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Dissecting The Characters Of Uncharted 4

by Andrew Reiner on Jan 16, 2015 at 08:00 AM

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End pushes players to unearth one of the greatest pirate treasures of all – Henry Avery’s stash, worth an estimated two to four hundred million dollars. For thrill-seeker Nathan Drake, Avery’s haul has been somewhat of a white whale. He’s chased it before, but has come up with nothing to show for his efforts. He abandoned his quest to find it, and recently put treasure hunting behind him altogether, settling into a life or normalcy with his other love, Elena.

He removed himself from the dangers of looking for dead men’s gold for approximately three years, until his brother Sam showed up. Sam is Nathan’s long-lost brother – a sibling he thought died many years ago. Sam’s surprising return comes with a hope: a new clue that could lead to the location of Avery’s haul. It also brings a price: coming out of retirement and turning his back on his family.

We don’t know how Nathan is lured away from his domesticated life – either by his own volition or by another means linked to his brother – but he plunges back into his old adrenaline-seeking self, and travels with his brother by boat to a small island off of Madagascar.

Through another series of events Naughty Dog is keeping shrouded in secrecy, Nathan and Sam find trouble on the high seas, leading to their boat crashing and the brothers being thrown overboard. They are separated by the harsh ocean currents. We learn that Nathan washes ashore with no knowledge of his brother’s location. A tropical storm blankets his vision and prevents him from searching until the rain ceases. Nathan's only option is to seek refuge in a cave. He has no equipment or means of contacting anyone. He doesn’t even know if Sam is still alive.

He knows one thing: He’s in the right place. He’s on the island he believes holds Avery’s treasure and the fabled pirate colony called Libertalia.

Whenever Naughty Dog’s scribes talk about Avery’s gold, the line ‘every treasure has its cost’ is delivered soon after. The cost, from what we know, will likely be personal to Nathan. Is part of that equation Sam? Elena? Could it be Sully? What about Nathan himself?

Naughty Dog hasn’t revealed much in terms of character development, or even who the key players of Uncharted 4 will be, but has dropped a few names and hints that give us an idea of who Nathan might be up against and adventuring with.

From the reunion with his brother, the strain of being away from his wife, and the race to find Avery’s riches before a band of rival treasure hunters do, Nathan’s life sounds like a whirlwind of chaos. He clearly isn’t going into this hunt with confidence, or people he can trust.

Over the next few pages, we’ve assembled all of the information we know about each of the characters in Uncharted 4, and also cast our own speculation as to how some of the series' familiar faces may be involved.

Up next... Nathan and his brother


What We Know:
Nathan is noticeably older, showing crow’s feet under his eyes, and the occasional highlight of gray in his hair and whiskers. He’s holstered his pistol to live a normal life at the side of his wife, Elena.

At the request of his brother, he turns his world upside down for another shot at an impossible treasure. We know he’s addicted to the chase, the danger, and the adrenaline coursing through his blood when he’s on the hunt. Twisting his arm to get back into the game may not be tough.

He doesn’t have his trusty companion Sully at his side for a portion of this adventure. Sully is a father figure of sorts to Nathan and a reliable voice of reason. Nathan is instead with his brother, a magnet for trouble who carries as much baggage as Nathan does secrets. The banter we’ve seen between the two brothers has an edge to it, potentially pointing at a lack of trust between them.

Naughty Dog has danced (not so lightly) around this adventure being Nathan’s last.

What We Think:
Three years is more than enough time for Nathan and Elena to have started a family. We wouldn’t be surprised if we learn about Nathan and Elena having a child or two. Conversely, we could find out that Nathan and Elena didn’t work in the domesticated setting. However, if you look closely at Nathan's notebook in the PlayStation Experience demo, you can see a note that reads “Call Elena", suggesting a desire to stay in close contact with her. There's also a chance this note hints at a more fantastical True Lies-esque situation in which Elena doesn’t know Nathan is on an adventure and he needs to check in with her frequently.

As for Nathan himself, we believe we will see more of his story unfold in flashback sequences similar to those in Uncharted 3. The focus of these moments will likely be on discovering who Nathan really is. If he isn’t a Drake, who is he? What has he been hiding? If this truly is his last chapter, Naughty Dog will likely flesh Nathan out and reveal all of the answers from his secret past.


What We Know:
Sam is roughly five years older than Nathan Drake. Naughty Dog confirmed that he does, in fact, have the same parents as Nathan. Sam has been missing for a big portion of Nathan’s life, and for reasons we don’t know yet, Nathan believed he was dead. Their reunion doesn’t sound like it involves much catching up or bonding, and instead revolves around trouble – trouble Sam brought into Nathan’s life.

Sam’s past is said to be dark, diving deep into the criminal underworld. He doesn’t keep the best of company, and is more reckless than Nathan. Although we have seen glimpses of Nathan’s rough childhood as an orphan, Sam’s youth is said to have been tougher. Naughty Dog’s scribes call him a “wild card.” Will he be a help Nathan or be a hindrance?

What We Think:
Why didn’t Sam let Nathan know he was alive all those years ago? That’s a big question that the game will likely answer. Did he intentionally go off of the radar so Nathan couldn’t find him? Or was he forced out of commission? Was he being held prisoner? Or something worse?

We have a feeling that Sam is going to create more tension between Nathan and Elena's relationship. And from what Naughty Dog has said about this surprising reunion, Sam is not a person that can be trusted. It’ll be interesting to see how Nathan weighs his options with Sam.


Up next... Elena, Sully, and the hunters


(image from Uncharted 3)
What We Know:
Naughty Dog has confirmed she is still married to Nathan, and was instrumental in getting him out of the game. She wants him to stay settled, knowing that it’s only a matter of time before he gets himself in serious trouble or killed. Naughty Dog avoided revealing anything more about Elena, dodging every question about what she’s been up to, and whether or not they may have children.

What We Think:
We have a feeling that Elena will eventually be reunited with Nathan and will be at his side for part of the search for Avery's treasure. Uncharted has always been a globetrotting adventure, and the line ‘every treasure has its cost’ implies the consequences will be personal. We don’t know where Nathan and Elena have set up their home, but we will likely see it when Sam comes calling. And where Sam goes, it sounds like trouble follows.

If Naughty Dog doesn’t go that bombastic with the plot, the 'cost' could also speak to Nathan losing Elena over his desire to seek another treasure. It sounds like treasure hunting is a sore spot between the couple, and Nathan running off on another adventure could be the final straw in their relationship.


(image from Uncharted 3)
What We Know:

He supported Nathan’s choice to retire, but is also his longtime partner in crime. In the teaser trailer released at last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, we hear Nathan and Sully talking about getting back into the game. Sully offers words of caution, but Nathan says “I don’t really have an option here. You know that.”

Nathan asks if he can count on Sully one last time. After a brief pause, Sully says “All right, kid. Let’s go do it. One last time.” If this dialogue takes place at the beginning of the game, which we believe it does, it sounds like the adventure starts with Sully and Nathan together.

What We Think:
Sully has likely remained close to the family, but we’re not sure if he knows Sam or if Nathan has been truthful about his upbringing. Sully's known Nathan the longest out of the previous cast, but writer Josh Scherr said that Sully doesn’t know everything about Nathan. It would be safe to assume that Sully and Sam’s personalities will clash and create conflict. If Nathan’s family is targeted, we wouldn’t be surprised if Sully is sent in to relocate or aid them.


What We Know:
Rafe is a rival treasure hunter who deploys different morals and approaches to obtain the objects of his desire. He partners with Nadine Ross to pursue Avery’s treasure, a union that adds fire power and muscle to his questionable methods.

What We Think:
Much like the light and dark side of the Force, we suspect Rafe will embody the dark side of treasure hunting, and Nathan the light. While it likely won’t be forecast that clearly, we suspect Rafe will be somewhat of a moral compass for Nathan, showing where Nathan could potentially go if he lets the allure of a treasure overcome his senses. We have a feeling Rafe will continually put people in harm’s way, and it sounds like we’ll see plenty of his actions in this game. Josh Scherr says that “We’re trying to get more moments with the bad guys, so we can get them to be a little more developed. “

And this is a long shot, but how cool would it be if control switched to the rival treasure hunters in certain sections of the game?


What We Know:
Nadine Ross is the owner of a South African security company, giving her a near endless supply of mercenaries and weapons. Her troops are highly trained, and are more capable combatants and trackers than we’ve seen in other Uncharted games. It sounds like she will stop at nothing to get the treasure. She sides with Rafe Adler to track it down.

What We Think:
We don’t know much about Rafe and Nadine’s relationship outside of the hunt. Are they new acquaintances? Are they even compatible in the field of work? As a head of a security company, we have a feeling that she’s domineering and more than capable of pushing others to get what she wants.

Here are some of Nadine's mercenaries. From the logos on their shirts, it looks like her company is called Shoreline.


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