Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016) Review

I always knew one day I would be concluding my look into the Uncharted video game series and I went into this final entry with scepticism considering I was a little disappointed with the last game but does Nathan Drakes final adventure hold up as well as the masterpiece Uncharted 2?

Taking place several years after the events of Drakes Deception, treasure hunter Nathan Drake is recently retired and living as a regular person with his wife Elena.

One day out of the blue his long lost dead brother shows up alive and well but is on the run from the notorious drug dealer Hector Alcazar.

Hector helped Sam Drake escape from his Mexican prison in exchange for a share in the treasure of the pirate Henry Avery, he gives Sam three days to deliver the treasure before he kills him leaving Sam no choice but to hunt down his famous brother and convince him to go on one last adventure to help pay off his debts.

This game differs slightly to the second and third game as it follows a very linear story that doesn’t encourage you to differ to far from your own path, of course there are secret treasure to find and many are from exploring but there isn’t many memorable locations or things to find outside of that goal but I don’t really think its needed here. This is the final chapter in Nathan Drakes story and a lot of is revealed from his childhood, his relationship with his brother Sam and even his mother.

There is a lot of different types of gameplay besides the usual puzzle solving, driving the Jeep’s was my absolute favourite part as it was really fun to just drive around and even though there wasn’t anything to substantial to see driving was a really nice change to the gameplay as these parts only came up once in a while.

Swinging on the rope works extremely well and was needed often to traverse large gaps, you can climb up and down the rope too and isn’t always obvious where you can jump too so paying close attention to your environment is very important.

The puzzles in this game are the best we ever got from this series because not only are they challenging but they really stand out as feeling believable and very creative, I loved the puzzles in the third game but I feel like some of those did feel a little silly compared to these and I could actually see these in something on the lines of an Indiana Jones film and some maybe even in historical documents. The hardest puzzle in my opinion was rotating the stone wheels to match the correct symbols to the lights in Avery’s Crypt, it took me a good while to figure these out and I felt very accomplished afterwards.

The most beloved parts of this game for myself and a lot of others is actually the parts with differ from the main Henry Avery plot and focus on either back story or have more interactive moments, its very well known now that you play the original Crash Bandicoot twice in the game trying to beat Elena’s high score, I failed on both attempts but I am certain that it is possible never the less this is a very cool reference to developer Naughty Dog’s early roots.

The segments with younger Nate and Sam are both very interesting especially the second part when you break into a mansion to steal back their mothers journal and you get to meet her very old partner (in a way this is foreshadowing what Sully is to Nate, his partner but much older and sadly her death is also foreshadowing the loss of Sully he will need to deal with one day).

And then you get the small surprises, the Crash Bandicoot reference was one of them but there are a lot of these in the calmer segments of the game, sometimes is just old journal entries or photographs and other times they are interactive such as eating all the food and playing with the lemur in the market, only small details but this is the type of things I love in video games the smaller things that differ from the regular action.

As I was playing the game I had to keep reminding myself that this is an early release for the system because graphically it is stunning, it looks real for the most part and only the character models look a little odd compared to the environments because they have less details although still look very good. The environment’s themselves are gorgeous and its quite mad how much detail the developers put into elements that not that important such as the clear blue waters and grains of sand but it pays off to give us genuine pieces of videogame art.

The soundtrack here was composed by Henry Jackman, the original three games were composed by Greg Edmunson who gave them beautiful orchestral scores that suited the games perfectly, Jackman did a really great job here and the music is just as wonderful as it has been previously. One thing this soundtrack has that the other games lacked was those much slower paced segments such as walking around Nates house or the market and the music here changes to really make those parts more immersive. The third game did have one segment like this but because this game has a bigger focus on these moments the music works a lot better.

Uncharted 4 is a great conclusion for Nathan Drake it focused on his backstory and how he has matured since the first game, It was nice to see him genuinely just settle down and be satisfied with a regular life, it was really cool to see his brother Sam get a lot of story revolving around his character as well and after the events of the game if they wanted to do another series based on his adventures with Sully that could make for some great spin offs.

I loved finally playing this game, it controlled well and had a great story but it’s most positive moments come from its conclusion and the growth of Drakes character, the soundtrack once again did not disappoint and the visuals are the best we have had in the series not just because of the more powerful hardware but the clearly higher budget that was put into making the landscapes realistic and visually beautiful.

This is yet again another Nathan Drake adventure I will never forget but its far from beating Uncharted 2 as my favourite in the series, however second place is still a fair spot and I reward Uncharted 4 an excellent 8.5/10

Check out my reviews of the first three games !

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