We have known Uncharted games to be directed experiences where you don’t really get a lot of free will insofar as the path forward in the game is concerned. In Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End however, there is going to be a hybrid of this and free choice.
Naughty Dog’s lead game designer for the title, Kurt Margenau recently sat down to discuss just how they are going to pull this off.
First off, you should know that the choices they have boasted off still don’t mean that Uncharted 4 is an “open world” title in the conventional sense of the word.
It’s not open-world, not as it’s known in the game industry. It’s definitely more open. In the PlayStation Experience demo, we showed a more wide-open exploration/combat space with multiple traversal paths. You can skip past enemies completely or lose them in the foliage. There are definitely areas of the game where it’s going to get pretty big, but it’s still that rollercoaster, that directed experience, that driven story. It’s an Uncharted pulp adventure driving you forward.
He then added that the evolution they have had over the past game gives you one thing primarily and “more choices for the player is what it boils down to.” For instance, he said, the side roads you see in the E3 demo are all accessible although you still are on a path forward in the game’s progression.
In Uncharted 4, you might get areas where it appears you are free to stay for as long as you want but the developers “still want to push [you] forward with every design trick [they] have in the toolkit.”
The goal is to give you as many options as possible. We’re trying not to do the thing where the player’s like, “What the hell, I wanted to go that way and it didn’t let me.” We try to allow those options to happen and then direct you back. Pinch you in and have key moments that direct you.
We are all really excited about Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End and what challenges Naughty Dog has in store for us; the somewhat directed gameplay, that Margenau explained should not be something to worry about as it is a part of the core Uncharted experience.