Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is an action-adventure third-person shooter platform video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for the PlayStation 4 video game console.
Set three years after the conclusion of Drake's Deception, A Thief's End follows Nathan Drake, now a retired fortune hunter, as he reunites with his long-lost brother, Samuel, and seeks to save him from a ruthless tyrant by setting off on another adventure that involves finding Captain Henry Avery's legendary fabled pirate treasure.
The game's development was led by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley who previously worked on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and The Last of Us. Druckmann and Straley were asked to helm the project following the departure of long term Uncharted writer Amy Hennig and Drake's Deception director Justin Richmond.
The game begins in medias res with treasure hunter brothers Nathan "Nate" Drake (Nolan North) and Samuel "Sam" Drake (Troy Baker) driving toward an island in a storm while fighting off armed thugs in boats before their boat is scuttled. Years before, when Nate (Britain Dalton) is living in the St. Francis orphanage, he's visited by Sam (Chase Austin), who was kicked out for criminal activities. After helping him sneak out, Sam tells Nate he's leaving for a job that will keep him away for a few years, before cheering him up by telling him that he knows where their late mother's effects were sold.
Years later (before the events of the first game), the two are on the trail of infamous pirate Henry Avery, who enacted the largest heist in history in the 1600s, with plunder worth 400 million dollars. Teaming up with wealthy treasure hunter Rafe Adler (Warren Kole), the brothers sneak into a Panama jail where Avery's first mate, Burnes, was hanged. Aided by the corrupt Warden Vargas (Hemky Madera), Nate makes his way into the 300 year-old prison. Vargas pulls out a letter, and discovers that the trio (Nate, Sam, and Rafe) are searching for Henry Avery's treasure, demands a cut, saying "I want in." Nate eventually sneaks into Burnes' tower cell, where he finds a crucifix. Nate lies to Vargas saying there wasn't any clues nor valuable objects. Nate meets up with Sam, later with Rafe. The trio finds a safe place to converse, realizing that Saint Dismas was the man on the crucifix, they discover that they are to go to Scotland next. When they are about to leave Gustavo, who was beaten up by Nate earlier, comes in with his "friends". Eventually Gustavo gets the upper-hand when the guards come in. Vargas discovers than Nate lied, and brings him, Sam and Rafe into his office to talk. Rafe argues that "they're doing most of the work", and after a discussion, Vargas asks for a fourth of the 400 million dollars treasure. Vargas warns that if Rafe about not crossing him again, but Rafe stabs him to death but not before he can fire his gun, alerting the guards and forcing them to flee. Sam was assumed to have been killed in the attempt, leaving Nate so distraught that he gives up the search while Rafe continues without him at the Saint Dismas Cathedral from Scotland.
Fifteen years later (three years after the third game) Nate has retired from treasure hunting and now works for a salvage company while attempting to enjoy a normal life with his wife Elena (Emily Rose), though he misses the life of adventure. One night, he is visited at the office by a very much alive Sam, who explains that he was saved by 'doctors' and left to rot in jail for the rest of his life for Vargas' death. However, he claims that he was broken out by his cellmate, drug lord Hector Alcázar (Robin Atkin Downes), who, upon learning that Sam doesn't know where the treasure is contrary to previous statements, gave him three months to find it or suffer his wrath. Though reluctant at first, Nate eventually agrees to help Sam while telling Elena that he's taken a salvage job in Malaysia.
After learning of a crucifix similar to the one in Panama being sold at auction at the Rossi Estate in Italy, the two team up with Nate's mentor Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Richard McGonagle) and sneak into the auction to steal it. As, Sullivan said, the crucifix was moved out of storage before it was supposed to be, forcing the trio (Nate, Sam, and Sullivan) to steal the crucifix in front of everyone. Nate gives them the idea of stealing the cross in the dark, but there would be an emergency backup power so that there would only be a small amount of time to steal the cross. Being so close to the cross would be noticed, until a waiter popped up. Sam states that a waiter wouldn't be noticed, which lead to Nate taking down the lights and Sam stealing the cross with a waiter costume. Sullivan leads them into the auction room. Nate and Sam were to go through the cellar until Sam found a waiter disguise. Nate pickpocketed a waiter for his card, which gave them the access to the cellar. On the way Sam knocks out a waiter and Nate goes solo. After shutting down the lights, Nate goes to meet up with Sam with guards patrolling. After coming back into the building he meets Nadine Ross (Laura Bailey). Nadine forces Nate to fight with her, with Nate reluctant. Because Nadine gets the upper-hand, Nate is kicked out of the window and grabs onto the curtain before falling. There he finds Sam on another building. Sam gives Nate his gun and Nate is forced to fight his way through the guards. Nate makes his way to the top of a roof where there was a cable that he used to swing into the auction room, meeting up with Sam. They fight there way outside where Sullivan had his car for a getaway. After they escaped, the note inside contained the birth year and the death year, pointing to Henry Avery's grave, which was in Scotland in the Saint Dismas Cathedral, meaning that Rafe was always searching the wrong place, it was the cemetery, not the cathedral itself.
Arriving in Scotland and sneaking past Shoreline goons, Nate and Sam find a series of secret passages under one of the tombs. After making it through some tests, they find a room with a scale: on one side is another cross and on another is a group of copper coins. Seeing through the trick, which was greed, Nate makes Sam take one of the coins instead of the cross, which activates a light map pointing to King's Bay in Madagascar. They're then cornered by Nadine, who Sam tricks into springing the scale's trap, causing the chamber to collapse, allowing the two to escape. During this time, Nate begins to suspect that Avery was recruiting other pirates for something.
Following a clue in the form of an engraving of a volcano on the coin, the three head to a dormant volcano in King's Bay. Inside, they learn that Avery, Thomas Tew, and ten other pirates pooled their treasures together into one massive hoard. The next clue to the hoard's location is in one of twelve towers in King's Bay. Though Shoreline, which somehow got there first, searches them all, another marking on the other side of the coin narrows it to two. While Sam goes to one, Nate and Sully go to the other, which turns out to be the right one. After circumnavigating the various tests, Nate realizes where they're headed.
Before he can tell Sam, he's contacted by Rafe, who reveals that he's been tracking them using the GPS in their phones and tries to get him to give up the chase. Nate refuses and, after disposing of the phone, rescues Sam from Rafe's men. Back at the hotel, Nate and Sam explain to Sully that the clues point to Libertalia, a remote pirate colony of which Avery and the other captains seem to be the Founders. Before they can set out, Nate is confronted by Elena, who found out the truth and isn't happy. Further angered when she meets Sam, whom Nate never mentioned. She leaves, and when Nate refuses to give up the quest to go after her, Sully goes instead.
Now alone, Nate and Sam set out for Libertalia, following more clues on several remote islands that eventually point to the right one. Returning to where the story began, Nate washes up on the shore of the island and, after several fights with Shoreline, finds Sam. Together, they make it to Libertalia, where they find evidence of a civil war between the Founders and the colonists after the Founders kept all the gold for themselves. In the Treasury building, they learn that, to protect the gold, the Founders moved it to a walled enclave called New Devon on the other side of island. On the way, they're cornered near a cliff by Rafe, who reveals that he was the one who released Sam from jail; Hector Alcázar died six months before in a shootout in Argentina. As Nate reels from the deception, Rafe deems him no longer needed and tries to shoot him. Sam takes the bullet, but Nate is still knocked off the cliff.
Nate is found alive by Elena, who changed her mind and found him with help from Sully. Nate then tells her the truth about himself: when he and Sam tried to steal their mother's belongings, they were caught by the old woman who lived there. Upon learning who they were, she revealed that their mother, Cassandra Morgan, was an historian specializing in Francis Drake who worked for her. She agrees to let the brothers go but as they do, she suddenly died of illness, causing Sam and Nate to panic as she had already called the police before learning who they were. The two fled with their mother's journal and honored her theory about Drake's descendants by changing their names. They stuck together from then until Sam's supposed death.
Understanding now that his past was too painful for him to discuss, Elena agrees to help Nate save Sam, as he no longer cares about the treasure. On the way to New Devon, they discuss Rafe and Nadine's motivations: he wants to build his own reputation, while she wants to repair that of her family and company. Additionally, Nate and Elena begin to come to a true understanding, to repair their relationship for good. Arriving in New Devon, Nate and Elena learn that the founders had started fighting among themselves. In Tew's house they discover the corpses of most of the founders, and learn that Tew and Avery poisoned the others to keep the treasure for themselves. Arriving at Avery's house, they enter its catacombs and after avoiding numerous traps, the couple finally reconcile fully. They subsequently arrive at a ship graveyard, where they save Sam from Shoreline and Sully saves Nate. Though Nate seems to convince Sam to give up, he changes his mind after they're separated.
The three try to follow him, but Elena and Sully are soon unable to continue, forcing Nate to go alone. He eventually arrives at the cavern containing Avery's ship and the treasure, where he sees Rafe force a reluctant Nadine (Who is satisfied with the smaller cashes and wary of Avery's traps) to finish the job. Soon after, a triggered trap causes an explosion on the ship, which Nate runs onto to find the treasure and Sam trapped under a beam. Though Rafe has Nadine disarm Nate, she then turns on him. Pointing out the corpses of Avery and Tew, who killed each other over the treasure, she leaves the three of them behind on the burning ship while she flees. Fed up with the Drakes and wanting the treasure for himself, Rafe engages Nate in a duel using Avery and Tew's swords, which ends with Nate dropping a net full of gold on top of him, crushing him to death. Nate creates another explosion that floods the room, allowing him to free Sam, and they return to their friends and leave in Sully's plane.
Nate and Elena return home while Sam and Sully decide to partner up. Back home, Nate's boss announces that he's selling the company, and Nate is the new owner. Elena explains that Sam gave her what little gold he got from Libertalia and she plans to revive her old show, acknowledging that a life of adventure is the only life for them. Their first job: the one in Malaysia he lied to her about.
Years later, Nate and Elena are living on a tropical beachside with their teenage daughter Cassie (Kaitlyn Dever). When she discovers objects from her parents' adventures, Elena convinces an initially reluctant Nate to start telling Cassie their story.
The game was announced on November 14, 2013, with the revelation that the game was being written by Uncharted series writer Amy Hennig, who would also serve as creative director. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception director Justin Richmond was also confirmed as the game's director. Actor Todd Stashwick was confirmed to be portraying Sam in the game, and had provided a voiceover for the announcement trailer.
However, Hennig and Richmond left Naughty Dog during the game's development cycle in March 2014. Stashwick left one month later, in April. The crew departures drew a great deal of attention and speculation from gaming media, beginning with an IGN article that suggested that Hennig had been "forced out" of the company by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley.
Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra released an official statement in which they clarified that neither Druckmann nor Straley were involved in Henning's departure. They went on to criticize the original report as being "unprofessional" and "hurtful". In a later interview, Wells and Balestra said that the crew departures were nothing out of the ordinary, and that Naughty Dog has always experienced a similar staff turnover.
New project leads and revealEdit
On June 2, 2014 it was announced that Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley were now leading the game's development, after being asked to take over by Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra.
The game was officially revealed at the end of Sony's 2014 E3 press conference, with a short trailer that revealed its full title. Naughty Dog later revealed that the game will run at a resolution of 1080p, and that they are targeting 60fps. They also confirmed that the entire trailer was rendered in real time on a single PlayStation 4, ending their previous technique of pre-rendering cutscenes.
Neil Druckmann recently made a statement that at Gamescon 2014, they will be revealing more information on the story. He mentioned that it's going to be be 'different' but still retain its charm, with a focus on marrying the characters more with the set pieces and general story.
According to the February 2015 Game Informer article, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End takes place three years after the events of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, which would place Nathan's age at approximately 38.
The game faced three delays. Initially it was due to come out in late 2015, then it was delayed to March 18, 2016. The game was announced to be coming out March 18, 2016 then again later delayed to April 26, 2016 and for again it was delayed to the final release date of May 10, 2016.
Naughty Dog announced that Uncharted 4 had gone gold on March 18, 2016.
Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley previously worked on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves before leading development on The Last of Us. In their first interview about A Thief's End, they said that a key aspect of the design of The Last of Us was making sure that action sequences paralleled both the game's story and the character arcs - an approach that they will be taking in Uncharted, albeit with the action setpieces on a much larger scale.
They said that the move to PlayStation 4 has allowed them to add immense depth to character models, with subtle details like Nate's skin color being affected by changes in blood flow visible in cutscenes.
Uncharted 4 retains much of the gameplay elements from earlier games, but they have been refined, and tweaked to fit the new console hardware of the PlayStation 4.
The game is set across several countries, featuring jungle, urban, and aquatic areas to be explored.
Climbing remains a staple gameplay feature, now more detailed in terms of animation, with greater emphasis on versatility to the playable areas than ever before. Drake can now drive a piton into craggy rock faces in order to climb terrain, mainly to bridge gaps between handholds in the surface. As well as this, Drake is equipped with a collapsible grappling hook, allowing him to swing to new areas and avoid enemy fire, or allow him to close gaps and attack enemies. It can also be used to rappel down rock faces.
Melee combat appears more dynamic, with enemies being able to counter Drake's attacks and attempt to use weapons during fist fights. Enemies pulled from ledges will now attempt to grab Drake, players must force them off or be dragged down with them. Stealth has been revamped. Drake can now hide in bushes, and by breaking the line of sight with all enemies, Nate can return to stealth, unlike other games which forced the player to kill all enemies in the area to proceed. There is also a new system alerting players to enemies that can see Drake, and what direction they can see him from. Drake can also tag enemies to keep a tally, and AI companions may do this as well.
Shooting functions as it did in earlier games, with Nate being able to shoot from any position, hanging, being dragged, etc. Objects in the environment are now destructible, from both gunfire and brute force. Bags of sand and grain appear as cover items — as they are shot, they will leak and shrink, making them useless as cover.
Nate can now find clues and add them to his journal, unlike earlier games where they were added automatically when a puzzle was encountered.
Vehicles return to the series, fully operable for the first time since the Jet-ski in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, as opposed to the minor control of Elena's jeep from Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Vehicles consist of jeeps and a motor boat, with multiple paths and destructible environments, and much more dynamic scenarios. Drake can hijack vehicles when they are in transit, and attack enemies who try to jump onto his jeep.
The PSX 2015 trailer revealed a dialogue option system. This has been implemented by Naughty Dog to allow players to influence conversation, such as referring to events from previous games that meant the most to individual players.
In April 2016, another gameplay trailer showed several new gameplay features, such as the Jeep's winch functionality, the additional uses of the grapple hook, and tagging enemies for combat. AI teammates were also shown to be much more capable during stealth, being able to take down enemies silently before they spot the player.
In addition to some of the old "classic" weapons such as the AK-47 several new weapons are added. Almost all the long guns include a shoulder strap. This is added to avoid confusion on how the guns stays on the character's back.
MultiplayerEditMultiplayer makes a return, with a variety of new features, including "Mystic" deployables reminiscent of supernatural powers displayed in previous games, including the El Dorado statue and harnessing the power of the Djinn, as well as being able to call in back up units known as sidekicks.
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||9/10|
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End received critical acclaim, according to review aggregator Metacritic. As of the end of 2016, the game has sold 8.7 million copies.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Moriarty, Colin (June 2, 2014) "The Last of Us' Directors Are Officially Heading Up Uncharted 4". IGN.
- ↑ Meyer, Arne (November 14, 2013). "Uncharted on PS4, The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC Revealed". PlayStation Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- ↑ Mawson, Chris (January 20, 2015) "Troy Baker Praises Uncharted 4's Directors; Addresses Replacing Todd Stashwick as Sam". Power Up Gaming. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
- ↑ Holzworth, Chris (March 27, 2014) "Uncharted 4 game director departs Naughty Dog". Electronic Gaming Monthly.
- ↑ Dyer, Mitch (March 4, 2014). "Uncharted PS4 Writer Amy Hennig Leaves Naughty Dog". IGN. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- ↑ Dyer, Mitch (March 27, 2014). "Uncharted 4 Game Director Justin Richmond Leaves Naughty Dog". IGN. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- ↑ Barker, Sammy (July 27, 2014) "'Really Awesome' PS4 Sequel Uncharted 4: A Thief's End to Get New Info Soon. PushSquare.
- ↑ Naughty Dog. [@Naughty_Dog]. (March 18, 2016) Very glad to say #Uncharted4 has gone gold today! (three emojis of party poppers) Congrats to the team!!!. Twitter. Retrieved June 29, 2016
- ↑ Shaw-Williams, Hannah "Nolan North Thinks 'Uncharted 4: A Thief's End' Will be the Final 'Uncharted' Game". Game Rant. Retrieved June 29, 2016
- ↑ UNCHARTED 4: A Thief's End PSX 2015 Trailer. YouTube. Retrieved June 29, 2016
- ↑ UNCHARTED 4: A Thief's End (5/10/2016) - Gameplay Trailer | PS4. YouTube. Retrieved June 29, 2016
- ↑ Uncharted 4: A Thief's End for PlayStation 4 Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
- ↑ Hansen, Steven (May 5, 2016) Review: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Destructoid. Retrieved June 13, 2016
- ↑ Plessas, Nick (May 5, 2016) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End review. Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved June 12, 2016
- ↑ Reiner, Andrew (May 5, 2016) One Last Grand Adventure - Uncharted 4: A Thief's End - PlayStation 4. Game Informer. Retrieved June 12, 2016
- ↑ Paras, Peter (May 9, 2016) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review. GameSpot. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- ↑ Mahardy, Mike (May 5, 2016) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review. GameSpot. Retrieved June 12, 2016
- ↑ Hurley, Leon (May 5, 2016) Uncharted 4 review. GamesRadar+. Retrieved June 29, 2016
- ↑ (May 5, 2016) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review. GamesTM. Retrieved June 12, 2016
- ↑ Ryckert, Dan (May 5, 2016) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review. Giant Bomb. Retrieved June 13, 2016
- ↑ O'Brien, Lucy (May 10, 2016) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review. IGN. Retrieved June 12, 2016
- ↑ McElroy, Griffin (May 5, 2016) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End review. Polygon. Retrieved June 13, 2016
- ↑ [June 2016, p.74]
- ↑ Burns, Steven (May 5, 2016) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review. VideoGamer.com. Retrieved June 13, 2016
- ↑ Finnegan, Liz (May 17, 2016) Uncharted 4 Review - A Fitting Finale. The Escapist. Retrieved June 13, 2016
- ↑ Silva, Marty (jan 4, 2017). CES 2017: UNCHARTED 4 SOLD 8.7 MILLION COPIES IN 2016. IGN. Retrieved January 5, 2017