It’s Uncharted 4’s Birthday! Does It Still Spirit Us Away During This Time Of Virus?

By Isaiah Soto

My mother decided we couldn’t stay in New York City when the pandemic first came down. So we left town. I was in Florida because of Covid-19 and honestly, it was too hot and muggy down there. So I stayed inside a lot, having fun exploring Uncharted 4 – which was free on PlayStation Plus. I went to amazing places I would recommend it especially during this crazy time because there are twists and turns to keep me interested and unusual places to explore. That’s my real vacation. Not Florida.

As Nate Drake, you’re cast into the demon high seas with your brother. But I didn’t know he’s my bro yet. You’re in a hurricane and you get chased by people probably you pissed off.  Then, you crash into boats and these guys fly off and into water and mind you, they don’t like you at all. They’re shooting at you, and you don’t know which is worse, the bullets or the storm. High tides are crashing into your boat. 

Then I saw a boat that was kinda way too big and it flipped my boat over. and I’m in the ocean now and I have to ascend to the surface before I drown. So I get back on the boat and, like, dangerous rocks pop out of nowhere because it’s foggy and I cannot see well.  The best place possibly is the island ahead. I can see that much.

But you hit a rock you get knocked out. It doesn’t stop you. You are the great Nate Drake, a survivor. There’s a flashback. You are younger, like a kid, in an orphanage. You set out to find your brother, who’s waiting to meet you on a roof outside. He has a present for you but you have to do mad parkour with him to get it. (The whole series is full of mad parkour.)

But no sooner than you meet him, he already has to leave to do a job – for a year. And you just got reacquainted! If you haven’t been with someone at least a year, that changes a lot. That’s a big piece of your life span that’s been missed. You miss Christmas and birthdays. You want your brother there. You think your brother is abandoning you. But Sam finally cracks, telling you he’s found your parents stuff. And you ride away with Sam on this mad motorcycle.

There’s a cut scene, and you are older –  in prison in Panama. You’re fighting and the guard throws you in the hole. But a good guy guard makes you go through a passageway through the prison, outside and by a cliff near where the guard uncuffs you. At an ancient, rundown prison, you find a relic that’s wondrous cross, but right at the end, your brother gets shot and dies right in front of you. People are trying to get you. so you run as fast as you can. But you’re crying hard. It’s your brother. 

But Uncharted 4 is a game of twists and turns – and a pirate treasure. Sometimes, nothing is as it seems. You move to Seattle as a scuba diver scavenger. Suddenly, Sam arrives. You’re saying, How are you even alive? He shows you scars from the gunshots and he tells you how he got out of prison with this drug lord and now if he doesn’t get money, he is dead. And next you’re in freezing Scotland to track treasure and you move through a creepy church and graveyard and it gets even eerier as you’re checking out these old graves in the icy cold. Snow starts like a crazy New York storm and you’re walking down into a crypt to see a chapel with stone icons – including Jesus. You deal with this really intense puzzle where you have to reflect light to a window. Outside, there’re these crosses on a mountain – and a cave. So you’re climbing and rappelling down a cliff and dealing with creeps with guns. You are hanging dangerously on a cliff and your brother Sam helps you with that and now you’re still rappelling but on deadly sharp rocks below and it’s slippery because, remember, this is still the snow season. But the crystal blue waters and the sunset were a site to see – even through this tension.

You’re finally in the cave; it’s dank and dusty but you have some  light from the sun. You’re going through the cave and do some wild parkour under ice and rocks made a long time ago. But this place is kinda amazing, lonely and old as time itself. There’s another puzzle that deals with light and positioning crosses and a bucket of water. Moving forward through the rocky depths, you overhear your old friend Nadine talking to her henchman. You meet her in about an hour and she calls me “naughty” for sneaking around. She is a tough woman, ready to kick my butt in.

Near here, I got really confused. I didn’t really didn’t know what to do to solve a puzzle. But I finally figured it out and then Nadine has an army of goons backing her up and they have guns. You and Sam try to escape through explosions and rubble and ice to get to your plane and your friend Sully. Just before that, the ground was crumbling and magically before your feet you found a map of Madagascar. You remember that the long dead pirate Henry Avery always said death will bring you to paradise. You have found a number of items and clues, and all the clues are coming together.

So finally you have make it to Madagascar, and it was a paradise, a land of lemurs, weird trees and a big valley. Yeh, you’re still searching for clues with Sam for emblems and such and pieces of a map. But I stop to check out the peacefulness. This place is beautiful. For a minute, I thought I was there, and the ocean was real. It was so clear and the beaches were just amazing. But I know I gotta stop playing around, and start the adventure again. So we can find this big time pirate treasure.

Isaiah Soto is a writer who is part of our Lower East Side Videogame Critics Circle.

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