Uncharted 4 Analyzed



An in-depth analysis/critique of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, developed by Naughty Dog and released in 2016 for the PlayStation 4.

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The very last in a series of 13 videos focusing on the most prominent games to be developed by Naughty Dog.

Uncharted 1 & 2 video:
The Last of Us video:
Jak and Daxter video:
Crash Bandicoot video:

39 Comments

  1. While I do still enjoy the previous Uncharted games somewhat even more than Uncharted 4, I do agree that this game overall has much more improved combat mechanics. Stealth is actually viable unlike most of the other games, and the gunplay, while it does feel a bit too realistic compared to the others, actually require a bit more skill in mastering the recoil to get consistent headshots which I tend to strive for.

  2. I don't have enough superlatives for this level and depth of serious analysis of the videogame medium. Fuck me, mate – well done.

  3. Do you think having a small health pool, and less enemies that have less health could help? Perhaps some enemies are forced to stay in a defended position or have more sense of self preservation which increases strategic options? The major problem seems to be how quickly the enemies flank and outnumber you.

  4. As a great fan of the Uncharted series, I really enjoyed watching a video with a new and different perspective on these games. Congratulations, keep up the good work!

  5. I don't really agree with the cuts you would make to the game, it would've been a lot worst in my opinion. It can't just start in the prison for two reasons: it would feel too similar to uncharted 3's opening (you can argue that the way it is it feels too similar to 2 but thats only in terms of structure, what you're actually doing is very different) and Sam's death wouldn't hit you as much, we need the moments of them as kids to feel attached to the character, only then can we identify with what Nate is going through when he lets him fall during the prison escape.
    Another critique that I also don't agree with is that the boat opening should've been in the middle of the game and expanded to have a setpiece with the same scope as the madagascar chase so that the game could have 2 of these. But the thing is, the game already has 2 setpieces like that, for some reason the ship graveyeard battle seems to be so underrated among the fans, rarely do people mention it, but it's just as long and intense as the madagascar one, even if it's not as rich gameplaywise. You also disregarded why the boat setpiece was put at the beginning instead of in the middle in terms of story, which is something I also thnk would hurt the game overall

  6. Activate slow motion when aiming and equip a high powered revolver. Its soooo much fun even on hard difficulty.

  7. Uncharted 4's best moment is, in all seriousness, the first scene between Elena and Nate where they play Crash Bandicoot and just talk. it has such good writing and acting that it surpasses everything else imo, that scene is just soo good.

  8. Clibing while what you are climbing on is falling apart behind you, or climbing while being chased by another person climbing. Those would make it funner to climb.

  9. You may say that grenades have had their role taken away, but then there are clips like at 19:04, where you're clearly flushed out of cover by one. I think it's fair to that they contribute to the pacing of the combat, it's just that having other factors encourage mobility made it less obvious.

  10. the elevator was one of the second hardest and the ship yard was the hardest

    if every game is broken down the way you did, I think there won't be much of a game. thats more or less looking for perfection . i did like the game . there are some plot holes and some errors and wrongs here and there . in my opinion is a really good game

  11. Every single one of your videos sounds like a fair critique of a game you like and then at the end you basically say that all-in-all it was a pretty poor game. I seriously have no idea how much you like these games because you'll praise one thing and say the story is great and then basically say "Unlike the other Uncharted games, this one is worth playing, I guess…" Maybe…work on that? No offense.

  12. I wouldn't even say the combat in Uncharted 4 is better than the other games. Quite the opposite. Despite the environments in which shootouts take place in being more open, the combat is more straightforward and there's nothing quite like the shipyard set-piece from Uncharted 3 despite the comparison here.

    The enemies in Uncharted 4 are obnoxiously relentless, even on normal difficulty. They are highly accurate and constantly shooting at Drake regardlesss of what he is doing: hiding behind cover, swinging, climbing, engaging in hand-to-hand combat with another enemy, and whatever else. Grenades come thick and fast and there is no longer an option to toss them back, removing a layer of interplay. The enemies that aren't shooting or throwing grenades at Drake rush him down like hawks. You can't appreciate the extra space to move around and approach enemies with if you are under a constant barrage of attacks.

    And it's not like there is much to explore with Uncharted 4's shooting anyways. There's very little weapon and enemy variety. The game is so slow to dole out new things that basic secondary enemies like the shotgun guys or dudes with shields aren't even introduced until the back half of the game. Weapons and ammo don't mean much either since many firefights are spaced so far apart that these things aren't suspended from one encounter to the next.

    That's the biggest issue. I thought the first time the game has you encounter enemies in one of its more open arenas was pretty neat (the one right after the graveyard puzzle in Scotland), but it more or less repeats that general encounter again and again with almost no variation or increase in difficulty. The whole game, from its climbing to combat to puzzles, is just very one-note like that; odd pacing. Games like The Last Guardian and the "design by subtraction" school of thought have the same issues. There's just not enough gameplay elements for the designers to create a variety of engaging gameplay challenges. 

    People always like to throw around words like "padding" and "filler" when talking about the parts of games they don't personally like or find boring. I'm very hesitant to use such words. But if there was a ever a time I would use them, it would be to describe games like Uncharted 4, Fez, Ico, The Last Guardian, games that stretch themselves out far beyond what their limited design spaces can support.

  13. Agree here, disagree there but overall very good video. I'm completely on the difficulty subject of the series. I beat U2 on crushing but it was more fun on easier difficulties, the same for uncharted 1.
    Among other things, I disagree about the part of removing some sections from the game as they, in my opinion, necessary to create a pacing for the game.
    I'm also a big fan of the story but it honestly can't please everyone in all areas.

    Anyway, I appreciate a lot the effort you took into making this video.

  14. It's nice to have someone more eloquent than I astutely analyse the series for the hogwash it is. Hopefully the focus on exploration rather than combat is foreshadowing some sort of departure from the third-person gunplay ND has been balls-deep in for the last decade. Whatever comes after The Last of Us 2 (I say that with a literal groan) is a bit more "adventurous" in terms of game design.

  15. While I feel that the game could use more action and platforming challenges, I feel your hypothetical version might be a net loss for the game. Because in a lot of those waking and climbing sections, the player can discover readable notes and environmental storytelling (e.g Skeleton placement, medical equipment) which allows the players curious enough to discover how Libertalia functioned and fell apart, parallels in the pirates' situation and the main plot with Nate, How Evelyn ended up the way she did, and the player's bonding with Sam etc. Your version, I feel would overall improve the gameplay but sacrifice good parts of the story and subtext.

  16. 4 was easily my favorite. 1 was ok, 2 was good, 3 was shit, and then 4 surprised me. The characters were excellent and actually worth paying attention to for the first time in the series, I loved the truck section in Madagascar, the stealth was improved, there were great set pieces, and the world was beautiful. I do agree that the gameplay is nothing special, but I was okay with a breezy experience to break up more gameplay heavy titles.

  17. I came here from Joseph Anderson's channel and I enjoyed the video. I don't play third person shooters much – pretty much just this series and Tomb Raider – so perhaps because of that, I found the combat to be just fine, if too hard to be much fun on anything above easy. But that's perfectly fine, because the games do have an easy mode. I don't care that the weapons are hitscan, chiefly because I don't know what that is. I do find it interesting that there apparently are shooters where bullets don't travel straight and can be altered after the trigger is pulled.

    I think I must be the only person who likes the combat and dislikes the set pieces. To me, the set pieces feel like Dragon's Lair or Limbo. Play until you get killed, don't do the thing that got you killed, repeat until you learn the rules and the correct path. I've read that the appeal of these sections is that they're signposted well enough to lead the player down the scripted path while still feeling like the player is making decisions on the fly. For those who connect to the game such that this happens on the first go or in a small number of attempts, this must feel awesome. I know it did for me the one time it happened in the series, the convoy chase in 3. For the rest, like the 20+ tries the big central set piece of 4 took me my first time, it feels like a chore.

    This is frustrating for me because I want to like these, they look great, they should be fun, and instead, it feels like tedious trial and error.

    Anyway, I liked the video quite a bit, even if I disagreed with it a lot.

  18. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on the Metal Gear Solid series. These are games that frequently take control away from the player for extended periods of time (sometimes upward of 90 minutes) yet also feature incredibly deep gameplay mechanics.

  19. Your analyses on game mechanics are spot on and much appreciated. Really wish more "reviewers" would delve this deeply into mechanics & developer intent when discussing a game's quality, instead of the usual "this is great/stupid because I do/don't like it."

  20. I love your analysis videos, no other channel on youtube does such a good job at analysing the core mechanics of a game as much as you. I imagine that a video takes a lot of time to make, planning, writting the draft and then refining it and then the editing, but are you planning on continuing this series? I am thinking that one interesting game to discuss is super mario sunshine, which is probably the most polarised main mario game, mostly because of the many gimmicks it throws at the player. But what I find most interesting about them is how most still use the main mechanics of the game in them, unlike Jak 3 which throws mini games that range from the style of pac man all the way to star fox's.

    Thank you for taking your time to read my too long comment.

  21. I just finished Part 4 yesterday, having spent the last 2 weeks playing the trilogy and part 4, and though it looked great and had a better system for traversing and combat… It was the first game in the series that made me look up how long it was because it felt like it was taking forever.

    Despite having such elaborate set pieces, the pacing of the game seemed so damn slow in between the pieces. I played it on "Hard" which just made the shitty stealth system stand out more and it also made some of the combat encounters more irritating than difficult.

    It's definitely one of the best adventures games I've seen, but part 3 is still my favorite of the series.

  22. I think it's important to know that Naughty Dog have absolutely no involvement in the Crash Bandicoot remakes. Those are being done by Vicarious Visions, a subsidiary of Activision.

  23. Great video overall, but it's a bit weird for you to always play the previous games on normal and complain the default 'normal' difficulty isn't the ideal one, then play this on hard and complain that hard isn't ideal… but normal is. Should probably have just kept your play throughs consistent on one difficulty since it seems a bit like you're choosing ill fitting difficulties deliberately just to complain about how they break, which is probably not the case.

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