Uncharted: The Lost Legacy And The Dynamics Of Its Duo
Beyond Nathan Drake.
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Is there life beyond Nathan Drake? It's more likely than you think. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has evolved into a grander quest for treasure than initially envisioned as DLC for Uncharted 4. Chloe and Nadine--two of the toughest characters in the series--have paired up in their own adventure, evading military insurgents, breaking into ancient temples, and escaping assault vehicles that appear to have a life of their own. We sat down with The Lost Legacy game director Kurt Margenau to learn more about this pair as they trek in a post-Nathan Drake Uncharted.
Gamespot: How would you describe the dynamic between Nadine and Chloe and how they complement and contrast each other?
Kurt Margenau: The dynamic between Nadine and Chloe is the core of what brought us to make this game in the first place. We really love Chloe as a character and when we were thinking of making a game with her, we were like, "Who would be a great foil for her personality?" And we also love Nadine from Uncharted 4. She gets the last laugh in some ways as the villain of Uncharted 4. This E3 demo shows the way that Nadine is practical and pragmatic and feeds off everything, and Chloe is more of the treasure hunting, sneaky improvisational type of person. How it comes into gameplay is that Nadine is the big melee fighter just like the physical threat she was in Uncharted 4. Drake and Sam can't even beat her. Why Chloe brings her on board mostly because she kicks ass.
Part of the reason we picked Chloe is because we don't really know that much about her and she's a fun character. She has a fun side and she's in this underworld so it makes sense to fill in some of that. You're going to learn more about her and her past. She's this very self preservation type of person, as is Nadine. That's where they are aligned in a lot of ways. They may learn some things from each other, they may conflict.
And to confirm, you only play as Chloe, correct?
Yes, you play only as Chloe. It's her story and Nadine is her accomplice in some sorts of way, the way we tried before with Nate and Sam. It's that dynamic. But you are going to learn a lot about Nadine too. For us, it's easier to tell a story by just focusing on one character and to have an ally character. In this case, Nadine is filling in and bouncing off our main hero.
Does this take place before or after Uncharted 4?
It's after Uncharted 4. Nadine has fallen from grace as the leader of Shoreline at the end of Uncharted 4. So the events of Uncharted 4 directly influence where Nadine is at. There's some little fun callbacks too.
How did this evolve from an Uncharted 4 DLC to a stand alone game?
It just came out of wanting to tell a story with essentially a new character that we don't know that much about. We started putting a story together and we realized that we need more room. We need a bigger space to tell these arcs and really, Chloe deserves her own game. It just got bigger and we started putting it together and we realized, "Oh this is really epic."
Can you give an estimated breakdown on what the spread is on puzzles, exploration, and gunplay?
It's hard to know. We don't try to think about it like that. We know that if the player's doing one thing for too long, they get bored so when we're designing levels, we make sure we mix it up. We're pushing on exploration a little more and we're pushing on some of these things in more extreme ways. If there was one area where we tweaked a little higher it's puzzles. We just have more puzzles per pound in The Lost Legacy than we had in the past. Something like the setting of India and these ancient architectural ruins really allows for us to get back to some of those classic puzzle types.
There is a very almost Spielbergian vibe to the armored assault vehicle that chases Chloe and Nadine in the E3 demo. It's like the son of the vehicle from Uncharted 4.
Yeah, it's a coincidence. It's actually different than the military vehicle on Uncharted 4. We do our research on what types of vehicles would an insurgent leader have access to. We designed it as an awesome action moment.
What was poignant in this E3 demo was how clear it was that Chloe's still busy with action in the foreground while Nadine was busy fending off foes in the background. I assume this form of camera framing was already programmed to the point the you didn't need to swing the camera manually show the dynamism of these action scenes, right?
Yeah, it's totally deliberate. Their relationship is the core of this game. It's about how they work together, how they conflict together, and what are they learning from each other in this journey. Part of that is in combat; Nadine is useful and she's the reason that Chloe hired her for this job. We have a bunch of systems where she's going to see her kick some ass while you're doing your thing.
And can we expect them to interact with that Naughty Dog style of AI self-sufficiency
Yeah, there's a lot of work. We want our characters to feel like characters, not someone you have to babysit or something you give commands to. They're not necessarily a tool that you use as a gameplay element. They are ideally a person that's with you that's reacting to the situation as a person would and they have their own characteristics. We play up Chloe and Nadine's relationship in game play as much as possible.