Welcome, all 12 people who googled “The Fourth Labyrinth”. You want to know if you should buy it right? You’re a fan of Uncharted and you’re about to go on a long trip – perhaps a boring family holiday – and you want to know if this book is worthwhile? Stick with us.
This book was written for you. It’s as close as you’ll come to playing uncharted on a plane, unless you own a Vita. In fact – that’s probably a fair frame of reference; both are ‘mobile’ uncharted experiences. The short answer? Vita all the way.
That’s not to say that The Fourth Labyrinth isn’t a decent read; quite the contrary. It’s a pretty solid tale of murder, mystery and exploration of ancient ruins. A chap gets brutally murdered in New York, triggering Drake and Sully to go hunting for treasure all around the world to try and uncover his killer. Oh, and they have a sassy female tag-along too called Jada.
Sound familiar? Yup. That’s because it is quite categorically an Uncharted novel. if I were a time-traveler and told you that this was an adaptation of Uncharted 5, you’d have to believe me. Partly because I’m holding a space-ray-gun to your head, and partly because it plays out exactly like every uncharted game does.
There are even puzzle sections. Not sudoku or crosswords, but well-written descriptions of typical Drake puzzle solving. A darkened, cavernous chamber in an ancient structure with a mysterious door that hasn’t been opened for centuries. You read as Drake and co study their surroundings and realise that they need to turn a certain wheel in a certain direction to raise a hidden lever…etc…etc…
Dialogue starts off a little shonky, it feels as if someone showed the Author a hours’ worth of cut scenes with Drake and Sully exchanging banter, and then screamed in his face, “WRITE MORE OF THAT PLEASE”. But it settles down about a third of the way in when the book eases itself into a comfortable narrative groove.
The events of the book, while entertaining, hold little relevance to the wider Uncharted universe. The book has (we suspect deliberately) been written so that you haven’t a clue where it fits within the series timeline, and it’s ending does nothing to the status quo.
This book is good for two types of person: the gamer who f****ng loves Uncharted and needs to experience more of the mythos before Uncharted 4 is released, and secondly – the person who doesn’t have a Vita and Golden Abyss.