Games come and go, but franchises stay forever. What hooks you to a game is more than just addictive gameplay and trophies. It’s the memories you create, whether they be from killing friends in combat or by the attachment we develop with our in game characters. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a roller coaster ride of all that’s good about games, and leaves out all the bad.
You play as Nathan Drake who has given up his former life of adventure and treasure, for a more simplistic life as a wreckage salvager… all in the name of love, or for a hot woman, whichever you prefer. But when your long lost thought to be dead brother comes back, the shit hits the fan and you go looking for the buried treasure of the wealthiest dead pirate captain ever, Captain Avery.
Now what I love best about this game is how it brings both old school with the new to make an even better playing experience. At the beginning of the game you get the chance to play an old favorite, Crash Bandicoot. Now as badass as I think I am at gaming, I couldn’t get past the first level of the game that I once used to rule. But, when I saw the PS one on screen and heard the sound of the PlayStation logo booting up, it made shed a masculine nerdtastic tear and my childhood flashed before my eyes.
The game play is really easy to pick up but also challenging enough to keep even the most seasoned veteran looking at a death screen. You have many options to let you fix the difficulty level to your comfort zone. If you want a really relaxed gaming experience you can play the easy difficulty and turn on the auto aim which basically auto targets an enemy when ever you point your gun in their general direction. But if you’re like me and love a challenge, play it on the hardest difficulty with the manual targeting system.
Another awesome feature is the amount of different guns you can find by killing or stealthily taking out enemies. My favorites are the RPG and, the even better, the flintlock pistol. It really got me into the whole pirate theme. There are more ammo drops for the more common weapons, while the more exotics have very few bullets. While that may annoy some, it actually made me really appreciate when I found an RPG that I could use to blow up a tank or blow a solider to literal bits.
The graphics are really something else. The game designers did a beautiful job of recreating landscapes, oceans and the abandoned pirate paradise city of La Liberta. They also did a great job adding small moments in the story where you literally stop, and just look at the beautiful landscape. I found myself in awe of some of the backgrounds.
The gameplay is a mixture of Assassins Creed style parkour and Call of Duty first person shooting. The parkour is not over the top and really quite believable. You won’t always hit your mark on a jump, and even if you do, the terrain doesn’t always hold up under your weight. So choose your jumps wisely.
Just like Assassins Creed, you have the option of the stealth kill. While not always easy to pull off, with a little practice, you’ll be snapping necks from the bushes anytime. The shooting is easy to pick up and can be made as difficult as you like. Just watch your bullets or you’ll find yourself running straight at an enemy soldier trying to knock him out Tyson style in order to steal his weapon.
My only issue with the game is the experience is way too short. As the last installment in the franchise, I was hoping for a longer story and experience. It took me about 12.5 hours to finish but I have heard of people finishing it in as little as 10. For such an epic franchise, I really didn’t want the experience to end.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is in my opinion the best game of the year so far. Unless something amazing comes out later this year, it’s got game of the year written all over it.