Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Review (Spoiler Free)

I have only just recently played the Uncharted games. I bought The Nathan Drake Collection for my PS4 because I have always wanted to play them but never could as I was a 360 lad. However now I have converted and betrayed my 360 brothers I was able to play them and loved them. I’ll probably review The Nathan Drake Collection later on so I’ll save my review of that for later. The only reason I played The Nathan Drake Collection was so I would be up to date on the story so far for Uncharted 4 as I saw the first trailer and it looked amazing. I didn’t watch another trailer or any gameplay so I was clean going in and here is what I thought…

Story

Uncharted 4 begins with Nathan Drake having left his Indiana Jones life behind and has settled down with a job and Elena. However when he is left with no choice but to return to his adventurous lifestyle he must get his old crew back together and pursue a new treasure; Captain Henry Avery’s lost loot. I must say this is the best story we have got from the Uncharted games. It challenges our characters motivations and puts them in familiar situations with differences and little twists to keep us engaged. At times certain characters involvement in the games story does seem a little forced and some parts of the game do drag on a little which could effect replay-ability but it doesn’t retract from the overall greatness of this game and the story told is so rewarding. The villain in Uncharted 4 is also the best one we’ve ever had. He isn’t no British geezer with only 3 scenes to his name, he’s no typical Russian guy who looks creepy and he isn’t an annoying woman with zero involvement. You understand him (and her) and he gave the best performance next to Nolan North. I also don’t have the urge to replay it which I think I should have but I will undoubtably replay it in the future. And increase the dificulty to moderate… Yeah I suck at games but love them just as much.

Graphics

The graphics for the previous Uncharted games was excellent and looked perfect for a console game. So when I started to play this game I was very overwhelmed and in a bad way. The graphics were so good that my initial reaction was that they were too good. The difference between the graphics of Uncharted 3 and 4 is kind of incredible but (as it was for me) can be initially a bad thing. I thought this looks too real and sometimes I like game graphics to look a little rusty and just going from Uncharted 3 to 4 would make 3 look bad and would make you pissed off about 4 because of it making 3 look bad. However, I quickly got over it as I went along and was blown away once I got over it. Every little detail of the environments Drake explores from snowy mountains to the familiar Caribbean looking islands was fantastic and truly immersive to the point where I got depressed every time I looked outside my window to grey clouds, houses and cars. It has to be (if not the) greatest looking game ever made. It even challenges The Last Of Us’ graphics as I went to play it after and noticed the big and small differences. The characters are also amazingly designed which adds to the fact that this may just be the best looking game ever. As I previously mentioned Nolan North pulls another outstanding performance off as Drake and of course the rest of the cast are amazing also.

Gameplay

Much like I was annoyed with the dramatic change in graphics from 3 to 4, I was annoyed with change of controls in this one than in the previous Uncharted outings. You are introduced straight away to the change in controls which is good as it’s as if they are saying “Yeah. This is happening. Deal with it”, and you do. Maybe I’m just overreacting but I felt this way when Assassin’s Crees changed theirs but in the end it was for the better and again, just like the change in graphics I got over the change in controls. Yes I did mess up a few times because of them but I soon learned from my mistakes. However I was throwing grenades everywhere instead of reloading all the way until the end but that’ll probably just be me. Stand out moments in previous uncharted outings will be the train chase and car chase from Uncharted 2 and the boatyard moments from Uncharted 3. There are plenty of memorable moments in Uncharted 4 with the one standing out in my mind being a car chase. Again. But it’s got its own twists that make it different and in ways better. New tools like the grappling hook and the pike make the gameplay far more enjoyable and less repetitive than previous instalments. The environments also offer new obstacles  but I was never frustrated and found my way around them within 5 mins of game time. At least I thought it was 5 mins. But man that grappling hook is badass! The shootouts (which your allies are actually useful in), the climbing and the puzzle solving are all very well spaced out so you never get tired of doing either and the stealth in Uncharted 4 is actually do-able whereas in Uncharted 1, 2 and 3 it was very difficult and almost impossible for me. Though I do wish there were more options for stealth gameplay and less climbing around. This is one of the main reasons I don’t immediately want to play Uncharted 4 again.

Verdict

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End may just be Nathan Drake’s best outing yet. The transmissions between the gameplay and the cut scenes are invisible which makes the whole game feel like one giant film. When I say that the transmissions are invisible I mean they are invisible it is incredible what they have done. The game never cuts to black (like The Last Of Us would for dramatic effect)  which adds a sense of endless adventure the previous instalments didn’t have. Shout out to Henry Jackman’s score which is amazing. Man I love soundtracks. Multiplayer? I don’t do that. But I hear it’s good. There is a part (in the campaign) with exploding corpses that was a little weird and out of place which made me feel like I was missing out on something but it is a very small part of the game and it can be forgiven. And the enemy goons do have strange accents which sound like either a bad Scottish accent, a bad English accent or a hybrid of both. Or it may just be another accent I’ve never heard before but again it is forgiven. Parts of the game do drag and you will notice this when playing it but you’ll also know why it doesn’t really matter. It is so close to being a perfect game and the closest a game had ever been to an action/ adventure film but that is nothing compared to the fact that this may be Nathan Drake’s last outing ever. If so (which I hope it’s not) he went out with a gigantic bang.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – 9.5/10

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