Six years on and Uncharted 4 is still some of the best storytelling on a PlayStation

Spoilers for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, a six year old game, follow below.

Naughty Dog know how to tell a story. Apart from the studio’s PlayStation exclusive titles being massive successes over the past decade-plus, there is a reason why Hollywood is looking to mine its IP in order to create movies and series.

This brings us to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which we recently revisited on the PlayStation 5 thanks to the release of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, which bundles together remastered versions of the aforementioned title and Lost Legacy.

While visually impressive and well worth getting for those completely new to the franchise or simply wanting to join the Brothers’ Drake for another adventure, the real area that Uncharted 4 excels is with its expert pacing, great voice acting and superb storytelling.

Well balanced from start to finish

In fact, outside of 2018’s God of War, we’d argue that Uncharted 4 remains some of the best storytelling on the PlayStation console to date.

Sure, The Last of Us Part II while divisive yielded a more visceral storytelling experience for better or worse, but Uncharted 4 has the kind of storytelling that even the best Hollywood production would struggle to match.

Our issues with the casting of Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg in the upcoming Uncharted film aside, if they stick to the kind of beats that the game hits, they should have a winner on their hands.

As for the elements of Uncharted 4 that stick with us the most, the interplay between Nathan and Sam Drake is fantastic, really capturing the little brother, big brother dynamic. We think it also helps that noted actors Nolan North and Troy Baker, who voice each brother respectively, are also friends in real life, adds to the dynamic.

The other key relationship in the game is that between Nathan and Elena. The banter, back and forth, and care for one another come across beautifully in the cutscenes. As such, when Nathan begins lying to Elena about what he’s doing with Sam and returning to his dangerous treasure hunting life, it definitely sticks with you.

Having mentioned the voice actors, who are exemplary, we also have to shout out directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley.

It’s the little things that count

The way they cut flashbacks with the current timeline of the game is pulled off expertly, not only assisting in terms of learning the gameplay, but also providing a bit more insight into the lore of the brothers, as well as providing little easter eggs from previous adventures.

The opening tutorialisation for example, where a teenage Sam breaks younger Nathan out of a catholic orphanage, introduces players to the climbing mechanics crucial in the game, but also showcases the dynamic that exists between the brothers.

The same thing goes for little moments like playing Crash Bandicoot (shameless PlayStation plug) against Elena to determine who will do the dishes, along with the epilogue where we are introduced to Nathan and Elena’s daughter Cassie, all add to a great overall experience.

It shows that all these little touches and smaller attention-to-detail elements are actually more important to how the game makes you feel than any of the amazing environments, unbelievable ruin spelunking or massive gun fights are.

If ever there was a title to turn doubters who say, “it’s just a game,” Uncharted 4 is it.


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