As the fourth installment in the series, Uncharted 4 reuses a lot of the basic gameplay elements that were present in previous games. It is an action-adventure title that has Nathan Drake, the player controlled character, going from point A to point B, doing some platforming, fighting some enemies and even solving puzzles.
The game is split into numerous chapters, which have you visiting many different locations, with the main scenarios usually split into two main sections, adventuring and battling. The adventuring segments have Nathan Drake climbing, running and dodging the dangers of the land to find clues that lead him to the final prize. Sometimes, he will encounter a puzzle that needs to be solved, with clues in the surrounding environment and utilizing his journal for more clues.
One of the new additions to the series is a grappling hook, which is used in traversing the environments. There will be posts that you can grapple to in the wild, usually distinguishable because of the L1 button prompt, allowing you to grapple and either swing, ascend or descend to new areas.
Any action-adventure game will not be without battles and Nathan Drake will encounter plenty of that during his adventure. You usually have access to firearms during these battles, as well as most of your other tools, including the grappling hook when applicable. By pressing the Circle button behind certain pieces of the environment, Nathan Drake can take cover. However, some pieces, such as wood can be destroyed by enemy fire.
In addition to the firearms, Nathan Drake can always run up to enemies and melee them with the Square button. By mashing the melee button, you can take down enemies without having to waste what limited ammo you have. Weapons dropped by enemies can be picked up by using the Triangle button, although Nathan can only ever have one sidearm and one primary weapon at all times.
There will be a lot of encounters that start off with Nathan being unseen by the enemy force. These stealth sections will remain as that until you are either seen by an enemy or fire a shot from one of your guns. In regards to being seen, a meter will fill above an enemy's head and if it turns yellow, they will be suspicious. It is when it turns orange-ish in color that they know you are there and will begin attacking you without mercy.
Hidden throughout the areas are treasures that you can find, similar to those in previous entries. These are represented as sparkles on the ground and when you get close enough, you will see a Triangle button prompt to pick it up. In addition to these treasures, Uncharted 4 introduces two new collectibles, Journal Entries and Journal Notes, acting similar to the above.