now watched the offending footage, my reticent curiosity was emphatically sated. My inquisitive presumptions were vetoed by the regaling nostalgia of watching Drake grapple vertical cliffs that look a less assured certainty than in previous games. As Drake procures additional scaling utilities to assist him in his ascension, thrusting a piton into the course surface for added purchase and cantering perilously on the uneven terrain. Supplementing his usually gregarious encounters for subverted consultations, Nate nimbly submerges into the verdant foliage. Even swinging through the densely prodigious environment like some form of humanoid arachnid (Spider-Drake) elicited a meek swoon of anticipation. But where would we be if Drake wasn’t bashing nameless thugs into walls, tossing goons into chasms and a generally unrepentant proclivity for deliberately shooting aggressors in the crutch. Or is that just me?
Most importantly for me was Nate adhering to humorous abstractions that make you guffaw, despite whatever morose impediment his facing, like certain death for instance. The entire compilation gave recompense to any lingering resentment I may have retained from the perilous insinuations of others, as well as my own ambiguity that the series would eagerly borrow from the suggestible melancholy portrayed in “The Last Of Us”. The textures, however beautifully rendered did possess a darker palette than I would like and it was a trailer that was notably subdued. Deliberately so, I think? I don’t need reassurance from vehicular mishaps that has become a trademark of the series. Nor arresting harmonics, rousing orchestral respite or speculative cinematic’s where streams of lava pierce the sedimentary rocks, as volcanic embers skitter across the forests declining fertility, engulfing the leaves as they fall. It was a trailer thankfully bereft of obligatory speeches that are a little too on nose, as fans speculate the intricate details of a plot and devise separate premises. None of this was present, just a simple monogamous template that should be adopted by every games trailer, game-play or otherwise. Just the rudimentary unfurling of the concept, a lenient delineation of the overarching story, a demonstration how furtive negotiation through large quantities of enemies is as efficient as bludgeoning adversaries skulls in, and revealing an older sibling that was never mentioned before? They kind of gloss over that part.
Uncharted 4 was laden with as much expectancy as a new Star Wars movie, and earlier reports that its impeccable cogency had been substituted for banal heresy proved, in my opinion to be a largely fabricated grievance. It has seemingly preserved its heritage, bound by the inheritance of greatness we’ve seen before. Of course if you aren’t beguiled by Nates considerable masculinity, intellectual yet humorous aphorisms, ruggedly handsome features that remind me of my own……..time playing the games, then its likely that you’ll find nothing compilable here. Its expansive scenic breadth has always been regulated to vestigial aesthetics which are deceptively exposed, yet linear which irks many. Though in fairness you can’t alter the complexion of a game like Uncharted without compromising the concept, any more than you can criticise FIFA for promoting football. And yes the previous couple of games have ended in identical fashion and the supporting cast such as Elena, Sully and Chloe are exceptionally important foils for Nate’s charismatic troupes, and with both the former and the latter currently absent from any footage you do have to worry, just a little, that Naughty Dog may rely on *gulp* new characters to interact with him. I maybe reaching on that point, but I’m finding it difficult not justify purchase.
The game-play, the environments and of course a weary, weather-beaten Drake only ratifies my bias and vindicates the pre-order I placed almost 8 months ago. Now Naughty Dog, if you could just, you know, RELEASE IT! PLEASE.
What did you think of the game-play trailer?