“Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” Review

The last two Uncharted games, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, were two of best examples of cinematic experiences in gaming. They had endearing characters, witty dialogue, stellar acting, fluid controls, and so much more. These were not only some of the best Naughty Dog games, but also some of the best video games in general. So to say that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End had big shoes to fill would be an understatement to say the least. But despite this, I am happy to say that the newest addition to the Uncharted series lives up to the hype, and arguably surpasses the previous two titles. The story follows a retired Nathan Drake who has abandoned his life of adventure and treasure hunting for a more relaxed life with his wife Elena. Although his brother Sam soon convinces him to have one last adventure, playing through Nate’s  everyday life means that the game has a bit of a slow start. I enjoyed every minute of seeing Nate rummage through reminders of his past. I was genuinely interested in his life of peace and serenity with Elena, but those who just want to see guns and explosions may find early parts of the game a bit mundane. This does not however, decrease the quality of the game. The early hours of the game are varied with flashbacks of Nate’s earlier adventures as a thief, and a look into his childhood, but the game really starts to flourish when the hunt for Henry Avery’s lost pirate treasure begins. Uncharted 4 uses the same formula that made previous installments so successful, but with small tweaks here and there that make an extremely polished game. Enemy AI is noticeably more advanced. Opponents will throw grenades frequently, forcing the player to advance to a different point of cover. Crates that players hide behind can be destroyed by enemy gunfire. Enemies are more mobile, and will not hesitate to advance towards the player or even go around a point of cover. There is a larger focus on mobility than in any of the other games of the Uncharted series. The addition of a grappling hook further stresses the importance of movement during combat. This more varied game-play requires more from the player than just being able to hide behind a rock and unload a clip into a group of thugs. Traversing across the battleground is more significant than it has ever been in the series, and there are not many other games that have the same type of satisfying combat as this one. Another change made to combat in the series is the option to use stealth during most enemy encounters. Nathan can disappear in tall grasses, or climb from rock to rock to avoid being seen. Although previous Uncharted titles give you the ability to silently kill two or three enemies before the real battle starts, A Thieves’ End is the first game in the series that makes stealth an option worth using. The game certainly isn’t as stealth based as a series like Metal Gear Solid, but there is a notable change to the Number of combat options the mat the player has. But for those who wish to confront their enemies face to face, they still can. The game is more action packed as ever if the player wants it to be

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