Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

This game is about as Hollywood as games get. The fighting mechanics are absurdly lenient. If you give even a sideways glance at somebody before pulling the trigger, you’ll lock on and headshot them every time. The path forward is always clearly marked with either yellow objects or obvious rock features. The puzzles are straightforward and essentially 0% like what you’d expect real 400-year-old unsolved puzzles to be like.

Despite all this, or maybe because of it, this game is stupidly fun. Swinging around vines, climbing towers with ease, discovering hidden clues, and being chased by rival treasure seekers are just inherently enjoyable. The story is about as basic as possible: you want the treasure, but someone else wants the treasure, and you have to beat them to it.

I’m underselling the story a little bit. It’s also the story of two brothers trying to make up for lost time. One of the brothers just came out of 15 extra years in jail that the other narrowly escaped. We know their shared history since the beginning of the game—they went to school together—as well as filling in a big piece of the puzzle in the game’s final moments.

The game looks great. It’s the first console game I’ve ever been able to play in such a high resolution, and I’m excited to do more of that as the years go on. Some of the scenery is amazing, and the widely varied environments (from upscale Italian ballroom to deep tropical jungle and African mudslides) mean there’s a lot to see.

Progress is made in this world through alternately driving places, shooting people, climbing, and occasionally solving puzzles. I especially enjoyed the clock tower level, since it was creative and hasn’t been done before (well…except for Tick Tock Clock 20 years prior). The chase scene in that level was probably the game at its most fun.

All in all this is a great game for a sense of adventure and wonderment at the world, and a very “it does it well enough” game for everything else. The environments are fun and feel expansive. The gameplay is dead easy, and the story a little simple, but this game stands up almost on the spectacle alone.

Plus you get to see Nate’s kid at the end, so watch out for the reboot in 10 years when they begin capitalizing on people’s nostalgia for money!

Play it if

You like straightforward action games, you want to go on a treasure hunt, or you enjoy Hollywood-blockbuster-style self-insert product placement