Last week VideoGamer published its review of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, the upcoming mega-hyped PlayStation 4 exclusive. At the time of publishing we were confident that we had produced a good piece of criticism, both in written and video forms. We were confident we had explained the game's appeal, where it succeeded and failed, and how the influence of The Last of Us had helped create a sequel which is really quite different from what went before. Over the past weekend, however, it came to light that we were, in fact, quite wrong about Uncharted 4, and as such some glaring issues with our review began to surface. We'd like to take the time to address these individually.
We'll begin with perhaps the most grievous error possible: having opinions. As one YouTube user rightly points out,"its [sic] clear his personal thoughts are all over this is a stupid review". A basic gaffe, albeit a serious one, and when it was discovered editorial director Tom Orry (@VGTomO) immediately called Steve into his office and demanded an explanation.
We're afraid to say he didn't have one, and looking back on it he realises that having opinions and thoughts on the game he played for tens of hours was wrong, ethically and morally, and just plain stupid. Like true fans of the series he should have instead gone in with the presumption that it would be the best game ever made simply because of who was making it and, armed with the review guide and a PDF of praise for the previous games, not diverged from an already-set opinion fueled mostly by bombast and a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. Even though we have punished Steve by beating him with sticks and making him play Uncharted 3 again, he still found the strength to ask that you please accept his sincere apologies.
Sadly, this was not the first instance of unbridled nonsense in the review: there was also the claim that Naughty Dog's approach to plotting and characterisation in Uncharted 4 was influenced by the studio's work on 2013's The Last of Us, a game which was also directed by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley. We now accept that this accusation is false, despite Straley himself stating clearly and unequivocally to the Telegraph that the game was influenced by The Last of Us, a game he co-directed, back in 2013. Regardless of the facts, Steve shouldn't have made this statement: instead, he should have done some research and gotten the real story from the people who were there on the ground: YouTube commenters.
We also regret the fact that Steve exercised his supposed right to give an opinion on the previous three games in the mainline series, and that said opinion was not either glowing nor frankly almost incoherent in its gushing praise. Worryingly, Steve had said that the original games had not aged very well, when in fact they look very lovely in that new HD collection, and regardless of whether or not he was actually talking about the floaty physics or uninspired – and rather shoddy – shooting/shooting mechanics, he still shouldn't have said it. That these mechanics have been the subject of at least two different instances of high-profile patching, as well as sustained public outcry from the very people criticising Steve for bringing it up here, does not matter. Because they do look lovely.
Finally, we'd like to explain our position on Steve's attitude as a whole throughout the review, specifically the claim that he is too negative towards the game, or that he is 'bias' against it. While he does make superficially positive claims that it is bloody good, the best in the series, and that you should buy it, it is obvious that his anti-gaming agenda has gone too far. We should have noticed this sooner, and from now on we will be ensuring that Steve leaves all negativity at the door, no matter how justified by the experience. He has agreed to new, anti-bias review rules, which state that he should be universally positive about the game, regardless of the score, and that any and all criticism should take the form of some nonsense which follows a breathless 1000 words or so of half-formed 'game is good because it is good/game is good because it's being made by these guys' thinking.
Once again, we regret the errors, and in the future, in order to prevent further bias, Steve will not be allowed to give his opinion on games he has played and you haven't.