The Uncharted series had always been subject to debate due to the streamlined plot that has no real underlying stories. The problem? None. In fact I enjoy everything about the Uncharted series; it’s execution is superb when you compare it to alike gaming experiences and film. The platform Naughty Dog had established with Uncharted pretty much sets us up for what we can expect in the next entities of the series, but what if we’re thrown a curve ball, just because (they felt like it). A dramatically new approach that tickles Naughty Dog’s fancy wouldn’t hurt Uncharted; I’m bias enough to believe they’re too skilled to fail at this. But other developers should heed the new standard they might set in the process.
Many titles that sport open world settings often are filled with place holder content that is used simply to extend the playtime of the user. An impatient player such as I usually can’t bear being delegated away from my primary objective which is to complete the story and missions pertaining to the protagonist. This is why I love Uncharted, but more so Nathan Drake. It’s straight to the point with set pieces that bring out the characters enthusiasm and personality. Drake’s “never say die” attitude even when narrowly escaping an exploding train on a snowcapped mountain is comparable to Goku on Planet Namek. When there is a will there is a way; minus the golden blonde hair of course. The thrill of Drake’s adventures drive him into the next big treasure hunt, regardless of the consequences that come along with it. Naughty Dog had earned so much of my trust with the excellence of this series that I won’t hesitate to suggest that they take the larger task of creating a multifaceted world in Uncharted. It would revolve around Nathan Drake but explores his peers and perhaps newfound folks on his journey. Uncharted does this to an extent, but think more “open-worldly”.
Early levels of Uncharted 3 opened my eyes to what could be accomplished with this shift in identity. Typically we didn’t see many (if any) pedestrians in the game. During youth Drake’s spying on Sully in the streets of Cartagena, Colombia we seen many bystandards going along with their daily activities however you couldn’t interact with them. Perhaps, Naughty Dog willing, we would have learned more about Katherine Marlowe from locals familiar with her. Untapped story details of Kat, or Sully for that matter, show us that ND has a natch for making captivating characters that can be adorned with storytelling. Open world titles have a habit of being saturated with fetch quests involved with characters that make us question why the protagonist even cares. I wouldn’t mind making a few extra Napal temple maze runs (for example) if they’re enjoyable.
Let’s make it global. The Uncharted 4 universe is theoretically filled with characters we already want to know more about. This can be approached in a subtle or radical way. The radical new Uncharted would essentially be a RPG at its core, with an emphasis on not only exploring environments and puzzles but the people themselves. The incentives of exploring people would be simply in aid Drake’s primary quest; perhaps create new character interests as well. In addition, missed opportunities with existing characters in past games such as the tenacious Sullivan are lead forward through absence and tease. The subtle approach would be to incorporate a deeper backstory of role players and antagonists without interrupting the flow of Uncharted’s fast paced story. This can be done through reference and personality as a reaction to the past of the subject.
PlayStation 4 is right around the corner. Off the strength of its name, Uncharted 4: Drake’s (whatever) will be probably the most anticipated title for the next-gen console. We have already seen what Naughty Dog is capable of with PS3; imagine if what we speculate to be beneficial to Uncharted ND is taking advantage of as we speak. The possibilities are exciting!