Nathan Drake is one of the most iconic characters in the PlayStation franchise. To many, he depicts the one icon that many will remember in the years to come due to his charisma and great character portrayal in the past three Uncharted games. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End tells the end of Nathan Drake’s story and many have high expectations to see just how Naughty Dog concludes his story. For almost ten years since Uncharted first debuted, the series has become one of the most successful franchises for Sony and it’s quite sad that A Thief’s End is the last outing. Sure, it may be sad but what Naughty Dog brings to the last adventure of Nathan Drake is something many fans will appreciate and may consider A Thief’s End as the best Uncharted game and a good contender for 2016’s Game of the Year .
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End brings Nathan Drake in an adventure to seek the treasures left behind by the famous pirate named Henry Avery. For those who have played past Uncharted games, not much has been revealed in regards to Nathan’s family. However, in A Thief’s End, fans finally find out that Nathan has a brother named Sam. In the first few chapters, players will see more of Nathan’s back story with his brother Sam as they first attempt to uncover the secrets of Avery’s treasure where they both end up in a South American prison. In an attempt to escape, Sam dies after sustaining a gunshot wound while Nathan successfully escapes. Fifteen years later, Sam appears in front of Nate and asks him to continue searching for Avery’s treasure as there’s a bounty on his head if he ends up not finding it within three months. This will begin Nathan’s epic journey around the world where he meets a few returning characters like Sullivan and a lot more.
For those who have played the past three Uncharted games, A Thief’s End feels very familiar in terms of its gameplay, though there are slight enhancements to make the experience more enjoyable. One of the big improvements that I find satisfying is the combat. This time, the shooting mechanics feel more solid and smooth compared to the past three games. The way the guns are handled feels a lot more realistic as there is now free-aim available and the character movements are much more fluid. AI-wise, they have improved but not to the point that it’s smart enough to chase and read your movements. If there’s one thing that I felt lacking, it’s the cover system. Sure, it’s a welcome addition to be able to duck and cover but moving from one spot to another feels like it’s not polished enough as there are times that Nathan becomes unresponsive.
Pacing in Uncharted 4 is somewhat non-linear in certain parts of the game. Compared to past titles in the series, many might have noticed that most of the time, the path that Nathan takes is pretty much linear as there’s only one path fans can explore. In A Thief’s End, Naughty Dog somewhat made certain areas of the game somewhat non-linear. With several new beautiful locations introduced in the game, fans will be able to explore and enjoy the beautiful scenery the game has to offer. As always, those who aim to achieve 100% completion of the game must find all treasures and this requires searching every corner of the map. Depending on the amount of treasures that you get, certain things can be unlocked later like behind the scenes videos and more.
Uncharted 4 will not be an Uncharted game without its puzzle-solving mechanics throughout the game. For fans who love solving puzzles, there are a decent amount available that you can expect. Some of the puzzles available require some time to solve while others are simple where it will just ask you to decode something from the journal or notes that Nathan has. Comparing its difficulty to past Uncharted games, it’s pretty much the same and anyone can solve it.
Visually, A Thief’s End is one of the best looking games I have played this generation. Everything from its character models through to its cinematic cutscenes – they all look realistic. The narrative might be slow at the very start due to the backstory of Nathan Drake but expect it to pick up after meeting up with Sully in the mansion. From start to finish, Uncharted 4 feels like a typical Uncharted game . For the most part, you will be seeing yourself climbing through towers, swinging, and gunning through enemies. The pace is pretty much what would you expect in an Uncharted game but there are interesting twists that gets revealed later on in the game.
The Uncharted series are well-known with its enthralling cinematic experience. Luckily, with Uncharted 4’s improved visuals, both the in-game and cinematic cutscenes feel like you are watching a real Hollywood movie. The production values are great as the voice-acting is phenomenal as always.
Upon completing the game, there are things that get unlocked. For those who will enjoy the game, there’s the Crushing Mode that gets unlocked. Just like in other Uncharted games, there are modifiers that you can unlock to make your second run-through a lot more enjoyable. Playing through the second time around is great for those who missed out certain treasures and with modifiers, it makes the game a lot easier to progress from the start until the very end.
With Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End being the last game in the award-winning series, I must say that Naughty Dog did an enthralling job to Nathan Drake’s finale. Without spoiling anything about the ending, I must say that every fan of the Uncharted series should definitely consider picking the game if they wish to see how Naughty Dog concludes the epic series. Sure, there are flaws in the game like its cover system and slow start but the story and thrilling adventure is enough to make it the best game of 2016 so far. It’s a surefire contender to be the Game of the Year and is arguably the best of the entire Uncharted series.
[Editor’s Note: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.
The review is based on the single-player portion of the game. We will have our separate review for the multiplayer once the servers goes officially live on May 10, 2015Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review,