The Last of Us Heads Stepping In to Lead Uncharted PS4

Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley have been asked to lead the new Uncharted.

With Amy Hennig leaving Naughty Dog--and her role as director of the new Uncharted for PS4--earlier this year, The Last of Us co-directors Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann have stepped in to lead the PS4 debut of Uncharted.

Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells revealed the move in an interview with Game Informer. Asked about Straley and Druckmann helping during Uncharted's transition following Hennig's departure, Wells said, "It's not so much a transition period, actually. We've asked them to lead the project. They are excited as veterans of the Uncharted franchise to take the responsibility and they're doing great."

The two both worked on the first two Uncharted games; Wells notes that Straley was the art director on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and game director on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, while Druckmann helped write both games and worked as lead designer on Among Thieves. Perhaps as a result of that experience, the transition from Hennig has gone smoothly.

"It was not a difficult transition at all," Wells said. "Everybody just sort of accepted that as the new order of things and soldiered on. I mean we've been making enormous progress. If anything, things are accelerating instead of slowing down."

"We definitely have another project on the scale of Uncharted in very early pre-production stages." -- Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells

Fellow co-president Christophe Balestra admitted that with different people in the leadership roles, there will be some changes. "A little bit," he said when asked about there being a new spirit and priorities brought to the game. "They have to fall in love with the game they're making, right? They'll make the changes that they think are right. They're going to have to adjust what they've got and make it what they think is right for this game. There are some changes, obviously, that they will be making."

Wells and Balestra downplayed the series of departures Naughty Dog has seen this year in addition to Hennig, with Wells calling the moves "not significant at all." He also said Naughty Dog has never worked "on the 'auteur philosophy'" and reiterated that the games it makes are truly a team effort.

They also suggested that Straley and Druckmann being busy with Uncharted doesn't affect the studio's ability to continue working on another franchise, such as The Last of Us. "We definitely have another project on the scale of Uncharted in very early pre-production stages. We have the sizable team that it takes to get something like that off of the ground, but it's got a long runway in front of it," Wells said.

In addition to Uncharted for PS4, Naughty Dog has been working on a PS4 release of The Last of Us known as The Last of Us Remastered. It's also said it has two "brand-new experiences" in the work, one of which might be Uncharted.

It's rumored that gameplay from the new Uncharted will be on show at E3 next week. And while neither of the co-presidents offered an exact timetable for seeing more, Wells did offer a tease, saying, "We sure hope you're surprised by how amazing it looks! It's going to be an exciting story, and I think people are going to really buy into this one in a way that I think is consistent with the rest of the stories. It's a standalone adventure like all of them are; we don't expect people to have played the past games to enjoy the current one. But you're going to get to experience Drake and his crew in a new way."

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX

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Discussion

126 comments
bourne714
bourne714

Yea, this one game I'm gonna want a PS4 for.  I've got to go with the One at first though so I can get my Halo and Gears fix.  Eventually I'll get a PS4 also, but my first next gen console is gonna be the One.

sakaixx
sakaixx

hope it tops uncharted 2 and the last of us, it's a ridiculously high expectation but they can do it ! 

3dmatrixgamer
3dmatrixgamer

ND had too much best stories in past but now is the gameplay turn.

xtraflossy
xtraflossy

I never finished UC3, hardly got into it really.  I'm not sure why after enjoying 1 & 2 so much.  


Maybe I'll give it another go after seeing UC4 at E3.

wdma
wdma

So the head of U2 and the head of TLoU are heading U4? damn thats like Goku and Vegeta fusion, U4 is going to be a super game

justerthought
justerthought

Thankfully we now have confirmation the Nate and the usual cast will be in the new game, after all those silly rumours about a reboot with a new set of characters. That would have been a disaster. Same goes for The Last Of Us 2. It needs Joel and Ellie because that is what it's all about. You don't spend huge resources crafting great characters that the players bond with then trash them for someone new on a whim. Imagine a Tomb Raider game without Lara or a James Bond movie without James Bond. If you want to scrap the characters you make a totally different IP.

Far Cry can get away with it because it is first person survival in an open world, You are the character. You are the continuity from game to game in the series, even if the characters name changes. The game character does not have a personality because you play the game as you want in your personality.

musalala
musalala

lol "Have been asked to lead" they fired Amy 

Hillsy_
Hillsy_

UC2 was my favourite too, but sometimes you need a women's touch.  Will wait and see how the new one turns out.

billy19joseph
billy19joseph

Considering UC2 was the best of the series I'm glad this personal shuffle accord. I still enjoyed UC3 and played the hell out of it but it didn't "wow" me the way 2 did, very excited to see UC4 up and running soon

bluebird08
bluebird08

Sony must be kicking themselves after revealing Uncharted 4, when this was clearly not ready.

On the other hand, this is some great news!.

playstationzone
playstationzone

Great News but bad news that wont see no gameplay at this year E3214 because sound to me game some of it done and lot isnt so im guessing wont be out until 216 :[ 

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

I wonder in what kind of environment it'll take place. We've seen forests in Uncharted 1, snow mountains in Uncharted 2 and deserts in Uncharted 3. There's no way it'll take place underwater... so maybe it will involve volcanoes? It would be cool to see next-gen lava and fire-based obstacles.

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

I have faith the game will be fine.  NaughtyDog is on a roll right now.

sakaixx
sakaixx

I think uncharted 4 will be some kind of experiment with the new hardware of ps4 just like uncharted 1. The one to really blow everyone's mind is uncharted 5, just like uncharted 2.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

Uncharted will now have girls kissing.

Williams0907
Williams0907

Game isn't even close to being completed. I see a 2016 release date ahead.

bschroth
bschroth

Makes sense. It'll be very interesting to see what changes they make. Since the first trilogy is done, they can and probably should mix things up, especially since they're on new hardware and the timing is right. Looking forward to this game a lot. Might have to make sure I own a PS4 by that time.

skeet1964
skeet1964

Greatly anticipating anything ND puts out!  They're one of the best!

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

'Very early pre-production'

Lol, holiday 2016 or 17. But hey, let's use a trailer for it 3, 4, possibly 5 years in advance.

Man, you Sony early adopters got screeeeewed.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@wdma Very awesome nerd simile. I'm definitely hyped about this game. =)

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@justerthought The difference being that Uncharted centers around the life of Drake, and to a lesser extent Sullivan and Fisher and their adventures, whereas the Last of Us may have told the tale of Joel and Ellie but it also laid out a world where several other dramatic life stories of loss and survival could exist and be explored in the future.

Kuhlio13
Kuhlio13

@musalala Pretty sure she was just offered more money to work the Star Wars game. People and their rumors.

justerthought
justerthought

@Hillsy_ 

U2 was the best campaign story and had the best multiplayer coop adventures, but U3 coop arena was the best multiplayer survival by far. The shooting mechanic and controls changed for U3 and many could not make the transition and hated it, but if you stuck with it you realised that it was much better. No pain no gain as they say. The U3 gunplay is far more aggressive and responsive, the AI is a lot more devious and there is a lot more depth in how you set up your loadout strategy.

justerthought
justerthought

@billy19joseph 

U3 campaign was great but it was far too linear for my liking. At about two thirds into the game it was starting to wear me down with frustration because I felt like I was not in full control of the game and was just following the directors predetermined path.

Too many cinematics taking the controller out of my hands with not enough time spent fighting the AI. Yes U2 was linear as well but far less blatant than U3. The train section in U2 is a great example of what I mean. It was not a simple linear move towards the front of the train, the track cleverly ran in loops that allowed me to move forward at my own pace giving the illusion that I was in control.

jecomans
jecomans

@bluebird08 If anything I would think it would be ND who would be annoyed they had to reveal a game in pre-production because Sony wanted to build hype for the PS4. 

justerthought
justerthought

@bluebird08 

Nobody is kicking themselves. It does not have to be ready in order to reveal it. The news of the reveal was just to confirm that they are working on it. That was what we wanted to hear. We are not stupid. We realise great games take time to make, but the important thing is that now we know its coming.

Kuhlio13
Kuhlio13

@playstationzone Type much? It's already confirmed to be at E3 this year with a gameplay trailer. Probably a 2015 release is the rumor. Quit making false accusations. 

billy19joseph
billy19joseph

@Tiwill44 Urban jungle; would not be surprised if it's got parkour shoot-outs across the roof tops of NY (I'd rather they re-visit London) which will transition into more nature-oriented environments as the story progresses

jecomans
jecomans

@VegasAceVII That's my take. As far as I'm concerned they've been on a roll for 15 years. 

Kuhlio13
Kuhlio13

@sakaixx Not true. Rumors already suggest that it's the best graphics that anyone has ever seen. Better than 1886 or any other graphically hyped game. Granted it's rumors, but from very good sources. Guess we'll see at E3 next week.

BigBossWato
BigBossWato

@Williams0907 I don't know about that since they most likely have been working on the 

game since Uncharted 3's release in 2011, I'd say late 2015 around Christmas. 

evidenthare
evidenthare

They're talking about a different project. Not uncharted.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@justerthought I always felt that U3 had the best story but U2 had the better action, cinematics and big set pieces. One thing I really loved about U3 was the addition of Cutter. It was really nice to have a character that was just as sharp as Drake and could not only keep up but could challenge him as a friend. Too bad he was only in for about a third of the game.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@fred_flatulence @billy19joseph Also, Naughty Dog didn't exactly leave a lot of "wow" left in the bottle after they made U2. Putting that much bang in one game does have the consequence of not leaving you with too much left to surprise with. U3 was never going to be able to compete in the "big moments" department with U2 but I do feel that they missed an opportunity. It could have been the "poignant" entry in the series and could have added some serious depth overall to Uncharted but what was supposed to be an exploration of the relationship between Drake and Sully, and eventually Drake and Elena was rushed and somewhat shallow, only offering a superficial glance at it all. It did, IMHO, have the series best antagonist though.