This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 38 October 2016.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End marks the end of a series that has always raised the bar for action adventure games, and it certainly ensures that Nathan Drake’s adventure ends with a bang.
But don’t go expecting all out action and explosions from the get-go here. This third-person game brings a healthy dash of stealth, and as with previous installments, there is a good dose of exploration, considered character development, puzzles and phenomenal set pieces.
The writing and story are real stars of the game however, and the banter (as well as the comradery and competition) between Nathan and his brother Sam is believable and completely engrossing. You will want to keep going to find out more and damned be any enemies that get between you and saving your brother by finding Captain Henry Avery’s long-lost treasure.
Uncharted has always seen developer Naughty Dog write a compelling story to back their action sequences, and with Uncharted 4 they have excelled in this regard and you will become more emotionally invested in the characters than ever before. The character’s facial animations help immerse you further, with the visuals in general some of the most breath-taking in the current generation of games. As always, the voice-acting is brilliant throughout, and Nathan Drake actor Nolan North deserves awards for how he made the character an iconic piece of gaming’s history.
But to understand where Uncharted 4 is heading with the story, you need understand the start, and in Uncharted 4, Nathan and his brother Sam are reunited after many years apart. Nathan is no longer the wild adventurer of old and is settled down with his wife Elena. The rollercoaster which follows brings back old friends and deception affect relationships. All of this while Nathan traverses the globe with Sam and long-time companion Sully to find the missing treasure.
As great as the story is, there are moments when things do tend to feel a little too sedate, but it certainly would have felt completely one-dimensional if the pace of the game was breakneck throughout. However, the action throws up iconic set pieces that are a staple of the game. These are the high octane moments that will leave you breathless and will be the chat you have in years from now about the game.
All this adventuring through this remarkable world is achieved via Nathan’s ability to climb, jump and swing between points most mere mortals would fear to look at. Combat is handled by a much improved (from the previous Uncharted titles) and satisfying gunplay which sees an arsenal of weapons left by dead enemies or simply lying casually around. Melee combat is also vastly improved and getting up close and personal is a viable combat option.
There is so much to applaud in the game, but I will end by saying that if action and adventure is your thing, you should not still be reading this review. You should be standing at the checkout with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in your basket.
Available for: PlayStation 4
Distributed by: Ster Kinekor and available at all retailers of games