Uncharted 4: a Thief’s End: a video game review

I recently completed the campaign on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. I think it was supposed to take 15 hours or so, but I’m sure it took me much longer.

I have a history with the Uncharted series. I’ve played all of them. On the PlayStation 3 for the first three, and now on the PlayStation 4 for this installment. I have loved all of them as well, this one not being an exception. In fact, this game is the cherry on top of what’s been an amazing gaming experience sundae for me.

All of the games share some common traits. They are treasure-hunting adventures at heart, involving a lot of fighting and climbing and jumping. The games explore vertical space in a dazzling way that reminds me of the feeling I first got while playing the early Assassin’s Creed games. This one, the first on the PS4, is the best of the bunch, of course. Another thing the games share is superb voice acting, with Nolan North, Emily Rose, and Richard McGonagle reprising their roles as Nathan Drake, Elena Fisher, and Victor Sullivan (Sully!), this time joined by fan fave Troy Baker (Joel in The Last of Us, among many other roles) as Nate’s brother Sam Drake, and Laura Bailey and Warren Kole as main villains Nadine Ross and Rafe Adler. To me, all four of the Uncharted games are not merely games, but movies with sections you are allowed to play.

That’s something these games have in common with the Assassin’s Creed franchise for me. Once I’ve finished the campaign, I’m finished with the game. I never go back to try to earn all of the trophies. And, I’m not really a gamer who enjoys multiplayer experiences. I’ve tried. It’s just not me.

I’m not sure why I feel differently about the original Mass Effect trilogy. I return to those games time and again. I’m actively trying to earn all of the trophies for ME2 and ME3 (having already earned my platinum for the original). I wonder if I allow enough time to pass that I might feel the same way about Uncharted. Time will tell, but I really don’t think I’ll be revisiting the games, not when I can continue to go forward.

Anyway, I loved Uncharted 4 unconditionally. Yes, some of the jungle action in the final acts became a little repetitive, but not so much that I consider this a game flaw. This entry seems to put a cap on the Nathan Drake story in a very satisfying way, with an epilogue involving (SPOILER ALERT) Nate and Elena’s daughter. Also, we see Sam leaving to join Sully on some adventure even before the epilogue. I don’t think we’ve seen the last Uncharted game. It’s just a question of which direction they choose to take it.

If I were forced to give this game a numerical score, it would be a 9.5 out of 10. Why not a 10? Well…I’d have to say it’s because there’s not really a gasp-inducing new feeling in the game, just more of what we’ve come to expect. Of course, that’s all good stuff. If you haven’t already, you should play this one.

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