Review of Uncharted 4: When the video game surpasses the cinema
Those who were waiting for THE game of the PS4 will be served, Uncharted 4 is out. Expected like the messiah by video game (and movie) fans, the new baby of the Naughty Dogs studio turns out to be unsurprisingly good. It is a rare gem in the world of video games.
A videogame experience that almost makes cinema an obsolete art, because let’s face it, Uncharted 4 is more than just a game, it’s a real work of art.
Just as he seemed to be retired from the treasure hunt and to be living a quieter life for the past three years, Nathan Drake sees adventure knocking at his door again when his brother, Sam, resurfaces. Fifteen years after his disappearance, the latter comes to ask for his help and offers him an adventure he cannot refuse: the quest for Captain Henry Avery’s treasure.
Sam and Nathan go in search of Libertalia, a pirate colony off the coast of Madagascar, and embark on a new journey that will take them around the world.
But every treasure has a price and the trials Drake will be subjected to this time will test his physical limits, but also his determination to save his loved ones.
Uncharted 4 enters the closed club of those games that leave you with an unforgettable memory and that you remember with nostalgia a few years later. Because beyond the visual prowess of U4, the game itself has a soul of its own and an almost magical aura that contributes to making it mythical, forever inscribed in its time. But Naughty Dogs’ achievement lies, beyond having set new technical and visual standards, in the fact of erasing a little more the border between cinema and video games. Actor’s game, well crafted plot, Hollywood and innovative direction.
It’s very simple, everything in this game reminds of the cinema, so much so that it becomes a hybrid creature at the crossroads between two arts. A perfect mix between the adventures of Indiana Jones and the visual madness of Spielberg’s Tintin.
We already knew the qualities of the Naughty Dogs studio, having developed another masterpiece, The Last of Us, but we have to admit that they have surpassed themselves on this opus. From the first minutes to the end, the game imposes its graphic style and literally makes your retinas shine. The game is simply breathtakingly beautiful and full of details. It is the real next-gen game, the one that makes the others insignificant and crushes all competition.
We can say it, in the world of video games, there are Naughty Dogs, Rockstar (GTA, Red Dead Redemption, L.A Noire) and the others. Animations, lighting effects, environment, modeling of characters and faces, emotions. From a technical point of view, everything seems to be perfect and so much better than anything that has been done in the past.
And what about those breathtaking landscapes that make the player escape during a game session?. In short, we should not be afraid to say it, U4 is a “perfect” game.
The gameplay is easy to learn, especially if you are a regular of the saga. However, the shootings can give a hard time to the hardcore players. The game surfaces have been enlarged, so it is advisable to prepare your approach better in order not to be surrounded.
The exploration phases are also numerous in U4 and the game benefits from a more “open” surface than before to really put the player in the shoes of an adventurer. It is therefore a pleasure to explore every corner of the map to find treasures and artifacts. The puzzles are also part of the game and are always as well done.
Seeing the hero consulting his diary to find the solution to the puzzle is simply enjoyable and gives the player a certain satisfaction after spending several minutes on its resolution.
A small drawback is that in U4, Nathan Drake is accompanied in 90% of the situations, the dialogues and other interactions between characters are very well done, except during shootings. Indeed, it is rare that the other characters take the trouble to hide from an enemy in the infiltration phase, which spoils the sequence somewhat at times. Moreover, their role during the shootings is more like an extra than a real ally, the latter only really covering your back intermittently.
The staging is extraordinary and reserves its share of adventures, explosions, slides. The chase in Madagascar will leave you speechless, like the rest of the game. It is also a novelty, the game benefits from particularly successful car game phases allowing in a huge game surface to get down to explore or simply admire the landscape, all in a universe so detailed that one wonders how much time the Naughty Dogs teams spend on a single mission and especially if they benefit from the same tools as the other studios as the gap seems to be immense between Uncharted and a game like Tomb Raider released last year.
As far as the lifespan is concerned, it is about twenty hours and there is obviously the possibility to replay the chapters in a higher difficulty. It will also be increased if the player tries to find all the treasures, which are also numerous.
The result is therefore extraordinary, beyond our expectations. We are now impatiently waiting for the next game of the Naughty Dogs studio which should be the sequel of The Last of Us. In short, at the end of the adventure, one remains speechless, admiring in front of such a work and one has only one desire, to start again.