….For Old Times Sake
Okay, I know…I promised a Battleborn review last week, but I got a bit swept up by a title called “Uncharted 4” by one of Sony’s indie developers “Naughty Dog” – you may want to keep an eye out for them in future! I want to warn you ahead of reading, this will be spoiler heavy – so if you haven’t completed it do not read on!Let’s get this started! I went into Uncharted 4 expecting big things from Naughty Dog. I had recently played through 1-3 on stream as part of my backlog challenge and absolutely loved every minute of it. The set pieces, the game play all merges together to create these cinematic masterpieces and the emergence of “The Last Of Us” showed how great they had come as a studio to being the best in the business at story telling. They had big boots to fill!
Graphically, this game is like nothing seen before on console for me. The Order 1866 came close, but with a fixed camera angle and pretty same-y locations it is nowhere close to Uncharted when it comes to technical expertise. This game looks absolutely stunning! From the stunning vistas to the facial expressions and animation this game is a massive evolution in terms of console games. I would even argue that this game makes a lot of PC titles look flat out terrible graphically.
Now onto the main parts, story telling and game play. Game play wise there is not much shock here – it is the same game you have came to love but with a few minor tweaks here and there. Gone is the melee combat which tried to mimic the ‘Arkham’ games, with blocking completely gone and replaced with just rolling out of the way. It feels a bit janky at the start but when you couple it with the new rope movements it does get you out of some sticky situations. Luckily though, I found melee pretty rare to come by.
There is also a new stealth system in place, even if it is pretty primitive. It has long grass within the combat sections so it is completely possible to pass by massive gun fights by choking out enemies and sneaking your way through. It is good to have options but I found the game had so little combat (in relative terms to the other games) that I found myself not wanting to use it too much, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to test many of the guns out! I will try it in future though. I do wish they had gave us a distraction mechanic though, to draw enemies closer. Gun play feels a lot tighter than usual, but in my opinion this has never been one of the games strong points and while it is not on the level of something like Gears of War – it doesn’t feel bad at all! It was also really nice for Naughty Dog to include a full toggle for how much auto-aim players want, allowing you to even turn it off if you want too. Well done Naughty Dog!
Story telling in this game, whoa. That’s the best way I can describe it – whoa. From the very off I was gripped, I needed to see how it panned out. From the prison break with Sam, to Sam presumably getting killed only to turn up on Drakes doorstep with this grandeur story about how he owes millions of pounds to a drug lord. It was very well paced and the character development blows all of Naughty Dogs previous work out of the water – The Last of Us coming a close second! There is a moment when you are on an island in Madagascar and get cornered by Rafe (the games antagonist) and he reveals to Drake that the story Sam had told him was all bull crap and he had actually been working with Sam trying to find Avery’s treasure and his story was just a way to rope Nate into double crossing Rafe. I genuinely felt a surge of hate flowing through my body towards Sam. He screwed me over, not Drake. Masterful story telling made me feel that.
As for the ending, I genuinely welled up at that. Seeing Nate and Elena move on with their lives and doing what they loved legally was a beautiful ending. Not to mention the now have a daughter (Cassie) who has followed in their footsteps (all be it in a legal fashion). It was a perfect ending to a perfect series. I just hope that Sony allow it to die now. Respect Naughty Dogs wishes that this game series has come to an end, the story has been told and there is nothing else to see her. We will always have the memories (and the remasters!)
Game of the Generation in my opinion.