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access_time December 15, 2014 at 11:08 AM in Features by Tyler Colp

Nobody is talking about Uncharted 4’s biggest problems to solve

Yes, the Uncharted 4 footage was beautiful. It was stunning, even, in some spots. Surprise, Naughty Dog is making a pretty game with a pretty jungle in it.

That’s not what’s most interesting, most worrying, about the footage we finally got to see. These are.

1. Shoot that guy

One of the most biting criticisms about the Uncharted franchise is how much the story ignores the main part of the game. Nathan Drake shoots and kills a lot of men and nobody comments on it. Of course, it’s not the game’s intention to do that, otherwise we’d get something as dark as The Last of Us, but Uncharted 4 is a chance for that to possibly change.

Neil Druckman, as he demonstrated in The Last of Us, is aware of the player’s role in a game narrative and likes to toy with that. With Druckman writing Uncharted 4, the series’ lead, Nathan Drake, could be portrayed from a different angle, one that might not be okay with the crimes he’s done. I would hope that the game’s humor and sense of adventure wouldn’t be damaged from this but rather altered.

2. A to B

If there’s one thing you should take away from the gameplay that was recently release, it’s that Uncharted 4’s combat arenas are full of possibilities, and will seem to have even more given Drake’s new rope. But outside of those set-piece moments, Uncharted has always been about walking straight through environments.

It’s hard not to look at The Last of Us and back and Uncharted 4 and start to want a game with more breathing room to explore and digest the world. It made sense to give players the opportunity to peek around a post-apocalyptic America. It helps you understand the tragedy and significance of it all. Uncharted 4 will inevitably take us to some ancient temple or building of some sort and I want to have the time to gawk at something similarly fantastical, something I’ll probably never see myself.


3. Like a movie

Simon Parkin was right in his potent observation of Uncharted 3. The Uncharted series has always tried to combine game and movie and produce an amazing middle ground, but it doesn’t always nail it. Whether or not you think that’s a goal worth even fighting for, this is essentially what Uncharted is all about.

This effect began to wear off and reveal its constraints in Uncharted 3. It’s clear about the fourth or fifth time you jump off a ledge the wrong way and are pulled back to do it right that the game wants to show you something specific and you need to perform it exactly as it wants.

I think this gives Uncharted 4 a chance to loosen that tie between director and player. It could let the player screw up and bridge that back into the direction the game would prefer. There’s a fascinating topic in game design about following through with the world you create. For example: if you give them a window in a house, it’d better show the world outside regardless if you ever actually go there. This can be applied to everything. If you can feasibly jump onto the wrong platform, you should be able to explore that possibility to its outcome. Naughty Dog has a skilled development team and I think if anyone could take the time to make this meaningful and functional, it would be them.


  • GRIBBLE GRUNGER December 15, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Excellent points!

  • Divinehand123 December 15, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    This sites credibility went out the window with this article. Good thing I use adblock when visiting it.

  • bk December 15, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    ”something I’ll probably never see myself”’

    ill bet my left nut youll be first in line when it gets released.

    • JohnnyM December 15, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Try reading that again. He was referring to locations you visit in Uncharted games that he will never see in person, such as ancient temples.

  • jb227 December 15, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    ….so basically change everything about the series that makes it Uncharted, take out the gunplay & make it open world, gotcha. I believe they made that game already, it’s called Disney Infinity. Uncharted is a beloved franchise because it tells a compelling story w/ great characters and endlessly fun gameplay. When you start changing those elements the only thing you will have is a broken franchise enjoyed by no one. As a fan, the only aspect I would like tinkered w/ is an increased focus on treasure hunting & more emphasis on puzzle solving & traversal than gunplay. Good thing the author only writes about games & doesn’t make them.

    • Christopher Smith December 15, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      None of those are problems to me. I’m struggling with watch dogs now because I’m tired of open world mission based games. I will say having different ways to get from A to B would be cool. But I don’t mind the game pushing me in the direction it wants me to go.

      • jb227 December 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        Same here, open world games can be very fun places to waste time, but they get old pretty quickly & they have barely ever told a compelling story. Even the pioneers of the genre who most would agree have perfected it, Rockstar, have gotten stories wrong more often than not. Uncharted is great to me because of its story. People throw around linear & story driven like they are bad words, but they surely aren’t for those of us who enjoy those games. I’m with you in that it would be cool if it went wider from time to time, for exploration & for combat, but it seems like the trailer illustrated exactly that. I’m really pumped for this game, UC4’s release is where next gen truly starts for me personally.

  • WhatWho December 16, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    I believe the game your looking for Sir is Far Cry and as far as Uncharted is concern it’s a demo until we see more of it we can judge or assume to know what the game is going to be like. According to your points the game you want is not Uncharted but something completely different so maybe it’s just not the game for you.

  • Jessika December 16, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Comments from Anthony Vaccaro of Naughty Dog:

    “Uncharted is a Action/Adventure game and is made for people who enjoy those types of games. If thats not your thing, or if you feel you want a different game there are plenty out there for you.”

    “The indie scene is the best place for unique gameplay experiences that are different from the big AAA titles.”

    “If you are looking for different experiences try out Portal, Gone Home, The Stanley Parable, OctoDad, Journey, Flower, Unfinished Swan. The list goes on and on. There are tons of games out there for you if you are over the AAA style games. We are not making those games though, we are making the best Action/Adventure game we can and the best Uncharted game in the series. So much more awesomeness to come.”

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