Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End follows series protagonist Nathan Drake portrayed by Nolan North who has retired from fortune hunting several years after the events of Drakes Deception. He reunites with his estranged older brother Sam and longtime partner Sully to search for clues to the location of Captain Henry Averys long lost treasure to save his brother. Compared to previous installments in the series, the game story campaign features significantly larger and more open designed levels to allow players more freedom to explore and move about in combat situations progress through enemy patrols undetected using stealth and operate vehicles to openly navigate around some sections of the campaign.
The game was first teased at the North America PlayStation 4 launch event in November 2013. Upon release, the game was met with widespread acclaim and was regarded by critics to be one of the best games of 2016. Reviewers found A Thief End to be a worthy conclusion to the Uncharted series with praise directed towards its narrative emotional depth visual quality multiplayer improved gameplay mechanics and music. The game received numerous year end accolades including various Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications and award events. The game sold over 2.7 million copies in its first week of release and became the fastest selling entry in the series as well as the best selling video game on the PlayStation 4.
Uncharted 4 A Thiefs End is an action adventure game played from a third person perspective with platform game elements. The player assumes control of Nathan Drake who is physically adept and is able to jump sprint climb swim scale narrow ledges and wall faces to get between points swing with a rope use a grappling hook and perform other acrobatic actions. Drake can use various weapons to attack enemies. Stealth elements are incorporated into the game allowing the player to sneak up to enemies and attack them without being noticed. The melee combat system was reworked to avoid the presence of quick time events and Drake can control vehicles directly.
While the game is linear environments feature multiple paths for the player to explore. Maps are significantly larger than the previous games in the franchise with the explorable area being 10 times larger than the previous games.The artificial intelligence AI of enemies is enhanced they are now able to respond to the players actions more responsively coordinate tactics and cooperate with each other. The AI of Drakes companions including Sam and Sully are improved and they assist Nathan in combat situations, though the player can not directly command them. A dialogue tree is introduced, though it does not affect the story progression.The transition between cutscene and gameplay sequences has been described as seamless. Extra visual filters and modes, such as a zero gravity mode bullet time gameplay and a cel shaded artstyle can be unlocked by using points players collected in the main game.
On November 14 2013 Naughty Dog released a teaser trailer for a new Uncharted game saying that it would be released for the PlayStation 4. The trailer featured voice over by Todd Stashwick, who was to play Sam Nathan Drake older brother in the game. The trailer shows an ancient map of the African continent while the voice over can be heard. The map stops at Madagascar and ile Sainte Marie is marked which was part of Francis Drake travel route. A Latin sentence is written next to the drawing of a skull Hodie mecum eris in paradiso which translates to Today shalt thou be with me in paradise a quote from the Gospel of Luke
In March 2014 it was announced that Amy Hennig, the series writer and creative director and Justin Richmond the game director of Uncharted 3 Drakes Deception and Uncharted 4 A Thief End at the time had both left the studio joining Visceral Games and Riot Games, respectively. In April 2014 Todd Stashwick who voiced the narrator in the teaser trailer and was set to play Sam in the game was announced to no longer be involved in the game with the role being recast.
In June 2014 Naughty Dog co president Evan Wells revealed that game directors for The Last of UsNeil Druckmann and Bruce Straley were now leading the project in Hennig absence.As a result, many of the story elements and eight months of shooting were scrapped and abandoned. At the Sony E3 2014 press conference in June 2014 the title of the game was revealed to be Uncharted 4 A Thief End along with a 2015 release window. On December 6 2014 a gameplay demo of Uncharted 4 was shown as the initial presentation of the PlayStation Experience. Troy Baker later confirmed via Twitter that he had voiced Drakes older brother Sam who appeared in the demo opposite Nathan Drake. Although some critics asserted that the game suffered a graphical downgrade when comparing the demo to the E3 2014 teaser trailer Naughty Dog explained that the art direction was different in the demo which resulted in an altering look in visuals.
On June 16 2015 a new demo was showcased at the end of Sonys E3 press conference. The demo featured a much bigger environment large amounts of destruction new combat moves, and the return of Nathan Drakes mentor, Victor Sullivan. An extended trailer at an E3 press briefing revealed the return of Nathans wife Elena Fisher. On July 8 2015 it was announced that Robin Atkin Downes would be involved in the game. While Naughty Dog originally targeted a rate of 60 frames per second for the whole game it was announced that 30 frames per second was being targeted for the campaign while 60 frames per second was still being targeted for the multiplayer modes Naughty Dog previously expressed difficulties in getting the game to reach 60 frames per second but at some point explained that they drop the idea if it compromised the players experience of playing the game. During The Game Awards 2015, a new character Nadine Ross voiced and motion captured by American voice actress Laura Bailey was revealed It was later unveiled that Naughty Dog had also contracted Malaysia based Passion Republic for the design of select ingame art assets.
On March 18,2016Naughty Dog announced that development of Uncharted 4 was completed and that the game went gold.A Sony Interactive Entertainment marketing manager said that Uncharted 4 was PlayStations largest ever software investment whilst being their biggest ever marketing campaign for a game in the UK.
The game original score was written by Henry Jackman, with additional music by Alex Belcher replacing former series composer Greg Edmonson. The score was co produced by Jackman and SIe s senior music manager Jonathan Mayer and was recorded with an orchestra at AIR Studios in London. The official soundtrack was released digitally on iTunes, Amazon Music, and Google Play Music alongside the game’s launch on May 10, 2016, physically on CD by La La Land Records on May 17, 2016, and on vinyl by iam8bit sometime in late 2016.