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Uncharted 4, A Thief’s End review: Nathan Drake’s ticking time bomb

Stunning landscapes shine in the excellent Uncharted 4:

Stunning landscapes shine in the excellent Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Photo Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

PLOT It takes a thief to find a treasure.

RATED T for Teen

DETAILS PlayStation 4; $59.99

BOTTOM LINE This series finale is pure gold.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is Nathan Drake’s final chapter. The subtitle alone paints an ominous picture for the famed hero, but what is it hinting at? Does he die? Disappear without a trace? Retire atop a mountain of gold?

That question turns A Thief’s End into a ticking time bomb of a narrative. As this story unfolds, we see Drake’s entire life come into frame. We get to know him intimately; we know what he’s sacrificing and what drives him.

Drake appears to be content living out the rest of his days working 9 to 5 and heading home to see Elena. The unexpected arrival of his older brother Sam, who was believed to be dead, pulls Drake back into the treasure-hunting game. He is reluctant at first, but Sam’s life hangs in the balance, so he has no choice. While Nathan and Sam are front and center, one of the most interesting characters to follow is Captain Henry Avery, a dead pirate who we only learn about on pieces of paper and riddles scrawled on cave walls. The adventuring spirit is alive and well in this installment, and the revelations at the end are fantastic, as they show the great lengths Avery went to protect his treasure.

A Thief’s End doesn’t have that big, iconic set-piece moment of previous Uncharted games, but succeeds as a collection of smaller “I can’t believe we survived that” sequences with houses crumbling, armored vehicles exploding and motorcycles racing dangerously. The action may feel routine at times, but the feeling of exploring lost worlds is heightened in this chapter.

A Thief’s End is the best Uncharted yet, delivering a story you won’t want to end, and an adventure that concludes with a hell of a payoff. It’s sad to see Drake go, but it’s nice that he’s going out on top rather than being tasked to find a crystal skull or some other poorly fabricated MacGuffin decades from now.

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