For anyone wanting to read the dark year arc. I just cannot seem to get going with it, maybe after I have the surgery on Thursday and am off work I can focus hopefully.
Just finished Uncharted 4 A Thief's End.
Will try to keep this spoiler free but be warned there is likely to be some.
First of all, this is offically the last game in the series, bit unhappy about that as I love the series having played all of them. This one starts off with some flashbacks and domestic life. Drake has retired from being a treasure hunter after the events of UC3 and works as a diver for a salvage firm and lives out his memories in the attic while Elena, his wife is a travel reporter. Nate comes across here as a bit bored with his life but determined to stay in it as it is safer and legal.
I will say the flashback levels are fun and interesting as a way of introducing his long lost brother Sam and explaining how he took on the name Drake. However the 3rd game had Drake as an orphan living in an orphange/on the streets in a hot country (cuba/something like that, cannot remember atm) and they used that to explain how he met Sully.
FOr this game they ignored that aspect of his past and had him in an orphanage in the USA. Note to ND, if you are going to have flashback levels get the timelines right cos its confusing.
Anyway, the main thrust early on is that after he thinks his brother died in a Panama Jail Nate had not mentioned him to anyone since, in his job as a salvage diver his boss has tried to tempt Nate into doing an illegal job which Nate refuses. A few days later Nates Long lost brother turns up at the office and begs for help. Sam tells Nate that he was held in secret for 15 years and was broken out when his drug lord cell mate escaped. The Drug lord has given Sam 3 months to find the treasure of Henry Avery, or he is going to kill Sam. Nate reluctantly agrees and then LIES to his wife saying he is going to help his boss with the illegal Job the Elena thought he should do.
What follows is a 25 hour long adventure around the globe, going through Scotland, Italy and the Carribean looking for the lost city that the pirates set up with their treasure. Ofc this being an Uncharted game they are up against a rival who has access to a pmc and its a race to find the treasure first.
Now let me say good first: The game is amazing! Great visuals and sound great physics the driving sections have better car handling physics then alot of out and out driving games, the game finally gets a rope and grappel (why the hell did that take so long?) The combat is as good as ever the and the puzzles while sparse in some areas range from tricky to trial and error to solve.
Now the bad, they have cribbed heavily from their other series which announced a sequel in development: Last of us.
SPecifically they borrowed some of the mechanics to hide areas, IE dragging a box around to climb up, heavy doors requiring two people to open and get through, and points where you boost your partner up and they either give you a hand up, or they knock an object down to let you get up.
Now don't get me wrong, like last of us they use them in smart logical places, its just they really over use them, sometimes 6 to 7 times in one chapter of the game which gets a bit annoying even if it fits. (I know bit nitpicky there)
The game still suffers from the occasional "I jumped at the point I am supposed to and still died cos Nate went the wrong way issues" This is caused by the camera swinging around and throwing you off every now and again, thankfully most of the time I died it as more down to my own stupid fault (IE do not take on a guy with a DSHK light machine gun and heavy body armour when you have no armour and only a .45 pistol and no cover!) For the most part the AI on both sides is pretty good, the enemies follow a predetermined search/guard pattern until you get spotted, then they react intelligently, calling out if they see you reloading or diving for cover and your AI partners do the same, even calling out threats like a shotgun toting bad guy getting close. Sometimes however your partner will try to climb where you are or take cover where you are and it can get clumsy.
Not tried the multiplayer yet, and more likely then not I wont, the multiplayer in their previous drake games has been, frankly; total shit in a basket, I would prefer they ignored an attempt at half baked 3rd person deathmatches in favour of more story. The multiplayer for Last of us kinda worked, but the Uncharted games it have NEVER been good enough.
Once again too, the end boss battle. GRRRRR!
UC1 Its a puzzle rather then a fight.
UC2 its a fight or a puzzle but the puzzle is faster.
UC3 we had a proper brawl and escape from a lost city
UC4 A freaking quick time event, then a fight mixed with quicktime events.
WHEN YOU HAVE A WORKING COMBAT MODEL FOR THE DAMN GAME THAT WORKS ALL THE WAY THROUGH WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS NAUGHTY DOG? Its fun, dont get me wrong but I always have preferred to fight the boss and out wit them my way, I know why they do it, I think, it is afterall a story and character led game and they think this is more story like at a guess.
That said the short but fun epilogue that follows is a nice way for the story to finally end. There are nice easter eggs about the other games throughout the game and even some meta gaming where you get to play one of ND's old platform games from the days of PS1 on the PS4
So in verdict, a great story led game with moments that Hollywood would love to put in movies, the character driven banter and jokes are there, Nate is as believable as ever as someone trying to do the right thing. Great visuals, sounds and gameplay, marred slightly by over use of mobility puzzles and the same basic story that has been recycled 4 times (admittedly not that annoying cos its well done every time) and a stupid final boss moment.
A solid 8/10 for me joins Fallout 4 and This war of mine as my favourite 3 PS4 games, it is a good way to end the series but I do hope and learn from this game and make Last of us 2 just as epic. My favourite Drake game? Hmm that would be equal for me with UC2 (the highlight of the PS3 era UC games).