A Fresh Swing: Uncharted 4’s New Gameplay Trailer

via Kotaku

via Kotaku

I’ll get straight to it: just under a week ago, Sony released a new gameplay video for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. It’s likely you’ve already seen it, but maybe you haven’t. In any case, it’s incredible. For the uninitiated, Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series follows the adventures and misadventures of one Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter armed with as much completely improbable upper body strength as he has truly unbelievable luck. Previous installments of the game have seen Drake chasing treasures in increasingly improbable situations all over the world, from the Rub-al-Khali desert to the fabled city of Shangri-La. I’m a big fan of the series, and I’ve written a couple of posts about it on this blog.

The first, second, and third games in the series, Drake’s Fortune, Among Thieves, and Drake’s Deception, respectively, have been lauded for their innovative combinations of platforming and combat gameplay, excellent voice acting, and engrossing story lines. Among Thieves, in particular, collected a number of Game of the Year awards. I’ve played through every one of the Uncharted games on every difficulty level at least twice. I’ve found the Strange Relic in every game, and picked up all the treasures. I’ve even taken a break or two from my usual heavy-breathing love of this series to critique its treatment of female characters. Watching the video from this past weekend’s Playstation Experience event in Las Vegas, what I was seeing felt fresh. The gameplay in Drake’s Deception really wasn’t that different from Among Thieves, but A Thief’s End feels exciting, just from the fifteen minutes of gameplay in the video.

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On Game Design and Departures, Briefly.

Much of the video game news that I’ve been getting lately has been depressing. Don’t get me wrong, some it has been pretty neat, like the new playable character announcements for Ultra Street Fighter 4, or the first trailer for the new Angry Birds turn-based RPG. But if you’ve been paying attention, maybe you’ve heard that two of the most notable video-game developers in the industry are losing significant talent. Koji Igarashi (Iga), who has designed and produced more games in the Castlevania franchise alone than I care to mention, will depart from Konami after twenty-four years with the developer. Just under two weeks ago, noted game writer Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog, for whom she wrote and directed all four games in the Uncharted series.

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