Be warned if you continue reading after this point you will encounter the following:
- Light spoilers
- My opinion, given with no regard to other’s opinions
- Occasional Adult Language and Concepts, because … you know.
When I first heard that Uncharted 4 was coming out, well I got excited, instantly. As excited as one Bro can be for the adventures of another Bro, without it being, you know, weird.
Naughty Dog have consistently given out a top quality experience and I struggle to think of one game they make that does not rate highly. Which does of course include, but is not limited to all previous Uncharted games and the greatest game ever made – The Last of Us (I am aware that this may be viewed as subjective, but it’s a fact – feel free to leave your opinions about this in the comments to be ignored).
So in preparation (and because this game was endlessly delayed) I played UC 1 through UC 3 on the PS4 as the Remastered versions were released. I enjoyed them as much as I did the first time round, and despite it being years since I played them I was dropping them as quickly as the body count rises on GoT.
Then finally the game arrives at 7:14 a.m. on release day (thanks NZ couriers, totally worth waking me for at that time (no sarcasm)), and it comes with the BIG FUCKING ANNOYING UPDATE! One of my bug bears on AAA games, especially on release day is these huge files eating up my HD and bandwidth, delaying the playing of the game. However I finally get to play it that night after a day of being a parent on a school trip and it was a blessed relief to slip back into the world of running, gunning and shunning (sleep mostly).
So I get it Tuesday, start playing Tuesday night and I finish it Thursday night, because you know – day jobs and shit.
Which should tell you something about the game, I could not play anything else until it was done and in total I spent a dozen or more hours playing it over three nights.
Without giving too much away (see point 1), this is almost but not quite what you’d expect from a UC title minus one small factor. UC 1, 2 & 3 all presented (As far as I can recall they all did) a supernatural/beastly element to ratchet up the scare factor and the difficulty, but the villains and bullet fodder in UC 4 are all somewhat earthly.
It’s a beautiful game and the scenery alone is worth playing for, let alone the humour, the action, the plot and the voice acting that is second to none. Nolan North delivers pitch perfect Nathan Drake, and it’s not a UC title without Sully so here’s there too along with a new character – the estranged (well they thought dead, but whatever) Samuel Drake played by Troy Baker – the voice of Joel from the Last of Us (see greatest game ever made and point 2). Add to this Warren Kole who is the super-creepy, mental and disaffected billionaire villain of the piece, Rafe Adler. There’s also a South African mercenary woman who kicks serious ass, but by the end I didn’t quite know what to make of her character.
I played the game on normal because I wanted to get through and see the story, but it’s good enough for me to play again on hard, to up the challenge and go for the collectibles.Cue the expansive story, the sea of bullets and explosions you swim through to get to the end and of course the endless parkour that the UC franchise makes it’s name on.
What’s different? Well the lack of monsters as mentioned, the puzzles seem to have taken a bit of a back seat, and the new multiple path environments. They are not quite open world, but have multiple approaches to most levels and that has removed the sense that the story is on rails and you get more freedom in some of the bigger areas. Driving around Africa and exploring the islands are loads of fun.
Is it worth paying full price for? Yes.
Is it the best UC title yet? Debatable, and it’s not in danger of unseating the Last of Us, but it does have a sense of story and family that feels pretty real and packs more of an emotional impact than the previous ones.
If you like any Uncharted you will like this, and the same for the new Tomb Raider (which this is better than).
Feel free to look at the stats below and mock my efforts, but I enjoyed the shit out of this game (see point 3)