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Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End Review

The Uncharted Series is a third-person action adventure shooter game that follows treasure hunter Nathan Drake. In this round – Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End is the fourth major title developed by Naughty Dog exclusively for the PlayStation 4. I’ve been interested in the series for awhile, as I’ve played a little of them here and a little there, but never a complete play through. I saw a lot of previews for Uncharted 4 at E3 so I was excited to be able to get an advanced copy. I’ll be covering the single player experience in this review.

Uncharted 4 Story

Several years after his last adventure, retired fortune hunter Nathan Drake is forced back into the world of thieves. With the stakes much more personal, Drake embarks on his greatest adventure in a globe-trotting journey in pursuit of a historical conspiracy behind a fabled pirate treasure. Every treasure has its cost and this adventure will test Drake’s physical limits, his resolve, and ultimately what he’s willing to sacrifice.

Uncharted 4 Graphics

The graphics are top notch.  The environment as a whole looks very impressive. It really does feel like a whole world that Drake and company are living in. There is so much detail everywhere. Not only is the immediate area around your character highly detailed, but the far off distance as well. I noticed several things like when walking in snow, how your tracks will appear, or the way that the grass individually blows in the wind. It’s a really immersive experience graphic wise.

Uncharted 4 Sound

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The sound team used ATRAC9 codec for Uncharted 4. This codec is game specific designed to keep memory and CPU usage as low as possible. It also allows for crazy details in game. Nathan reloading his gun sounds echo off the walls. You can hear the tires on the jeep and the surfaces they are gliding over. Again, all these details help keep you “in the world” of Uncharted 4.

The voice acting is also really great. I really enjoy the live response of the characters depending on what is happening in the environment. If I make a mistake, or move into a dangerous location for example the voice acting is right on top of it. Constant jokes and witty banter also help you stay involved in the story without being over the top.

Uncharted 4 Gameplay

Some friends watched me play and they helped to fill in gaps in the story when needed, but I don’t think the game would be lacking in anyway if I didn’t get these filled in details. Even knowing this game has quite the past history and story, I was immediately roped in. I couldn’t tear myself away from the evolving story-line.

Evolved mechanics give players many fresh approaches to game play, including seamless fluidity between melee, stealth, and combat. Varied and richly detailed environments open up with multiple navigation paths to encourage exploration. Enemy AI strategically leverage this and move around in the environment. 

One of the new game mechanics, is Drake’s use of a grappling hook to swing his way around obstacles and to climb up and down grappling hook. The camera swings over his shoulder like you’re swinging along, Spider-Man style.

Uncharted4AThiefsEndReviewYou are able to drive vehicles during game play and this adds great elements to the story. This would be a new step for the franchise.  Even though I had a digital copy on my hard drive, there was still a significant amount of loading time when first booting up the game. I will also hear the PlayStation kick into high gear to load the game. Load screens are otherwise far and few between though. The game play is pretty seamless even with the large world environments.

The companions in the game feel like an actual second player that let you take the lead while they support you. They will defend and attack at times. The banter between characters during the game was like listening to buddies chatting away.

Uncharted 4 Multiplayer

I haven’t had a chance to play the Multiplayer yet – but will update this review when I get the chance to demo it.

Uncharted 4 was like a book that you can’t put down. I wanted to keep playing because I wanted to know what happens to everyone. This game was more like an interactive movie with ‘play’ sequences in between story scenes. I enjoyed it completely.

Uncharted 4 releases on May 10, 2016. The Uncharted Collection, which includes the first 3 games is already out. I’m going to have to loop back and play these games so I can figure out what I missed in the story.

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