Lead character Nathan Drake in A Thief's End. Naughty Dog

This month's Game Informer includes an in-depth cover feature on Naughty Dog's upcoming adventure Uncharted 4: A Thief's End which reveals new gameplay and plot details.

The feature isn't yet available online, but details have been gathered from the magazine by Gematsu, who report that confirmation of a multiplayer mode was included in the preview.

A Thief's End takes place three years after Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and starts with lead character Nathan Drake living happily with his love Elena Fisher until the arrival of Nate's thought-to-be-dead older brother Sam.

Sam is five years older than Nathan and his disappearance is said to be what drove Drake to a life of treasure hunting in previous games. He is more reckless than the game's star and a little jealous of his brother's achievements, generating a rivalry between the two.

Played by The Last of Us star Troy Baker, Sam made his first appearance at the end of a recent gameplay video shown off at Sony's PlayStation Experience event. He will be an AI companion in the adventure and is likened to Ellie in The Last of Us.

The Drake brothers travel to Libertalia, "a mythic Madagascar colony purportedly founded by pirates", but other parts of the game will be set in snowy and urban locales.

Rival adventurers Rafe and Nadine are supposedly the games' villains. Rafe is described as very different from Nate in terms of "morale and approach" and Nadine is said to own a private military company in South Africa, which should provide ample hired goons for the Drake brothers to mow through.

Gematsu also list a few other details lifted from the preview...

  • Elena and Sully are teased to appear.
  • Artefacts will return, and might contain notes pointing to more treasures and artefacts.
  • Enemies can grab your leg if you try to push them over ledges.
  • The A.I. system has been overhauled. Sam's A.I. is compared to that of Ellie from The Last of Us. Naughty Dog are trying to "explore what it's like to be with somebody as capable of Nathan Drake."
  • There are more tools outside of the rope and piton (metal spike). Naughty Dog wants to incorporate them into puzzles.
  • Navigational freedom is a large focus. Game Informer was shown multiple paths, one leading to an extra cave, the other bypassing a group of enemies. The demo shown to the magazine saw Drake taking a riskier climbing route that almost made him fall into the sea. While all paths have consequences, there is no "Golden Path."
  • "So now our concept of a set piece is 'what's something impactful we can do to switch expectations and how can we have it emotionally charged?' We want to constantly surprise the player, so it can be really intimate, or really big and bombastic."
  • Cut-scenes are all in real-time.
  • Humour is still aplenty.
  • There will be multiplayer.
  • Naughty Dog won't say if this will be the last Uncharted.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will be released on PS4 later this year.