So I wasn't able to play much during the week for work reasons, so I wound up playing most of the game Friday night and Saturday. Got to chapter 22 late last night and left it until this morning. Overall my feelings about the game are...
And that's not to say that the game is without fault. There are definitely points where the controls don't feel quite the way I expect them to, but I can chalk that up to me not being quite on it from a precision standpoint. I tried to get through some of the areas using stealth and found it to be challenging to do so and it really felt like the game breaks down a bit when you attempt to go stealth and find yourself in a situation midway through the area where you're not going able to see exactly where you need to go to continue your stealth traversal. What winds up happening in those situations is that all of the enemies just converge on you in an instant and just kick the ever loving shit out of you. But when you do completely slip by the enemies it feels great. The checkpointing is a bit wonky and weird in that I found myself in a couple of situations where I was surrounded by enemies and running around trying to figure out where I was supposed to go only to get killed and found myself having progressed through the encounter as though I had killed the enemies I'd just ran past. Not entirely unwelcome in some of the crazier fights, but still a bit bewildering all the same.
The game looks outstanding and the animation looks incredible. To try to spot where the in engine animation and any pre-rendered scenes begin and end feels almost like a fool's errand. The sound and music are top notch as well (at least to my ears). I really, really enjoyed the performances of all the main players.
Some closing spoiler-y bits...
I remember reading and hearing a lot about how what seemed like a large number of people were speculating that Nate, Elena, Sully, or Sam were going to die at the end of this. By the time they got to where they were going with it the ending felt right to me.
The scenes between Nate and Elena hit me pretty good. It felt like it was a very natural marital context. The tenor of those conversations are the same as those that I've had with my wife about different things, although neither of us has taken off for some grand adventure and lied to the other for weeks on end so that part was definitely different.
I really liked how Nate named his daughter after his mother to keep that going a bit more. Much better than if he had named his kid after Sam.
I haven't read any reviews for the game or read much of anything about the real pirates involved so I don't know if this has been posited elsewhere, but the whole thing with Libertalia and the founders essentially stealing the gold of the colonists for themselves before turning on each other seemed to be something of a commentary on the state of the current system in the US where it seems that the rich get richer off the backs of the lower and middle classes while those classes continue to find themselves stuck in those classes. If it was intentional, I thought it was subtle. If it wasn't, I'm obviously projecting one too many Bernie Sanders speeches onto that part of the game. Either way, I thought it was interesting.
I need to finally pick up the PS4 Nathan Drake collection and play through the first 3 again for some context. I don't feel comfortable calling this the best game I've ever played or even the best Uncharted game I've played, yet. It's incredibly well made and despite some flaws is a fantastic experience.