Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Go To

  • 8.8:
    • An IGN reviewer gave the fourth installment an 8.8 as a provisional score, lower than Rise of the Tomb Raider. Cue angry fans harassing her on Twitter, accusing her a pushing a "feminist agenda" (though the review itself was apolitical). This had occurred weeks before the game had been released to the general public.
    • Michael Thomsen of the Washington Post ran into an interesting case of this, as his (very negative) review didn't contain any score whatsoever, but it was assigned one, a four out of ten, through Metacritic. Nonetheless, players tore his review and the Washington Post to pieces, demanding to know why they let someone who clearly had a strong antipathy for the Uncharted franchise review the game.
  • Advertisement:
  • Accidental Innuendo: Nate at one point has to swing from a chain to a painting of Anne Bonny that was ripped at the chest area.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Sam a misguided big brother who just wanted to finish the treasure hunt that he and his little brother started years ago, or is he a manipulative jerk who's only looking out for himself, and doesn't care that he's hurting Nate's life in the process? Along the same vein, is Sam's obsession over Avery's treasure born from his want to finish what they started, or to finish what their mother did?
  • Author's Saving Throw: If you have had enough of the Uncharted series featuring THREE English villains, here the main villain Rafe Adler is as American as Nate himself.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Sam. Some fans love Troy Baker's chemistry with Nolan North and view Sam's introduction to the plot as a welcome element, while others feel his insertion to be more than a little clunky. The fact that Sam's existence goes against previously established lore in Drake's Deception is also a contentious topic. There's also division on how he was portrayed, with some who think that he was a well-rounded and complex character, and others who think that he was too Unintentionally Unsympathetic to be likable.
    • Advertisement:
    • Nadine Ross. People either perceive her as a badass, complex Anti-Villain who deserved to survive the game unscathed or a boring Invincible Villain who should have been defeated in the end. The fact that she utterly destroys Drake in combat not once, but twice, being the only villain in the whole series to do so, is also a point of contention.
  • Broken Base: The casting of Laura Bailey as Nadine was met by some with hesitation (most notably by Greg Miller, who openly wondered about the casting choice in an interview with Naughty Dog), which others responded to by calling them hypocrites (a black actor played a white character and nobody complained). Word of God said this issue was an unintentional effect of casting Bailey while the original design of Nadine was still a white South African, before eventually finalizing the finished look, and they didn't want to replace Bailey after-the-fact.
  • Advertisement:
  • Creator's Pet: Uncharted 4 having a different writer made this quite obvious, namely with base-breakers Samnote  and Nadinenote . Driven further by the standalone DLC, where Sam is the special guest star.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Nate and Sam's mother never actually appears in-game, but the appeal of an Action Mom Adventurer Archaeologist in the 1980s is pretty undeniable.
    • Cassie Drake appears to garnered her fair share of fans, despite her brief appearance. Go find any discussion about a hypothetical future Uncharted installment and odds are good that you'll find at least a few people pitching her as the protagonist.
  • Even Better Sequel: A Thief's End brings in new gameplay features such as the rope and driving, greatly increases the size and openness of the levels, while at the same time featuring graphics and animation quality that really show off what the PS4 can do in the right hands. Coupled with a more emotional story, a plot and setting (Henry Avery's heist and Libertalia) that is thematically connected to the character's story rather than just the McGuffin, and a more fulfilling send-off to the characters than even Drake's Deception offered.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Hector Alcázar made a pretty big impression as an Affably Evil, eloquent drug lord who takes an interest in Sam and is set up as the game's Greater-Scope Villain. Fans were not pleased when it turned out that Sam made the whole thing up - the real Alcázar died six months ago, and Sam never even met him.
    • Nadine Ross made an even bigger impression, in that while she does shady things she's also the Only Sane Woman in the game. There was also loads of cheering when she socked Rafe in the stomach - even Rafe fans were cheering her on!
  • Fake Difficulty: Uncharted 4 takes away the ability to throw back grenades without any explanation, meaning that enemies throw them every two seconds when you're trying to heal in cover.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The insight this game gives into Nate's family's history can prompt some players to imagine all kinds of new adventures.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While no one doubts the quality of the final product, in hindsight this is the project where ND’s workplace culture got out of hand with over work and crunch. Especially saying that that they more or less re-did around half of the game in the span of only about a year, a Herculean feat by any stretch of the imagination. By the time The Last of Us Part II came out four years later, 70 % of the team leads on this game had quit due to the crunch culture. ND had developed such a bad reputation among game animators in Los Angeles during this time that they had to hire movie animators. At least one person had to go to the hospital because of the stress during its development. There were similar things happening while this was being made but it didn’t quite catch game reporters’ attention until people quit and/or got out of their non-disclosure agreements.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Nate and Sam can find notes in Evelyn’s house about an expedition to the Xinjiang province in China which is a Shout-Out to Tomb Raider II. However, not too long after this game came out the Chinese government started putting the ethnic Uyghur Muslim population who live there in concentration camps.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This game establishes that the main character has a previously unmentioned big brother figure with the surname Morgan (Sam in this case) and that they both know a person named Adler who has violent mood swings. This was 2 years before Red Dead Redemption II used both names in similar context.
    • This fourth mainline entry in a Play Station franchise sees the retired thief protagonist having the desire to get back into his old lifestyle before being pulled back in, putting great strain on his relationship in the process. Sound familiar?
    • When young Nate and Sam are exploring Evelyn's mansion, and Sam asks Nate, who's inspecting a globe, whereabouts in the world he'd like to go, Nate picks India. Well, we never see grown-up Nate visiting India... but we do get to see his Awesome Aussie old flame Chloe Frazer go there instead in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy a year later.
  • Narm: Everybody called bullshit when Nate survived not only a thirty foot drop off a cliff, but also lived through a direct smack on the head against a rock.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Hector Alcázar only appears in one chapter because he is actually dead, and the story that chapter tells was a fabrication. Needless to say, a considerable portion was left displeased with this revelation.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Heavily downplayed. While some fans naturally bemoaned Amy Hennig's lack of involvement in the game following her departure from Naughty Dog, most fans seem to agree that her replacements did a more than capable job. At most, some fans claim that Hennig would probably have kept the story focused on Nate, and made Sam seem like less of a Spotlight-Stealing Squad.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The big turns of the plot put much of the game's earlier events in a new light:
    • When it becomes clear Sam made up the entire Alcazar story and had been working with Rafe, much of the interactions of Rafe and Nadine with Sam become clear. When they had been discussing "him" being around, the player might assume they meant Nate when it was actually Sam. Also, when Nadine scoffs "trust a Drake?" it's not because of Nate's reputation but rather how Sam already double-crossed her and Rafe. Also, Sam's intensity at the quest is less owing some mythical drug lord and just his own desire to find the treasure.
      • Furthermore, guess whose leitmotif is playing when Alcazar threatens Sam after the breakout. Rafe's.
    • Likewise, once the truth of Libertalia being a massive con becomes clear, the earlier hunt has a new edge. It's now clear the pirates who failed this test just saved themselves the trouble of later being conned, robbed and killed by Avery anyway. Likewise, the way Avery has statues of himself put around shows the massive ego that led to his dangerous moves and It's All About Me attitude that ruined it all. Instead of a somewhat light-hearted treasure hunt, the earlier chapters are now the start of a dark road.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: As long as the game is completed at least once on any difficulty beforehand, any unlockables are allowed to be used on the initial Crushing playthrough.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike:
    • Stealth sections consist mostly of tall grass Nate can sneak through, but it doesn't give any cover during firefights. In addition, higher difficulties disable tagging and enemy detection HUD elements.
    • On a smaller scale, collected treasures re-appear during replays. While you never lose them, it can make searching for any new treasure a bit more difficult.
    • Enemies are much faster, more accurate with their guns, and come in larger numbers. Especially noticeable if you go back to an earlier game; at places, old Crushing is easier than new Normal.
    • Throwing back grenades has disappeared without explanation.
    • The co-op mode can be brutal at times, even at lower difficulties, because of the improved enemies with a MP health scale, grenade spamming and sometimes cruel spawns. (For example, Hunters may start spawning when you're just a few kills from the end of a wave.) It says a lot when the bosses are easier than the waves before them, or even the very mooks they spawn.
  • Signature Scene:
    • For many, the moment in Chapter 3 where Nate and Elena play the original Crash Bandicoot on their PlayStation 1.
    • The scene where Nate and Sam enter the Libertalia treasury and find the portraits of the Founders with the name Thief written on them. It's the first hint that Libertalia was an elaborate con.
    • The Twelve Towers, which was featured in the earlier demos. A large open ground that is traversable on a 4x4 jeep showing a mix of vehicle and foot traversal while also showing the detail with which different textured backgrounds are animated.
    • The scene where Nate and Elena find the banquet with the ten skeletons of the pirate captains, with Nate describing their faces while Elena watches his reaction with love and affection, which is a testament to the great character animation as well as driving home the themes of Libertalia's fraudulent utopia.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The Distant Finale epilogue for some players.
  • That One Boss: El Dorado's disciple in co-op mode raises the difficulty from "challenging but fair" to "there's no effin way Naughty Dog actually tested this without dev tools". He's a Damage-Sponge Flunky Boss who wields a powerful LMG, can teleport and can summon towers that shoot homing projectiles that go through walls. He can summon them to you from everywhere. When his health drops low enough, he can shoot said projectiles himself, and even lower and he summons more towers at the same time.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: One would be forgiven for feeling this way about Hector Alcázar, a villain who's Affably Evil yet extremely intimidating. His presence sets up a Big Bad Ensemble where the game has two villainous factions with their eyes on the main treasure rather than just one, shaking up the series formula in an interesting way. But The Reveal that he was Dead All Along and his involvement was just made up by Sam throws this out the window.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Many felt that the suggested theory of Nathan being a Con Man living out a lie about being Francis Drake's descendant was more meaningful than the sentimental family romance offered in the game, which by a series of contrivances, such as a long-lost brother who went unmentioned (and who apparently even Sullivan knew about) explains away Nate's life choices and actions rather than present a more critical view of it.
    • Many fans felt it would have been better for it to be revealed Hector Alcázar was in fact, alive after all and making his own search for the treasure. The idea of the Drakes and Rafe forced to work together when the far more ruthless Hector showed up would have been a great twist and further showcased how the desire for the treasure had a way of twisting men around. Instead, the game tossed it all aside for a Dead All Along twist.
  • Unconventional Learning Experience: Unlike the previous games which tended to feature Francis Drake and Marco Polo as named figures as mere MacGuffin, Uncharted 4 via its lore and background actually does teach a fair bit of real history about Henry Avery and the Ganj-I-Sawai heist and also communicates how wide the net of piracy was cast, i.e. the Indian Ocean rather than the Caribbean as it's more conventionally located.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Naughty Dog came under fire for casting white actress Laura Bailey to voice the major black character, Nadine Ross. Naughty Dog's defense at the time was that the casting of Laura was decided prior to the character's design had been finalized. This still led to criticism on the Studio not going forward with recasting after they decided to take the characters design in a different direction. And further discussion on the limitations that POC voice actors face with casting in comparison to their white contemporaries.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Samuel Drake is single-handedly responsible for the entire events of the story, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people, all out of a purely selfish desire to get his hands on Avery's treasure. He is willing to lie to Nathan - and by proxy Sully and Elena - and trick him into risking his life and be incredibly possessive and manipulative of his brother, showing no qualms about upsetting his marriage, insisting that he knows Nate better than Sully and Elena. Even after the truth comes out, he selfishly tries to steal the treasure again, getting more people killed. At the end of it all, Sam is considered "redeemed" despite not doing a thing to earn it and walks off scott-free.
  • The Un-Twist / Meta Twist: If you've played the other games, you might be thinking there was some sort of "X-Files" secret behind the once-thriving pirate city of Libertalia falling, as there was in previous titles. It turns out the most obvious thing happened: the head pirates got greedy and everything went to hell soon after.
  • Waggle: There's a brief bit where Nathan's flashlight is dying, and the player is prompted to hit the controller to make him hit the flashlight. It's the only non-button prompt in the game.
  • What an Idiot!: Drake lying to Elena and not bringing her along on the job. His supposed motivation for doing this that he thinks Elena wouldn't understand, which is pretty absurd. The woman who stood by his side through his previous three jobs would definitely understand him going on another one to save his brother. Even when she inevitably finds out, she's much angrier at Nate for lying to her about the job than she is about the job itself. Lampshaded by Nate himself later on:
    Nate: (After watching Elena jump a gap like a badass) Way to go, Nate. Piss a girl like that off. Idiot...
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Steve Valentine didn't return to voice Harry Flynn in the Multiplayer mode, and the new voice actor sounds nothing like Valentine's original performance.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: