Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth introduces Drake just as fans of the games would hope; with him careening through a jungle, girl in tow, being chased down by a group of gun-toting thugs for hire. Throughout all this he still maintains that wicked sarcastic humour, despite the mortal danger he is in. This is definitely the Drake we know and love.
After that little escapade, which is merely a set-up for the main story, Drake touches down in Chicago only to find a voicemail on his phone from partner in crime, and Uncharted favourite, Sully. He sounds tense and when called back asks Drake to get to New York as quickly as possible. What’s in New York? “Murder”.
Unfortunately it turns out that the person murdered is good friend Luka Hzujak, who was not only killed but dismembered and left in a box at Grand Central Station for all to see. It seems that Luka was working on unravelling the myth about alchemy, gold and three long-lost labyrinths, and whatever he had found was important enough for someone to kill over.
With Luka’s feisty daughter, Jada, on board, Drake and Sully decide to head out to a) find the killer and b) solve the mystery that Luka was working on. Whilst it may have sounded like a good idea at the time, it throws all three of them into peril as they face onslaughts from mercenaries, hooded assassins and enemies of the hairy, horned, mythological variety!
With few options left, the trio find themselves teaming up with some less than savoury characters just to survive. “When you lie down with snakes you’ve gotta learn to hiss, but that doesn’t mean you have to slither”.
Drake also struggles with his conscience towards the end. Although he despises the people that he has been forced to join up with, is he really that different from them? He steals, he is motivated by money and treasure; just what sort of person is he?
The other main characters are also developed well, and The Fourth Labyrinth continues Uncharted’s tradition of having strong female roles, with Jada and Olivia proving they are more than strong enough to mix it up.
The story is paced well, keeping momentum without ever rushing through details. The tale is exactly what Uncharted fans have come to expect, and at several points throughout the book I did make the comment that The Fourth Labyrinth would make a great game, as all the ingredients are there.
The only real downside to the book is the fact that you know that whilst they might get beat up, shot, and stabbed, Drake and Sully will always come out smiling by the end. There is no way Naughty Dog would allow their main guys to bite the bullet, especially in a book.
- A solid story
- Drake and Sully are captured perfectly
- There is never a real sense of danger to the main characters
Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth makes up for the lack of danger by having an entertaining story full of well-developed characters. Even if you’ve never really been a fan of the Uncharted series this book is still well worth a read, just don’t expect anything drastic to happen.