Uncharted 4 PS4 Review: One Of The Best Game Around
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End won’t redefine the gaming landscape like its predecessors, but Drake’s latest adventure is without a doubt his greatest yet. With this PlayStation 4 exclusive voyage, Naughty Dog has once more raised the bar for what’s possible in the cinematic action game space. Even though, in its fourth instalment, Nate’s globe-trotting trip will battle to surprise those who’ve grown weary of the Californian studio’s set-piece laden stories, it’s still a substantial cut above practically almost every other narrative driven experience that you can buy.
That isn’t immediately obvious, however. A Thief’s End requires a little while to begin with, with the opening exchanges extended to be able to lay the groundwork for Sam – the protagonist’s long-lost brother, who’s never been mentioned in previous editions. The developer stops short of retconning the story, but by squeezing the trick sibling in to the existing property’s plot, you do need to suspend your disbelief; it can an excellent job of making certain the key character’s silence is practical, but much like anything, powerful scrutiny will leave you questioning a couple of things.
Mute your ponderous personality, though, and you will come to the final outcome that the older Drake is an outstanding addition. We find out more on Nate’s upbringing in this 15 roughly hour campaign than each of the three previous titles combined, and the complexity of his relationships with Sam, Sully, and, crucially, Elena form the backbone for a fiction that’s both grounded and relatable. This, juxtaposed against a backdrop of pirates and untold riches, results in a genuine page turner-type pulp plot, where you will be desperate to uncover another twist.
Uncharted’s always injected fiction into fact, but its spin on Henry Avery’s long-lost Libertalia may be the series’ best historical backdrop yet. The title is practically filled with sub-plots, a lot of which are discreetly inserted in to the adventure through the application of Ish-esque collectibles. Again, the developer’s not inventing new ground, but it’s simply doing what it can best; the same will additionally apply to a flashback sequence which includes each of the playfulness and exploratory interactivity of the Hallowe’en shop section from The Last folks: Left Behind.
But as the pacing slows to a crawl in places, it’s an expertly assembled game – said lulls typically follow occasions of extreme action. Instead of upping the ante following theatrics of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, the studio’s instead chosen set-pieces that are a bit more personal. That doesn’t imply that they’re any less spectacular – you might have all seen the bike chase scene right now – nonetheless they serve a larger purpose; the narrative hasn’t simply been written around technical feats that the firm really wants to achieve.
And so, here is the most regular and cohesive Uncharted since Among Thieves – an extraordinary achievement considering the amount of ground it covers. As may be the case with past entries, you will be spanning the globe, even though we won’t outline the spots by name for concern with spoiling things, be confident that all of the environments is impressive. These levels are also much bigger than they’ve ever been before: you can traipse off the beaten path with regularity, and the introduction of vehicles offers you a lot more freedom to explore.
It isn’t an open world game by any stretch, but hidden journals and optional conversations are littered around these wider locales, providing you incentive to comb every last inch of the meticulously detailed play spaces. This all signifies that exploration is emphasised before action, even though that may prove divisive among those looking for combat above character development, it can imply that the shootouts feel distinctly more meaningful if they eventually arrive. Actually, unlike in older games where you will be dreading wave after wave of antagonists, you will be pumped up about the gunfights here.
That’s mostly because they’re lightyears before previous games. The sound design has been completely overhauled, in order that firearms crack instead of parp, while action bowls have already been given The Last folks treatment, helping you to approach with an assortment of tactics at heart. Tall grass, for instance, permits you to approach in stealth, as the newly added grappling hook permits you to traverse play spaces with speed. Limited ammunition and destructible cover encourages you to excersice, and the wonderful controls make certain that every come across is really as satisfying as the last.
Really the only downside may be the inclusion of the best Naughty Dog cliché: armoured enemies. While there are far fewer bullet sponges present during the period of the campaign than in previous entries, the studio’s struggling to resist the temptation of throwing in a few, and it’s really still frustrating liberally tossing grenades at your feet of a mailed merc and then watch him leave unscathed. These eye-rolls, alongside constantly collapsing contraptions and platform pushing puzzles, do endorse the developer’s decision to leave the franchise on a higher – it can’t re-use many of these mechanics again.
That said, these grappling hook and the ever-presence of companion characters genuinely do revamp the surroundings traversal – the scripting achievements are nothing short of sublime. Factor the vehicles in to the mix and you wrap up with some really enjoyable navigation; it’s never challenging, however the title’s constantly finding new methods to make you question how exactly to reach another ledge. The conundrums, too – which were hit or miss in previous Uncharted games – are far better here; they’re taxing enough to supply a feeling of achievement, but also entertaining to resolve.
And we probably should spare a paragraph for the presentation, which is fairly simply jaw-dropping from commence to finish. The bigger environments are believe it or not densely detailed, and the vistas are one of the better that we’ve ever seen on a console. But it is the art direction that outdoes itself: every environment feels as distinct and important as the last, and even though you’re spending the ultimate few hours in the same general area, the studio uses subtle lighting tweaks and weather to improve the color grading and create different moods.
The multiplayer’s the icing at the top of the intricately baked cake, even though we’ll be breaking out our online impressions in a later post, we will say that people like what we’ve played. The lack of co-op is a major way to obtain disappointment for most, but Naughty Dog’s already confirmed that it is coming later in the entire year. You’ll have to put up with the competitive suite for the present time, then, which is thin with regards to modes, but well assembled.
Running at 60 frames-per-second, the core shooting feels even slicker compared to the single player campaign, and the addition of the grappling hook alongside chargeable melee attacks bring something just a little dissimilar to the suite. It is the in-game unlocks that will be the real unique feature here, though; cash could be accrued for completing objectives in-game, and invested into computer-controlled companions who’ll support you or Mysticals.
These MacGuffin special moves can change the tide of battle when used appropriately, but are obviously expensive to unlock and must be in the proper hands. It’s a dense group of systems, with bot-based Trials made to help you get your mind around all of them. The modes are believe it or not complex either: Team Deathmatch is self-explanatory, but there’s a ranked alternative which sees you moving through leagues; the Capture the Flag-inspired Plunder will require no introduction, while Command – a twist on Chain Link which puts a bounty on the top of the MVP – might take a bit more time to understand.
All this is buoyed by a rich roster of unlockables – from weapon mods to cosmetic items – to keep things feeling fresh. The downside for a few is definitely the implementation of microtransactions: chests can be bought using an in-game currency called Relics, but you will only ever unlock random items with these – if you wish something specific, you will have to buy Uncharted Points from the PlayStation Store. The benefit, of course, is that future updates and map packs will be accessible free of charge, which is always a very important thing.
A fitting end for just one of PlayStation’s most well-known franchises, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End sits alongside The Last folks at the apex of cinematic action experiences. Naughty Dog’s capability to tell engaging tales is unmatched, with Nate’s final chapter expertly balancing bombast against genuinely relatable themes. It will not redefine the genre that can compare with Uncharted 2, however the developer’s boundless ambition ensures that that is a bigger, better, and more beautiful adventure than previously.