First impressions of PlayStation 4 exclusive Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

The Straits Times Digital got our hands on a pre-release version of action-adventure game Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, which is launching on May 10, and here are our spoiler-free first impressions. A full review of the game will be out soon!

Sam's The Man

Nathan Drake's brother Sam is more than just a fun companion. PHOTO: NAUGHTY DOG

A lot of the Uncharted 4 story revolves around our hero Nathan and his brother, Sam (voiced by Troy Baker, who also voiced Joel in another Naughty Dog game, The Last Of Us). Sam is more than just a fun companion though , and brings a whole lot of depth to Nathan's backstory.

Early on in the game, we learn that Sam was the one who showed Nathan the ropes (literally), and that his supposed death in a botched prison escape was one of the turning points of Nathan's life.

They also have a little sibling rivalry going on, and their good-humoured bickering throws up some of the best snappy one-liners in the game.

Drake Has A Hotline

The Uncharted series has always been unfussy, with no fancy gadgets or gizmos for Drake to rely on. In Uncharted 4, Drake finally gets some help in the form of a rope.

It has a grappling hook on one end, and he can toss it up to out-of-reach places, shimmy down it or swing on it like Tarzan. While this does open up more movement possibilities, "grapple-able" points only turn up once in a while. Plus, the rope does not quite feel like a natural part of his movement, unlike Batman's line in the Arkham series. Also, Drake's rope magically re-coils itself every time he pulls it back. If only my earphone cables could do that too.

Smooth Criminal

Small corrections in Drake's movement, like slight turns, are less stiff than before. PHOTO: NAUGHTY DOG

Drake's movement is noticeably smoother than in previous Uncharted games. When he leaps to grab an outcrop, there is a natural swing and sway to his movements, and small corrections like turning slightly are also less stiff than before.

Manoeuvring around forgotten ruins and navigating treacherous terrain is also similar to previous Uncharted games, so fans of the series will feel right at home. Just keep a sharp eye out for something out of the ordinary, perhaps a different colour or texture, and that will usually point you in the right direction.