Fandom

Zero Punctuation Wiki

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

513pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

Transcript Edit

The one thing everyone knows about Naughty Dog as a developer is that they've never had a franchise outlive a console. They tossed in Crash Bandicoot with the PS1, Jak & Daxter went down on - I mean down with the PS2, and Uncharted was a creature of the PS3 until now. So what does it mean when a Naughty Dog franchise spreads onto another console generation? That fire will soon rain from the sky and I shall behold the great beast rising from the ocean with seven heads and seven tragic early 2000s haircuts? Or it could just mean that the new console generation is wank that has made no significant steps forward and has chosen instead to lie down on the floor and look for treasure in its bellybutton. 

Anyway, Uncharted 4 is very decisively the final game in the series about exploring marvelous lost cities in many exotic international locations while controlling an insufferable, murdering pillock whose dialog is 10% smug quips and 90% exertion noises. And Uncharted 4 has concluded that the insufferable pillock is the part we're invested in. I feel this is making the same mistake as the new Tomb Raiders: trying to focus on the protagonist of the adventure story rather than the adventuring part. Claim to be invested in Lara Croft's character all you like, but she'd know you'd rather watch her outrunning an avalanche than talking earnestly about her commitment issues. 

I mean strip the adventure out of Uncharted 4 and it's just people with no idea how to communicate with each other - the game. I know that's kind of the point when Nathan Drake creates a rift with his wife by not telling her he's going on an adventure, but towards the end, when they're together again and are having a big reconnecting scene, these people who have been married for years still can't fucking communicate. All they do is quip and talk into their shoes. It makes me fucking cringe. I want to step in, shove them aside and do the dialogue myself with sock puppets. If you dropped a Shakespearean character into the Uncharted universe, the would stand out like a neon-pink johnny in a cucumber patch. "Come join me now / you gentles all, / and crouch behind / yon chest-high wall!" 

So you're out of luck if you're not interested in Nathan Drake as a person and would rather get on with the action and adventure part of the action adventure, cause before things kick off you've got two flashback chapters to get through and then a chapter in which Nathan Drake bums around the house being mildly frustrated. You know what though, I talk shit, but I was actually starting to like the bastard during that whole segment. I wanna see more of the boring, suburban life of the ex-douchebag adventurer. It's like Han Solo getting dropped into the middle of an Alan Bennett production.

When his long-lost brother shows up and pulls him back into the thug life, I was rooting for Nate to tell him to piss off and go back to browsing the IKEA catalogue. But no, you can't keep a good mass murderer down and things swiftly descent into the usual mix of linear climbing sequences, gun battles and elaborate puzzles created by ancient explorers with apparently very little else to do with their lifes. 

You have already picked up on the potent whiff of retcon in the air. Nathan Drake having an older brother who was his inseparable partner well into their adult careers is something that might have been worth mentioning in the flashback sequence of the previous game, when Nathan Drake was a street kid ostensibly all alone in the world. But I suppose if I tanked as many blows to the head as Nathan Drake does, I'd probably lose count of how many relatives I've got too. 

Nathan's brother needs his help to pay off an evil dictator, so they set off in search off for a buried pirate treasure, which rather illustrates my earlier point because buried pirate treasure is the kind of placeholder plot that gets yelled over the head writer's shoulder as he hurriedly exits the planning meeting at bang on the hour the bar opens. 

So the game takes a long time to get going. It may be too long overall, because by the end I was going "Jesus Christ, this game's long!", which is the usual sign of being overlong. Then again, I could just have been bored by the continual string of incredible stunts and chase sequences in picturesque exotic locales because the series has already taken it up past eleven more than once, and I'm not talking about bed times. So Uncharted 4 can't help like feeling that we're repeating ourselves. After the mythical lost cities of the last three games we're after a B-grade treasure at best, hence I suppose the focusing on Drake as a character. But the problem with that is: he's a pillock. 

There's yet another prolonged flashback chapter in the midgame where we learn the circumstances under which he and his brother took the name 'Drake' and began adventuring. And it's treated like the moment when Bruce Wayne sees a bat flopping about and decides, as any sensible person would, to start wearing black pyjamas and a bucket on his head. For me it's like having a drawn-out flashback scene revealing the exciting origin of his trousers. I didn't think it was that important, I just assumed he put them on that morning cause his ballet tights were in the wash. 

If it weren't for all the character stuff being used as a crudge, I could take Uncharted 4 out of the larger context of the series, where it could probably fair better because it wouldn't get so bloody predictable. Oh look, an area full of conspicuous chest-high walls before a puzzle room, a glib assurance from Nathan Drake that the villains can't possibly catch up with us now. I wonder if completing this puzzle will serendipitously coincide with them doing that very thing. 

You can definitely see the influence the new Tomb Raiders have had as the major mechanics besides the climbing and the shooting include swinging on ropes and sliding down hills on our slab-like masculine buttocks. The combat's got the good old stealth-focus again, and of course we have plenty of entirely linear predetermined action sequences very artfully disguised as open-ended ones. 

But I can't get up its arse too much, cause I know this is the kind of game I miss when I'm having to play shit like The Division and other games one should be very strongly advised not too play prior to operating heavy machinery. I couldn't call Uncharted boring, but it has now done all it can do, in which case: well done for ending it. 

And that's pretty conclusively ended cause it's got the kind of epilogue you can't roll back from without a time machine or, more realistically, a particularly exorbitant cheque from Sony. Happily the developers made all my dreams come true by having an American as the main villain, hooray. And all of his henchmen are Sooth Efricens, boooo. Oh well, no one gets along with Sooth Efricens, and least of all other Sooth Efricens. 

But even without the us-versus-foreigners subtext, there's still something obnoxious about Uncharted. Possibly it's the self-congratulatory air as characters laugh at each other's non-jokes and say things like "My, what incredible scenery. I definitely wouldn't regret the purchase of any console that could render shit like this." There's even a bit where you have to play Crash Bandicoot, which is about the most blatantly masturbatory thing a developer can do short of put packets of their own jizz in the box. Something to think about for the special edition, lads. 

Addenda Edit

  • Swelling orchestral soundtrack: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
  • Crash Bandicoot 1 being played on a giant flatscreen TV? When the fuck is this series set?
  • Chalk up your hands once in a while Drake mate
Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.