There are many roads to fame and fortune, but the best way is still to shoot your way through a horde of bad guys. There was plenty to see and do in the 30-minute hands-on preview of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, but the last five minutes of combat was the most exhilarating.
That was when our favourite protagonist Nathan Drake stumbled upon a mini-outpost filled with baddies armed with AK-47s, grenades and sniper rifles. Nathan needed to take out the dozen or so baddies, together with his old friend Sully and his brother Sam. But there are many ways to do so.
First thing we could do was to “mark” all the visible enemies so that as Nathan, we could easily spot them and plan our path of destruction. New in Uncharted 4 is the stealth mechanic that lets Nathan hide from enemies then creep up from behind to deliver his instant-takedown coup de grace. Even if he is spotted by an enemy, Nathan still has a few seconds to take him out before he can sound the alarm. Nathan can also hide in long grass and behind cover as he moves from one location to another with the ultimate goal of reaching the tallest building in the outpost for a height advantage. We made a few stealthy kills before reaching the top of the building. Theoretically, Nathan could take out the entire camp of buddies through stealth kills but what’s the fun in that?
Once we reached the top of the tower, we could pick up a sniper rifle to take out more enemies but even that got boring after a while. When we noticed a long zip-line descending downwards from the top, we used Nathan’s grappling hook to latch onto the line, speeding downwards while we unloaded an entire magazine of bullets from our AK-47 assault rifle into the hapless bodies of our enemies who were felled like flies being swatted. The grappling hook is another new feature in Uncharted 4. Apart from zipping down and raining hell on enemies, the hook can also be used to grab out-of-reach chests and boxes.
All the stealth kills and strategic climbs were too much of a trouble really, so the second time we played the demo, we just grabbed our guns and shot everyone to smithereens.
Unchartered 4 is not just about bloodbaths and sensible violence. Like its predecessors, the game rewards the adventurous who love to go off the beaten track. There are ruins to search, hidden caves behind waterfalls to explore, treasure chests to discover. Another new feature is the four-wheel drive which is not just a means of transport for getting from point A to point B.
At several points in the game, we had to solve puzzles using the four-wheel drive. In one location, for instance, the path was too steep and the muddy terrain was too slippery for the vehicle to go over. After scouring the region on foot, we realised that we had to pull the rope from the jeep’s winch and tie it around a huge tree to help pull the four-wheel drive over the hilly and muddy path. In another scene, a rickety bridge gave way under our vehicle and we had to find a way to get back to the end of the bridge. The solution: Using the winch again but this time to pull down the remainder of the bridge to form a ramp that we could drive over to continue on our journey.
It is clear that Uncharted 4 offers plenty of goodness for both old fans and new players who might be playing the series for the first time. The beautiful environmental effects, heart-stopping action, puzzle-solving challenges and deep plot makes this PlayStation 4 exclusive one of the MUST-PLAY games of the year.
If you don’t own a PlayStation 4 console yet, this upcoming Uncharted 4 console should be the perfect choice. Look out for it when it launches on 10 May 2016 along with the game!