My first experience of Uncharted was finding myself all beaten up in a train, and then realising the train was actually vertical and hanging off a cliff, and then nearly falling to my death from the hanging train as I tried to climb up it to safety.
It was the most stressful I had ever felt in a video game since Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
The final game, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, has come out and … well, I don’t know what to say. It was simply the best out of all four and it already had hard competition!
If you have no idea what Uncharted is about, think Indiana Jones but cooler. It even feels like a movie as you play it, which pulls you right into game. You become Nathan Drake as he and his long-lost older brother set out on their final adventure: discovering the infamous pirate Henry Avery’s treasure.
And it’s not just about finding treasures and getting shot at. The whole game moves fluidly through the story. The story doesn’t just happen in the cutscenes. You’re walking through an auction house while your best friend Sully tells you the plan, you come across a cool viewpoint and you comment on it. This game even adds in “optional conversations,” where if something happens, a little speech bubble will appear over your allies head and you have the choice to dive into their thoughts.
As with all treasure hunting/adventure-themed games, there are puzzles to figure out, but instead of giving you dumb, repetitive circuit puzzles that are totally unnecessary, every puzzle you come across helps drive the plot. You feel like that this puzzle should be here.
Oh, and the characters. You have amazing actors such as Nolan North and Troy Baker taking on memorable, believably human characters. I’ve played games where some characters do things for the sake of plot, and I get angry because there had been little to no character development that would lead them to do such things. But everyone in Uncharted 4 does as I thought they would.
I guess the big question is, can you play Uncharted 4 without having played the previous three games? Yeah, I guess you could. But you would miss all the references to the previous games, miss the nostalgia Drake feels, and you wouldn’t feel so attached to the characters. I mean, yeah, you’d feel attached anyway, but after spending three games dealing with their problems, the premise and the ending just feels all the more satisfying.
I’ve been avoiding giving any games a ten out ten, because it would have to be a really perfect game to score that high with me. But Uncharted 4 has everything: amazing plot, beautiful graphics, easy mechanics, awesome script, treasure hunting, hard-enough enemies, a truly engrossing story. I mean, the story. Oh man, Naughty Dog is just really, really, really good at storytelling. If you haven’t played any of the original Uncharted games you are missing out on some of the best games the industry has to offer. And you can get the original games on the PS3 for real cheap! Total bargain!
To summarise my feelings about Uncharted 4, if everyone were to play just one video game in their life, I would give them this one.