Uncharted 4: Here's What Got Cut From the Game
Director Neil Druckmann lists off the many things that got axed from the celebrated PS4 game.
Not all of Naughty Dog's ideas for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End made it into the PlayStation 4 game. For various reasons, the developer decided to part ways with some sequences and gameplay elements, director Neil Druckmann explains in a new interview with Glixel.
Druckmann outlined a number of the things that got cut, and we've collected his quotes here. You can see what he had to say in the spoiler text below; as you can see from the volume of black bars, Naughty Dog cut a lot of content.
Uncharted 4: What Got Cut
"I don't think I've discussed this list with anybody. There used to be a cooking sequence, where you were actually mixing in ingredients. You could make the food too spicy, and they would have different dialogue, depending on how spicy you made it. That got cut.
"There was a whole sequence where you were walking around the prison yard, talking to people, and you're looking for Sam. It just felt like we needed to get on with it.
"In Scotland, you could do a snowball fight. This was actually fully working. You could pick up snow anywhere and throw it at Sam, and he would throw snowballs at you. But tonally, that just felt wrong.
"And when the map room starts collapsing, we had this whole sequence where the crane is collapsing into the cave, and you're climbing through the cabin in the crane, and holding as it's rotating and flipping. With production winding down, that was probably the toughest cut, because it was so far along.
"You could play fetch with the dog in the epilogue. There was a ball when you walked outside, and you could pick it up and throw it, and the dog had A.I. to actually pick it up and run back to you. But the animation looked kind of janky.
"The other mechanic that was pretty cool was shootable handholds. There were certain surfaces that if you shot at them, it would create holes, and you could use them to climb. And it just felt like it was hard to create the right language for that, and make sure you always had ammo for those places. But as a prototype, it was a really fun mechanic.
"The opening of the game, in the boat, that used to not be the opening of the game until very late in production. You got thrown from the boat, you got separated from Sam, and you had to swim to shore. You spent several minutes swimming to shore and being lost at sea. It just felt really long and unnecessary.
"This one I was kind of bummed about. In the manor, when you're playing with the two kids, they picked up swords off the wall and they pretended to sword fight. And we wanted to use the same mechanic you would then use at the boss fight at the end. We cut that."
Druckmann was also asked if he would consider putting any of these sequences back in if there was ever an Uncharted 4 director's cut. Here's his spoiler-filled response:
"The only one I'm wistful for is the sword fight. That's the only one I feel wouldn't hurt the pacing, or the tone, or something else. We were just coming up against the end of production and looking at everything that had to go in to make the story work, versus something that would just add to it, and be a really cool callback. Sometimes you have to make those difficult choices."
Also in the interview, Druckmann talked about Uncharted 4's "Ludonarrative Dissonance" Trophy, a tongue-in-cheek achievement awarded after you kill 1,000 people. Druckmann said he doesn't exactly understand why people criticize Nathan Drake for being a mass murderer when Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalker are, too.
"I told all the people on the team, 'This is my proudest moment, the fact that I came up with this trophy on this project.' We were conscious to have fewer fights, but it came more from a desire to have a different kind of pacing than to answer the 'ludonarrative dissonance' argument," he explained. "Because we don't buy into it."
He goes on: "I've been trying to dissect it. Why is it that Uncharted triggers this argument, when Indiana Jones doesn't? Is it the number? It can't be just the number, because Indiana Jones kills more people than a normal person does. A normal person kills zero people. And Indiana Jones kills a dozen, at least, over the course of several movies. What about Star Wars? Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, are they some sort of serial killers? They laugh off having killed some stormtroopers. "
The full interview is incredibly fascinating and well worth your time if you're at all interested in the development of Uncharted 4 and the people behind it. In the same interview, we learned that Naughty Dog booted some focus testers for their "sexist" comments about some of the game's plot points.
Uncharted 4 launched on May 10 and sold 2.7 million copies in its first week.
GameSpot's Uncharted 4 review scored the action-adventure game a 10/10.
"Uncharted 4 is a challenge to the medium. In its writing, in its design, in its understanding of what makes games unique, Uncharted 4 is something to aspire to," critic Mike Mahardy said. "It's a shining example. And we'll be talking about it for years to come."
Naughty Dog has extensive DLC plans for Uncharted 4 that include things like more multiplayer maps and modes, all of which will be free. Additionally, Naughty Dog is making single-player DLC for Uncharted 4, representing a franchise-first.
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