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Uncharted 4 Will Expand the Sandbox, Dev Says

"I think our goal with the layouts in some of these spaces is that there's not that golden path," designer says.

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Naughty Dog is designing PlayStation 4 action-adventure game Uncharted 4: A Thief's End in an open, sandbox style, where players have a range of options for how they want to tackle an objective. The overall goal, according to co-lead designer Ricky Cambier, is to never force players down one path or another, but instead to set them free to take on challenges as they see fit.

"I think our goal with the layouts in some of these spaces is that there's not that golden path," Cambier told Game Informer. "You turn this corner, you're going to find something surprising. Or maybe this way you're going to use your potions; the mixup of your different tools. There might be a shimmy ledge this way, there might be things that break this way; so every path has that action, that tempo that you want."

Cambier, who previously worked on The Last of Us, added that Naughty Dog's task with Uncharted 4 is "figuring out how to design on this new scale" that the power of the PS4 provides.

"Because you want to go bigger in this jungle layout that we have," he said. "You can see just all the avenues that Drake has; these new tools. You give the player a tool like the grappling hook. Then you realize how much space you need to fulfill that and how far you can go. How you design a space that has that size and that epicness, but is still understandable, digestible."

Cambier pointed out that past Uncharted games, as well as The Last of Us, started to move toward a more sandbox approach, but explained that Uncharted 4 is moving things even further forward with regards to player freedom. The demo shown during PlayStation Experience in December (above) highlights this new level of non-linearity, as Drake can swing from ledge to ledge, and take down foes in any number of ways.

Uncharted 4 launches later this year exclusively on PS4. Sony has not yet announced a release date for the game. For more on Uncharted 4, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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