It’s hard to believe that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is almost out. It’s been nearly five years since Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and Uncharted 4 comes at a time when PS4 users are hungry for an actual exclusive. It’s been a long road with four delays, two betas and multiple conference showings, but it will all be worth it when Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End finally launches on May 10. Until then, here are a five things to know about Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
The legendary team behind the award-winning The Last of Us are back for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Neil Druckmann and Bruce Staley return as creative director and game director respectively, replacing Amy Hennig and Justin Richmond, who served each respective role on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The game received a dramatic overhaul following the departure of Hennig and Richmond and we’ll likely never know what the original Uncharted 4 was supposed to be like.
As you can expect, Druckmann and Staley’s experience with The Last of Us will have a huge impact on Uncharted 4’s design. Levels are still linear but are much larger than what we’ve seen in previous games. This will allow players to experiment and tackle objectives in unique ways. Bruce Staley was the game director of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, one of highest praised games of the last generation. Considering that both Drake’s Fortune and Drake’s Deception’s shooting was tweaked to better match Among Thieves’ shooting for The Nathan Drake Collection, it’s clear Staley knows what he’s doing and that Uncharted 4 is in very capable hands.
2. This is the first PS4 exclusive developed by a Sony Studio in Nearly 2 Years
Uncharted 4 is under a lot of pressure to succeed. Not only is it the next entry in a much-beloved and praised franchise, it’s also the first PS4 exclusive in a long time. It’s pretty surprising just how different game’s climate is on the PS4 compared to the PS3. Sony relied heavily on developing first-party exclusives during the PS3 era, but has done a complete 180 with the PS4. In fact, we haven’t had a Sony developed PS4 exclusive since DriveClub, which came out nearly two years ago.
Sony and Microsoft have clearly changed positions this generation with Microsoft focusing more on first-party exclusives. Like Microsoft last-gen, Sony has opted to focus on cutting third-party deals for DLC (Call of Duty, Destiny), getting third-party exclusives (Bloodborne, Street Fighter V) and scooping up independent projects (The Witness, No Man’s Sky). Hopefully the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will open the flood gates for even more PS4 exclusives in the coming years.
3. Uncharted 4 will be both 1080p/30fps and 900p/60fps
Naughty Dog wants players to have the most cinematic experience for the single player, and the best playable experience for the multiplayer. For that, the studio has had to make some concessions in order to get the game working properly on the PS4’s hardware. This means that players will get two different experiences; 1080p/30fps and 900p/60fps.
Those engaging in the single player can enjoy a native resolution of 1080p, but will only run at 30 frames-per-second. Participating in multiplayer takes the native resolution down to 900p, but plays at a blistering 60 frames-per-second. This is not the most ideal situation, particularly after enjoying The Last of Us Remastered and The Nathan Drake Collection at 1080p/60fps throughout. Unfortunately concessions have to be made, and Naughty Dog made this call for a reason. Perhaps, if the rumors are true and we do get a PS4.5, we may be able to experience the entirety of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End at 1080p/60fps some day.
4. Nathan Drake is Searching for Another Mythological City
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End marks the third game in a row where Nathan Drake is searching for a mythological city. This time around he’s going after Libertalia, a legendary free pirate colony that many doubt ever existed. According to legend, the pirates were dedicated to being ‘vigilant Guardians of the People’s Rights and Liberties.’ Although many contest the existence of Libertalia, its ideas were well represented through other pirate colonies. For example, Nassau (featured in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag) was a colony set up and run by pirates in the Bahamas with the idea of protecting people’s rights from tyrannical rulers.
Libertalia was supposedly set up by the pirate Captain Mission while he was sailing around the country of Madagascar. He would then settle his crew there, mingling with the friendly natives and renouncing his English lineage. As you can expect, a good portion of Uncharted 4 will take place on Madagascar with Drake and company travelling through its many jungles, plains, and cities in search of clues. What will they find? Guess we’ll have to play the game and find out.
5. This is, Likely, Nathan Drake and Naughty Dog’s Final Adventure
Neil Druckmann has been quite open about this little fact; this is Nathan Drake and Naughty Dog’s final adventure in the Uncharted universe. Taking place three years after the events of Drake’s Deception, A Thief’s End was crafted to be Drake’s end, and the culmination of nearly a decade of work at Naughty Dog. However, that doesn’t mean we know how Drake’s story will wrap up. Just because it’s the end doesn’t mean he’ll die.
We do know that Naughty Dog will move on to other projects following Uncharted 4. The team hasn’t revealed what’s next, but according to PlayStation boss Shuhei Yoshida, Naughty Dog is currently experimenting with where to go next. It could be a The Last of Us sequel, or it could be something completely new. It’s sad to see such a beloved franchise come to an end, but opportunity to experience something new from Naughty Dog is exciting. With nearly a decade of experience gained from working on the Uncharted games, the future appears to be bright for the studio.