Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is a third person action adventure game and is the fourth entry into the Uncharted franchise. In this entry, Nathan Drake finds himself older, wiser, and with his brother who he thought was dead. Nathan and his brother Sam soon find themselves on the adventure they started fifteen years earlier in hopes of paying off a drug lord that got Sam out of prison. Over time, Sully and Elena join in their adventure to race against bad guys to get the treasure as usual.

Going deeper into the story, the game starts fifteen years earlier than the game's current day. Nathan, his brother Sam, and a third name Raph are disguised as prisoners in a Central American prison. They are in search of treasure belonging to a pirate named Henry Avery. But complications arise and Sam dies in prison, while Nathan and Raph escape. Fast forward to present day and you find Nathan three years after the third entry working as a diver and married to Elena. His life as a fortune hunter is done, but is brought back to life when Sam re-enters his life. He finds out Sam was in prison but broke out with the help of a drug lord, but the drug lord wants this treasure, so he drags Nathan out of hunting retirement in search of Avery's treasure once more. But what is an Uncharted game without someone else looking for the same treasure? In this case, it is Raph and a lady named Nadine who is the leader of a mercenary group out looking for this treasure as well. Soon everyone is in a race around the world searching for this pirate treasure in hopes of being the ones who discover it first.

Nathan(back of the bike) with his brother Sam(front of the bike.)

Nathan(back of the bike) with his brother Sam(front of the bike.)

While the formula of Nathan plus others against people more powerful than him in search of treasure is similar, I find that aspect fun to go back to. It's like watching James Bond movies; the formula is the same, but it is still fun to watch each new entry. But this entry takes more of an approach of ending the series(as the name implies.) The way the story plays out as well as the characters themselves show signs of a franchise ending, and both are fantastic in this game. The story of Henry Avery and his treasure gets bigger and bigger as the campaign progresses, giving the feeling of one last, big fortune hunt. But what really stuck out with me in this game are the characters. The characters have aged both physically and mentally. Nathan has grown out of his addiction to get into danger and fortune hunt. You can tell he is not as youthful as he was in earlier games, and even though he seems like he is getting back into hunting, you can tell he is only doing this to help his brother out. By the end, Nathan was entirely against the treasure, as he truly realized how is previous actions of treasure hunting has hurt the ones he loves. Sam and Raph on the other hand are exactly like Nathan back when he loved to treasure hunt. Sam in particular shows how that life style hurts others around him by dragging Nathan around and other things that will spoil the story. Raph eventually drives Nadine away, and you can see her relationship with Raph dwindle. The characters feel the most real to me than in any previous Uncharted game, and they really show that the game has aged and it's time for them to end it. Sadly, some other things has aged, but not for the better. The controls do not feel good at all. The shooting feels hard to use, and their were times when I was tempted to use the auto aiming system in the game. I had difficulties with going into cover, and it often lead to jumping around the cover like an idiot while being shot at. Also, not being able to change controls didn't help either. one last thing on the controls, the final boss fight felt terrible. I won't say what it is, but their are quick time events, and they never seem to work.

But not everything in Uncharted 4 single player is old and bad. This can be said for the entire game, but the graphics look amazing. You can really tell the age on the characters, and the locations look more beautiful than ever. Despite it only being one part of the game, Madagascar had more open-ended levels which I found fresh and fun. Having a second person their with you let you have some cool melee combos that were fun to try out and watch. And even some older elements felt good in the game as well. The dialogue felt real, The puzzles were a fun challenge, The cinematic gameplay made me feel like I was a movie character, and the bonuses for single player were better than ever.

Some final things for campaign were this: despite being a small section, the car controls were terrible. Also, the new 'encounter mode,' which allowed replay of action moments, was a cool way of playing through campaign only through the action parts. Overall, I would say a phenomenal campaign.

Now moving onto the multiplayer and the survival mode. Multiplayer in this game is a lot of fun. The games ran incredibly smooth, which was a surprise for me. The mixture of the parkour and combat was a perfect blend for multiplayer. The good players in the game didn't hunker down, they were swinging, jumping, and shooting their way to victory. Another cool element in the game was unlocking and upgrading in-game. In matches, you collect money. That money is then spent on buying npc characters, supernatural things like turrets and health bombs, buying and upgrading gear, and special weapons. Having those items could turn the tides of the battles and made the matches more fun to play. Also in multiplayer were trials, which were training matches with bots to train you on specific items. This was a good way to learn the game and have fun while doing it.

Survival mode was also a lot of fun to play. Survival mode consisted of ten stages on ten different maps. Each stage had five waves, and as the waves went up to wave fifty, the waves got tougher and tougher. This mode was difficult, as even on the easiest difficulty I was struggling. But luckily, the game has a bot go around with you. Also, the addition of challenges, health bars, and boss fights made this mode fun to play.

One of the boss fights in the survival mode.

One of the boss fights in the survival mode.

Now I just talked about different aspects of multiplayer and survival mode. Here, I will talk about aspects that are shared between both modes. Both of these modes share some things in common. Both use the same maps, which are a lot of fun. They are diverse in look and have a lot of places to fight and to parkour. Also, both have elements of previous games. Being able to play as the bad guy from the second game or play on the train wreck from the second game was great. Looking back on those games through this one gave a slight sense of nostalgia and was fun to play. Sadly though, not everything shared between the modes are good. Despite having a big emphasis on co-op in survival mode and would still be a great addition to multiplayer, split screen is not in the game. Survival mode was the perfect opportunity to have split screen, and it not being there was disappointing to say the least. The other problem I had with the game which was pretty big was the use of microtransactions. They plague both survival mode and multiplayer, and boy is it mad microtransactions. While mostly aesthetic, their are some items like weapons locked behind this. But even the non-essential stuff is just bad. It's the kind of stuff similar to Doom and recent Call of Duty titles that are just childish and makes you think you are playing with ten year olds acting like they are in Faze clan and not an emotional game about two brothers reuniting for one last treasure hunt with their lives on the line from the danger in their way. And with the lack of quality comes the surplus of quantity. Half of the items I unlocked I still have not found because they are lost in one of the great many subcategories of items in the game. And even though all items are technically free, the only way to get the items for free is to purchases loot chests which takes awhile to earn and spits out random items, which that matched with the abundance of items means whatever you wanted you will most likely not get for a long time. Overall, I would say these two modes are fun, but are not as good as the single player.

So many subcategories just for hats.

So many subcategories just for hats.

The verdict: Uncharted 4 wraps things up well for the story of Nathan Drake (let's hope the future work announced for Uncharted doesn't continue the story.) The story and the characters feel real, and the gameplay is a lot fun. Mutliplayer and survival are also great when you finish the campaign and want more Uncharted. Unfortunately, some older mechanics of the game show their ugly side, and a lack of split screen and terrible microtransactions weigh down on the other two modes. In the end, I would highly recommend Uncharted to those who have played the previous games and to those looking for a good story and game, but still be aware mainly of the bad controls and microtransactions.