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Game Review: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted's cast of thieves steal the show once again in the series' powerful conclusion.

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5 out of 5 stars.

Uncharted is a superlative gaming franchise that’s kept fans engaged for almost a decade with its tight signature game play, amazing characters, and astounding visuals. Developer Naughty Dog always manages to create a blisteringly fun romp of a game with every installment in the series, but you can’t much outdo the critically acclaimed sequel in the series, Among Thieves, nor can almost any story compare to the visceral experience that is The Last of Us, also developed by Naughty Dog. With the series’ prestige and the acclaim of TLoU on its heels, to say Uncharted 4 is an anticipated finale is an understatement. Despite the monumental odds, A Thief’s End manages to deliver a powerful final installment to the classic series.

One of the best parts of Uncharted is its colorful cast of thieves, ruffians, and rascals, and A Thief’s End holds nothing back.

The game holds nothing back in terms of characterization or plot development, and delivers yet another groundbreaking action-adventure romp through a beautifully crafted lost paradise.”

Drake is as charming and roguish as ever, and his brother Sam delivers equally brilliant lines. The game is worth playing for the amazing writing and characterization alone. A Thief’s End feels like a dazzling TV series rolled into one game; colorful new characters, the beloved original cast, and several actors from previous ‘seasons’ come together in one final game to deliver a fitting conclusion, if nothing else, to the energetic and charismatic series.

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns was that A Thief’s End would overstay its welcome, but it does just the opposite.

Uncharted 4 doesn’t feel like a last-minute cash grab. It doesn’t play like a tired out sequel. It feels like an engaging, intelligent, and precise conclusion to an amazing story of thievery. It doesn’t take a history buff to decipher how the story’s going to end, but maybe that’s the beauty of the ending to the series. The nonlinear narrative that the sequels adopted is back in 4, and the intermingling of several sprawling story lines adds to the drama and excitement; the game can seamlessly transition from a sobering scene from Drake’s adolescence to a bombastic escape gone-awry. Instead of insisting upon itself, Uncharted 4 simply tells its story and tells it well.

Perhaps the best part of the game is the lingering feeling of nostalgia while you play it.

Plenty of the nostalgia is front and center, especially in some of the earlier scenes of the game, but the true nostalgic feeling comes from the player knowing that they’re experiencing one of the best story lines in the history of action games come to its conclusion.

Maybe it’s the impeccable graphics, or the memorable quips from the protagonists, but playing 4 makes the other three Uncharted games feel much more recent than their nine year lifespan. The memories and experiences are right at the front of the action, both for the players and for the cast.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is an excellent conclusion to the Uncharted series.

The game holds nothing back in terms of characterization or plot development, and delivers yet another groundbreaking action-adventure romp through a beautifully crafted lost paradise. A Thief’s End isn’t just bread and circuses; it’s not just pandering to the fans. All great stories have to have their great end, and this is true for Uncharted. A final flourish of action, drama, and suspense, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End delivers on the best aspects of the series and delivers a solid experience from start to finish.

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Game Review: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End