I fondly remember the time when I was convincing my friend to buy a Sony PS4. The conversation went like this:
Me: You should buy a PS4. It’s been a number of years since its release and it has a robust lineup of games now.
Friend: Oh, are you now a PS4 marketer? I already have my PC. Tell you what, convince me with the games.
Friend: Too hard. I already have Dark Souls to occupy my time.
Me: Valkyria Chronicles?
Friend: PC HAS THE TITLE ALREADY. AND IN 60 FPS!
Me: God of War? Collection? And in 60 FPS?
Friend: Meh, my PS3 already gave me that experience. Not buying into the ReMaster Race.
Me: How about, UNCHARTED 4?!
The end of the conversation was a unanimous victory for me. Nothing can escape the temptations of playing Uncharted 4. Even with critical acclaim, you might’ve bothered to read this review primarily seeking for another opinion or you’re just plain bored. Well, here’re my thoughts on Uncharted 4.
Obviously not a game about a quiet life. If I wanted that, I would’ve just played The Sims.
Nathan Drake’s life is something to covet but the troubles that he goes through for it surpass superhuman level. After discovering (and destroying) ancient temples and locales, he finds himself married and stuck to a day job. Wishing for things to be back but worried about his spouse, he settles for the quiet choice. But then came his lost long brother, Sam. Sam befriended the worst of friends in his time of solace and in consequence, he is forced to look for the long lost treasure of Henry Avery. With a hint of hesitation, Nathan reneges and complies.
The good thing about the Uncharted series is that it is simple. There. Simple. It’s something different compared to recent titles that wallop a ball punch with a large serving of twists and turns. The Uncharted series has always been easy to follow and is so that even children love to watch me playing the games. It’s not with the simple plot that makes it different though, it’s about the characters that thrive in the world of Uncharted 4.
It helps to have played the old games for familiarization. The Uncharted remasters work well with this purpose.
Uncharted 4 is filled with people. Not mechatronic marionettes dancing to the fiddle of fate. Each character strives or shows themselves to be a human being. Naughty Dog has shown this kind of treatment in their previous titles, even in the villains of Crash Bandicoot and with their Last of Us stint. You cannot help but relate to some character’s motives despite it being maligned or good. The choices they make lie in the gray area, neither trying to be white or black. This gives flavor to an otherwise cookie-cut storyline.
Uncharted could’ve used another subtitle: Bullet-proof Treasure Hunter. But that sounds kinda dumb.
As I’ve stated before, Nathan Drake is a very durable human being comparable to that of a super mutant. The previous titles weren’t enough to kill him and Uncharted 4 would likely be the same. Platforming, gunplay, and some cover-based shooting come into play. The player, with the well-soiled boots of Nathan Drake, is expected to do some tedious maneuvering in traversing the world of Uncharted 4.
Collecting trinkets from old dead people is part of the game.
For platforming, Naughty Dog shows their expertise and experience with the design of every level. Most of the levels offer a semblance of choice. “Should I go to the left or to the right?” Both of which might offer different things to the player but the end goal is still the same. As the developers called it, “semi-open world”. There are some levels that require a large amount of climbing and hurling, other levels offer a more open world with a vehicle to use.
Look at those wasted poultry!
Gunplay involves a more simplistic but challenging approach. Nathan can equip guns – one primary and one secondary. He can also do some melee attacks for some close-quarter action. Simple enough to make first timers and veterans easily get the hang of it. Yet, challenging enough to keep things fresh and engaging. Most of the time, the player can scan the battlefield prior to the engagement. This small oasis of time opens up for planning and also for the new mechanic, stealth.
What’s new is that Uncharted 4 now has a stealth feature that the player can make use of to circumvent encounters and firefights. The game mostly pits impossible odds against the player and going with the sneaky route may soften the resistance, or eliminate it overall. The player can now mark enemies, thus allowing a better awareness of the surroundings. Enemies also have different states of alert: white for stoic, yellow for alert, and orange for “guns out!”
I’m a major lover of the PC Master Race and have been subjected to all manner of high-end, ultra-special graphics. But Uncharted 4, I didn’t expect to say this, is a graphical marvel. Just look at the pictures below to see for yourself. Take note, those are not cutscenes and all are rendered using the in-game engine. All in real-time at 30FPS.
All of them are taken using the in-game photo editor. The player can pause the game, make use of different overlays / effects to make it more personal. Think of it as Uncharted 4’s Instagram.
Multiplayer / End Game
After going through the motions and the roller-coaster ride that is the singleplayer campaign, players can just select an option below the story mode called, MULTIPLAYER. Uncharted 4’s multiplaye renders at 60FPS making it viable for those who love a silky smooth experience. Matches are played out as Team vs. Team battles with some special rules thrown in between.
To be fair, the gold can just be used for cosmetics and not some ridiculous in-game power-ups.
Player’s can customize their avatars with some fancy hats and some thought-provoking provokes. The game has an in-game market (Boo!) but it can be said that the multiplayer can be played without having to resolve on paying using hard dough.
Wham! Right in the feels!
Do you really need to read this one? Uncharted 4 is a bag of mixed goodies. Instead of offering a 50 / 50 chance of getting a bad and good, it offers a mix of good flavors packed in one bag. The pacing is in its sublime form and the characters, story, gameplay, all of which are weak on their own, form a lasting piece that has a possibility to raise one’s gaming standards. It doesn’t feel boring. Once you get to the point of boredom, Uncharted 4 throws something unique, or something that you’ve never encountered to make things fresh.
Another good thing is the game’s attention to detail. Uncharted 4 is a marvel to look at and it could’ve stopped there. The mud, stone, almost everything the player interacts with, has a behavior similar to what we could expect in real-life. Almost nothing remains untouched with Uncharted 4’s magic.
This segment is one of the best things I’ve every played. It’s high in octane, great effects, and the best about it is that you’re always in control of Nathan Drake.
Lastly, there’s end-game content. Uncharted 4’s multiplayer may not be that robust as Call of Duty or Battlefield 4. But remember that the game is mostly concentrated on the campaign yet was able to deliver a full-blown multiplayer experience. Again, it’s nothing special. Just wicked fun with explosions, power-ups, all of which without the toxicity and with balance.
The only problem that I’ve had was with the camera. There were times that it was a nuisance during a play. But nonetheless, those times were rare and not that frustrating.
Should you buy Uncharted 4? Hell, yeah! The series made leaps and bounds in both technology and presentation. It’s one thing to have stocked up in the beloved “PS4 Games” shelf, as a memento of a good game, or a replayable one at that. The only sad thing is that this is the last installment of the franchise. But I guess, it’s for the better.