Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End “Feels Like Home, but Better;” Naughty Dog Wants to “Earn” it
During the newest episode of “Conversations with Creators” released by Sony, Naughty Dog shared quite a few details about the current state of development of Nathan Drake’s last adventure, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Game Director Bruce Straley mentioned that now levels are starting to get together with the story, art is coming in as well, and everything is starting to come together with the audio. It’s starting to be the game that he wants to play. They can now see moments in which they can say “ah, that’s gonna be a really special moment.”
According to Co-Lead Game Designer Anthony Newman, there’s a lot of stuff that feels fresh and new, but it still feels like a logical continuation of the Uncharted formula, and Straley added that it “feels like home, but better.”
Newman continued by mentioning that there are a lot of things coming back from The Last of Us, like people gesturing while walking around, or things developers can do to make things more seamless, like gunwork, climbing, and the way animations chain together. It indeed feels like Uncharted but stepped up another notch.
Creative Director Neil Druckmann also explained that he really feels that they’re finally “earning” telling the closing chapter of Nathan Drake’s story, and seeing the pieces coming together is really important for Naughty Dog.
According to Newman. working on the closing chapter of Nathan Drake’s adventures is really meaningful for the studio, and they want to do right by him and by the franchise. Druckmann added that after all they’re fans as well, while Straley mentioned that they feel they have to “earn” it. They want to be proud. and the team to be proud, this kind of attitude is imbued in their perfectionism.
Newmann also explained that one thing that the studio wanted to do with the PS3 was a more open environments, but it proved really challenging, because the studio pushed the memory to its limits. In Uncharted 4, thanks to the memory of the PS4, they’re opening it up a lot more.
The fidelity of characters, Newman continued, has “gone crazy,” and that’s what allows the studio to do real-time cutscenes. There are no black bars, and that allows developers to be “so much more expressive” with seamless transition between story and gameplay. The character used for gameplay is the same for cutscenes, while the lighting model is “nearly identical.”