PS4 Review: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

A fitting end?

It seems like we’ve been waiting forever for Uncharted 4, what with the small delays here and there…but the time has finally come, Nathan Drake’s last adventure and maybe the last in the series is finally here…but does he get a decent send-off?
The story picks up after the 3rd game, Nathan and Elena are living happily married…that is until a face from Nathan’s past makes him go back to the treasure hunting life that he left behind when he got married. The face from the past? His brother who he thought was dead years ago…so it’s hard to deny him from looking for a treasure that they’ve been looking for since they were kids, the only snag is that someone else is after the treasure and has a mercenary army as his disposal…well it wasn’t going to be easy, was it?

If you’ve played past Uncharted games, you’ll feel right at home here. There have been a number of changes though, such as Nathan’s new grappling hook that comes in very handy when it comes to big jumps you have to make, or to reach new areas that would otherwise be inaccessible without it. Combat can be a mixture or combination of stealth and straight-out attack, with the traditional cover system. Enemies are your average foes, with the exception of those in body armour and helmets that you cannot take out stealthily without alerting everyone else.

The story will take you all over the world, exploring ruins both above and under ground. These environments are absolutely stunning and the game itself is definitely the best looking on the PS4 to date. The attention to detail is staggering, while not once impacting on the game’s performance. Character models are also improved dramatically over the previous games, looking more and more realistic…I remember the opening scene when Nate is driving to an island with his brother and me just staring, not realising that this was the actual game…I still thought it was the cutscene. That’s how good this looks, it fooled me and it’s been a long, long time since a game has done that to me.
As an ending to Nathan’s time as treasure hunter goes, it serves as a decent conclusion. If there’s any complaint to be made, it’s that the ending plays it a little safe in my book and the last few chapters seemed to drag it out a bit more than was necessary. Other than that, it’s about as perfect a campaign can be and is captivating all the way through.

Multiplayer is included and is well worth a look. There’s a good variety of modes, characters and a nice progression system to get to grips with. Plus you can earn multiplayer skins and boosters through the Uncharted: Treasure Hunter mobile app on iPhone/Android. That too is well worth a look, as a game to just play on the go its not too bad.

Credit where credit is due, Naughty Dog has filled the game with collectibles, but also Easter Eggs to past Uncharted games…as well as a chance to play a level from their very first game, Crash Bandicoot when you are home with Elena before Nate’s brother turns up. I love all these little nods to their past and it also makes me crave a new Crash, get it sorted already!

Once you are done with the campaign, you’ll be left with the multiplayer or you can try and get the rest of the collectibles, or specific trophies like completing the game in under 6 hours or finishing it with over 70% hit ratio. Other than that, besides playing on the hardest difficulty…you’ll find little reason to return. Having said that, all that will take you a considerable time to do and you’ll definitely feels like you’ve got your money’s worth by then.

The Verdict

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End brings Nathan’s story to a close in a pretty satisfying way, even if it’s a bit safe. Naughty Dog have created a masterpiece regardless with a thrilling campaign that never lets up, pushes the PS4 to its limits without breaking a sweat and reminds us just how much we’re going to miss the series..that is, if this is really the last one…

Score: 9.5