The series has taken its share of criticism over the years, mostly when it comes to originality (or lack thereof); often pegged as little more than a gender-flipped Tomb Raider or a less charming Indiana Jones. But when it comes to sprawling globe-hopping adventure stories and blockbuster action gameplay, the exploits of Nathan Drake have had a valued place as a Playstation-exclusive stalwart. And now fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.
Now, a new trailer for the upcoming title has been released, expanding on the epic story players will find waiting for them on April 26, 2016.
Set years after the ending of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, A Thief's End finds a retired Nathan Drake called back to adventure by the sudden reappearance of his (presumed dead) brother. This fellow Drake seeks help locating a fabled cache of pirate treasure said to be housed in a mythical "lost colony" known as Libertalia. As is typical of the series, "Libertalia" is inspired by authentic historical folklore, which tells of an anarchist colony by that name having briefly existed in 17th century Madagascar -- though many historians doubt the veracity of such accounts.
While the game is expected to hew closely to the gameplay and format that have made the series a success in the past, new features have been highlighted, including an increased combat moveset, more destructible environments, and player-controlled dialogue options -- a first for the series. A new character has also been splotlighted in the form of villain Nadine Ross, whose conception caused controversy when it was learned that developer Naughty Dog had hired a white voice-actress for what turned out to be a black South-African character.
The trailer, however, has already become the subject of further controversy, as it was discovered by eagle-eyed gaming fans that the trailer had borrowed a piece of artwork used to decorate an interior space from Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed IV. The offending clips were subsequently removed and the trailer was replaced, with Naughty Dog issuing the following statement regarding the incident:
"In our eagerness to get the story trailer out we made a regrettable mistake and didn’t thoroughly vet the art work used for an in game painting. We’ve already updated the trailer. We hold all artistry in high regard and take full responsibility for having allowed this to happen.
We want to sincerely apologize to everyone at Ubisoft, the Assassin’s Creed team, the original artist, and our fans."
While Uncharted fans will surely turn out for the title, it remains to be seen whether the broader gaming culture is as eager to jump back onboard with another Nathan Drake adventure. There's also several question marks hanging over the game's overall creative direction, with the series' previous head writer and creative director having departed for other studios early on in the development of the fourth installment. On the plus side, the title faces little competition for sales within its own genre, with the well-reviewed but sluggish-selling Rise of The Tomb Raider not being yet available on the Playstation 4.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is set for release April 26.