Game review on PlayStation 4
Sam Heatley / Sun 5th Jun 2016
228 views / 4 bites
OVERVIEW Uncharted 4 is an experience. Naughty Dog are masterful in their use of storytelling. From beginning to end, it is a roller-coaster ride that plays on emotions. The game has toned down on it's over the top set pieces to instead focus on visuals and narrative.
STORYLINE Uncharted 4 is the final game in the series that follows adventurer Nathan Drake. Nathan has settled uneasily into a normal life: a house in the suburbs and a typical everyday job. When his brother Sam arrives, Nathan is drawn into new dilemmas as he helps him hunt for pirate treasure.Uncharted 4 plays out like an action movie. It has a dramatic opening, flashbacks and plenty of intense moments. However, the story has pacing issues, with some chapters dragging out unnecessarily and others feeling too brief in contrast to what is happening. The slower chapters show how Nathan Drake has grown as a character. What was once important to him, treasure hunting, is now secondary to his family and their safety. Naughty Dog fleshes out this idea over the entire game by contrasting Nathan to his brother Sam. It may include the typical action movie cliches but it delivers everything expected from an Uncharted game.
GAMEPLAY Uncharted 4's gameplay seems to have missed the opportunity to be so much more. The core mechanics: platforming, jumping and shooting have all been refined into a smooth experience. Then other mechanics such as melee combat feel neglected and clunky. The cover mechanic still places Nathan into awkward situations, often resulting in death. This has been a problem throughout the series.The game could have taken more advantage of Drake's accessories for added variety and difficulty since the combat and puzzle solving is straightforward. Fire fights are difficult, but, it's all about positioning and constantly moving especially with higher difficulties. The addition of marking enemy locations and stealth made it easy to cruise by some areas without any interaction.The game, while still linear, offers more choices for exploration.This can lead to different things like collectibles, optional conversations and journal entries. All important things for trophy collectors.
GRAPHICS The graphics are to die for. Each area is as stunning as the last with great cinematography that rivals any recent movie. Naughty Dog have made sure that Nathan's world feels like a living and breathing one with vibrant environments and gorgeous details. The game has included more visual and lighting cues that make it easier to direct Nathan through the action. The most amazing part of the game is the realism of each character. The facial movements and emotions captured make characters more believable due to the amount of details. The progress made since Uncharted 3 is something Naughty Dog should be proud of.
AUDIO The music in the game felt like it was mostly absent except during cutscenes. Whether or not it was deliberate, the game was missing its usual personality. Considering the overall game, Naughty Dog may have been aiming for a more somber tone for this adventure. The voice acting was superb, with notable performances from Troy Baker and Nolan North. The banter between them was funny and added more depth to their characters.
VERDICT Naughty Dog manages to blend cinematic flair and creative designs to make sure that Uncharted 4 hooks you right to the end. The game has toned down on gunfights in order to focus on delivering a strong story. Uncharted 4 is a visual benchmark for future games with its highly detailed cutscenes and environments. Nathan Drake's adventure may be over but it wont be forgotten quickly.