Uncharted 4 Story Trailer: Hidden Graphical Details That You May Have Missed

Naughty Dog’s Uncharted story trailer is packed with visual awesomeness.

Posted By | On 28th, Feb. 2016 Under Article, Graphics Analysis | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

A couple of days ago, Naughty Dog released the story trailer of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and quite honestly, it will not be an overstatement to say that it’s one of the most gorgeous pre-release footage of any video game we have seen in recent years. Phenomenal image quality and pushing the hardware to its limit is something we expect from Naughty Dog but this trailer has proven that Nathan Drake’s last adventure will truly be a step above from their previous work.

Note: Before we go ahead, we recommend watching the video below. It will result into a far better experience as we are able to point out details better in the video.



In the first screenshot we see the Drake brothers are standing near a bridge. Right off the bat you can observe an excellent use of screen space reflections on the water, with the amount of detail varying in proportion to the viewing area to the far and distant objects such as the buildings. You can also see volumetric lighting effects in action on the bridge’s pillar with light casting on its beams which in turn is casted back to the water surface. The game’s engine is using physical based rendering for depicting realistic lighting effects so intricate details such as light bouncing off the motorcycle’s fuel tank can be observed. In the second screenshot, we get a look at the trailer’s first few moments of fantastic facial animation technology which we will talk about in a bit.


Next, we see both Sam and Nathan wandering in what looks like a forest. Here we can see the use of depth of field in the background. Furthermore, you can observe that the light rays from the torch are bouncing on Drake’s fingers and back to his coat. Another interesting detail that we observed is that snow is accumulating on their coats. Whether this will be a dynamic feature is something that remains to be seen. One last detail that can be observed in this scene is Sam’s shadow. We can observe that as he moves his shadow dynamically shifts from the ground over to the foliage. This is a really nice touch.


The trailer also shows Sam and Nathan opening some sort of a puzzle door. There is nothing much to talk about here but we can see the light from Drake’s torch clashing with the incoming rays through the door in a realistic manner.


The scene above is one of our favorites from the trailer. The amount of detail in this shot is beyond ridiculous as it looks almost like a painting! This scene utilizes extensive use of fog and other volumetric effects along with an excellent use of anisotropic filtering on the ground surface. This is also one of the first scenes in the trailer that reaffirms the fact that most levels in the game will be open ended, ditching the somewhat linear paths from the previous games.


Moving ahead, it’s quite easy to get distracted with scenes such as the above but there is a tiny little detail here that is easy to miss out. When the vehicle comes to a standstill, the dirt flow changes its direction. Details such as this aren’t really expected in video games but it just goes to show how beautifully this game has been crafted. This scene is in many ways is similar to the previous one but there are minor negatives. If you observe the trees in the distance, you will notice flat textures. This isn’t a show stopper but for the observant type, such minor issues can drag down the experience.


Next we see Drake inside a water body. Nothing much to talk about here but we observed the light rays dynamically fall through the water depending on the direction where Drake is swimming.



Further into the trailer we see Sully and Sam discussing some serious topics and within that moment of seriousness it’s easy to forget the cloth simulation. Sully’s tie moves in relation to his hand and shoulder movement and Sam’s collars move in relation to his jaw movement. Quite immaculate!



In these scenes we see Drake stuck as water fills up dynamically in the vehicle. Whether Drake survived the jump is a question for another day, but the volumetric water fall effect is a sight to behold.


Later on the trailer reintroduces us to Nadine. One shot in particular speaks volumes about Naughty Dog’s lighting tools. The light rays are seeping through the hut and are dynamically casting shadows on Nadine’s clothes, hair and face and then as she moves her face, the shadows change their position accordingly.


This particular close up shot of Drake shows the complex use of sub surface scattering and skin shaders. Light rays getting casted off his shoulder belt and the dirt getting accumulated on his skin look absolutely wonderful due to the physical based rendering pipeline.


The trailer also introduces us to an old man. The beauty of this is how realistically his throat nerves and wrinkles are handled as he asks Drake, “whether he is ready to seek his fortune.”


And it won’t exactly be an Uncharted game if it does not include Drake jumping through a window or two. We are not sure whether the game has a complete dynamic destruction of objects. Some objects can obviously be completely destroyed but whether it’s up to the level of DICE’s Frostbite engine is unknown at this time. The reason why we are bringing this up is because in this shot you can see the window getting literally smashed into little pieces of wood and glass. We will know the full details about this when the game launches.



Naughty Dog weren’t joking when they said their animation tools will be high-end. During the video, the shock on Nathan Drake’s face is priceless. This is then followed by a sad look on Elena’s who is literally crying. Next we see the Drake brothers sitting on a bike as dynamic light is cast from the headlight over the foliage and wall on the left.


So yes, Elena is not happy with Drake. This is quite visible by her cheek and eye gestures.



Close to the end of the trailer we see Drake and Sam travelling in a ship, full steam ahead. There does not seem to be any texture streaming or pop in issues in this scene. Further shots show an excellent use of global illumination and the effects of implementing a PBR pipeline.



Now this is one shot that clearly explains why facial gestures are going to play a big role in the game. Elena is obviously talking about something, but Drake is clearly not interested as he looks at something else. And that something is a beautiful island. The trailer ends with a stream of destruction and chaos which are most likely scripted events.

Well, that about wraps it up. It’s interesting to note how far the game has come along when it was first shown off at E3 2014. Just like in previous Uncharted games, Naughty Dog keeps their best stuff in the main game itself so we are intrigued to see what those moments are. We are quite sure that the actual game will have more visual defining moments which we will cover when the game launches next month.

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    “Moving ahead, it’s quite easy to get
    distracted with scenes such as the above but there is a tiny little
    detail here that is easy to miss out. When the vehicle comes to a
    standstill, the dirt flow changes its direction.”

    I watched the trailer in details and even watched the trailer you posted with highlighted yellow circle but I couldn’t understand what you mean. I noticed mud getting stacked on the wheels and getting progressively solid which is a very nice detail but I couldn’t understand what do you mean by: “the dirt flow changes its direction.”
    Can you further explain please? Thanks.

  • Truth™

    No texture filtering, geometry and tessellation downgrades along with obvious LOD pop in. And animating enemies at a distance at 15FPS and downgrading their polygon counts?

    LMAO the downgrade is real. So much for the “Supercharged PC”

  • AndrewLB

    Still looks sub-par when compared to… https://youtu.be/3LWg4gy8P8Y

  • Mamoru Takamura

    I just checked the full comparison of graphics
    here http://bit.ly/1KQJ2yN

  • Mr Xrat

    And the Xgimps resort to making up more downgrades. What a shame they have to suffer through another games drought.

    • Truth™

      Ruggarell crying after everyone laughed at the downgraded press X to win game. Looks like DOTA 2 now. At least DOTA 2 has 60FPS 🙂


    • Katy Hill

      ❝my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….two days ago new McLaren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here:;/209➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:::::;/209……..a

    • DarthDiggler


      Have you lost your virginity yet?

    • Truth™
  • Ñosss!!!

    Is this a Joke? Where is now in the new trailer the Global Illumination? What wiil be next? Black barre?

    • Mr Xrat

      And here’s one of the aforementioned Xgimps with his compressed GIF. Try harder. 🙂

    • Cenk Algu

      lol Rat this Trailer mostly from extra polished cut scenes.You think it is in game play haha.

    • Mr Xrat

      Amusing coming from the same tool who fell for QB’s smokes and mirrors, especially after the Hitman beta embarrassed it. 🙂

    • Truth™

      Poor ruggarell. That list of PS4 games is getting shorter than your d*ck 🙂


    • Cenk Algu

      lol Rat you must be the most deluded PS fantard on Earth haha

    • Cenk Algu

      QB looking by far better than this downgraded thing!

    • Mr Xrat


      Good one!

    • Cenk Algu

      yeahh facts hurt;)

    • razrye

      It is in game you failed abortion

    • 7thlevel JR

      stop crying over a movie nig nog

    • razrye

      You must be new to gaming

    • Cenk Algu

      lol haha!

    • Ñosss!!!
    • Mr Xrat

      All I’m seeing is a game that looks better than anything on the Shitbox Done.

      Pendenjo. 🙂

    • Truth™

      Explain in ten tears or less why it looks like a PS2 game, ruggarell 🙂


    • Jeff Quartz

      “uncharted multiplayer beta” are you proud? The story trailer just showed how good the graphics get.

    • Truth™

      Showed how downgraded the graphics get and it’s not even 60FPS. LMAO

    • Jeff Quartz

      but that was the gamescom build… are you proud yet? Why not show the later builds that are actually intended for release?

    • Truth™

      Awwww. Poor ruggarell crying because his game got a massive lighting downgrade

      Run back and cry to guiseppe so he can make another damage control article, loser 🙂

    • DarthDiggler


      The only one who is crying here is you, every night when you go to bed because you know you are a pathetic virgin PC fanboy.

    • Truth™
  • DarthDiggler


    Is a little virgin boy who seems to think his opinion is more important than yours.


    • Truth™


  • DarthDiggler


    The only exposure you have had to the female anatomy is health class.


    • Truth™


  • DarthDiggler


    I would say you have had a downgrade in your sexlife, but you don’t have one.


  • Tyler Secrest

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4hHWGsT0_k All you XB-owners are full of it. Just pause and unpause quickly to catch the upgrade of graphics they performed.

    • Truth™

      PC Master race here. Keep on crying. The downgrade will always be real 🙂


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