Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016)

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End begins its game with an opening sequence that has various design elements that are telling of the themes and ideas that will be present throughout. The sequence’s visuals, typography, and use of lighting all set the stage for what kind of game Uncharted 4 is.

The entire title occurs within the pages of a journal that belongs to an adventurer of sorts. There are various sketches and notes scribbled throughout the pages of the journal which also includes ink splotches that spread on the page in an interesting wetting effect. The drawings of characters are in a very clean ink, however, sections of the page become muddled with these pools of ink that make way for a transition onto the next page. This makes for a fascinating visual effect and depictions that are very telling of the game and its characters. Looking through the contents of this journal, you can tell that these two individuals are adventurers who must struggle through exciting challenges as they explore. We are even able to see the name of the woman in these notes, implying that the protagonist of this game is the man beside her.

The typeset and transitions used for the typography throughout this sequence differs between the handwriting in the journal and the credits. The credits and names of people who worked on the game fade in with the ink transitions while also having a texture and color fitting in well with the journal pages behind it. The handwriting on these these pages slide into frame with the transition or are sometimes written on the page in that moment. The name of the game series itself, Uncharted, means not recorded or plotted on a map which is really helpful for understanding what the game might me about. Coupled with the images throughout the sequence, these are clearly the notes of an adventurer who is exploring uncharted areas in the world.

Most of the sequence has dark colors, such as inks that come in browns and blues, which set a mysterious tone for the adventures that are to be had in the game. Through the entire title sequence there is also a fisheye lens that darkens the edges of the screen, playing into the suspenseful sensation that comes with seeing the risky adventuring that these individuals are a part of. At the end, we see a sketch of the two hugging from behind and ink around the edges that close in on them for the final transition that ends the sequence. There is a feeling that this last transition conveys after all the dangerous situations we see them in, which is some kind of hopefulness and togetherness despite the dark times.

Discussion — One Response

  • Eric Pryor 04/14/2021 on 3:05 PM

    I love this game! The notebook is a cool detailed feature of the game that gets updated each level with new drawings and journal entries. The water and fire damage that the notebook shows in the intro sequence is a bit of foreshadowing for the amount of swimming and jumping through fire that happens during the game! Great analysis!

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