|Type of game:||Action Adventure|
|Multiplayer/Co-Op:||Single player, Multiplayer|
|Total Play Time:||28.5 hours|
|System Requirements:||PS4 Exclusive
HDD Space: 50 GB
|Price Range||$18.99 – $39.99|
The World of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Uncharted 4 is the best-selling video game on the PS4 with over 8 million sold. With nearly perfect ratings across the board, Naughty Dog has once again defied expectations. Their meticulous weaving of story, character, atmosphere and location are what we’ve come to love about their games. Let’s explore these elements further in our Uncharted 4 review.
Atmosphere and Location
First up in this Uncharted 4 review is Naughty Dog’s use of atmosphere and location. Getting to hunt for treasure in a historic Panamanian prison as an inmate shows the series can still be fresh. Participating in the following riot and escape was even more exciting. While there are plenty of fantastic action moments, some of the more cerebral settings are where the game shine. From a secret pirate city to a rickety mansion attic, Naughty Dog does a great job of balancing these moments. New composers Henry Jack and Alex Belcher continue in the great work that Greg Edmonson started.
The explorable area is the largest of all the previous games. Even though the game is linear, there are multiple paths you can take to your objective. When bullets start flying, you better get to moving and shooting. Enemy AI has been advanced and will force you to stay mobile and improvise. Run, duck, slide, hide, jump off ledges, swing from vines and ropes all in the name of covering your butt! Companion AI has also been upgraded. During combat, your companions will set NPC’s up for knockouts. A new dialogue tree has been added as well as new visual filters and modes. Add in seamless transitions from cutscenes to gameplay, unlockable content, full control of vehicles and a revamped fighting system to round it all out.
Now we’ll switch gears in this Uncharted 4 review and meet the characters of this epic tale. The gang’s all back for the final ride with some exceptional new blood added. Drake is once again voiced by Nolan North. He is retired and married to Elena (Emily Rose). Sully (Richard McGonagle), is still protective of “the kid” Nathan Drake. Early on in the game, we are introduced to Drake’s older brother, Samuel Drake, voiced by Troy Baker. Sam has appeared in Drake’s life after fifteen years of no contact.
Drake’s older brother is the only person resurfacing from his past. The new cast of supporting characters is the perfect blend of Drake’s past, present and future. Rafe Adler (Warren Kole), is an ex-associate of the Drake brothers; a wealthy and powerful man not afraid to get his hands dirty. In his quest for the treasure of Captain Henry Avery, he hires the loyal and deadly Nadine Ross (Laura Bailey). Nadine is the head of a private mercenary group named Shoreline. Hector Alcazar is a ruthless druglord who’s dealings with Nathan’s older brother Samuel is what sets the whole adventure in motion.
For Drake to come out of retirement for one last adventure, it had to be big. While Elena and Sully have been “like family” to Drake, we’ve never met any blood relative of his. Having the last adventure come in the hands of a long lost older brother was a great touch. One of the best moments in the game is when a young Nathan and Sam sneak out of an orphanage for their first adventure together. Naughty Dog’s choice of these characters showed their desire to tell a heartfelt story.
Speaking of story, in this Uncharted 4 review, let’s see how these characters were woven together. Long before Drake’s Fortune was the ultimate prize, Nathan and his older brother Sam were after the treasure of Captain Henry Avery. Having traced clues of the treasure’s whereabouts to a Panamanian jail, they get financial backing from Rafe. Never content with standing on the sidelines, he accompanies the brothers in the infiltration of the prison. Everything goes off smoothly until it’s time to escape where all hell breaks loose in classical Uncharted fashion. In the chaos, Sam is seemingly killed and Nathan decides to let the hunt for the treasure go.
Fifteen years later Nathan is married and settled down. He longer goes on dangerous treasure hunts or get into shootouts with mercs. Now he works on a salvage boat, far away from danger. He still yearns for the excitement of the hunt and the satisfaction of the discovery. These feelings are briefly explored in a fun exploration of the Drake home. One day out of the blue, Sam returns to Nathan and tells him the story of how he survived. He also tells him that a drug lord named Hector Alcazar has demanded Sam find the treasure or else. Nathan agrees to help, and yes, he lies to his wife about it.
After Nathan enlists the help of Sully against Sam’s wishes, the three of them sneak into an illegal auction. The purpose is to steal an idol that contains a map of the whereabouts of Avery’s treasure. This directly conflicts with Rafe’s plan to purchase it; as he too is still looking for the treasure. Nadine is there to make sure that happens. When all parties finally come together, all hell breaks loose! From that point on, the game becomes a race between the rival hunters. Desperately trying to make it to the next clue before the other.
DLC and Expansion Packs
Shortly after the release of the game and before this Uncharted 4 review, Naughty Dog set out on a path to consistently release multiplayer DLC. Beginning in the summer of 2016 the first DLC pack of various vanity items, weapons, skins, maps and game modes was released. A second pack was released in Autumn of the same year and two more in the winter and spring of 2017.
Now Naughty Dog is preparing for the Nathan-less stand alone story, Lost Legacy. You’ll now be taking control of Chloe Frazer. You’ll recognize her from previous games Also making a quick turnaround is Nadine Ross. The game releases in August 2017.
While Naughty Dog doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel here, they still deliver on all the aspects of Uncharted that we’ve come to love. Nathan’s brother Sam was a great addition helping to add weight to Nathan’s decision to return to danger. The fatherly figure Sully still helps to keep Nathan grounded and focused. Rafe and Nadine prove worthy adversaries in a series that has seen some memorable villains.
Earlier in this Uncharted 4 review, we touched on the smarter AI. You can no longer find a spot to post up and play the peek a boo game anymore. Sitting still WILL get you killed quickly. Add in some new set pieces to play with and the action goes all out! Running from enemies, sliding into tall grass, popping back up to shoot some bad guys, jumping off a cliff to swing from a vine and knock a guy out never gets old. This game was an absolute blast and fitting send off for the Uncharted series.