May 21, 2016

Uncharted 4 Review

Image credit by Kotaku (http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/05/uncharted-4-the-kotaku-review/)
An epic treasure hunt filled with occasional shootouts, gripping moments and sighs of relief...

This video game is mainly centered around the character, Nathan Drake. As the chapters unfold, we get to alternate between Nathan as a reckless teen and more responsible adult (well, at least slightly more responsible!) What the game truly focuses on is the relationship between Nathan and his older brother, Samuel.

THE PLOT

Parentless, Nathan looks up to his brother as a father figure, especially when Sam helps him escape from the misery of a strictly religious and secluded orphanage.
Once reunited, the boys are able to find their mother's abandoned house and discover her classified journal full of secret explorations and discoveries. Sam enlightens Nate with the dream of one day finishing the greatest discovery their mother had ever sought - the hidden treasure of notorious pirate, Henry Avery. Inspired by Sir Francis Drake's quote, "Sic Parvis Magna" - the evolution of greatness from small beginnings, the two brothers drop their former family name and become known as Nathan and Samuel Drake, the greatest explorers of their time.

Little do we know that finding Avery's treasure is Samuel's only purpose in life... 

In the beginning, we learn how the brothers have ventured to the Panama prison, the location where Avery's first mate was hanged and therefore capable of holding possible clues to finding the treasure. The trip is cut short when a third companion and greedy treasure hunter, Rafe, kills one of the prison guards and puts the two brothers in harm's way. Shot in the back by one of the guards, Sam tragically falls off the side of a building and leaves his brother Nate to flee without him. Nate finds no motivation in completing the quest without his brother so he decides to embark on other ancient explorations before eventually settling down with a woman who shares the same passion for adventure.

Right when things are starting to slow down for Nate, Sam knocks on his door and is suddenly back into his life 15 years later! Pllllooooot twist! (to be honest, I saw it coming...)

Completely amazed and relieved, Nate agrees to continue the treasure hunt with his brother, mainly because of the supposed death threat that is imposed on Sam if he does not deliver half of the treasure to the person who helped him escape the Panama prison within 3 months time... How's that for a run-on sentence?

Towards the end of the game, Sam confesses that the only reason he convinced Nate to drop everything and recommence the treasure quest with him was because he wanted to make sure the Drake brothers successfully finished what their mother had started without allowing some greedy thief to take credit first! So basically, there was no death threat. At all. (now that, I did not see coming...)

Nate is certainly disappointed with his brother for playing him the fool but he surprisingly doesn't explode with frustration. Even when Sam rejects his proposal to get off Avery's treasure island before running into the danger of Rafe's armed forces, Nate stays true to supporting his brother no matter how far out his dreams are. 

When the final moment that every gamer has been waiting for since the start of the game - the revealing of Avery's treasure - has arrived, Nate dramatically fights off Rafe and is able to help Sam escape from Avery's ship before it explodes into smithereens. So the terrible villain has perished and the two brothers have witnessed the greatest discovery of all time without a missing limb or two! Huzzah!

MY VERDICT 

As you all know, I've only just dove into the incredibly intricate world of gaming. Nonetheless, I can confidently say that "Uncharted 4" was an incredible adventure to experience. I appreciated the moments of calm in-between the intense shoot-outs, the funny one-liners, the heartfelt connection between the two brothers and the satisfying conclusion in the epilogue. I also have watched some clips of the past Uncharted games and enjoyed seeing the relationship between Nate and Elena. As they started to go on more adventures together, they learned that their passion for exploring and their trust in one another is what would help keep their relationship strong.
Aweeeee... ♡

THE SCENERY

One special aspect of the game was the breathtaking scenic views, whether it was climbing off the cliffs of Panama, driving through Madagascar on a 4-wheeler, or exploring the hidden beauty of the caves in Libertalia (I love the way that name rolls off the tongue!)
Libertalia
Madagascar 
I also found myself obsessing over the overgrown flowers throughout the broken-down houses in Avery's city! I wouldn't mind having the house of my dreams over-flooded with flowers or running water passages, that is if I could escape the decay and drainage issues!

THE MUSIC 

The music was perfectly paced and intense like any action-adventure soundtrack should be. Sometimes, it even reminded me of "Indiana Jones," which I think is quite a compliment considering John Williams has composed some of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time! But I especially loved the softer music that played during the slower-moving parts of the game. There was a certain longing and sense of desolation that could be felt which truly added emotional depth to the game. The pieces that had the most tranquil essence were "For Better or Worse" and  "Epilogue." My favorite part of the game was when the music faintly played to Elena and Nate's dialogue in the cave. Of course, I had to screen-shot the moments, it was too precious not to...

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY

Before the two brothers part ways, I especially like what Sam has to say about the treasure hunt.

Sam - "I just kind of... thought that after we found Avery's treasure, I'd be... satisfied? Instead, I've kinda left with this strange feeling of..."
Nate - "-emptiness."
Sam - "Yeah..."

Nate concludes with the knowledge that at the end of any great adventure, you're always left with that same feeling, so sometimes you have to "choose what you're going to keep and what you're going to let go. " An important lesson I believe we should all keep in mind when looking for bigger and bigger things to satisfy our ever-stretching wants and needs!

Like the transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, once said, "Life is a journey, not a destination." Live for the moment, rather than live for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or in this case, the pirate treasure at the end of the cave ;)
Nate - "Sam, we've come far..."     Sam - "We sure have, little brother."
What did you think about "Uncharted 4"? Did it exceed your expectations? Did it successfully conclude the game series? Leave some of your thoughts down below!


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