Uncharted 4 – Brothers, bullets and beat downs

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Nathan Drake, our favourite intrepid treasure-hunter, has settled down since his last adventure on the Playstation 3. Now married, he helps reclaim industrial salvage from sunken shipping crates for corporate businesses and spends his evenings at home doing the dishes. So far, so charted.

Fortunately, his brother, who Drake believed was dead for the last 15 years, has a mission he needs some urgent life-or-death help on. As brothers do. An infamous pirate has stashed $400 million worth of treasure somewhere, and you need to find it fast if you don’t want your brother to end up dead, er, again.

As is fairly common on treasure-hunting outings such as these, there are some annoyances to be negotiated along the way. Specifically: 400-year-old pirate traps, heavily-armed mercenaries, and deadly drops to avoid as you scamper up buildings and cliff-faces.

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Uncharted 4 is a visually stunning Playstation exclusive and will likely sell the console by the bucket-load. Snowy Scottish peaks, volcanic mountains, bustling marketplaces and tropical islands all feel distinct and different. The warmth of the light or the chill of the morning frost are visceral. Occasional graphical glitches do let you see behind the visual curtain every once in a while, but these are few and far between.

The long, cinematic cut-scenes that form part of the series’ history are back again in this outing. While you can skip them, the emotive storytelling and return of characters such as Drake’s ageing, cigar-smoking partner-in-crime, Sully will bring a warm glow to the series faithful.

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If you were to boil Uncharted 4 down to its bare bones, it’s basically just climbing a few walls, shooting some baddies, solving a puzzle before watching a nice cut-scene, then repeating. But this would be like saying David Bowie was a bloke who liked to have a bit of a sing-song or that the sea is somewhat moist. If you haven’t liked any of the other Uncharted games, then you won’t like this one either, but then if you haven’t liked any of the other Uncharted games, you probably have bigger issues to deal with anyway.

Put simply, this is a beautiful tale of family, friendship, betrayal and shooting mother-f**kers in the face. What more could you want?

stars5
Playstation 4
Naughty Dog
£44 (16+)