Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Review)



Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the perfect poster boy, headline and front page for the action-adventure genre in video games. It is the complete embodiment of all things you expect and love about an Uncharted game. It has the gripping narrative, the action-packed set pieces, the explosive gunfights, the arguably boring platforming topped off with jaw dropping (and I mean this literally) visuals and the grapple hook/ rope tool which in my opinion is the best thing about this game. That, and the gravel, mud or rock sloped that you can slide down, really add that element of fun and actual gameplay to the platforming section. I mean who wants to play entire sections of the game by just clicking x so Nathan can effortlessly jump from one precariously balanced ledge to the other.

 


Lots of money is thrown into big-budget triple A titles by their equally big budget developers to make the game look pretty, and boy does this game look good. This game takes you around the world from sunny Panama to wet and rainy Scotland to dry Madagascar and to another certain location I can’t tell you the name of because its major spoiler territory (also because I don’t remember its name), and all these places look spectacular in their own right. The amount of detail and effort Naughty Dog has put into this game is unbelievable. Forget about the visuals and just imagine all the other things the developers have spent hours pouring over to come up with a finished and perfected product. Although most of the level design is linear, these are not small areas. Take Madagascar for example where you spend a few chapters just driving your car through a huge savannah with encounters, platforming and puzzles along the way to your destination. It is clearly not a small feat that Naughty Dog has accomplished.

 

 

The sour spot of this otherwise amazing game is the platforming. It takes up major sections of the game and is frankly a bore. Now don’t get me wrong, when platforming becomes a part of action-packed set pieces involving rope swings and gravel slides, it is fun, but when standing alone, as a big chunk of gameplay, it loses its touch. I feel that the main reason behind this is the bad control design which makes the platforming feel like you are watching a movie. All the players had to do is hold the left analog stick in the direction they want to move in and press the x button to jump. This is not platforming. This is some tedious and boring section of a game that NaughtyDog have completely overlooked. Moreover, some chapters between 15 and 20 fail to live up to the standards set by the earlier ones and really slow down the pace and excitement of the game. It is these chapters that turned the game into a drag and a painful experience to overcome.

 

 
To criticise a game means to also provide credit where it is due, and if one overlooks these minor issues in Nathan Drake’s latest and final adventure, you can find a gem of a game underneath. Whether it’s the snappy combat, explosive firefights, memorable moments of heart touching narrative, the majestic beauty of the game’s visuals or the classic Uncharted set pieces, this game has it all. 

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Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Developer: NaughtyDog Initial Release Date: 10th May 2016 Platforms: PS4 (Reviewed) Score: 4/5

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