As the May launch date for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End approaches, video game developer, Naughty Dog has the bittersweet task of bringing their award-winning franchise to a satisfying end. In a five-part series of developer diary videos, key players in the Uncharted series, from programmers to character actors, share what it means to have worked on the project—and how it feels to say goodbye to Nathan Drake.
“You’re with this character for years,” reflects creative director Neil Druckmann,”and you’re with this world for years, and you go home on the weekends and you’re eating dinner with your family and you’re thinking about those characters and that world and it’s such a part of you that to walk away is very hard.”
Since the first game in 2007, Uncharted has sold over 21 million copies worldwide and has been recognized with numerous honors, including over 50 Game of the Year awards for Uncharted 2. Nathan Drake is now one of the most iconic adventure heroes in the gaming world.
When a franchise is this successful, it’s hard to imagine that any developer would want to walk away; but Naughty Dog realizes that our wise-cracking treasure hunter isn’t getting any younger, and it shows in his character design.
As the first in the franchise to launch on PlayStation 4, fans will get to see more detail than in graphics alone. Uncharted 4 promises to be the most intimate look at Nathan Drake’s motivations to date, as conveyed in PlayStation’s Man Behind the Treasure TV spot. The Naughty Dog team was greatly influenced by their experience creating The Last of Us, which was far more emotional of a subject matter than they were used to. This newfound knowledge, together with what they hope to be a fitting conclusion to Nathan Drake’s adventure, is what shapes the upcoming game. Fans need not worry about losing that grand sense of adventure, however, as Teagan Morrison, Naughty Dog’s technical director explains:
“Uncharted 4, as a result, is gonna be the best balance of of bombastic and over-the-top and exciting adventure, and these smaller moments—these small, intimate moments that end up meaning just as much—that end up sticking with us just as long.”
Uncharted has been a memorable journey for developers, actors and fans alike, and Naughty Dog hopes to end the series on a high, if not emotional note.
“As you play through the series,” says lead artist, Tate Mosesian, “you do sort of develop an affinity for the characters and an understanding of what motivates them and I hope that this game kinda brings that all to a nice crescendo. I hope that people cry when they play it; I hope that they laugh when they play it.”
Uncharted 4 is scheduled to launch exclusively on PlayStation 4 May 10, 2016.