Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End reviews are live, and things are looking good. Nathan Drake’s swan song is earning praise all across the board, boiling the hype surrounding the PS4′s biggest exclusive to a fever pitch. It all puts the game at a 94 on Metacritic, making it the third highest rated PS4 game behindGTA 5 and The Last Of Us: Remastered, and now the highest rated PS4 exclusive to date just edging out Bloodborne’s 92 (I suppose technically The Last of Us: Remastered is a PS4 exclusive too, but doesn’t quite count, being a remaster). It does not, however, make it the highest rated Uncharted game: that honor goes to Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, my favorite installment to date and always a tough act to follow. Our own Paul Tassi gave it a 9/10, and here’s what he had to say:
“I was deeply impressed by Uncharted 4, and I absolutely believe it lives up to the high bar of quality the series has set for itself, meaning all the delays were probably worth it. I think it relies entirely too much on the no-longer-innovative climbing mechanic, but there’s simply no denying that this game is a visual masterpiece with likable characters in an interesting and intense story. In short, it’s an Uncharted game, and once again, that can speak for itself.”
Other critics were equally laudatory, with a smattering of perfect scores and some criticism from some other corners. Here are a few reactions from around the internet.
Gamespot, 10/10: “Uncharted 4′s gameplay pushes the narrative forward, the narrative feeds off its gameplay, and every detail coalesces to create something bigger. Uncharted 4 bounces between set pieces and personal moments with such grace, with such skill and poise and affection for its characters, that you don’t mind when the guns stop firing, and the smoke clears, and Nathan gets a moment to breathe.
Yes, this is a thrilling adventure through exotic locations, with spectacular action sequences and a pacing that pulls you through with ease. I had a smile on my face the second it began. But it’s also a story about family. It’s a story about self-examination. It’s a story about making sacrifices for the ones you care about.”
Polygon, 9/10: “But it wasn’t the promise of bigger, more dangerous explosions that pulled me through Uncharted 4‘s campaign, which I completed ravenously over a two-day binge. It was a desire for Nathan Drake to just be done with it all: the killing, the lying, the recklessness, the selfish pursuit of fortune and glory. And that desire wasn’t just me projecting my feelings onto a video game character — it’s the arc that Drake and Uncharted 4follow unswervingly.
There is nothing cheap about how Naughty Dog has decided to retire this franchise — no door is left open for a crass surprise sequel — and there’s nothing ambiguous about its resolution. Every other Uncharted game has, to varying degrees, posed a question — “can a thief be good?” — and summarily moved on without wagering a guess. In finding an answer, Uncharted 4‘s story soars, and presents a moving, fulfilling finale.”
Destructoid, 9.5/10: “That the interpersonal relationships aren’t overshadowed by $400 million in pirate gold, or by hundreds of dead mercenaries, is a testament to the caliber of storytelling. Even the waysUncharted 4 retrofits in previous entries in the series — Young Drake’s shirt inUncharted 3 seems to be a hand-me-down from Young Sam in this one — to bring it all to a well-earned, cohesive conclusion is impressive. Stunning art direction; satisfying game feel; a willingness to shake up third-person action conventions, to know when to introduce variety, or let a foot up off the gas; excellent dialogue that reveals a lot without oversharing; and a heck of a conclusion. A thief couldn’t ask for a better end.”
Game Informer: “A Thief End’s is the best Uncharted yet, delivering a story I didn’t want to end, and an adventure that concludes with a hell of a payoff. The “wow” factor of the world exploding under Drake’s feet has diminished in the years following Uncharted 2, but those moments are still effective, and a true showpiece of the developer’s exquisite craftsmanship for world and gameplay design. All four of Naughty Dog’s games culminate in A Thief’s End in a fitting and cohesive way that fans should appreciate. I hate seeing Drake go (especially when he’s in his prime), but I’d rather see him go out on top like he is here than be tasked to find a crystal skull or some other poorly fabricated MacGuffin decades from now.”