Maybe a video game can have too much detail?
The new PS4 Uncharted game Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is plenty likable, with lots of scenic vistas, exciting car chases, and all the other expected Uncharted trimmings. It’s also extremely good-looking, especially if you pay close attention.
Early in the game, protagonist Chloe Frazer and her partner Nadine Ross arrive in the Western Ghats of India to search for a long-lost artifact. It’s a larger, more open area than in past Uncharted games, so much so that the game gives Chloe a map to help her navigate. Like in a lot of other games, if you press the map button, the game will pause and she’ll take out her map so you can check your location.
Each time you find a new point of interest or temple, Chloe takes out her map and writes on it. Maybe she’ll cross off an area they’ve already visited, or mark a new location based on new information.
It’s a nice-looking animation on its own, but it’s even more impressive if you use photo mode to pause the game and check out the map she’s holding:
Here’s what the map looks like when I press the “map” button right around the same area and go look at the map up close:
Now let’s go back to the in-game map and zoom in:
She’s holding the same map, complete with the marks she’s added and even including the tiny red arrow that indicates her current location. I have little doubt that someone—probably a small team of someones—spent a lot of time getting that working, just so the game would be a little bit more detailed. Good lord.
Update: Lost Legacy game director Kurt Margenau explains on Twitter that the “map screen” as I called it is really just them pointing the camera at the same map they use in game. I’ve updated the article to make that clearer. Technology is amazing.