Uncharted 4: 4 things Naughty Dog must include in Nathan Drake's next outing

Ever since Naughty Dog confirmed that it would be returning to much-lauded Uncharted franchise for PlayStation 4 late last year, speculation has run rampant as to what Nathan Drake’s next adventure would entail. While the Sony studio is keeping details close to its chest right now, it doesn’t stop us from putting on our thinking caps and coming up with a wishlist of various bits and bobs we’d love to see Naughty Dog incorporate into the new Uncharted.

With that said, here’s 4 things we think would make Uncharted 4 a killer hit.

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Nathan Drake

Okay, so this may be an obvious thing to say, but we want Drake back. Ever since the teaser trailer, there has been some conjecture that the cheeky chappie treasure hunter won’t be in the new title, as it may take the form of a prequel or even a historical action-adventure. While that would be fine for another series, Uncharted is synonymous with its cocky lead protagonist, and separating the two would mean disaster as far as we’re concerned. Whatever happens, Drake needs to be at the centre of it all -- he’s the heart and soul of the series, after all.

Take a leaf out of Golden Abyss’s book

One of the best things about Uncharted: Golden Abyss is the myriad of the collectibles on offer. Sure, Uncharted has always had hidden treasures to obtain, but they never amount to more than just a twinkle in the environment for you to nab. Golden Abyss actually gave the meaning, allowing you to examine them and find out more about their history, with some brief exposition by Drake himself. It was great, and totally in harmony with who Drake is: he’s a treasure hunter, after all. We think Naughty Dog could take a leaf out of Bend’s book and incorporate a deeper treasure system for Uncharted 4, perhaps interweaving pick-ups into the story arc for full effect.

Overhaul the climbing mechanics

Uncharted’s platforming sections are intuitive and fluid, although there’s a little too much hand-holding going on. A lot of the time, you’d merely hold the direction you need to traverse, and hit the X button to jump -- not exactly a challenge, we think you’ll agree. Compared to Tomb Raider - even the old PSOne titles - Nathan Drake’s precarious cliff climbing feels a bit too safe. As such, we’d like to see the mechanics completely overhauled for his next-generation debut. Aside from putting you in more control of the climbing itself, why not equip Drake with some new tools? How about some rope traversal or using a pickaxe, similar to a certain Miss. Croft. Tomb Raider pioneered the action-adventure genre back in the day: now it’s time for Uncharted to reinvent it for a new generation.

Better puzzles

Call us boring and old, but we want to use our brains a bit more in Uncharted. Back in the days of the PSOne, far greater emphasis was placed on strapping on our thinking caps in the action-adventure genre, and that’s something we’d like to see return with Uncharted 4. Sure, the series’ past offerings haven’t been too bad, but something less linear and a bit more open-ended wouldn’t hurt. Exploration is in Drake’s DNA, so a little snooping around the environment wouldn’t feel incongruous with Uncharted’s core adventuring. Overall, if Uncharted 4 offers a bit more of a cerebral adventure this time around - not at the expense of the sumptuous set-pieces and shootouts, we might add - then we’ll be Happy as Larry.

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