Let's Travel the World with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Let’s Travel the World with Uncharted 4 (Part 1) – USA and Italy

Right. I’m going to start on a theme I’ve been thinking about since starting this blog. Travel

Not wanderlust, top-10 places you must see kind of travel lists. But travel the world through the magic of video games.

Virtual tourism is not a new concept, but as of this moment I think it’s remains pretty undefined. Depending on who’s writing about it, it could be anything from a stunning hour with the latest VR gadgets, to enjoying a slideshow of static travel pictures.

For me, virtual tourism is that teleportation experience when I’m completely lost in a video game. With today’s graphics and technology, and especially with open-world games, this could get amazingly immersive. Addictive even, I should say. Anyway, for this inaugural post, I’m going to use images and locations from the PS4 exclusive title Uncharted 4. This Indy Jones / James Bond like adventure is undoubted one of the best 2016 titles when it comes to world trekking. Just to share, I actually bought the game purely for that purpose.

Quick Links

USA and Italy

Scotland

Madagascar

Libertalia

Uncharted 4 Travel Itinerary 1: USA and Italy


All screenshots are, of course, the property of Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment.


Foreword

Accolades for Uncharted 4 could easily fill an entire web-site, so I wouldn’t go into that.

I’d just share that I’ve never played any Uncharted games prior to this, so the whole hook and wall-scaling system was more than a little challenging for me.

On top of which I had absolutely no idea who Nathan Drake was. That the game quickly “hooked” me and that I ended up loving all the main characters is a testimonial of how well-designed this game is. In every way, it deserves the acclaim it received.

One of the functions I love most in Uncharted 4 is photo-mode. Now, this Instagram-like function could get quite distracting at times, because oh gosh, how easy it is to lose yourself in all those filters and adjustments!  At the same time, it also suited my original purpose for buying the game, to the extent I felt Naughty Dog was thanking my purchase through it. I can’t begin to tell you how often I died, after exiting photo-mode, because I forgot what I was doing prior to go into screen-shot craze. Instead of rampaging through every chapter, I also lingered and gawked, just to drink in my fill of all that CG splendor.

Before All Else …

Our “facilitator” for this tour. Mr. Nathan Drake, Thief Extraordinaire.

Nathan Drake: The Scrawny Teenage Version.
Nathan Drake: The sulky teenage version.

USA

Other than being a tutorial, the first chapter of the game gives a good feel of the quality of graphics and scenery diversity to expect from Uncharted 4. There is just so much detail in every room and corner. Regularly, the game also throws at you “oh-wow” moments, for this brief chapter, those glimpses of a modern skyline against the bluish night sky. My only disappointment here is that the game isn’t clear on the location of Nathan’s orphanage. Based on various online discussions, the city is either Boston or New York.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™ - Right Outside the Orphanage
The first photo I took using photo mode. I love how you can so easily tilt the screen to increase visual tension.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™ - Chapter 1
This blend of historical and modern has a strong Gotham City feel to me. Do you feel the same?

Italy

Italy conjures up many images for tourist. One of which is that of exotic villas perched atop precarious cliffs, basking in golden sunlight and surrounded by fragrant citrus groves. Spread over two chapters, the Rossi Estate arc of the game brings you around, thru, and even atop such an estate as Nathan and gang attempt to steal an important artefact. Unless you actually own such a villa and have superhuman acrobatic skills, I think this is the closest you can ever come to exploring such an estate. Incidentally, the first of the two chapters was also the one I found the least treasures in. I was that occupied with taking screenshots every other minute.

First Of All, Some References …

The Southern Italian commune of Positano. Famous worldwide for its distinct tiers of houses.
The Southern Italian commune of Positano. Famous worldwide for its distinct tiers of houses.
View from Villa Rufolo. A famous estate in the Amalfi Coast.
View from Villa Rufolo. A famous estate in the Amalfi Coast. Source: Sudodana2048

Rossi Estate

Uncharted 4 - Overview of the Rossi Estate
I’ve loved European castles and villas since young, thanks to CastleVania playing. Naturally, the Rossi Estate is my favourite area in Uncharted 4.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™ - Outside Rossi Estate
This is so obviously inspired by Positano and the Amalfi Coast. Down to those hairpin turns.
Let's Travel the World with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™
This scene just screams Amalfi Coast to me. (Sorry about the interface. I forgot to turn it off)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™: Rossi Estate Citrus Garden
I bet the Rossi Estate makes their own Limoncello!
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™: Rossi Estate interior.
The amount of interior detail is impressive in Uncharted 4. This looks exactly like the drawing rooms you’d see in any European villa or palace tours.
Let's Travel the World with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™
Nate’s got that right. This area is breathtaking.
Let's Travel the World with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™
Another shot of the ballroom.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™: Rossi Estate Food Storeroom
Okay, there’s nothing touristy about this one. But again I wishto highlight how much detail there is in the background design of Uncharted 4. Don’t these supplies make you think of Italian food immediately?
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™: Rossi Estate Wine Cellar
Let’s have a little Italian wine tasting, shall we?
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™ : A Thief's View.
Let’s travel the world with … a thief’s view.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™: Rossi Estate
Romantic giardino at evening time.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™: Rossi Estate
This is hard for me to explain because I have no architectural background. I love Mediterranean design for the way structures “pile” on top of each other. It gives a very eclectic feel.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™: Rossi Estate night.
What mystery and fortune this staircase leads to?
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End™: Rossi Estate escape.
Lastly, the great thing about seeing the world with video games, is that you never just get to do touristy things. (This is an EXAMPLE. Please don’t go overseas to shoot at people!)

More Reference

Two more images of the real-life places that inspired Rossi Estate.

The Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast.
Lake Como.
Okay. This is Lake Como in Northern Italy. But you easily see the similarities of layout and design.

That’s all for this post.
If you enjoyed what you’ve read, consider getting a copy of Uncharted 4 – A Thief’s End


Continue to part 2, where we visit a desolate corner of chilly Scotland!

 

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About Scribbling Geek

The geek divides his free time between video games, movies, anime, and attempting to write decent short stories. Oh, and trying not to sprain his fingers from playing demisemiquavers on his Electone.

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