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 posts. But travel the world through the magic of video games. Video game tourist posts.
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 simple slideshow of travel pictures, to watching a 3D movie in an Imax cinema.
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, an experience I could lose myself in for hours. 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 undoubtedly one of the best 2016 titles when it comes to world trekking and virtual tourism. To share, I actually bought the game specifically for these purposes.
USA and Italy
Uncharted 4 Travel Itinerary 1: USA and Italy
All screenshots are, of course, the property of Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment.
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 dearly is testimony of how well-designed this game is. In every way, it deserves all the acclaim it received.
One function in Uncharted 4 that I especially love 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 at every other corner. Just so to drink in my fill of all that CG splendor.
Before All Else …
Our “facilitator” for this video game tourist tour. Mr. Nathan Drake, Thief Extraordinaire.
Other than being a tutorial, the first chapter of the game gives a good feel of the quality of graphics and 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, these being 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 online discussions, the city could be either Boston or New York.
Italy conjures up many images when it comes to tourism. 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 or have superhuman acrobatic skills, I think this is the closest you can ever come to exploring such an estate this way. 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 …
Two more images of the real-life places that inspired Rossi Estate.
That’s all for this inaugural video game tourist post.
If you enjoyed it, please consider getting a copy of Uncharted 4 – A Thief’s End!
Continue to part 2, where we visit a desolate corner of chilly Scotland!