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Review: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Uncharted 4, in its simplest form, is everything a video game should be. Uncharted 4 has some of the best graphics, characters, sound design, and stories of this generation. At no point during the 15 hour campaign did I not enjoy where I was, if it were because of the landscape, the gunfights, the stealth, or the banter between characters. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is an achievement in game making, in writing, and in design, and Naughty Dog has knocked it out of the park.

Title: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Naughty Dog
Platform: PS4
Release Date: May 10th, 2016
Players: 1-10
MSRP: USD $59.99

First thing's first: Uncharted 4 does not disappoint on the story. This games sees Nathan Drake in a very different position, one where he has fit into a mostly normal life and has abandoned his treasure hunting ways. However, he is pulled back into the world one last time by his long lost brother, Sam. This kickstarts his hunt for the lost pirate city of Libertalia, where he is tracked down by a former associate and a private military group. Unlike in previous games however, Drake is very obviously no on longer enthused by the adventurer lifestyle. A good example of this comes from very early on in the game, where Nathan is offered a job that would give him a lot of money, but is in a legally gray area. He refuses, because he doesn't want to live that lifestyle anymore, no matter what.

Images Courtesy of Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment

In Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog continues their long standing pattern of making the best-looking games for any Sony console. While the game does only run at 30fps in singleplayer, it runs very smooth. Even during Uncharted's well-known action setpieces, the game keeps running at the locked frame-rate.

Images Courtesy of Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment

Uncharted 4 features some of the most refined gameplay in the series. While Uncharted has always had good platforming and combat, Uncharted 4 adds some mechanics that enhance these styles of gameplay to their greatest form. In platforming, Drake finally receives a grappling hook to use. This helps breathe fresh air to the platforming that's stayed mostly the same over the other four games in the franchise. The grappling hook also has some utility in the refined combat system. Like Uncharted 3 before it, Uncharted 4 received upgrades to the melee combat. For example, Drake now has a move that allows him to one-hit kill most enemies by falling on them from above. This can be linked with the previously mentioned grappling hook to great effect.

Like the previous games in the series, Uncharted 4 has some great sound design. The voice acting is amazing, with all of the same actors reprising their roles. The music is also a standout, with it very much fitting the game's feeling of adventure. The sound effects are also great, with all of the guns and punches actually sounding like guns and punches.

Uncharted 4 also includes a multiplayer mode. While I didn't spend as much time with it as I did the single-player, I see it being a very fun diversion from the plot of the game. If anything, it could use more maps and modes (which will be added after launch for free).

In the end, Uncharted 4 is simply a masterpiece. It sets out to achieve the goals of the original games, and not only does that, but exceeds them. Naughty Dog has given a very fitting conclusion to one of the most beloved game franchises of all time, ending it with a bang instead of a whimper.

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Writer, Intern, Lifelong Gamer, Amiibo Hunter, Masterful Memester.