Wooooow. Wow. I literally finished playing Uncharted 4 and I have no words. It was one of the best games that I’ve ever played through. Uncharted 4 is chock-full of dialogue, story, and subtlety, and it’s so amazing. In my opinion, it’s definitely one of the top ten “finale” games to exist.
Uncharted 4 follows the last adventure of Nathan Drake, who has, in this game, retired from his treasure-hunting business and is, instead, working with a salvaging company. He digs things up out of water. It’s like low-stakes, low-risk treasure hunting. Nathan and Elena have settled down in the suburbs, trying to lead normal lives, which obviously doesn’t work too well considering what Nathan ends up doing. I loved this beginning of the game, because you get a lot of background on the characters, but it’s not boring. It’s actually pretty lovely, like an homage to the previous three games. Nathan reminisces over his past adventures and you can even discover little trinkets around his office and home, that belong to these other excursions. I also have always liked Elena and Nathan together, and you get to see them working as a married couple, and that’s pretty cute. They’re a good pair. But it’s easy to tell that not all is well in paradise, because Nathan’s very obviously bored with his job. He loves Elena a lot and doesn’t plan on getting back into treasure hunting, but he’s also really restless with his life right now.
Another thing that I like about this game is the flashbacks– these give us a lot of sight into Sam and Nathan’s relationship, as well as their relationship with the main antagonist, Rafe. We see Sam and Nathan as little kids (which is really cool; they were pretty crazy kids,) and we also see the mishap that led to Nathan’s beginnings. It gives you more of a foundation into Nathan’s personality and why he does what he does. You also learn that treasure-hunting runs in the Drake/Morgan family– their mother, Cassandra Morgan, was a historian who searched for the pirate James Avery’s lost treasure– and that’s what starts this whole mess.
You get a lot of story in this game. I can’t say that enough. This game is all about the story.
The gameplay might put off those who like to experience varied environments. It’s very repetitive, but I don’t mind that at all. There’s a lot of point and shoot, use the bombs, use this rope thingy that you have to swing across wide spaces, you know. The usual Uncharted mechanics.
The scenery in this game is GORGEOUS. I feel like 80% of their budget must have gone into the scenery because it is quite possibly the most beautiful game that I’ve ever played. All of the locations– the residential areas like Nate and Elena’s home, the towns that they visit, the island of Libertalia, the school that Nate and Sam attended, the Paraguayan jail– each and every single one has so many painstaking details. I’ll add some pictures below, because I really can’t describe it well enough. There were so many times that I wanted to stop and paint what was on my screen, or where I just stopped and looked around for a good ten minutes because it was so, so breathtaking.
via n4g, Kotaku, pastemagazine and fenixbazaar.
Let me be clear, here: these aren’t cutscenes or anything– these are actual screenshots straight from the game. It’s so incredible. God, I remember one place in particular– a villa you have to sneak Sam and Nate into to steal the St. Dismas’ cross. It was so, so stunning. I am so sad that I don’t have a house like that manor.
Also, the amount of time that it took for me to complete this game was great! I’m not a serious gamer or anything– I love video games, but I usually spend maybe an hour or two on them a few times a week. Even so, I tend to finish games fairly quickly, but I’ve been playing Uncharted 4 for I think, maybe three whole weeks now. For $60, it’s a really great deal. You get so many hours of gameplay and story, and the story is riveting and the gameplay is wonderful. There are so many places you can explore– the storyline is very linear, but you can go around collecting treasures or unlocking dialogue with various characters, or finding journal pages for Nathan to pencil into his little book. I hate going after treasure most of the time but the journal pages were what got to me– I love being able to read through Nathan’s private thoughts.
The characters are familiar and they’re wonderful. I can’t decide who is my favorite, because they’re all so well-written and they feel almost like real people. The dialogue between them is smooth and natural, and everyone has a part in the story. There are no random characters. The villains are perfect, the whole cast is perfect. There aren’t any awkward animation scenes and there aren’t many bugs in the game at all. It’s incredibly immersive. While you can play this game by itself, I would seriously recommend that you play the first three and then move onto Uncharted 4. It just makes everything so much sweeter. There are a ton of cameos from the old games, so it’s a lot more exciting.
I think that literally the only thing that disappointed me about this game was the lack of supernatural creatures. Uncharted featured those creepy demon-cursed-Nazi creatures, and Uncharted 2 I think had the undead warriors and crazy goat-yeti monsters from Shambhala. Uncharted 3 featured djinn that took over the bodies of dead soldiers and were seriously creepy and a little hard to kill. So I was waiting the entire game for something scary to pop out in Uncharted 4, but nothing ever did. I think that in this game, the shock-factor was supposed to be the treasure itself, and what it did to the pirates and colonists. They all went mad with greed and jealousy and worked quickly to slaughter each other. Even Avery and Tew didn’t survive the massacre, having murdered each other before anyone could escape with the treasure. While I kind of wish that there had been monsters, it really didn’t matter that much. The game was perfect even without them.
The ending of Uncharted 4 was really wonderful, too. I was worried that they’d kill off Sam or something but no, he survives. He’s really, super cool, so I’m excited about that. Also, I think that there might be a possibility that they’ll continue the series with Sam and Sully, but there’s no news on that so here’s to hoping. You get to see an epilogue featuring Nate, Elena, their dog and then their daughter, Cassie (who I just realized is named after her grandma, aww,) and it’s perfect because they’re literally living their best lives. Nate and Elena have taken over the salvage crew and they’re exploring the world, finding sunken treasure. Cassie’s taking after her parents with her curiosity in adventuring, and they leave the possibility open that she might be the new protagonist for any future Uncharted games.
Anyways, my hands are starting to hurt from typing all of this. I can’t stress this enough, but if you like the series and you’ve been worried about getting the game because what if they ruin it? NO. IT’S PERFECT. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. And if you’re looking to get into a new series, Uncharted is where it’s at. Definitely, definitely, definitely play this game!
On another note, if you like treasure hunting and books about treasure hunting, try reading Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series. They’re pretty intense novels that deal with all of this stuff that Nathan Drake and co. do, and they’re so much fun!