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We don't need Uncharted 4... yet

15 September 2013

Uncharted is Sony's star first-party franchise on PlayStation 3. It's risen to prominence in Naughty Dog's spectacular library of games, all three series games are undoubtedly PS3 killer apps, and each release has proved to be narrative game-changers for the industry. However, despite Uncharted only recently entering the limelight, I posit that the series needs a break. It's the only thing fitting for Uncharted's continued relevance.

The series' ream of emulators could be its downfall. Uncharted left a great impact on game design with its cinematic approach and immersive, setpiece moments, but rarely is Uncharted's brand of action-adventure gameplay improved upon by those who draw inspiration from it. However, a string of emulations can make any new installment of the source material seem rather tired. This is evident in the world of first-person shooters, with Doom 3, the sequel to genre-founding Doom, being received in far from the most incredible fashion after comparisons were drawn with other shooters that had built upon the series' foundations.

The Uncharted series may not survive by branching out from gameplay expectations. Having a hub-world a la Tomb Raider might sound good on paper, but the series currently relies on working within a tight narrative and environmental structure. Bringing the same story and characters into a game that isn't fast-paced, globe-trotting pulp would just be bizarre. The latest Tomb Raider worked because it was a reboot and therefore could play loose with expectations.


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