The open-world chapters in Madagascar are the best segments of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
(All screenshots are, of course, the property of Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment)
Uncharted 4 Travel Itinerary 3: Madagascar
The Madagascar chapters took the gaming world by storm when Uncharted 4 was released. I mean, open-world style driving for just one chapter? With river plains as far as the eyes can see, and all sorts of treasures to dig and uncover?
What tops that?
The short of it, if you’ve ever dreamed of going on a road trip in Africa, if you’ve ever dreamed of any road trip, you will love this chapter of Uncharted 4. Titled, The Twelve Towers.
At this point, allow me to also give mention to something that truly awed me while I was playing this chapter. Nope, it wasn’t the vibrant colour palette. Nor was it the quirky dialogue Sully and Sam regularly dish out.
It’s the mud. THE MUD. Silly as this might sound, I was utterly fascinated by the physics assigned. Not only does the mud has an impact on your driving, it splashes everywhere if you drive or waddle into it.
Best of all, it washes off if you go under a waterfall. Short of tropical heat and smell actually emanating from the PlayStation, I think this is as realistic as a game can get, as far as an African trek is concerned. If you have the pleasure of playing this chapter with a VR kit on, I’m sure you would appreciate the experience even more.
Once again, our facilitator. Mr. Nathan Drake
And our virtual trip …
Fictitious Port City in Madagascar
In reality, Nathan’s actual journey in Uncharted 4 involves only four locations. New Orleans, Italy, Scotland, and Madagascar.
The feeling one gets when playing, though, is that of a much longer and far more extensive trip. In my opinion, Naughty Dog generated this illusion by always having dramatic changes of scenery in between story arcs.
One moment you’re in frosty Scotland, the next you are washing off mud in an African stream.
After explosive encounters in the Madagascar outback, you are dropped right in the heart of a bustling marketplace.
And for said marketplace, it’s like, all of a sudden, you are surrounded by the sights and sounds of everyday life. So many things on sale. So many people!
The resulting feeling is remarkably similar to that of a tourist stepping into an unfamiliar city for the first time. You will be giddy for a while. You might even panic a little out of anxiety about not being able to check out everything.
To share, I spent over half an hour exploring every stall and corner before I so very reluctantly continued with the main quest. I momentarily even hated the burden of the main quest.
Firstly, Some Real-Life References …
Uncharted 4 King’s Bay City
That Crazy Escape …
Now, if you’ve played the game, or have read reviews about it, you’d know that the port city chapter contains one of the most thrilling segments of the game.
Without giving away the details, let me just say that it’s incredible, unbelievable even, that Naughty Dog created an entire city just for this part.
Mind you, I’m not talking about nondescript streets and run-of-the-mill houses haphazardly strung together for a *** *****. There’s such a variety of architecture and terrain during this segment, you do feel as if you are charging across an entire city when trapped in this segment. (Regrettably, with not enough time to gawk, might I add)
Did Naughty Dog do this because Uncharted 4 is Nathan’s swansong, and they wanted the series to end with a bang? My guess, absolutely.
More Real-Life References
If you enjoyed this cyber visit of Madagascar,
consider getting a copy of Uncharted 4 – A Thief’s End.
Read my other Video Game Tourist posts.