Sony goes hunting for treasure once again with 'Uncharted 4'

"Uncharted 4: A Thief's End" is the latest installment of the "Uncharted" franchise, with the game set to be released on March 16, 2015. (Courtesy/Sony Entertainment)

Since the debut of the series in 2007, “Uncharted” has been one of Sony’s all-star franchises. Much like how “Ratchet and Clank” and “Jak and Daxter” were once synonymous with Playstation, the “Uncharted” series is the console's new face. Nathan Drake makes the trip to the Playstation 4 on March 18, 2016, and fans have a lot to get excited about.

As a single-player focused game, “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” emphasizes the personalities and relationships of the characters. Drake’s banter with his partners and friends is always comical. Players actually feel the emotional relationships the characters have with each other.

My personal favorite is the father/son relationship that Victor Sullivan, Sully and Drake have with each other. The performances of Richard McGonagle and Nolan North bring these characters to life in a way that most characters aren’t. The way Nate talks to himself as he progresses through the story is hilarious, and makes him feel more like an everyman than the archetypical heroes we generally play in these adventure games. Naughty Dog did a brilliant job crafting a protagonist who is both amazing and ordinary at the same time.

The biggest shake up for the story of “A Thief’s End” is the appearance of Nate’s long, lost brother, Sam Drake. Thought long dead, it is Sam who pulls Nate out of his retirement as a treasure hunter. Their banter is comical, as they bicker just like regular brothers would. The magic of “Uncharted” has always been the genuine actions of the characters despite their unusual circumstances. And Sam appears to fit perfectly into this mold.

Based on the content that Naughty Dog has released regarding the game, fans should have no fear about the action. “Uncharted” is famous for its jaw-dropping set piece moments, and “A Thief’s End” has those in spades.

The E3 2015 gameplay showed off Drake battling a small militia army in the middle of densely populated streets, and then hopping into a Jeep and racing down the city’s steep hills. The game is gorgeous and certainly holds up the graphical precedent set by past installments. One new gameplay feature is a grappling hook, which Nate can use to swing from place to place and take out enemies. “A Thief’s End” looks to maintain the reputation of the franchise, while also adding some fun new gameplay elements to the mix.

With the title being “A Thief’s End,” it may be that this Nathan Drake’s last hurrah. The tone of the first reveal trailer for the game was darker than the usual “Uncharted” fare. The final words uttered by Drake and Sully in the trailer “One last time…” are delivered very ominously, indicating that this may be the end of everyone’s favorite treasure hunter.

Unfortunately, the game was pushed from its initial 2015 release until 2016 to allow the developers to finish working. Fans still have to wait awhile before getting their hands on the game, but those who purchase “Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection” will receive access to the multiplayer beta for “A Thief’s End."

Ultimately, the fourth installment of the series is shaping up to be one of the best titles that the Playstation 4 has to offer, maintaining the reputation of the franchise while also adding some exciting new gameplay elements into the mix.


Ben Wagman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at benjamin.wagman@uconn.edu.