With Uncharted 4’s release, Naughty Dog has added another resplendent feather to their impressive cap. Whether you’re looking at graphics, so good that you’ll be surprised that your Playstation 4 doesn’t burst into flames, or the brilliant storyline, bringing to a conclusion on of the best game series ever released; you can’t help but be impressed.
As with most things in life, I’m a “Give me the bad news first,” kind of person. There are some aspects of this game that fell a little flat. While previous Uncharted games included multiplayer, they have generally been rubbish, and felt like a pointless addition to the game. Uncharted’s Multiplayer never really brought anything new to the table and with other far better multiplayer games out there, adding a system that felt more like an afterthought, than not felt unnecessary and a complete waste. Uncharted 4 is no different. Combine this with the user of Micro transactions, which is becoming a fan taboo, was a terrible idea on the part of Naughty Dog.
New players to the Uncharted series, will feel a bit left out. There are many call backs to previous games and much of character story interactions and relationships are based on their shared history fleshed out over the previous games. That being said, if you own a Playstation 4 and have not played the previous Uncharted games, stop reading this, go to your nearest game store and purchase the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection immediately. Seriously… You won’t regret it. Go buy or borrow it. Shoo… Shoo..
Lastly, with the advent of so many open world games, some may feel like this game is a bit on rails, pushing the player to advance the storyline and not providing very much freedom to roam the game environment. However, this is a minor issue, as open exploration really isn’t the point of the game. This is a game about immersing yourself into an exceptional storyline with engaging characters and not an inconsiderable amount of humor.
Now we get to the good parts. Uncharted 4 is without a doubt one of the best games I’ve ever played. Graphically speaking, most players will find themselves staring slack jawed at the meticulously rendered environments, ruins, water, and every grand aspect of this game (They’re impressive!). But I found myself just as drawn to the tiny details: the tickle of sweat running down the side of Nate Drake’s face; how each person in the Market was individually rendered, expressive, and just felt alive; to the painstaking detail of Nate’s attic office and home in the opening of the game; I just found myself taking in these details and marveling at how much excellence Naughty Dog could cram into each scene. With this kind of detail applied to the little things, you can imagine just how grand and gorgeously rendered the larger world is. Seriously, at times you’ll find that you’ve wasted twenty minutes, just standing still, slowly panning the camera as you take in Nate’s surroundings.
Anyone who had their soul crushed by the opening of Last of Us, is aware of Naughty Dog’s ability to create a story that grabs you at the loading screen and won’t let you go until the credits roll. Uncharted 4’s story has taken all the things we loved about the previous games and refined them, leaving out many of the story short comings that at times stuck out like a sore thumb, in previous incarnations. Instead, we get a satisfying ending to a brilliant game series. What impressed me the most was the writer’s ability to maintain the same level of writing over all of these games, and with the many Uncharted 4 call backs to previous games, they managed to do this without it feeling forced or out of context with the rest of the storyline. Honestly, I can’t say enough about how wonderful the plot, character interactions, and the underlying themes of the dangers of greed and hubris that carry through the game.
All in all, I cannot recommend this game enough. The detractors say that the game lacks the ability to wandering around aimlessly through a massive open world, and players lack the ability to alter the ending of the story; and this is all true. But this game was never meant to be an open world explorer, or an RPG. This game is what Naughty Dog has proven over and over again, that they can craft a compelling story that will have you on the edge of your seat and gnawing on your controller as you make your way through a lovingly crafted ending to story of Nate Drake and his companions.
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