Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4: A Perfect End To A Thief’s End.

overall score 97 / Must Buy!
May 16, 16  | reviewed by xsuicidesn0wmanx (2392)

With the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Greatness has finally Arrived on the Playstation 4 console.

gameplay 95 / story 99 / graphics 99 / sound 99

Disclosure: This is a review for the Uncharted 4 single player campaign only!

It’s been two and a half years since the Playstation 4 and Xbox One came out, and in that time both consoles have released several great games. But unlike previous generations, there hasn’t been a single game that signaled the arrival of the next generation in gaming. Uncharted 4 is that game. The one that makes you proud to say that you own a Playstation 4. The one that states emphatically that the 8th generation has arrived. It’s been a long time coming, but this is the first game that truly feels next-gen every single step of the way. Uncharted 4 delivers a high quality product that rewards its players from the very moment you start the game.

The last time we got to play a console game as treasure hunter Nathan Drake, the experience was rather sloppy for a title made by Naughty Dog. Everything felt very loose, from the gun play to the platforming to the uninspired story the game was just off. While Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception was still a decent game, but it was a noticeable step down from the stellar Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. This is not the case in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the game play is very tight and controls exactly as expected. Although using a gun seems to be slightly more challenging this time around, I found it more difficult to get a headshot on an enemy, but I never ran into any problems defeating them. The platforming was greatly improved, thanks to the newly added rope tool and a soft rock dagger that expand the ways in which Drake can flirt with danger. Naughty Dog also added in more driving sections to the game, some of which are more like a free-roam area that allows you to relax a little bit while exploring the landscape. They have also added a winch to the front of the vehicle that can be used in a multitude of ways to get around obstacles. Such as using a tree and to pull the vehicle up a slippery slope when traveling to the top of a volcano, or using it to pull down the supports on a bridge to gain access to the next area. All of these additions feel organic, and help to keep the pace moving where platforming might normally slow to a crawl.

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There is also a noticeable reduction in minor scripted events, like the ledges that break apart as you grab onto them, or running away from a large deadly object ala Indiana Jones. While these events can be highly suspenseful and provide plenty of ‘oh shit’ moments, they have been used excessively in previous games and have left me feeling like I had no control of my own fate. Aside from holding the thumb stick down, wiggling it left or right every once in a while and pressing X to vault over an object, I would have rather experienced these moments in a cut-scene, not in game. Keeping these to a minimum really helps the flow of the game. These types of scenes ruined Uncharted 3 for me, and their return towards the end of the game soured the moment for me. I found myself thankful the game was almost over. In view of the whole picture this was the only complaint I have about the game.

The solid game play is one of many areas where Uncharted 4 excels. Because the game play is so well crafted, you can sit back and enjoy the look and feel of each beautifully crafted environment Naughty Dog has built for this game. From the cold, wet, rocky cliffs of Scotland, where the sound of the wind blows through your bones. To the slippery, muddy coast near a volcano on Madagascar and the nearby lush, tropical islands to the east. Everything on screen is a spectacle. Each area filled with realistic sound effects, whether you’re at the office in Manhattan, or listening to the sound of the wildlife in the jungle. The fantastic dialogue is what really sells the sound in this game. Uncharted 4 has an extremely talented group of voice actors, including two of the top voice actors in the business. Nolan North returns to his role as Nathan Drake, and Troy Baker joins him as his brother Samuel Drake. But there is more to the quality of the dialogue than the talent lending their voices. Most games have a tell-tale pause between character interaction due to voice actors not recording their lines together. Uncharted 4 does not suffer from this fate, it’s almost as if the voice actors are giving a live performance in front of you. These aren’t just great performances. But these are award winning performances, by all members of the cast.

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It’s the amazing story, and the characters that share this amazing story that separates Uncharted 4 from every other game released this generation. You can tell how well written this game is early on. Every character in the game is believable, and they share the kind of chemistry that define many of the great TV Sitcoms of our generation. It’s not the action or the set pieces that make these games special to me, it’s everything in between. Whether it’s the romantic relationship between Nate and Elena, their bickering back and forth in between, or the sibling rivalry between Nate and his long lost brother Sam Drake. It’s the life away from the treasure hunt that makes you care so much about these characters. I can honestly say I felt emotionally attached to the well being of all of our heroes, and absolute despised the enemies out to thwart our quest to find the lost treasure of pyrate legend Henry Avery.

The highlight of the story is how much it reminded me of The Goonies. One of my favorite movie from my childhood. As much as I enjoyed discovering the mythical cities of long lost civilizations in the first 3 games, this treasure hunt was the adventure I have wanted to experience from the very moment I saw the Steven Spielberg classic. Luckily Uncharted 4 lasts quite a bit longer than the 1hr and 54min runtime of The Goonies. I took me approximately 20 hours, spread across 3 days, to finish this game. I loved nearly every second of it. Uncharted 4 is a classic treasure hunt without any of the weird zombies, mutants or spider infestations found in the previous games. A true adventure from beginning to end.

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Final Word: In all honesty, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is such a masterfully crafted game that this might be regarded as the greatest game of the 8th generation. While it is too early to say without a doubt it will win Game of the Year awards, it is most certainly the best game of this era. No game combines beautiful graphics, solid game play, intense set pieces, brilliant voice acting, and amazing storytelling quite like Uncharted 4. If you only play one game this generation, this is it.

I give it a 97 out of 100.

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category

Action, Platform, Third Person Shooter

players

10

release date

October 13, 2015

rating

Teen

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