Uncharted gets personal// Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

Uncharted gets personal// Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

By George R. Guerra, Co Editor

Uncharted fans remember finishing Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and thinking that it was the end of a spectacular trilogy and would make a great end to one of the Playstation 3’s definitive original intellectual properties. After all, The Playstation 4 was announced while Naughty Dog was still developing The Last of Us, and they typically only develop one game at a time, and only one franchise per console. It’s a tactic that has garnered criticism, however Naughty Dog produces such high quality content that it’s difficult to argue with their results. So when Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was announced for Playstation 4, fans greeted the news with some trepidation. It was a departure from the developer’s usual practices. What Naughty Dog delivered was a polished and deeply personal adventure, that is in many ways a spectacular send off to what is likely one of their most loved series.

Lets begin by saying that Uncharted 4 is without a doubt the most beautiful game ever made. The environmental effects are absolutely incredible. Water and fire ripple realistically, and the light work is incredible as well. As with all Uncharted games there’s an element of blockbuster cinematography and production quality that is second to none.

From a gameplay standpoint everything is functional and familiar to fans of the series. Gunplay feels tighter than ever, and there’s enough variation to keep you interested, even if the game doesn’t boast the biggest arsenal. Climbing mechanics are reworked and feel more realistic, and the addition of the grappling hook provides an extra dimension, along with some more comparisons between Nathan Drake and Indiana Jones.

However, story is where Uncharted 4 truly does something unique and outstanding. What started as a very generic action series has evolved into a deeply personal journey for characters fans have become invested in after 4 games together. The addition of Sam, Nathan’s retconned brother, was met with some criticism, which is understandable; he’s a presence for most of the game, but we aren’t as emotionally invested in his exploits. It’s a testament to the abilities of cdcn Nolan North and Troy Baker, who do the voices of Nathan and Sam respectively, that after a while Sam seems like an integral part of the group dynamic.

The game is longer than past entries in the series and that might be due to its deliberately paced opening. The game is about characters who began as caricatures at their most human. It tells this human story with great care and respect, and it is for this reason that Uncharted 4 will be remembered as one of the greatest games of this generation, if not all time.