Unchartered 4 A Thief’s End: review and gameplay tips
Unchartered 4: A Thief’s End, the latest instalment in the series from developer Naughty Dog, has finally arrived on the PS4.
Since the events of Unchartered 3: Drake’s Deception, Nathan Drake has left the world of fortune hunting behind and settled down with Elena to lead a less dangerous and less exciting life.
It doesn’t take long for adventure to come knocking when Drake’s presumed dead brother, Sam, reappears with information on an irresistible adventure – and a plea for help to save his life.
With the stakes so high, Drake embarks on his most personal adventure in a globe-trotting journey in pursuit of Captain Henry Avery’s long-lost pirate treasure hoard. A Thief’s End takes players on a journey through jungle islands, open plains, urban cities, snowy highlands, and more on the search for Avery’s fortune.
Is it any good?
As with all Uncharted games, riddles eventually piece together, and Nathan and Sam’s fortune hunting – helped by long-standing ally Sully – begins. It’s a wonderful adventure, filled with twists and turns; characters are emotional, the narrative is tight, and – while jumping from roof to roof may require some suspended disbelief – the relationships are realistic. Sam and Nate’s brotherly bond is a wonder to behold, the pair sharing quips, teasing each other as all siblings do.
The gameplay itself – while it can be repetitive climbing buildings – is quite thrilling. One moment you’ll be sneaking around enemies, the next you’ll be opening fire. Suddenly, you’ll be scuba diving, then you’ll be playing Crash Bandicoot. Sure, open firefights can be slightly annoying as the controls can seem unintuitive, but around every corner, there is something breathtaking to make that momentary glitch instantly fade from memory.
There’s also the presentation of the game. From running around busy parties in a suit to climbing huge abandoned buildings, it all looks stunning. The artificially rendered Scotland is beyond words. Even on a small TV, you’ll be awestruck by the size of this game as well as the graphics, possibly the Playstation's best to date.
This isn’t so much a game, it’s a cinematic experience. You could watch a friend play the entire way through and not get bored. Uncharted 4 is unashamedly about the characters and their relationships. Although tied together by tight gameplay, it's all surpassed by the emotional struggles you will have. As we move into the next generation of blockbuster games, the Uncharted series will always have a place in every Indiana Jones fan's heart. A fantastic finalé to a spectacular series.
Jack Shepherd / Independent
Game Control Options
Difficulty: If this is your first Uncharted adventure, it is recommend starting on Moderate or Light. But if you’re a seasoned adventurer, try ramping it up to Hard. Crushing is best left for subsequent playthroughs, as it is brutal, but if you really want to, it is unlocked from the start.
Options/Controls/Camera Controls/Accessibility: Uncharted 4 has an incredible amount of options available to the player to customise their playing experience. It's worth exploring the various options to find ones that suit.
New Rope/Grappling Mechanics
For the first time in the franchise players can use a grappling hook to traverse environments, solve puzzles, evade and eliminate enemies in combat.
Cover: Many cover objects are destructible, and you can't remain behind them forever, so be ready to move quickly.
Stealth: Stealth plays a major part in Uncharted 4’s combat. Using cover and tall grass is key in hiding your movement around the environment and taking out foes silently. Pay close attention to the white and yellow detection indicators for each enemy and use the marking system to keep track of where the enemies are patrolling.
The game has 190 treasures, journal notes, and optional conversations. Explore the nooks and crannies of the lush environments, and keep an eye out for extra ledges, shimmy lines on walls, and hard to see platforms.
Some features below are only available after you have completed the game once:
Photo Mode: Capture all those breathtaking moments with special filters, camera settings, and effects to create a photo album worthy of publication.
Bonus Features: New bonus features unlocked after you complete the game allow you to add cool new visual modes and functionality. Cell shaded graphics, Pixel art, Mirror mode- and more. Check them out from the Extras menu accessed from the main menu.
Skins: You can purchase new skins for your favourite characters with your in game achievements: Nate in his scuba suit, Sam as a waiter, and more.
Encounter Select: Allows you to jump right into your favourite combat encounters anywhere in the game. Rack up those headshots, go crazy with some cool new weapons, attempt a clean ninja stealth run- have at it! Access the Encounter Selection from the Story mode menu.