Quick-Thoughts: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016)

Naughty Dog Binge Part 4 of 5 Leading Up to the Release of The Last of Us Part II

Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead 

At the beginning of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, we find out that Nathan Drake has finally accomplished living the “normal lifestyle” with his lovely wife Elena. Well, almost. Drake still yearns for the type of adventures that he had once partaken on, so when his thought-to-be-dead older brother arrives at his doorsteps with news of an island full of treasure, Drake decisively accepts. From there on out, the greatest elements of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (expressive plotting) and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (well-earned emotional resonance) begin to coincide to make arguably Drake’s most momentous and personal adventure yet. In this chapter of the treasure hunter’s legacy, he must relive and reconfigure the relationship with his older brother while sincerely examining the inward-looking hardships that he chooses to force upon his wife. It can be assumed that, from there on out, the relationships between our main character and his counterparts are dissected and developed at a significantly deeper rate than any of the other Uncharted games and are arguably the most moving of the batch. 

From prison escapes, nerf-gun foolery, a segment where you play Naughty Dog’s old Crash Bandicoot game, elongated car chases, and sword fights, this game is jam-packed with activities to do. The puzzles this time around are additionally a lot more visionary and luring, to say the least. It’s furthermore blatantly obvious just how absolutely mind-blowing the action graphics are in this final installment. Uncharted 4 very much hit the peak of just how lucidly it can simulate you into the midst of the game’s blockbuster-ish battles. 

The game offers a handful of new gameplay features, as well. There’s slope-sliding, a sweet grappling hook mechanism, deep-sea scuba diving, opportunities to choose the dialogue, pickpocketing, vent crawling, ship/jeep driving, and smartphone photo-snapping; they’ve got it all! 

Plus, finally! Some decent antagonists! Specifically, when on the topic of the main villain, the game incorporates him into the history of Nathan and Sam Drake pretty appropriately, so in spite of his corny characteristics, at least he had a more personal impact to the protagonists of the story when compared to the previous Uncharted villains. 

The writing and dialogue have moderately improved on top of that, which isn’t too big of a surprise since Neil Druckmann was chosen to write this game after creating the critically acclaimed The Last of Us. Furthermore, due to the 7-year time jump from the last Uncharted game, the acting and obviously the motion capture effects have increased to unbelievable lengths of realism that genuinely had me flabbergasted. 

There are still some ludicrous plot holes and MacGuffins in the game, as the Uncharted series is somewhat known for, however, for the most part, they killed the tiresome formula that I mentioned in my Uncharted 3 review—yippee! Pirate, booty, and swashbuckling excitement, the closing cap to Naughty Dog’s most celebrated series is a deservedly extravagant and well-respected maneuver for the fans. As of now, I think Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is my personal favorite of the franchise. What a damn fine conclusion to the long-lived video game series. 

Verdict: A-

“Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” is now available to play on Playstation 4.

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