Well that certainly escalated quickly, which can only be good for us! Today Naughty Dog streamed the extended version of their E3 demo for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on their Twitch channel exclusively (as far as I’m concerned) for me. Having endured the barren PS4 exclusivity its reassuring that Nate “the one man militia” Drake is certainly back in combustible form. His excessive predilections for municipal destruction, the sweeping environmental ambiance as he strides out of a dilapidated tomb of sorts and reckless endangerment of his welfare are in salubrious consignment. There was also confirmation during the following Q&A session that Uncharted has been variably optimised for the PS4 with the frame-rate locked at 30fps *sigh*. Ah well, who cares really? This is the trailer I’ve been waiting for. No promotional CGI draped in the false depiction of the games quality, but a fully rendered level that revels in the frenetic solemnity of the Uncharted franchise and now the ability to diverge from the the perceived limitations introduced in the driving section, because (Oh crap!) it isn’t scripted! (Just hope I can navigate my way through as many short cuts). March can not come soon enough. Check out the extended game footage below and let me know your thoughts. Cheers.
All ideology stated here is conditioned under supervision of rigorous assertions, conjectured presumptions and questionable bull “crap”. Having gorged myself on the Intel divulged in all of the Uncharted 4 trailers, coupled with my notably obsessed affiliation with the story and characters, I feel I’m in a cogent position of authority to interject the naturally inquisitive purview of fans and formulate a singular, but extensive hypothesis on the likely inclination “A Thief’s End” will take. I’ve collated existing data, melded the more bespoke inferences I’ve gauged from trailers and various sources in my absorbent cranium, certifying roughly 92% of the retained statistics into tangible fact! Though there is a 90% probability of error. Bah! Who needs statistical certainties when you’re as well versed in the actualities of divination as I. I predict the ambient temperature in the UK will dip to below freezing this evening, that Americans will never truly embrace Soccer and that readers will speculate the precise cognition for me muttering on. Which is a fair point.
I’m stuttering because I’m earnestly reticent to begin by attempting to identify a prospective antagonist, simply because of the absence of an offending adversary depicted in any trailer so far. But the only obvious aggressor that could facilitate that Katherine Marlow shaped visage is the “brother”. It’s admittedly a little conspicuous to assert a formerly concealed sibling as being the archetypal betrayer, but I’ve very little to work with. Nates origins up to this point have remained superfluous at best, with only cursory hints at Drakes potential heritage and even his legitimacy as a Drake questioned by suggestions that the lineage linked with the Drake name may actually be an adopted surname of Nates! Though the origination of Sully’s surrogacy to Nate and his destitute life as a branded thief was illustrated, it really only established Marlow’s tyranny. So the introduction of a brother would allude to further exploration of his hermetic past, if indeed there is a biological link at all? Perhaps the “brother” coerced Nate out of retirement at the behest of some unclaimed fortune they failed to retrieve before? Which rather indelicately leads me to the next converging prediction: the story.
The conceit could veer into various frenetic territories, with a litany of habitual mythologies and contrasting cultures making any kind of cogent assessment on the narrative a far more erratic entity to interpret, that will likely defer into further historical deficiencies and fables. The original trailer was liberally doused in suggestive alleviations though, with guttural voice lurching into an elaborate speech about betrayal, being buried alive for 15 years and an unknown assailant owing him, which certainly advocates the notion that Nates brother returns under the guise of diplomatic civility in order to ensnare his younger sibling to a similar, if more indefinite fate. What can I say, I just don’t trust new characters, particularly relations! Perhaps an incident such as the kidnapping of a loved one (perhaps Elena, or a daughter/son too?), coupled with the subsequent emergence of Nates brother from perennial anonymity could provoke Drake back to attain an allegorical treasure in exchange for the safe return of his family, clearly unaware of his brothers treachery and demand for penance for years of captivity? And stupidly unaware of Elena’s own capabilities to look after herself! (She’ll probably find it before he does!) Whether there is a more explanatory alternative that could clarify this theory into something more robust remains to be seen, but I would be surprised if the new addition to the Drake family is of humble intent. There is also the option that the vilified betrayal is applied to Drakes ancestor, Sir Francis. Though this seems less likely considering the emphasis on “15 years” incarceration. Though Sir Fran’s ardent luminance will undoubtedly be numerable, perhaps even a playable character? It is called “A Thief’s End” after all and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t in reference to Sir Fran Fran himself.
I can’t emphasise just how much I hate the idea that Nathan Drake is the referred “Thief” in the eradicating subtitle. There are simply not enough exclamation marks that could appropriately detract from the very idea of his death, or any character for that matter. It would be rather anticlimactic to watch Victor Sullivan die again! Even with more permanence. It was an hallucinate event that Drake largely contributed too as well, so we’ve already established his reactive motivations under those compunctions. It would be an act of lunacy, as well as stylistically inept to kill off any supplementary cast members. As important as Nate is, his development as a person wouldn’t feel cohesive without Sully and Elena guiding him along the way. Their a contributive force that helps rationalise his glib penchant for killing and sustain a credible degree of humanity. Without that he is simply an immoral grave-digger, with great abs. It’s also not conducive to the way in which Naughty Dog operates and hopefully not a doctorate that they would ever ascribe to. I’m bored with the systemic proclivity for terminating established characters that has become the weaving continuity in television adaptations. With the purported “shock value” diminishing with every aggressive capitulation. It’s a plot device so tedious that it could be used as an alternate sedative! A happily ever after would be the most controversial conclusion to the game. You could have Nate retiring and herding yaks in Nepal (He’d know how to get there!), or opening a bar in the South of France called “El Dorado’s”. The shock should be genuinely shocking, like discovering that Chloe Frazier is a hermaphrodite or something.
We have been so emotionally invested in these characters in the past 3 resplendent adventures that it would be bitterly arcane to sever those emoting ties. I realise how percussive I’ve been in reiterating that point, but I’m so confident in my assertion that no one will die, that I felt compelled to repeat it over and over again……..until I believed it. And I do, I think? There are so many variants that could detract or enhance the franchise; cooperative play, the absence of Amy Hennig, how ageing Drake will affect his mobility, and how inebriated by his own profound notoriety will Neil Druckmann be? There is certainly more to this series than ratifying existing troupes and perpetuating colonial genocide across the globe, which is a rather frequent occurrence. Nothing that this series does could scupper my excitement, nothing!…….Except clowns!
What do you think Uncharted 4’s story will concern? Let me know your ideas. Cheers.
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?
“For we receive the due rewards for our deeds.” This is the allegoric acclimation etched onto the gibbets that accommodates what we can only assume are chastised pirates in the new Uncharted trailer. If nothing else we can finally eradicate any conjecture relating to Nathan Drakes illusory departure from the Uncharted series thanks to the new E3 trailer that validates his importance to the series…..for now. My concerted analysis of Uncharted 4–now the confirmed title–could be the last, with the subordinate title “A Thief’s End” certainly insinuating a finality despite not formally addressing Drake or Uncharted as a whole. The consistent thematic of the secondary headings have always been referrals of deceptive ambiguity. Drakes Fortune and Drakes Deception were arguably references to Nate’s ancestral influence, Sir Francis Drake, not our favourite vagrant so the title could suggest a similar affiliation. Of course its hard to ignore the ragged state that Drake is in, slumped face down in the sand, with the binary exchange of narration between Nate and ever-present disciplinarian Victor “god damn” Sullivan, waxing lyrical about their perpetual absence from strenuous activities; like attending the gym or combating maniacal warlords. But it could just as easily imply another featured character, a rival perhaps, or even Sully? And where is the self-proclaimed “last years” model Elena Fischer? Gestating Drake Jr? Spurned? Hosting a series of documentaries on the discovery channel? Compiling a detailed horticultural compendium of the Amazons rare flowers? Dead? I’m just putting it out there! But any news regarding Uncharted is good news, and I couldn’t be happier. What’s that? Complain? What?! Sure it maybe a featured verb in the heading of this site, but what is there to complain about? It’s Uncharted! It’s Drake! It’s Sully! What more is there to say?……..
Well if you insist on provoking me then I’ll admit that I have one minor reservation. Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley now helm Uncharted after the equivocal clarification of Hennig’s sudden departure, and the trailer appears to convey a contested theme of melancholic anguish that was instrumental in The Last Of Us, but could be misinterpreted in an Uncharted game. As intriguing as the trailer is, it did feel a little cerebral, rather distorted by the emphasis on the dark tonal shift which is rather jarring and a little disconcerting. It’s like Time Burton had fraudulently acquired the rights to the Indiana Jones series. Drakes reputed chivalry and archetypal status of being the hero is largely farcical (he is in essence a serial murderer). But his felonious actions are exonerated in the games simply because he’s a likeable, cheeky chappy that’s constantly spouting humorous repertoire of witty observations and is someone you could imagine enjoying a beer with. So any sense of realism is abated by the gratuitous sadism of Nate and his supporting accomplices. The Uncharted series has thrived because of its deliberate ignorance to logical reasoning, investing more immediate priorities to the fluctuating dynamics of its cast, the verbal exchanges and robust cinematic set pieces. To relinquish that highly emotive camaraderie where snapping a man’s vertebra is cause for malicious japes is nonsensical. The last thing the series requires is Drake surveying the dense thickets of the jungle with a forlorn expression and weeping frenetically every time he pulls the trigger to kill someone!
Centralising Uncharted in the sobriety of moralistic integrity is somewhat muted by his contemptuous acts of pervasive violence and thievery (hence a thief’s end perhaps?) that continue without ethical restraint or even reprimanded incarceration. Yes allow for an emotionally blighted Drake, with his physical and pathological maladies disclosed with a tangible, evocative outlet. There’s certainly more sufficient accommodation for extraneous adaptation, shifting the austere infrastructure that has remained so resilient, but vigilant of alienating the fans (more selfishly, Me!) with total narrative emancipation. Of course every accusatory reproach I’ve scrawled has been meticulous cultivated in the cognitive labyrinth I call a mind (I actually call it Tarquin) which incidentally is as irrelevant as this comprised editorial (sorry). “A Thief’s End” will likely retain the natural fidelity of its anterior influences, balancing the rigidity of the narrative and fictionalised embellishment of realistic cast, with new innovations that will compliment the firmly established spirit. With continued exhibition of exemplary set pieces, cinematic explosions, moderated humour, resplendent dialogue and romance for us sensitive souls, Uncharted will continue to generate excitement, as well as a little mullah *cha ching*. But if the trailer is a mere fragment of vapid continuation, grimacing self-reflection or an impinging, bitter-sweet finality to Drakes excursions, then this is territory that should remain Uncharted……..Because I’m greedy.
Are you excited about Uncharted? Let me know what your favourite reveal of E3 was. Cheers.