Why Uncharted 4 should make you excited about virtual reality
Seriously, no maybe
Drake's adventures have come to an end and with it, Naughty Dog's Uncharted series is probably calling time too - although Uncharted 5: Prologue is probably written on a whiteboard somewhere in Naughty Dog's Santa Monica offices.
But if you’ve got an interest in VR, the latest game in the Uncharted series should get you really excited. Don’t worry, we'll be steering clear of spoilers, but here's a few reasons why if you’re a fan of headsets, Uncharted 4 should have you salivating.
The performance capture is phenomenal
One of the strongest parts of Uncharted 4 is the performances. Troy Baker, Nolan North, Emily Rose, and everyone else involved is excellent. Their faces convey a ton of emotion, they look sad/happy/distraught/[redacted] as and when the moment calls for it, and they identify like real people. Conversations are full of nuance.
For virtual reality, this means nothing but good things. Performance capturing in videogames getting closer and closer to live acting means interacting with NPC's is going to feel even more naturalistic.
When you're virtually inhabiting a place six inches from their face you'll notice every little error, so a game like Uncharted 4 shows that it's possible to capture performances so real you'll apologise for invading their personal space.The world is so detailed. I mean like, sooooo detailed. Mega detailed. Detailpocalypse
Here's a picture of Drake's attic. See the scuffed floorboards? This is the first and only time a character is going to walk around this area, but because in the real world Drake comes up here a lot to review his successes, the floorboards are scuffed and covered in crap.
But that's basic stuff. Let's take a look a little deeper - here's Drake's recycling.
Drake drinks a lot of milk, and his favourite cereal is Pixie Puffs.
This isn't relevant to the story, this is just the sort of stuff that AAA developers are putting into their games now, this is the level of quality we can be looking to expect in future releases.
Why is this good for VR? Because this is exactly the sort of thing you'll want to be exploring. Exploration games are absolutely one of the future stars of VR, and so the fact that big developers are starting to build big believable worlds? That's great.The human story is actually the best part. Seriously
Uncharted 4 has a couple of problems. The shooting is a little bit pants, the stealth is occasionally a bit wonky, and, whisper it, the pacing isn't exactly where it should be.
It's still an incredible game and i'd recommend you spend your money on it, but it has flaws.
The human bits? Those are bloody lovely. The chatter between long lost brothers Sam and Nate is excellent, two humans who were as close as could be but now have a ragged hole in their relationship because of so much time apart.
The human aspect of Nate relaxing on the sofa for a meal with his wife Elena, or the cocky way Nate banters with his enemies [redacted] and [redacted] all shine.
The character's feel human, and it's almost a negative that the rest of the game happens because it's hard to show a character as a caring sensitive guy when he's choking out mercenaries in locations around the world.
Again, human stories will be such a big part of VR, and if we want the big developers to bring us the best games then they're going to need to nail this down before they capture our hearts.
With Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog has shown it’s got the chops for this and hopefully the next project it announces will make us of the PlayStation VR.
Nathan Drake’s adventures might be over, but we can’t wait to spend more time poking around in other character’s recycling bins, this time in VR.