Drake’s Curtain Call

Meant to put this up a lot sooner but…reasons.

I first encountered Nathan Drake six years ago. A colleague at the time had been singing the praises of the PS3 and I decided to grab one. it came with a copy of Uncharted 2 and I was blown away.
The graphics, the gameplay, the music; but most of all the nigh on seamless intergration of big set pieces, action that in lesser game would have been portrayed as cut scenes. From minute one I was hooked.
That first impression meant any subsequent installments had a lot to live up to. Uncharted 3 came and went. I enjoyed it but…that moment of eyes wide, head rocked back amazement never came.
Still I got my copy of Uncharted 4: A Thieves End, heart racing a little. I dashed home fired up the PS4 and held my breath.
Now I think a large amount of negative game reviews on the net are down to game publishers incessant hype machines jacking our expectations up to a million. In my old age I tend to discount all the analysis, the disecting of every seond of a games newest trailer, and approach my purchases with a clean head.
So was Uncharted 4 quite what I hoped it would be? No and yes.
Everything was there. A great score, solid gameplay, an enjoyable—if predictable—story. All of this melding together beautifully. But it wasn’t ground breaking.
For one I felt the graphics hadn’t changed too much from UC2. Admittedly that is an amazingly high standard but it wasn’t the benchmark for PS4 graphics I would have liked. The one exception I found was the incredible attention to detail in regrds to facial expressions and body language, these were excellent.
As I mentioned, the story is ok. The addition of Nathan’s brother, Sam, into the cast was a good one. The sparky banter and one liners flew thorugh the air like bonfire night. But if you can’t see the supposed twist near the end…well…
The game doesn’t offer much in the way of replay vlaue unless (like myself) you are a trophy whore, or really enjoy the multiplayer.
As any player of Uncharted would expect the usual mix of gunning, running, platforming and stealth were all in evidence. Though the stealth elements were a little too long and numerous for my taste.
After I finished the game, in spite of my above bithcing, I had a smile on my face. So what if it wasn’t Earth shattering? It does what it does very well. I suppose it’s the same reason Indiana Jones will always be a perennial hit; both are unabashed, through and through, adventure stories. No existential navel gazing here, thank you very much.
For the ten or so hours it took me to complete the main story I was at peace, wrapped up in a world were swarms of machine gun toting enemies can be brought to heel by a man, a gun and a quick wit.
So long Drake. You made me smile. And in todays world if that isn’e worth the price of admission I don’t know what is.