Spoilers for the end/epilogue of Uncharted 4
Ok! We’re gonna talk about the ending!
Good timing, me.
So the transition there….playing Crash Bandicoot again….I bit. I thought that it was Nate/Elena playing. And I was annoyed that I had to play the whole three life game, a bit, and was mad at self aware game being self aware, until two things happened: One, I realized I was better at it, and two, I realized I was playing as their daughter (took me no time to say “Holy shit, it’s their daughter….”). Let me say again: I REALIZED I WAS BETTER AT IT. And at FIRST that was cool, because “hey, I got better at jumping and stuff after 21 hours of this game! Skills!” but then….I’M not better…SHE’S better…..at running and jumping and…..
I hate it when self aware works, cuz I want to be mad at the self aware and I can’t be. Smug self aware game is smug.
That’s a cool way to set up a new character….
And I didn’t mind the walking/looking stuff that I minded in yesterday’s blog post. Part of that was, I think, knowing that “This is the happy ending” and I was enjoying the happy. But I thought it worked, and well. Because, again, we were THERE, in the moment.
But I can think of two questions to raise:
You buy it? I buy they went “legit.” Do I buy that they became famous? That they DID become Indiana Jones? I’m not sure. I can see them hanging up the guns and picking up cameras, and I guess it’s hard NOT to be famous if you’re taking pictures of, like, lost cities all the damn time, but…. Where I forgive is that it seems SHE wants that more than he does. ELENA got what Elena wanted from the very start. UC1 starts with HER making a show….she wins in the end. And good for her.
When you finished this game six months ago, you said it left a door open for sequels. You think Cassie? I think Cassie.
I was…not that much better at Crash Bandicoot this time. I mean, I was a little better, I did make it a bit farther, but honestly not so that I actually noticed it as specifically as you did. Very nice point, though…the PC, rather than the player, being better at something. (Rather like the nice, subtle work on the wimpening that we talked about earlier, where it wasn’t some big obvious YOU ARE WEAK thing, it was just a little harder to catch onto the ledges while climbing, your aim was a little worse, etc.)
Using mechanics to make things tougher or less tough as part of the character/story. Nicely done, Naughty Dog.
I also instantly figured it was their daughter. I mean, who else would it be? And I kind of enjoyed poking around the house looking for them, and figuring out what had happened in the 15 years or whatever since we last saw them. As you said yesterday, it’s nice to see that Sam and Sully are still kicking around, apparently healthy and happy, and with a good relationship with Nathan, Elena and Cassie. (This wandering around looking at stuff is SO the perfect lead-in to Gone Home, where that’s pretty much all you do. Play it!)
I did pretty much buy that Drake and Elena were able to be successful on the ‘legit’ side of the activities they’ve been pursuing for years. As you say, if you’ve got those skills, and decide to just document what you find instead of destroying it and leaving no trace, you’re going to be well-known in archaeological discoveries circles.
And also as you said, this is pretty much Elena’s dream come true, and it’s nice that she got that, and that Nathan also presumably got to continue with his preferred activities of climbing and jumping and poking around in ancient ruins. (I bet they miss the murderfests from time to time…but things change when one has a child. Some of the reckless activities of youth naturally tend to fall by the wayside: all-night partying, glamorous auctions, shooting hundreds of dudes…)
And yes, absolutely the door is open for another game starring Cassie. I would totally play that.
Well, I wasn’t an expert or anything, but it was more of a “Wow I was REALLY bad at this before and now I’m not that bad.” Noticeable. JUST enough to be noticeable.
Naughty Dog is good at that, they are.
I’m going to play Gone Home, dammit! I am! But not until I’m back from sun and rum and rum and sun. I leave first thing tomorrow. And I didn’t want to be halfway through a short game. I get the sense that’s a game you want to play in the span of a few days, if that. A week off would ruin it.
And on that………..the things from your youth bit……
Here they are, being very honest and famous and all that. And hiding EVERYTHING from the games…ALL FOUR GAMES (the cross is in there, too) from EVERYONE, including their kid. And when she finds it, they have “the talk,” with a joke about “that talk? No, the other one….” So hiding it is, what? Being ashamed of your indiscreet youth? But, if that’s the case, then how come finding it is coming of age? Finding it is “Now you can have the knowledge a grown up has.” That’s how they set it up.
Even the details seem to straddle a line. Cassie says ‘Is that you guys? with Sully? With a shotgun?’ with her eyes getting wide. She notices the shotgun. So is she saying “Wow….my parents were CRAZY in the old days, those crazy kids” or is it “Ok, now that she knows, we can tell her about those days, welcoming her into a shotgun toting adulthood?”
And if the next game stars Cassie, yeah, see, so that would mean that the whole shotgun thing, HAVING a shotgun, is the growing up part. Here ya go, Cassie, you’ve earned the right to have your own game. Load up. And I can’t tell if that undermines the metaphor here. But I guess if you can’t decide, and you ponder it, the art worked.
Yeah, true, you don’t want to start Gone Home and then take time off. All right, fine. Take your vacation.
I saw their concealment of the (violent, illegal) past as trying to protect Cassie from something risky, as if they basically know that as soon as she finds out about this, she’s in. Sort of the way parents hide youthful drug use, I suppose. (“Murdering 50 dudes…it’s a high like you’ve never experienced!”)
But given their response, which was less “oh no, she’s figured out the truth we hoped to hide forever” and more “well, we knew this day would come,” it does indeed seem that getting all into reckless adventure and murder is seen as a part of growing up. (“Sniff…it seems like only yesterday she was learning to walk, and now she’s shooting down helicopters with a grenade launcher!”)
Which, as you say, is sort of an interesting counterpoint to the overall ‘maturity means (sort of) settling down’ arc we’ve seen for Nathan.
Maybe, though, murderous adventure is one inevitable but temporary STAGE in growing up. (Temporary for some, anyway…others, like Sully and Sam, seem to never move past it.) Like, say, dating is often seen as a sign of a kid growing up, but it’s also seen as a stage, after which settling down with one person is seen as part of reaching maturity. (Interestingly, both Sully and Sam are still, as far as we know, single at the end of the game. The lovable bachelor scoundrel theme?)
Maybe going off on harebrained and violent adventures is what they expect of Cassie, but is also something they expect or hope to be part of her longer journey towards personal fulfillment and what-not. Something she’s going to do on her way to eventually settling down in some way and finding her own happy ending, whatever that looks like to her.
It’s heartstring-tuggingly sweet, is what it is. Awww….
Indeed, a questioning of ‘maturity means settling down.’ Especially as the taste for adventure thing isn’t it, it’s the nature of the adventure. Cassie’s ALREADY off raiding tombs and getting on magazine covers and all that. So it isn’t if the shift is from sitting around playing with dolls to violent murderous tomb raiding. The shift is from nice, normal world traveling adventure to murderous tomb raiding. And they seem kinda ok with that.
Boy I wish they do give Cassie her own game. I can’t wait to play a game with a female PC who has learned a taste for violent, exciting adventure from her treasure hunting parents, parlaying the fortunes of her family into even greater adventure, maybe even a television show. Maybe it’ll have rope arrows!
Hmm. I can see that. Adventuring as a stage in her life. I mean, most of this game was bookended between Nathan’s flashback childhood and the epilogue, which would put it in the area of adolescence. Makes some sense, really. He’s flirty, unreliable, erratic, moody…..
Our little sociopath is growing up so fast…..
They do grow up so fast. Siiiiigh. They do.
Before you know it, she’s impaling Nathan and Elena on spikes in the post-fungapocalypse!
There was no way we were gonna do a Naughty Dog game without bringing that up. Just made it. Respect.
We like our callbacks.