June 16th 2015, 5:00 A.M. I wake up a bit earlier than usual, turn on my PC and go directly to Sony’s E3 conference stream. It’s still running on and soon I recognize Victor Sullivan’s voice while I see a jeep crossing what it looks like a city. I don’t want to see it, so I change to another tab and start reading some crazy things about The Last Guardian, Shenmue III or Final Fantasy VII remake. I’m starting to think that I’m still dreaming. Then I read that Uncharted 4’s jeep sequence is more open than the ones featured in previous Uncharted games. Until that moment, I was thinking something more on-rails, so I’m starting to get really hyped. The wait to play it by myself will be long, but watching as little as possible will prove worthy one year later.
May 14th 2016. It’s my fourth day playing Uncharted 4 and I’m just starting Chapter 11. After some jeep adventuring (and action) across Madagascar’s beautiful natural landscapes, Nathan and his teammates have just arrived to a city where I find a familiar place for the little I’ve seen, Antananarivo’s market. I’m not prepared for what’s coming next.
I’ve to reckon that I was thinking about sharing all the chapter because I find it great start to finish. It begins with a calm walk through the busy market (and with the Lemur stealing Nathan’s apple), heading them to the tower. First part inside the tower includes solving a puzzle while climbing it and enjoying some spectacular vistas. Then, after a good set piece, tower’s secret is revealed, which includes another puzzle that has a Monkey Island related Easter egg that put a smile on my face when I found it. After that, a short but intense shooting (the part showcased in the E3) followed by a chase that marks on of the most spectacular moments of the game, the reason behind this post.
This chase has different parts, adding some gameplay variations. During first moments, you completely control a jeep while driving downhill the city. The destination is always the same, but you can select different routes. The chase continues outside the city, crossing land, water or little buildings, driving next to a road trying to help Sam, who is pursued by enemy vehicles. After a short, spectacular jump from the jeep to a crane, the second main part starts, shooting and jumping between vehicles (you still can drive jeeps), with some controlled freedom. The final part is more linear and basic, shooting an armored vehicle from a bike while Sam rides it, but is the final touch of some exhilarating moments. Well, and after this spectacular action sequence, comes one great story sequence that fits perfectly after all the emotions you’ve just lived.
As a conclusion, it’s hard to explain but all I can say that at a certain point, when I was jumping from a truck to a jeep and back, between shootings and explosions, with almost complete control of what was happening, I had to stop because I started laughing of pure joy, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and playing. It’s hard to show on a video, there are different routes, dialogues, action can vary a bit, a lot of little details… but this is the best I’ve been able to prepare for this post: