Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review

Naughty Dog is known for creating games with great stories, deep and interesting characters, and near perfect gameplay. But does Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Nathan Drakes final adventure, live up to expectations or is it the biggest letdown of 2016.

Uncharted 4 follows an older Nathan Drake. He has retired from treasure hunting and adventures with his wife Elena. He obviously misses the thrill and excitement of looking for treasures, but he also stopped so he could settle down and live a safer life. That is until his brother Sam, who he thought was dead, returns. Sam needs help finding Captain Avery’s pirate treasure or dangerous men will kill him. Nate is also joined by his longtime friend, Sully. Together the three of them travel around the world looking for clues where Avery left his treasure. What sets this story apart from the other Uncharted games is that Drake is forced to go look for the treasure. He is not doing this to satisfy his own curiosity.

There is not much to do after completing the 15-hour campaign except to go back and find all collectibles, journal entries, and listen to all optional conversations. The journal entries are especially interesting because they are left by other people that were also looking for the treasure but have died to do so.  And the optional conversations give a little bit more background on the characters and how they feel during certain situations.

My biggest complaint with the campaign and overall the whole game is the lack of set pieces. There are a few situations where Drake barely survives, but there isn’t anything memorable here. There is no one iconic scene, like the train scene or the plane crash from Uncharted 2 and 3 respectively.

This game is absolutely gorgeous. Everything from the scenery to the character animation and their facial expression. This is probably the best looking game on any console. When you’re driving through the open plains in Africa or climbing cliffs in Scotland, it makes you feel as if you’re really there. It’s also the little things like seeing little fish in the water or the trees swaying in the wind.  The sound is also great. I recommend playing this game with headphones to experience every bullet fired and every rock crumbling without interruption from the outside world.

Like past Uncharted games gameplay mostly consists of running, jumping, puzzle-solving, and shooting. But this time two new features have been added and one has been improved. The first new feature is driving. While it doesn’t do much except getting from one place to another and some puzzle-solving, it’s still a welcomed addition. The second added feature is the rope (hook shot?). Drake uses it to solve puzzles and get around. It’s a cool new addition that makes traversal more exciting and cinematic. It’s very useful in open areas as well, especially if you try to be stealthy. Stealth in Uncharted 4 is great and very much improved since the last game. You can clear certain areas without firing a shot. You can duck behind corners, hang from ledges, and hide in tall grass. It’s a fun way to play and it changes things up from the shooting. The puzzles aren’t too difficult but they do make you think a little bit, and they make you feel like you accomplished something when you solve them.

Multiplayer

There are four multiplayer modes here; Team Deathmatch, Plunder, Command, and Ranked Team Deathmatch. Team Deathmatch is exactly what it sounds like. Two teams compete and the first to reach 40 kills wins the match. Command is a domination type of mode. You move around trying to capture points on the map. This mode is the most fun because it gets very chaotic very quickly. Plunder is like capture the flag, team members have to move an idol to a specific location on the map. While these modes don’t seem like much, especially compared to other multiplayer games, they are still a lot of fun to play. It’s uncertain if people will stick with the multiplayer since there are more multiplayer-centric games out there. But this is something that should be experienced by people that love the gameplay of Uncharted.

Verdict

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is one of the best games to ever be released. It’s a wonderful send-off to the characters we have known for the past nine years. And it’s an achievement in gaming that should not be missed.

9.5/10