Ahhh Naughty Dog, the unquestionable rulers and masters of the video game universe. Colin Moriarty of Kinda Funny often says that Naughty Dog operates on a level that no other developer even comes close to, and I'm inclined to agree.
The Uncharted series is among the very finest in all of video games, with 2 and 3 being both genuine masterpieces (and the original no slouch either). Then came The Last of Us which, for all of Uncharted's plaudits and achievements, cemented Naughty Dog as a step above everyone else in every way. The Last of Us is one of the greatest pieces of art and storytelling ever, in video games, movies, TV, whatever. It's that good.
So with Naughty Dog returning to Uncharted, and calling it Nathan Drake's last adventure, it's fair to say expectations were high. Well, Naughty Dog proved to everyone once again, that pressure and expectations mean little when you have a story to tell and the chops to make it good. And that it the biggest difference between Naughty Dog and many other developers, they don't just make a video game for the sake of it, they tell stories with compelling characters, the finest dialogue around, unparalleled graphics, and awe-inspiring set-pieces.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End had all of those elements and more. Naughty Dog presented us with a more mature Uncharted; one we weren't sure we wanted but made total sense when we played it. Gunfights were scaled back in lieu of more exploration, driving sequences, and environmental storytelling. It was the perfect marriage of Uncharted and The Last of Us.
Nathan Drake's final adventure was a thrilling, emotional journey that cemented him, and Uncharted, as gaming royalty. I don't believe we've seen the end of Uncharted but, for now, Nathan Drake bows out on the highest of high notes. What more can be said about another masterpiece from the best developer in the industry? Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was the very best game of 2016, bar none.