Nathan Drake’s Lasting Legacy: Uncharted 4 Review

Nathan Drake’s Lasting Legacy: Uncharted 4 Review

When I picked up Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End, I knew what I was in for:  a fun filled adventurous game filled with puzzles, shooting, a fun story and more.  But what I didn’t expect was something that made me feel every emotion that I could have possibly felt while playing a video game.  There were times while playing Uncharted 4 that I sat back and thought to myself, “I really don’t want this to end.”  I mean, sure all good things do come to an end, but this game was an absolute joy and pleasure to experience.  After multiple delays, it’s easy to determine why the game was pushed back time after time.  It’s an astonishing achievement and the team at Naughty Dog should be very proud of the masterpiece that they have released to the public.  Uncharted 4:  A Thief’s End is without a doubt the best video game released this generation and it is a crowning accomplishment that should be celebrated throughout the video game industry.

Uncharted 4 is a crowning achievement

There were times while playing Uncharted 4 that I sat back and thought myself, “I really don’t want this to end”

Let’s face it:  video games these days look good. Damn good.  But A Thief’s End puts that on a completely different level.  And I’m not just talking about graphics because that can be easily obtainable with the processing power of the PlayStation 4 (and the Xbox One & PC for that matter).  But the vistas in this game are simply remarkable.  The game does a really nice job of expressing it subtlety through general conversation between Nathan and Sam or whomever is alongside Nathan in the moment.  Additionally, it sucks you in.  I found myself staring at the in-game conversation; listening intently to what was going on, and quickly realized that the gameplay cinematic and in-game cut scenes are on the same engine.  This looks completely astonishing to the naked eye due to the fact that it makes nearly all transitions in the game completely seamless.  But what sets this game apart from other current gen games is quite frankly the cinematography.  The direction and cinematography of the game is absolutely top notch. Uncharted 4 feels like you’re playing the events of a movie, not a video game from one of the top developers in the industry. Not many games like that exist today. There were multiple times where it felt like I was watching a movie play out but the only difference was that I was in control of the circumstances and could control how they played out to a point giving me an option to decide where the conversation goes by selecting a response.  My only negative mark is that I wish there would have been more conversations like this throughout the game but at the same time, I understand why there isn’t.  Uncharted isn’t that type of game; it knows what kind of game it is, what makes the series great and continues celebrating that tradition in the 4th and final installment.  And that ladies and gentlemen, is the sign of an amazing video game.

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You will find yourself in awe looking at vistas like this.  Simply beautiful

The gameplay in Uncharted 4 is done extremely well.  Satisfying gunplay feels rewarding and gives the player undeniable vindication.  A new utility has been added into the game as well and will make you wonder why it was not ever utilized in other Uncharted games.  The rope is used to swing to higher ledges, climb to the top of cliffs, and most importantly in some instances, save your ass from plunging into the abyss.  It’s a welcoming utility to Nathan Drake’s arsenal, and it’s a nice touch.  While the gameplay is a thrill in Uncharted 4, it’s the interpersonal relationships between these characters that truly make the game a complete masterpiece.

Uncharted 4's amazing gunplay in action

Satisfying gunplay feels rewarding and gives the player undeniable vindication

As the game begins, you realize the bond between Nathan and his brother Sam is strong.  We flashback to different areas of their lives, showing off what makes their bond so strong and begin to understand why Nathan and Sam are the way they are when it comes to discovery, and thievery.  The game does such a good job of showing this off that it became the best introduction I have ever experienced in a video game.  After that, the opening credits roll, you are all in from that point forward.

Nathan is no longer a thief.  No longer an adventurer.  No longer, “Nate The Great”.  Nathan Drake is committed to an office job, and is happily married to Elena Fisher-Drake whom he worked with and fell in love with during the events of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.  While Nathan does enjoy his home life and challenging Elena’s high score in Crash Bandicoot (a Naughty Dog classic), it’s clear that Nathan is destined for one more great adventure and he thirsts for it by playing a game of shootout with a Nerf gun by himself and again while Elena discuses a typical day at work as he daydreams to himself.  It’s in his blood, but only this time, it becomes more personal.

Nathan Drake is truly living the dream in Uncharted 4

Nathan is no longer a thief. No longer an adventurer. No longer, “Nate The Great”

The enemies of Nathan, Sam, and Sully have their own motivations as well.  Wealthy but merciless mercenaries, Nadine Ross: owner of the Shoreline militia, and former partner of Nathan and Sam: Rafe Adler have one thing in mind: finding the treasure of Captain Henry Avery no matter what he costs.  They become formidable adversaries for our heroes who become hell bent on finding Avery’s treasure.

Of course, finding the lost treasure of a famous pirate like Henry Avery isn’t an easy task.  In classic Uncharted form, you’ll find yourself referring to maps, notes, and journal entries in order to find out the secrets of Avery’s treasure.  The puzzles in the game require deep thought but once they are sold, a feeling of victory, satisfaction, and accomplishment rushes over you and the game rewards you by hastily continuing the story from that point.

Without spoiling the story, I can tell you that the game draws these amazing parallels between the good/bad guys and the pirates who lusted for the treasure centuries before them.  It’s not easy to see at first, but by the end of the game, it’s staring you right in the face.  Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley knew exactly how to put together the perfect parallel between these characters, and their ancient pirate lore counterparts.  The story telling is memorable, and most importantly, enjoyable.

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Nadine Ross and Rafe Adler: wealthy mercenaries hell bent on finding Avery’s treasure no matter what the costs, and will stop at nothing

As usual, the soundtrack on Uncharted is phenomenal.  You will find yourself gripping your DualShock 4 controller even tighter during heart pounding firefights, memorable cut scenes, and exciting action sequences all thanks to the beautifully scored soundtrack of Uncharted 4.  There are countless times where I found myself thinking that the music in this game really helps intense moments become even more intense.  Video game music has always been a huge part of games, and all credit should go to Henry Jackman for helping bring the intensity of what is in this amazing game.

Uncharted 4 is a crowning achievement in video games.  It’s no question that Naughty Dog put in countess hours to achieve what I would call a masterpiece.  There’s so much more that can be said about his game, but sometimes, there aren’t enough words to describe something as great as this game.  Especially when the greatness comes from small beginnings.  Uncharted 4 is a fitting end to the legacy of Nathaniel Drake, and while the series has now ended, the lasting legacy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will last and live on forever.  Bravo Naughty Dog, and congratulations on an incredible achievement in video gaming. Sic Parvis Magna.

Score:  10/10

Albert Perkins is an Editor/Journalist for Mammoth Gamers, and is also the Host & Producer for The Weekly Wrap Up YouTube Channel. Away from gaming you can find Albert watching sports, television, movies, and regularly being the jokester & punch line amongst his friends. You can follow him on multiple social media outlets.

  • Hagoromo Otsutski

    Great review man! Uncharted 4 was, imo the best Uncharted and one of the best ( if not the best) games of this generation. It really reflects the hard work, concentration and ‘craftsmanship’ of the game You’ve done it again Naughty Dog

    • Albert Perkins

      Just saw this – thank you! I couldn’t agree more; a perfect game in every sense of the word. Glad you enjoyed the game as much as I did!

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