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?
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 give mention too to something that truly awed me while playing this chapter. Nope, it wasn’t the vibrant colour palette. Nor was it the quirky dialogue Sully and Sam dished out. It’s the mud. THE MUD. Silly as this might sound, I was fascinated by the physics assigned. Not only does the mud has an impact on your driving, it actually splashes everywhere if you drive or waddle into it. Best of all, it washes off when you go under a waterfall. Short of tropical heat or smell actually emanating from the PlayStation, I think this is as realistic as a gaming can get, as far as an African trek is concerned. It makes me truly envious of those who can get to play this chapter with a VR kit on.
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 several explosive encounters in the Malagasy outback, you are dropped right in the heart of a bustling marketplace. All of a sudden you are surrounded by the sights and sounds of everyday life. So many things on sale. So many people! The accompanying feeling is remarkably similar to that of a tourist stepping into an unfamiliar city for the first time. It makes you giddy. You might even feel a little panicky.
And oh, the amount of things to see in this marketplace! I spent half an hour exploring every stall and corner, before I so very reluctantly continued with the main quest.
“King’s Bay” City in Uncharted 4
That Crazy Escape …
Now, if you’ve played the game, or have read reviews about it, you’d know that the port city chapter also contains one of the most thrilling segment of the game. Without giving away what this segment is, 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 repetitive streets and run-of-the-mill houses haphazardly stringed together. There’s such a variety of architecture and terrain, you do actually feel you are r*****ing through an entire city when trapped in this segment. (Regrettably, with not enough time to gawk, might I add) Did Naughty Dog go to this extent because Uncharted 4 is meant to be Nathan’s swansong, and they wanted the series to end with a bang? My guess, absolutely.