I’m over a year late to the party here, but I’ve finally got my hands on Uncharted 4. (Shout out to my girlfriend’s mum, who gave me a PlayStation Store voucher for my birthday which paid for the purchase.) I’m up to the fifth chapter, and it feels like, well, an Uncharted game – albeit an exquisitely polished, jaw-droppingly pretty Uncharted game. Some 17 months after its release, Uncharted 4 still beats the crap out of any other PS4 title in the looks department, at least for my money.
This series has always felt like the gaming equivalent of comfort food to me: bags of humour and good old fashioned adventure, amazing set pieces, stunning visuals. Between the breathless action sequences I’m always stopping to admire the intricate detail in every level, marvelling at the decaying beauty of an abandoned building, or the way the moonlight illuminates a darkened room. I’m only a couple of hours into Uncharted 4, but it’s already making me turn to my girlfriend and say, “have you seen how good this game looks?” with alarming frequency.
I don’t think that a game needs to have photorealistic graphics to be visually appealing, and one of the best things about video games is that they can be beautiful in so many different ways – the world of indie development has some of the most inspired, unique art you’re likely to see in any medium. But making something as gorgeous as Uncharted 4 involves the superhuman effort of so many artists, designers and programmers, and I felt compelled to give them some love. Here are a few examples of Uncharted 4 making other video games look like they were designed on an Etch-a-Sketch from 1994.
Have there been times when a video game looked so good it made you spit out your coffee and shout profanities at the screen? Are there any games you feel deserve special mention for their unique art style? Do you feel that graphics aren’t as important as other components of a game? Let me know in the comments.