Jump Around or Settle Down? Uncharted 4 Brings the Strongest Story Yet

I finished Uncharted 4 a few days ago, after blasting through the first 3 games of the series, then diving head first in to the finale. Immediately, the game had a different look (the animation is unbelievably lifelike and realistic), feel (significantly more touching, dark, and thrilling) and gameplay (more emphasis on strategy, stealth and puzzles). It's the first game that I've played in a while that I was genuinely sad to finish.

Uncharted 4 picks up a few years after where Uncharted 3 left off. Nathan and Elena are happily (?) married, and they've given up the adventuring life for good. Nathan works for a deep-water salvage company, where he spends his time diving for lost trailers and filling out paper work. Of course, this idyllic albeit incredibly boring life comes to a screeching halt when Nathan's long-thought-dead brother returns after Nathan saw him shot and "killed" 15 years before. 

We go back in time and get Nathan and his brother Sam's backstory, from when they were kids on the search for their mother's old journals, to pulling heists in a Venezuelan prison. Though Sam is a new character in the series, immediately the chemistry between him and Nathan is palpable. When Sam tells Nathan they need to find the treasure that they had attempted to find 15 years ago, or else he'll be killed, Nathan barely hesitates before diving back into his life of adventurer/thief. 

The storyline is so compelling in this game, it was practically cinematic. I couldn't get over how beautiful the graphics were, how seamless the transitions were and how it kept me on my toes from beginning to end. One second you're scaling a mile-high wall with only some crevices preventing you from falling to your death, the next, you're playing Crash Bandicoot in-game, attempting to beat your wife's high score. 

Uncharted 4 is entertainment that you can play around in. Though I wish there was a way you could play as different characters (only possible in the multiplayer version), Nathan Drake is compelling and it's a joy to play him (though I could lose all the grunting he makes, jumping from wall to wall). I'm sad to see the Uncharted series go, but boy, did they go out swinging.