Uncharted 4: Is This Really The End?

Rounding out Sony’s E3 presser, Nathan Drake finally made an appearance as fans caught their first proper look at the next Uncharted. Due to release in 2015, the fourth instalment in Naughty Dog’s flagship series could very well be the last, as suggested by the game’s sub-heading, “A Thief’s End”.

Another message is stowed away towards the end of the clip, a Bible passage etched on the bars of a iron cage reading: “for we receive the due rewards of our deeds”. The trailer itself, clocking in at just over two and a half minutes, shows a bruised and battered Nathan Drake trawling through tropical terrain. During the clip, there is a brief exchange of dialogue between our lead man himself and everybody’s favourite sidekick, Victor Sullivan.

There’s no mention of Elena (notice the ring?) or any other Uncharted regulars, though the trailer is explicit in highlighting where Uncharted 4 sits in the series’ chronology. This is a slightly older, wearier Drake, and one who has “been out of the game” for quite some time. What lures him back into the shady world of adventurous antique dealers is unknown, as is what he’s hunting for and who stands in his path.

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As a teaser trailer, then, it does a great job. Without giving too much away, it shows just how Uncharted 4 will look when in play while leaving plenty of questions unanswered. Whether this will truly be the end of the road for Drake and company remains to be seen. After all, compared to some of Sony’s other gaming icons, Uncharted is still in its infancy. The huge following and sales numbers will also hoist up another argument against axing the series.

With that said, it was only a few years ago that God of War, another PlayStation classic, was seemingly tied up and laid to rest. Prior to the launch of God of War III the franchise may have seen two handheld spin-offs with a prequel also having launched in 2013, yet Santa Monica Studios has yet to move on from the original trilogy.

The same could very well happen to Uncharted. Naughty Dog, often revered as the world’s best video game developer, dispelled accusations of being a one-trick pony after releasing The Last Of Us. It’s a studio with bold ideas and one no doubt willing to retire a series if that’s what is needed to retain both originality and creativity. Just look at former PlayStation 2 poster child, Jak & Daxter.

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This would reflect one of the core messages to come from Sony’s E3 presser. Like any publisher it has low-risk titles, but out of the three main players in the console market, Sony has the most wildcards tucked up its sleeve.

Whether Uncharted would still exist as a focal part of the PlayStation family seems likely. If anything, the series could be farmed out to one of Sony’s smaller studios, such as Bend, which could continue to expand the series’ universe. Looking back to God of War again, Sony made a similar move when it brought Ready At Dawn into the equation. Back then the studio only had a few games under its belt though look where it is now: developing one of the key titles in next year’s PlayStation 4 line-up.

Personally, I don’t know if I’m ready for the Uncharted saga to come to an end. Among Thieves was, and continues to be, one of the best video games I have ever experienced. On the other hand closure isn’t such a bad thing. Despite rallying behind Gears of War and Halo in their heyday, for instance, much of that magic has now dissipated as Microsoft struggles to disguise reiteration as reinvention. There’s also a good possibility that, with Naughty Dog at the helm, Uncharted 4 could produce a watershed moment in gaming history if Drake’s latest adventure really is “the end”.

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14 Comments

  1. Uncharted is the only game series where I’ve platinumed every release. I love them so much but, as you say, with the likes of The Last Of Us Naughty Dog show they can produce astounding games without relying on existing IP.
    I kind of hope this is the last as it’s better to burn out than fade away and if it is to be the finale, I bet they will make a pretty spectacular ending.

    • To be fair, the Uncharted games are also quite easy ones to platinum… ;o)

      • I’d agree but try telling me that less than half way through each game on crushing!

      • I’ve never found the ‘Crushing’ difficulty hard on any of the games. There are a lot of things you can exploit to make it easier on yourself such as shooting around corners, if you’re unaware.

  2. I think it’s probably better if this is the last one. Much easier to keep a series high quality if you keep it contained. Just look what happens to every other series when it keeps going and going. Resident Evil for example, oh I loved that series so much.

    And then Naughty Dog can move onto new IPs and enjoy being creative and give us even bigger surprises.

  3. This trailer is just amazing, how almost convincing that Drizzy was a real person. In all fairness I would make this my last uncharted, go on a high. With naughty dog working on a new IP & maybe TLOU2, they won’t have time for UC5 & the only other developer that can helm the series is bend studio, after all they did make the best second UC game.

    Can I just say God of war 3, wasn’t tied up to be the last, after the credits, it left a door open for number 4, there is only chaos left in the world.

  4. Damn ND know how to do a teaser eh? That opening shot was just lovely. This is going to be special and I really doubt the last time we’ll see an Uncharted title. It could easily continue on Vita or even in the form of a prequel of sorts. What would be interesting would be the episodic route. Extended adventure say every 6 months or so?

    • Oh no, I hope not. That would be a real shame.

    • I’ve though an episodic prequel on the Vita would be quite good.

  5. They’re supposedly targeting 60FPS, I find it hard to believe. But it could be another unlocked framerate.

    This is as big a leap forward compared to third parties as UC2.

  6. If this happens to be the last Uncharted game then it’d be safe to say that ND will have an outstanding ending to the series up their sleeves.

  7. I’m getting a bit of a Shrek vibe going on – an amazing second installment, a disappointing third, and one last go to end the series on a proper high that ends up being rather good.

    I’m definitely up for one last Uncharted. Should be the last one though.

    • I’d agree the second is the series high but I thought uc3 was far from dissapointing.
      The young drake section, the boat chapter and the cargo plane I thought were amazing pieces to play, let alone the rest of it!

  8. As much as I don’t want this to be the last one, it would be great to see Drake and co go out on a high! Loved all 3 instalments thus far and I’m sure if ND move onto a new IP after this then it will no doubt be excellent once again.

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