Charting Uncharted 4

This past weekend I finally got to finish playing Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on the PS4. I started on Christmas day, so it took me roughly two months of playing a little here and a little there, with a few couple-hours binges thrown in for good measure. My three-word verdict: I loved it, though if you want to read a more thorough review, check out IGN.

I come to the Uncharted series brand new, not having played its three predecessors before, so I had no expectations; every game experience was new, and I enjoyed each of them. This is a game that’s tailor-made for my tastes, featuring lots of physical and academic exploration, puzzle-solving, parkour-like acrobatics, rope swinging, and pirates. Uncharted 4 is basically the videogame version of my ideal Dungeons & Dragons game, and I loved every minute of it.

The game’s story was also quite satisfying, involving a treasure hunt involving the pirate Henry Avery and his fabled pirate city of Libertalia. The Drake brothers have been searching for it since they were teens, and through events spanning some 20-something years, we get to learn about their history, their dealings,  and their (complex and very real) relationships. No spoilers here, but the game delivers on what it promises, and it does so in absolutely gorgeous vistas that I wish to explore over and over.

The one drawback for me? The violence. Being a game that deals with illegal treasure hunters mixing it up with underworld criminal elements to fund international tomb robbing, there’s bound to be some gunplay involved when inevitably someone double-crosses someone else and things turn sour. I can understand why it’s there, but I don’t like it. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it: to play through the story, you have to rack up a body count bordering on the triple digits using a cornucopia of weaponry ranging from a flintlock to rocket-propelled grenade launchers. I won’t deny that there were moments when I drew a certain kind of satisfaction out of blowing up enemy vehicles with an RPG, but in general I got through these segments because I had to. Besides, I’m terrible shooting, even with the sniper rifles. I mostly opted for sneak attacks, and running at enemies and punching them, even when they were shooting at me.

I haven’t had a gaming console in years, so Uncharted 4 was the perfect gateway into the awesomeness of videogames at home. I intend to buy Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, and eventually Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, so I can have lots more treasure hunting goodness to play.



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