Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Review
Back in 2009 I picked up a PlayStation 3 for the sole purpose of being able to play the stellar exclusives Sony had been releasing on the console. I specifically had my eyes on the two Uncharted games that had been released already. I was so amazed at how these games presented themselves and they easily became two of my favorite games ever after I beat them a couple weeks later. Naughty Dog then released the equalling impressive Uncharted 3 in 2011, then followed by the spectacular The Last of Us two years later. It’s safe to say I am a huge fan of the games Naughty Dog makes. They know how to create a satisfying story that rivals film and blend them with entertaining gameplay mechanics and unrivaled presentation. Nearly three years after being revealed, Uncharted 4 has finally arrived on the PlayStation 4 and boy was it worth the wait.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a fantastic conclusion to the series and a must play game for anyone with the PlayStation 4. Whether you’re a fan of the previous games or new to the franchise, there is enough here for everyone to enjoy. Naughty Dog somehow creates a story that will please diehard fans that wraps up the series, while also making a game that stands on its own. It’s an impressive feat that only Naughty Dog has seemed to be able to do over the past decade.
In his final adventure, Nathan Drake’s brother returns after being thought dead to pull him into one last adventure filled with draw dropping sequences, exciting firefights, and emotional moments that are the best the gaming industry has ever seen. It’s very impressive that Naughty Dog was able to introduce the character Sam (Nathan’s Brother) and make us care for someone we just met. I was particularly nervous that they were going to try and shoehorn him into the story and that it would take away from the characters we have been with for three games prior. Luckily his character is a bright spot of the game and is the catalyst of this game.
Nathan, Elena, and Sully are the only characters from previous entries to have huge roles in the game and each get their time to shine. Sully is only character I think get’s a disservice, not because his arc isn’t good, but because he isn’t in the game a whole lot. When I think of Uncharted I think of Nathan and Sully. It’s not a huge gripe but he of course gets his crowd pleasing moments and lines that make up for the lack of screen time.
The two antagonist are probably the best of the franchise. Their motives are the least black and white of the games, in terms of villains. They each have their own agenda and seem less like villains and more like actual people. I would go into more specifics on their characters but I don’t want to ruin any surprises.
The story as a whole revolves around Nathan and Sam. Their past is explored thoroughly throughout the game, which not only grounds their relationship, but also gives reasoning behind the events in the game. It’s a wonderful story that has a bit of everything, delivering the most evenly paced game out of the series.
Gunplay and traversal is of course the bulk of the game. Shooting has never felt better here, though mostly unchanged from Uncharted 3. Hand to hand combat is the most impressive newly refined feature, it’s very seamless and there’s a flow to it. Climbing and exploring is very fun this time around. It feels very natural paired with the newly more open areas and beautifully created world. There is now a grappling hook that adds excitement to both movement and combat that should have been in the very first game.
Uncharted has always had jaw dropping graphics and this entry is no different. It is able to balance amazing detail close up and far away with silky smooth frame rates. Uncharted 4 also has amazing motion capture work and animation throughout. There was a moment fairly early in the game in Scotland where a light snow is falling and while walking around I noticed the snow lakes were landing on Nathan’s jacket and melting into it. It was an extremely detailed aspect that you would have to really be looking for to even notice. Its these details in Uncharted 4 that blow my mind and makes the world feel real.
I could literally go on forever about Uncharted 4 and everything it does right, I just don’t see anything particularly wrong with the game. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but the game is technically flawless and features a compelling story that is even more importantly an entertaining one. Naughty Dog has created the best game of this generation and the best game of the franchise. Uncharted 4 is the kind of game you go out and buy a PlayStation for and deserves a five out five.
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