Gaming Interviews

Published on August 16th, 2017 | by gareth

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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Interview And Movie News

I spoke with Arne Meyer: Communications Director at Naughty Dog about the exciting new chapter in the series and an update on the movie.

 

What was behind the decision to base the game on new characters and is this a pattern you can see for the series going forward?

We explored a bunch of potential lead characters as part of figuring out what the story and the gameplay for this game should be. As we narrowed down the list, we kept coming back to Chloe, and then Chloe with Nadine, because of the incredible story potential they afforded us. Not only were they dynamic, interesting characters (who our fans are fond of), but they had interesting backgrounds that hadn’t really been explored in previous games. We also felt from very early on that the partnership between both Chloe and Nadine would be dynamic and interesting.

As with all of our games, our choices are driven by what we feel makes an interesting, fun-to-play game with great characters and a compelling narrative.

How much difference is there in the combat and character movements with the new leads as I am guessing they are going to be different than Nathan.

Well, at the end of the day, combat and traversal have to feel fun and have to feel like they fall within an Uncharted game. We’ve made sure to retain that same feel here. But we did take a look at Chloe and Nadine – they have a particular skillset and their own unique M.O. in the Uncharted universe. Chloe is more of a sly, oft-duplicitous thief, so her traversal and stealth will feel more assured than you would expect, and her combat animations are also pretty fluid. It also provided us with the opportunity with adding in the lockpicking mechanic, which we felt was integral to the fact that Chloe is a thief. If you look at Nadine, you’ll see her combat animations and the way her personality is expressed in gameplay to be reflective of her military training and formerly being in charge of Shoreline. This is best – and humorously – expressed in our E3 demo, when Chloe suggests that she takes out one of Asav’s soldiers while Nadine takes out the other, only to have Nadine dispatch both of them herself.

 

What is the background and setting for the game?

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy takes place in India, and the majority of it will take place within the Western Ghats area in west/south-west India.

Chloe has come to India in search of the Golden Tusk of Ganesh. Chloe is half-Indian and she has a particular connection to this part of India and the Golden Tusk through her history with her father. Because she knew that she would be up against Asav, Chloe hired Nadine. Although Nadine has her own reasons to go after an artifact like the Golden Tusk, Nadine was Chloe’s first – only – choice for this job as she is best suited to help with Asav.

 

What are some of the locales players will encounter?

Part of our story, and the game, takes place in a city in the midst of conflict perpetrated by Asav. Players will also explore the mountainous Western Ghats area, including the massive open expanse we showed as a preview last month. The Western Ghats provides us with an opportunity to introduce many locations beyond the outdoor areas, such as ruins, and provide ample opportunity for players to use all of the gameplay mechanics.

What can you tell us about the differences between the two characters and will players be able to select which character they play and when?

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is centered around Chloe, and she is the sole character players will control. Chloe is a thief – she’s not always trustworthy, especially when her life or well-being is on the line. She’s more likely to leave partners in a lurch and disappear when things appear to be going sour. She’s always looking out for herself. While Nadine has shown, in Uncharted 4, that she is willing to walk away when she’s clearly on the losing side – she’s very different from Chloe. She’s very direct and tries to be more upfront with whomever she has partnered with. She’s very pragmatic. There is also a shared history, on opposite sides, for the pair. Chloe has been partners with Nathan Drake, while Nadine experienced the loss of Shoreline as a result of Nathan and his brother Sam. These two personalities couldn’t be further apart, and it introduces some interesting possibilities for conflict – and exploring how they both navigate that friction between them.

 

What can you tell us about the enemies in game and how has the A.I. evolved since the last game?

Asav is the antagonist in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. He’s a ruthless warmonger stirring up conflict in India, with the goal to destabilize the region, gain control, and impose his way of life. He feels securing the Golden Tusk of Ganesh is a key step in fulfilling that goal and his ambitions. With an army of his own, who believe in his cause, by his side, Asav is a formidable and dangerous opponent. You got just a glimpse of that in the trailers we’ve released.

Since Chloe and Nadine spend the game together, and their partnership is at the center of our narrative, the team spent some time working on things that would make their relationship feel believable in gameplay as well. This included refining some of the AI involved and melee combat mechanics. The goal was to make Nadine act not only believable as a partner, but also in line with her skills and personality. There are some examples out there of how Chloe and Nadine partner up to take down enemies together when engaged in melee combat. These efforts also extended to how we approached the large, open area we’ve shown. There are many conversations Chloe and Nadine will have between them as the player goes through the area. We had to plan for the player or outside events interrupting the conversation, so that the characters could pick it up later in a believable way. Also because the objectives in that area could be completed in any order, we had to account for that in how the cinematic sequences played and what dialog would be playing when.

 

Will vehicles factor into the game as well?

Driving a 4×4 vehicle will return in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. It’s an integral part to the Western Ghats chapter, which features our largest explorable space in a Naughty Dog game to date. In order to explore such a vast area, the 4×4 is important to get around the map, but you will also solve puzzles with the winch – a mechanic we introduced in Uncharted 4. Of course, we can choose to walk through a lot of the map, but the 4×4 will be much more efficient to get around!

 

How do you plan to use multiplayer this time around?

 Uncharted: The Lost Legacy will include the full multiplayer suite from Uncharted 4. All of the post-release content to date will be available, and we’ll be releasing our recently announced Survival Arena mode, character skins from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and a new playable character on August 22 (https://blog.us.playstation.com/2017/08/15/uncharted-the-lost-legacy-update-coming-to-uncharted-4-multiplayer/). Players from both games will be playing together as it’s the same multiplayer mode whether you are playing via Uncharted 4 or Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.

Are there new weapons that will be in the game and if so what will they be?

If there is, we wouldn’t want spoil the discovery of it!

 

Music is a big part of the series so what can fans look forward to with this release?

Music is so important to the series! We’re happy to say that Henry Jackman has returned to compose the score for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. There is all original music, with instruments and elements that reference and evoke the setting of the game. It will be hard to miss, but be sure to stick around for the end credits when you complete the game.

 

To what do you attribute the success of the series upon?

We like to think that the Uncharted series is popular because it has the right, high-quality combination of a compelling narrative with believable and interesting characters, supported by fun high-action gameplay.  That’s it in a nutshell – but it’s clearly apparent that our fans and our community really respond to the story in our games, and in particular with our characters. That applies to almost all our characters, whether they are a protagonist like Nathan Drake or Chloe Frazer, or any of our many secondary characters – Elena, Nadine, Sam, Sully, Cutter, and so on.

 

As a follow up, how much pressure is there with this release compared to past releases?

There’s always pressure for any of our subsequent releases in a series. A lot of it originates internally at the studio, as we’re always looking for ways to top ourselves or find ways to innovate with game technology, or gameplay, or anything associated with narrative. There was also a different kind of pressure for us here – which was taking on the challenge of developing a full game in just under 12 months!

 

Is DLC planned for the game?

Nope. We’re all looking forward to taking a short break and then returning to the world of The Last of Us to finish up Part II.

 Any updates on the movie you can share?

No new updates to share at this time. Sony Pictures is working on the film and we’ve been focusing on finishing Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. We’re keeping up to date on the movie as they roll out details to fans and the community.

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