I wrote this review after the release of Uncharted 4. I thought it would be best to post it than to never post it at all. Other than Firewatch this game really knocked it out of the park for me this year.
Uncharted 4 : A Thief’s End, also the end of any adventure games coming out anytime soon. From breathtaking visuals to storytelling like no other; Uncharted’s finale was more than any fan could have asked for.
Nathan Drake finds his long lost brother on his doorstep after 15 years of believing he had left him for dead in a Panama prison. Wanting to continue their hunt for Henry Avery’s treasure Nate decides to leave his civil life once again for the rope swinging, bridge breaking and arm aching adventures he missed whilst being stuck inside an office filing paperwork. From there on out Nate travels the world with his brother Sam to look for the treasure whilst being chased by some people who also want the treasure. An old friend who goes by the name of Rafe and an owner of a company called Shoreline called Nadine who then partners with Rafe to help bring Drake down.
Uncharted 4 was an experience I’ll never be able to forget, the first time playing was an emotional roller coaster of uncertainty and excitement. Naughty Dog made the game to feel more like a movie, knocking down other games on the market that fail to keep such smooth transitions and continuity. The decision not to have loading screens was the best decision ND could have made. Without cutscenes you are always immersed in the game, not ever wanting to leave your seat. It helps bring across the idea that the player is Nathan Drake, a continuous storyline that you as a player have to face with Nate.
I didn’t want to mention graphics since that’s not what makes a video game at all, but it certainly does improve it. This game has a beautiful personality and a pretty face to match, light environments are phenomenal, motion capture is beyond anything I have ever seen before and the shading creates the realist feel that everyone wants. If Nate is in Scotland, you’re in Scotland. If Nate’s climbing the side of a cliff, you’re climbing the side of a cliff. It all goes back to the continuity and flow of the game, the graphics and programming being a separate category in it’s own right. The team at Naughty Dog really smashed this one, a revolution in video games. More developers will pick up on their techniques and begin to create masterpieces just as beautiful as Uncharted 4, but never the same.
There was one scene during the game where it’s a muddy environment and you’re in an off road 4×4. Nate’s just had an emotional conversation with Elena and they’re driving in silence together, a song from the soundtrack called ‘For Better Or Worse’ began to play so I stopped the vehicle to take in my surroundings. Everything was so… beautiful. The landscape, the characters, the music and the overall feel of being in the front seat of the off road vehicle and driving on the muddy terrain.
Whenever Nate dropped into the water only to mutter the words ‘refreshing’ I could feel the chills of the water up to my hips. When characters felt emotions you could tell by their expressions and through your connection with them on screen. You knew how they were feeling because you lived through their emotions with a dualshock 4 controller, a TV and a PS4.
I grew up with Naughty Dog games, from playing Crash Bandicoot on the PS1 to playing Jak and Daxter on the PS2 pretty much my entire childhood Naughty Dog have always been there. Truth be told I only played the first couple of missions of Drake’s Fortune back in 2010 before picking up the whole remastered trilogy in 2015. Well worth it, I instantly fell in love and became a fan just like every other Naughty Dog game prior to Uncharted.
Uncharted 4 really made the PS4 worthwhile, nothing on the PS4 had really blown me away since I first got it. However this game was spectacular, I’m still in shock as to how amazing it all was.
Although it wasn’t 100% in some places the small things I picked out were so tiny they were hard to spot. It was as if I was finding it so difficult to pick out bad points that I began to nit pick at anything I could. For a start Uncharted will be Uncharted, the repetitiveness of bridges falling or Nate destroying everything he’s ever touched is what makes the game. But wouldn’t it have been nice to have seen something a little different?
Every Uncharted game includes the same plot. Hunting the treasure, facing bad guys that also want the treasure, being one step ahead of the bad guys and yet somehow still failing to see them already at the treasure because they stole your leads. Repetitive gold. It sells and it works, there’s no fault in that as long as it’s entertaining. That’s one thing Uncharted 4 did better than any of the other games in the series, kept the same repetitive nature but added twists to spice it up slightly. This made the overall gameplay and plot a lot more interesting to follow.
Deep down Uncharted is about following what you love no matter how hard it may be to do so. Nathan Drake risks his life time and time again and for what? A few trinkets in his closet? He does it because he loves it, the feeling and the adrenaline rush of it all is enough to push him even further.
Naughty Dog made a phenomenal masterpiece on this one, I can’t wait to see their next game. (Still internally hoping for Jak 4)