Naughty Dog changed its approach to games rather radically between the PS2 and the PS3 generations, but since then they’ve been working exclusively on games grounded into a mostly realistic world.
Community Strategist Arne Meyer talked about it on a livestream hosted by GameTrailers, also mentioning that he feels that a bigger tech change would be required for Naughty Dog to do another radical change like the one between PS2 and PS3.
“There were always some pretty solid reasons for us in the past for moving from franchise to franchise, and a lot of it was just the technological leaps between the consoles. It’s really what dictated that.
Even then, if you look at from PS1 to PS2, we were still doing cartoony platformers. We just went more open world and we changed a lot of things around. But I think the biggest shift was PS2 to PS3, just because it was also with the technology that we had, we could tackle something a bit more realistic.
We were still going fo stylized realism, so that we wouldn’t hit the uncanny valley issue, we’re trying to stay away from that. We’re seeing the same sort of thing that we’ve seen between PS1 and PS2, between PS3 and PS4.
It’s “ok, we can continue this, we really like where we’re headed with going with having things grounded in a real world scenario, but still with a little bit of stylized realism to it, so you’re not dealing with the uncanny valley.” But it is basically just that, it’s just “ok, here’s an extension of what we can do, a lot of what we’re already doing but better and throwing a lot more stuff behind it.
It was kinda more of an easier decision with all of that. I think it’d probably have to take a bigger technological change for us to go “Ok, we just need to start from scratch”, and come up with something different.
The engine is more or less the same. It’s just something that we’ve iterated and updated up to PS4 specs. It wasn’t a complete overhaul of everything that we experienced with other console generations.”
Meyer also mentioned that no decisions have been made yet on whether stats will be carried over from the Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End multiplayer beta to the released game, as it will depend on how close the beta is to the final version of the title. If there will be radical design changes, it wouldn’t make sense to carry stats over. That said, Meyer mentioned that his personal bet is on stats being wiped for release.