E3 2015: What They Didn’t Show You in the Uncharted 4 Presentation

Despite a small hiccup at the beginning of the Uncharted 4 presentation at the Sony Press Conference, the game looked like the kind of high-octane action that we’ve come to expect from the franchise. But what if I told you that there was a whole extension of that sequence that folks at home didn’t get to see?

Say what?

That’s right, but on the show floor, at the Sony section of the convention, attendees got a chance to see some extended gameplay of the title. This show floor presentation included everything that was shown at the Sony Press Conference which, for those who need a refresher, was this:

Okay good, now that we remember exactly what happened, here’s what you didn’t get to see. At the end, when Nate is about to smash into that scaffolding by the bridge, instead of hard cutting to the logo over a black screen, he actually just crashes through it, and the chase continues.

Cool, but then what happens?

Nate pulls himself up onto the truck, while firing at goons and getting shot at himself. He then jumps from truck to truck before commandeering one and driving up close to his brother, Sam. The two exchange some quips before Nate’s truck gets sideswiped by that armored truck you saw in the video.

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After dragging himself out from under the truck – which has now caught on fire – he hops on his brother’s motorcycle and the two make a hasty getaway, pursued by the armored vehicle, which Nate eventually manages to shoot to death, at which point the logo fades onto the screen, seeming to imply that this may be the beginning of the game.

Yes, while this chase sequence lasts for a good six minutes in just what they showed at the conference, in actuality, it’s about twice that length, after which, a cutscene ensues, showing Sam and Nate meeting up with Sully at their hotel. Nate quickly deciphers a treasure map (which is apparently what Sam was securing) which will guide them to Libertatia, a secret pirate city sure to be teeming with treasure.

Except that when the trio enter their hotel room, they find Elena, from the previous three games (and Nate’s wife), who remarks disapprovingly of Nate’s escapades, seeming to imply that he, perhaps, gave her a different excuse for his absence.

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So… how does this all fit into the story so far?

Well, reportedly, after the events of Uncharted 3, Nathan Drake has been living out the last couple years of his life in marital bliss with Elena, with no desire to go back into the world of fortune hunting and thieving. After Nate’s long lost brother, Sam, shows up in his life once again, though, Nate is dragged back into the world of thieves in search of the aforementioned city of Libertatia.

Since Naughty Dog have described this entry in the franchise as a game that will “will test [Nate’s] physical limits, his resolve, and ultimately what he’s willing to sacrifice to save the ones he loves,” it’s safe to assume that Elena and Sam (and probably even Sully) are both going to factor heavily into the story – perhaps more so than ever before.

So, it really is important, then, that Elena shows up again in the extended version of this preview, as that gives us a huge hint as to what kind of “sacrifices” Nate will have to make. If I had to guess, I’d imagine that he’s going to have to decide, at some point, between Elena and Sam, with both their lives hanging in the balance.

Why wouldn’t Nate choose Elena?

It might be easy to assume that would be his choice, but let’s keep in mind that we don’t really know what his relationship with Sam is, and meanwhile, he’s lying to his own wife about where he is when he’s out gallavanting with his bro and best bud. Not exactly the bedrock that strong marriages are built on.

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Lastly, I mentioned that this sequence seems like it might be one of the first or earliest sequences in the game, because of the way the logo fades onto the screen. I’m also predicting that, like Uncharted 2, this game will begin in media res, with the portion immediately after what I’ve described explaining how Nate got to this place.

Go back a second. The parts that were shown at the Sony conference were identical?

The presentation that they have on the show floor, like at the conference, was all in-game footage, controlled by someone from Naughty Dog. With that in mind, it’s entirely possible that Naughty Dog found the best way to navigate through the level to show off everything they wanted to show off, but the path that the player in my presentation took was nearly identical to what was shown at the Sony Conference (except, of course, for the parts not shown at the conference).

What this would seem to imply is that Uncharted 4, or at least the parts they’ve shown so far, is a pretty heavily scripted game. You can expect enemies and enemy vehicles to take similar, if not identical, paths in each play-through. It’s hard to say, because of the hands-off nature of the presentation, how exactly Naughty Dog will be designing their levels to keep players on the path(s) they want them on.

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Heavily scripted? That sounds like a bad thing…

Not necessarily, though. The Uncharted series has always been highly acclaimed for it’s incredibly cinematic nature, and this one looks to be no different. To a certain extent, it’s almost like watching an interactive movie, with certain moments (especially in a lot of the truck jumping part that they didn’t show at the conference) almost merging gameplay and cinematics.

Overall, from what we’ve seen of the game (and what additional material they showed at this presentation), there’s going to be plenty for Uncharted fans to enjoy. More adventures, more Nate, more shooting some bad guys and huge, epic, cinematic chases and gunfights. What more could you ask for?

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