The Uncharted series has been near and dear to my heart since I first played Drake’s Fortune when I received my PS3 on Christmas Day of 2009. I had expectations going into Drake’s Fortune because I loved Jak and Daxter and Crash Bandicoot so much from developer Naughty Dog. My expectations were still blown away despite the expectations and every game since then has blown away my ever climbing expectations for the series. That includes one of our game of the year nominees for 2016, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Whether or not you are a fan of this game, you have to respect the level of storytelling that Naughty Dog has brought with this series. This game is no different, in fact, it is the best told story of the franchise. I loved the fact that I was as entrenched with the story of Henry Avery as I was with Nathan Drake’s story. That is saying a lot because I love the characters from this series so much and cared a ton about what would happen with these characters. This even includes newcomer Sam, who is Nathan’s lost brother. I will admit I was skeptical coming into this game about how Sam would fit in with these characters I love so much, but I cared for him as much as anyone else by the end of the game. Speaking of the end, the epilogue of Uncharted 4 is one of the best endings I’ve seen and is almost as good as the ending to another favorite of mine The Last of Us.
The story wouldn’t be nearly as impactful though if it wasn’t fun to play. This game plays like other Uncharted games, but with another level of polish that I didn’t think Naughty Dog could achieve. Some new mechanics were added to the game, like the grappling hook, to mix up the gameplay from past entries in the series. However, the Uncharted series shines in it’s epic action pieces and this game does it better than the others. I challenge other developers to marry story and gameplay in the way that Naughty Dog does.
I freaking loved Uncharted 4! It is another showcase of how good of a developer Naughty Dog really is. The game nicely wraps up the story of Nathan Drake, while possibly leaving this franchise open to another sequel down the road. This is the best Uncharted game yet and that is why it is a nominee for The Free Cheese Game of the Year.