Where could Uncharted 4's DLC take us?

Opinion
June 8, 2016 by Lucas Croft

Given the game's unusual ending, it might not even be about Nathan Drake.

Obviously, this piece contains spoilers for the ending to Uncharted 4!

For the first time in the franchise’s history, Uncharted will be receiving post-release story DLC. At this point, there’s no announced information about what the DLC is actually going to cover.

The ending of Uncharted 4 leaves open the possibility, however, that the DLC will not necessarily be just about Nathan Drake himself. There are a lot of beloved characters in the Uncharted universe who’ve been around since the beginning, and A Thief’s End introduces a few new ones who would be interesting to flesh out. Here is a look at 5 different characters that Uncharted’s DLC could cover.

Cassie:

The epilogue of Uncharted 4 reveals that Nate and Elena eventually adopt a semi-pedestrian lifestyle and start a family. We are introduced to their only child, a daughter named Cassie.

Uncharted 4’s Creative Directors, Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, have experience in creating compelling stories revolving around teenage female characters— see The Last of Us and its DLC. So, allowing the player to take over as Cassie in the story-DLC is within the wheelhouse of the talent making Uncharted 4.

Despite leaving the game and locking away the memories of their past life in an armoire, Nate and Elena are raising an adventurer. In the few short moments the player gets to play as the Drake’s daughter, they discover that Cassie has a penchant for treasure hunting, a love for history, and her father’s innate ability to go poking around in places she doesn’t belong.

A magazine clipping titled “It Runs In the Family” can be found in Cassie’s room. On the cover she is photographed in front of ancient ruins. Perhaps the story DLC could flesh out what exactly Cassie did to become a storied treasure hunter at such an early age? The premise would be unique because it could completely eliminate the need for combat, instead focusing on traversing fascinating ruins and solving puzzles.

Young Sullivan

Sullivan is one of the most beloved characters in the Uncharted series, yet we know very little about his life prior to meeting Nathan while on a job in Colombia. For the bulk of the story, keeping Nate out of too much trouble has been Sullivan’s primary role. But who was Victor Sullivan the freelance thief before he met Nate? What was the Sully who was in love with Marlowe like?

The DLC could give a glimpse into just what life as young Sully could have been like prior to or during his job with Marlowe. How did he discover the astrolabe and ring were somehow connected to Drake’s treasure?

Nadine

Nadine Ross showed so much promise when she was revealed in a trailer at the 2015 PlayStation Experience. Her debut scene in Uncharted 4 shows her not only holding her own in a fight against Drake, but besting him in hand-to-hand combat. Nadine looked as though she could be Uncharted’s most cunning and capable villain yet.

As the story went on, however, her character became weaker and weaker. Shoreline is not a mercenary army that she herself built, it is one that she inherited from her father after he got them involved in several civil wars that didn’t pan out for them. Then, in the final scenes of the game, Nadine attempts to tuck tail and run, Rafe buys the mercenaries out from under her, and she is forced to go to Avery’s ship against her will. In her final scene, rather than dealing with the man who stabbed her in the back directly, she seals off a door in the hops that he will burn alive. This character who could’ve been so much more, fails to measure up to the pedigree of Uncharted villains such as Talbot, Eddy Raja, and Lazarevic.  

We still know very little about Nadine, and there are multiple directions a story DLC based around her could go. It could show how she earned her mercenaries respect as their commander, or tell the story of how how she came to be so accomplished in hand-to-hand combat. It could flesh out just what her and Sullivan’s relationship was before running into one another at the Rossi Estate.

More interestingly, it could follow her into the future. Nadine is the only Uncharted villain who survives their respective game, and maybe there is a reason for that. Where does she go when she escapes the island now that most of her men are dead, and the ones who are left betrayed her?

Sully and Sam

Nate may be ready to get out of the game again by the time Uncharted 4 reaches its conclusion, but his long-time partner, Sully, and his brother, Sam, realize that this is the life for which they were made. At the end of chapter 22, as Nate and Elena head back to the lives they left behind, the scene cuts to Sully and Sam talking on the dock. Sully tells Sam about a “business deal of sorts” that he was engaged in prior to being dragged into the chase to find Libertalia.

This would be a much more traditional approach to the Uncharted gameplay and storytelling, as we follow Sully and Sam to Portugal to see just how dangerous the people Sullivan is engaged with really are. Sam has just as deep a knowledge of history as Nate does, and Sullivan is still wily enough to be interesting in his old age.

Nate and Elena

Nate and Elena’s relationship is on the rocks for almost the entirety of the game-- even if we had no expectation of it ending. The beginning of the game gave players a glimpse into what “happily ever after” looks like for Nate and Elena, but their happy lives seemed a bit too ordinary for fans of the couple to be comfortable with the life they settle into. When the adventure picked up, however, Nate and Elena were separated-- then reunited for an odd sequence where Nate tried to probe whether or not their relationship was going to be ok while they simultaneously faced the impossible odds of saving Sam from Shoreline.

If the story DLC follows Nate and Elena to the Malaysia job, it could allow people to celebrate the two aspects of Nate and Elena’s relationship that are so endearing. The first is their penchant for treasure-hunting and adventure. Much like the Cassie option, following Nate and Elena to the Malaysia job could provide for an interesting look at an adventure that is free of combat.

Secondly, it would allow the players to see Nate and Elena interacting the way that made Chapter 5: A Normal Life so great. The two have excellent chemistry, and it would be a tragedy if fans didn’t get at least a little bit of time to just see the two of them working together without Nate being in the doghouse.