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I’m on chapter 20 of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, having just escaped explosive deathtraps with a good companion by my side. We’re ready to take on the bad guys that have taken another friend hostage, and I happen to see him attempting to escape from my vantage point. I’m overlooking a vast cove run dry with marooned pirate ships, and once I drop down the cliffs into this ancient graveyard, I’m sure I’ll find plenty of mercenaries to shoot, punch, and blow my way past on Nathan Drake’s most arduous adventure yet.

Arduous is a fitting description, because after a dozen attempts to get past the first wave, I’m reminded for the umpteenth time why I’ve been dreading most of the game’s combat encounters. It’s an emotion I never expected to have toward any Naughty Dog title, but here I am, nearly throwing my controller several times throughout the most unforgiving campaign with one of my favourite PlayStation properties.

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