Breathtaking. There is no better word to describe the journey that “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” takes the player on. “A Thief’s End” proves that video games are an immaculate medium for interactive storytelling. It’s gameplay, writing and aesthetics all come together to weave an unforgettable story. It’s sure to make players shed a tear, especially those who have been with the series since its humble beginnings back in 2007.
“A Thief’s End” is a technical powerhouse, putting every game released so far to shame. It has set a new bar for other games to aspire to, showing what video games can truly do when at their full potential. “A Thief’s End” is not only an emotionally moving game, but an amazingly enjoyable one that puts gamers in control of unforgettable moments. In the final installment of the “Uncharted” franchise, developer Naughty Dog not only delivers one of the best games of the year, but one of the best games of all time.
Naughty Dog, as well as the “Uncharted” franchise, have always been critically praised for their impeccable writing. “A Thief’s End” delivers the best, most grounded and emotional, dark tale of our hero, Nathan Drake, in its heartfelt final chapter. Our hero’s final tale revolves around his brother, Sam Drake, returning after being presumed dead. Sam Drake is in some rough waters and asks Drake to come out of retirement in order to pursue legendary Pirate Henry Avery’s long lost pirate utopia known as Libertalia.
The stakes become high as Drake agrees to help his brother. As the journey unfolds, Drake’s relationships are put the test. His marriage comes into question, his relationships with his loved ones begin to fall apart as he returns to the life he left behind. The character development asks questions of Drake and the player. Seeing Drake’s inner struggle drives the narrative forward as each new chapter delves deeper into why Drake is doing all of this. It’s an introspective piece that not only asks Drake, but more importantly the player, the question “are you happy with your life?”
The gameplay is some of the most fluid and fun that has come out of Naughty Dog. The platforming is smooth and tense as players climb mountaintops and traverse cities. The level design is grander, giving players more options to explore the locals they visit and opens up combat in exciting new ways.
Combat is as fun as ever; and firefights have an ‘action blockbuster’ feel that “Uncharted” has always been known for. The action is meaningful and drives the narrative forward. The addition of the new grappling hook makes the combat more interesting, giving players the ability to swing across gaps to lose their attackers or use it to launch themselves at enemies with cinematic flair. “A Thief’s End” seamlessly blends gameplay and storytelling and creates a more interactive experience. There are never any load times or any cuts to black before a cutscene starts. Everything merges together beautifully and immerses the player into the world, and the story.
The graphics add to the captivation as well as the cinematic flair. The incredible attention to detail is outstanding. The fact one can see sweat drip down Drake’s face or his clothes getting wet when he steps into the water makes the game more impressive. Characters facial expressions are unbelievable, which are more powerful thanks to the superb acting done by the entire cast.
Naughty Dog has outdone themselves with “A Thief’s End.” They prove that gaming isn’t for children, but for a mature audience wanting to get lost in a story. “Uncharted” has always been the face ofPlaystation, as well as the flagship franchise. With “A Thief’s End” being the final installment of “Uncharted,” it’s only fair that it goes out on top.